These Are The Must-Visit Delis In America

When somebody says the word "deli," we all have a spot that immediately comes to mind. No matter where you're from, the experience of visiting the local deli for a quick and satisfying meal is a universal one. Nothing beats a classic sandwich packed with toppings and smashed between freshly baked bread.


A deli sandwich can be an umbrella term for any number of sandwiches. So what is it that makes some of the best delis across the United States, well, the best? Perhaps it's the love handed down from generations of family-made recipes, years upon years of business, or maybe all it takes is one passionate foodie.

Whether it's a classic turkey sub, meat-packed pastrami, or any other staples that come to mind, you're bound to find your favorite on this list of America's best delis. Pulled from a variety of local sources as well as nationally renowned food publications, this list was created based on research into each state's best delis and sandwiches. From long-standing, traditional deli establishments to more modern spots taking on new meanings of the loaded word, here is a mix of some of the best delis across the country.


Katz's Deli

If you haven't heard about Katz's Deli in New York City, you may have been living under a rock. This world-famous deli is also the city's oldest and has been serving some of the best corned beef and pastrami sandwiches around since 1888. What started as a small, local deli located in the Lower East Side, turned into a New York institution that visitors from all over come to try – and they'll wait in lines wrapped around the block to do so.


Katz's meat-curing process is slow and methodical, taking up to 30 days versus the more commercialized processes that take mere hours. While it is certainly best served hot and fresh, Katz's is now available to order by the package. If a trip to New York isn't in your future, this sensational restaurant is now sending made-to-order kits that can recreate the famous sandwiches at home — pickles and all.

Whole Katz's is famous for its pastrami and corned beef, the menu also includes a host of other traditional Jewish foods. From matzah ball soup to New York bagels, and so much more, this deli truly offers it all.

(212) 254-2246

205 East Hudson St, New York City, 10002

M&M Bakery and Deli

While Kansas City may be better known for its barbecue, locals and visitors alike should not be sleeping on the wide variety of sandwiches from different cultures that this city has to offer. Among a list of sandwich places from local food critics and listeners, M&M Bakery and Deli sticks out for its classic cold-cut sandwiches. Home of the "Hook 'Em Up" sandwich, this deli is family-owned and serves only the freshest, homemade products.


The famous "Hook 'Em Up" sandwich is made up of turkey ham and pepper beef, hot cheese, and mustard, and sits on the fluffy house onion roll. There's seemingly nowhere that you can go wrong with this menu, as customers have nothing but good things to say about M&M's food and service alike. Even better, the pastries seem to be nearly as big of a hit as the sandwiches. Some even go as far as to say that this bakery is serving the best cinnamon roll in Kansas City. Visit M&M's for a quintessential deli experience, and make sure not to skip out on dessert.

(816) 924-9172

1721 E. 31st St, Kansas City, MO, 64109

Zaftigs Deli

If you're looking for a deli that feels like a welcoming, neighborhood spot for a meal that you can always depend on, then Zaftigs Deli in Brookline, Massachusetts is just the spot for you. In a cute, quiet spot outside of the city of Boston, this Jewish-inspired deli is a weekend favorite for many locals. With a full-service bakery in addition to the restaurant, Zaftigs can be a quick pit-stop or a sit-down option.


Unlike what you might associate with a typical deli, this place has a massive menu stacked with so much more than just cold cuts and sandwiches — which is what makes it so great. Visitors can have a full breakfast, complete with eggs or potatoes, or they can get the typical deli experience with any number of Zaftig's tasty sandwiches. There's beauty in variety, and this spot certainly has all of the options. Some other Jewish staples include the loaded latkes, smoked fish plates, or matzah ball soup.

(617) 975-0075

335 Harvard St, Brookline, MA, 02446

Slyman's Restaurant

Slyman's Restaurant in Cleveland Ohio is another big name for foodie's who flock to delis across the country in search of the best sandwiches. Known for its massive corned beef sandwich, Slyman's put itself on the map for having one of the best sandwiches in America. The restaurant is located in a small, unassuming location, but has been a staple for locals for years. Despite its virality, this spot has the stamp of approval from locals which lets us know it definitely is not overrated.


When we say this might be the most massive sandwich we've ever seen, we aren't kidding. The bread-to-meat ratio is exactly what any corned beef fanatic is looking for, with so many layers of meat that we can't keep count. If you're thinking about tackling this sandwich alone, you might want to grab a friend to join. Despite being such a popular spot, the service at this friendly spot is known for being top-notch — and always timely. If that hasn't checked every box for a top deli, we don't know what does.

(216) 621-3760

3106 St. Claire Ave, Cleveland, OH

Little Deli & Pizzeria

Hear us out — this next deli is also doubling as a pizzeria that has some of the best sandwiches in Austin. Little Deli & Pizzeria has been around for two decades, serving the best of both worlds with only the best homemade ingredients there are to offer. Sandwich and pizza lovers alike can agree that this spot is a staple for whichever craving you're having — but we're here to talk about the sandwiches.


Whether you're in the mood for a hot or a cold sub, Little Deli has it all. The menu also includes an entire section dedicated to Italian subs, served on housemade hoagie rolls. "Austin's Best Reuben" and "Harry's Perfect Pastrami" are two crowd-favorites, both best served on toasted bread. From the selection of classic sandwiches, visitors seem to love the chicken salad sandwich, which is stuffed to the brim between two slices of freshly baked bread of choice. There's truly something for everyone at this popular spot, and if you aren't feeling a sandwich, grab a slice of pizza!

(512) 467-7402

7101-A Woodrow Ave, Austin, TX, 79757

Leven Deli Co.

Self-marketed as a different kind of deli, Leven has added its own flare to the classic deli feel by adding a wine bar and other Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Thinking outside of the box has certainly paid off, as this spot is a popular hit among locals and visitors alike.


Leven Deli Co. is here to prove that you can truly do it all — and you can do it well. Starting off with the classics, menu items like the classic pastrami and pastrami Reuben are popular choices that won't disappoint. While these staples are notoriously on the pricy side at $20, it's worth the spend for the quality.

Now for the drink menu, which also speaks for itself. Visitors could come to the wine bar alone and have a great experience. Many are quick to speak to the great energy that Leven exudes, making it a perfect spot for grabbing drinks with friends. Did we also mention that this spot has a full-service coffee bar? We're beginning to think that you could start your day here and never leave, as they truly have everything covered.


(303) 325-5691

123 West 12th Ave, Denver, CO, 80204

Gioia's Deli

You've heard of hot pastrami sandwiches, but have you heard of a hot salami sandwich? They might rhyme, but these two classics are completely different. For die-hard fans of salami, Gioia's Deli in St. Louis is famous for its original hot salami sandwich. This place isn't messing around with its sandwiches, with a James Beard award for being one of "America's Classics" in 2017 under its belt.


Reviewers are quick to announce this spot's sandwiches as being one of the best you'll get your hands on in the city of St. Louis. If salami isn't for you, Gioia's is all about making your sandwich your way, and it doesn't seem like there's any way that you can go wrong with one of these subs.

While you'll seldom find this hot spot without a noticeable line around lunchtime, customers swear it moves quickly and is certainly worth the wait. Gioia's now also ships worldwide, and the restaurant's website even includes cooking instructions for those recreating the deli experience at home.

(314) 776-9410

1934 Macklind Ave, St. Louis, MO, 63110

Lucinda's Deli & More

Lucinda's Deli & More in San Francisco is making some of the most photo-worthy sandwiches that we've ever seen. Don't worry — they taste as good as they look, too. San Francisco is stacked with endless options for delicious foods, but this hidden gem is making a statement as a local favorite. As a light disclaimer, the prices of this spot's sandwiches may make you stop and roll your eyes. Before passing too much judgment, take a look at the menu.


Lucinda's sandwiches aren't just your average deli sandwiches. They've got all of your favorites, with added twists of flavor that are as unique as they are tasty. Take the roast beef for example, which is topped with blue cheese mayo, onion jam, Thai barbecue sauce, and complete with crispy onions. Our mouths are watering just reading about these action-packed sandwiches.

It goes without saying that you can rely on this spot to always have the freshest ingredients, from the bread to the meat. If you find yourself visiting San Francisco, or if this is the first you're hearing of Lucinda's as a local, this deli is a must-visit on the West Coast.

535 Scott St, San Francisco, CA, 94117


Langer's Deli

If you're not a fan of pastrami, we're not sure how you've made it this far down the list but feel free to keep reading. Langer's is a Jewish deli in Los Angeles, California that is famously known for its #19 — a classic pastrami sandwich. Not just any pastrami, however, but one that has been called one of the best hot pastrami sandwiches in the country.


Many are quick to compare the West Coast to the East Coast's household name when it comes to pastrami, but Langer's is holding it down for that side of the country. Since 1947, Langer's has been a family-owned deli making its mark on the Los Angeles area and is now considered an essential piece of the cultural history.

Despite being in business for so long, Langer's has not wavered on its service or quality. Visitors are guaranteed to have a great experience from the moment they sit down, to the moment that they leave. The ambiance of the old-school deli is still in full effect, and it seems the taste of the food has only improved with time. If you're looking for a tried and true deli by definition, the next time you're in LA this institution is a must-visit.


(213) 483-8050

704 South Alvarado, Los Angeles, CA, 90057

Shapiro's Deli

Everyone loves a good story, and Shapiro's Deli in Indianapolis certainly has plenty to tell. This Indiana-based establishment has 115 years' worth of family history behind it, and each generation of Shapiros has its own story to tell. Shapiro's has consistently been recognized as one of the best Jewish delis across America, and there's a reason for it. Ingredients are strictly sourced from local and hand-selected farms, and the meat is just about the best quality that you can come across.


Shapiro's is famous for serving enormous stacks of meat per sandwich, and the quality lives up to the quantity. Among a wide array of menu selections, some standouts include a classic pastrami sandwich as well as this establishment's midwestern take on a New York Reuben sandwich. While the sandwiches are certainly a hit, those aren't even the best part.

Make sure to save room for dessert when you get the chance to visit this awesome deli, which has a full bakery that offers every tasty treat you can think of. Decadent slices of cake, freshly baked cookies, and so many other options that we could go on forever.

(317) 631-4041

808 S Meridian St, Indianapolis, IN, 46225

J.P. Graziano Grocery

If you need a break from deep-dish pizza the next time you find yourself in Chicago, take a hike to one of the best delis in the area. J.P. Graziano Grocery is a family-run deli and sub shop that has been a staple in the West Loop neighborhood for decades. All sandwiches are made to order, and deli meats are sliced fresh.


Graziano's menu is stacked with classic Italian subs, and some of the finest in the city at that. Locals and visitors alike can agree that this deli is home to the best subs, which include classics like an Italian club, roast beef, Caprese, porchetta sandwich, and many more. Customers have nothing but good things to say about any of the selections, and the prices aren't half-bad either.

There's a lot to be said for a historic, family-owned business that has managed to stay with it. While this grocery and deli spot certainly maintains its old-timey feel, there are certain aspects of the restaurant that make it feel younger. The current owner, J.P., now stays open until 1 a.m. on certain days to satisfy the late-night crowd who come in hungry.


(312) 666–4587

901 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL, 60607

Leibman's Deli

New York is famously a hot spot for some of the best delis in the world, so needless to say it takes a special place to stand out among the crowd. Liebman's Deli in the Bronx has been doing that since 1953 when it was one of many Jewish delis in the neighborhood. Today it is one of the few remaining kosher delis in the city and is widely recognized for its iconic sandwiches and matzoh ball soup.


Liebman's has been featured in the press in a variety of ways, garnering much-earned attention for not only its good food but for its nostalgic feel that has remained intact for decades. While you might be expecting us to rattle off a few must-try sandwiches from this classic Jewish deli's menu, Liebman's has actually caught our attention with its famous hot dog. You of course can't go wrong with a pastrami sandwich, but this traditional menu is consistently delicious across the board.

(718) 548-4534

552 W. 235th St, Bronx, NY

Caputo's Gourmet Market and Deli

Caputo's Gourmet Market & Deli in Salt Lake Valley may be a market first, receiving endless praise for its craft selection of goods, but more people need to recognize this Italian deli for the fresh foods that it serves. If you were to make a list of the best sandwiches in every state in America, Caputo's would be a strong contender for the state of Utah.


With three different locations across the city, Caputo's has the stamp of approval from locals. The selection of sandwiches is endless, with some honorable mentions including the meatball sub or the signature Caputo. Of course, the menu doesn't end there. Fresh pasta and salads are also available to order, and you can't go wrong with the pasta salad.

If you stop by this popular spot for a sandwich, make sure to check out the market as well. Craft chocolate and delicious cheeses are what Caputo's is widely known for across the country, so don't miss out on the chance to taste it for yourself.

(801) 531-8669

314 W. Broadway, Salt Lake City, UT

Blue's City Deli

Blue's City and Deli may not be what you think of when you're picturing a typical deli, but it's certainly one of the best you'll come across in the States. At one point, this St. Louis favorite was voted to be the number-one restaurant in the Midwest for its sandwiches. Blue's City isn't just your run-of-the-mill deli, and we're here to break down this famed establishment's menu.


If you've never heard of a po boy sandwich, a Louisiana staple, allow us to introduce you. A po boy typically is comprised of crispy fried seafood or roast beef, slathered with mayo and other toppings. Blue's City's menu has an entire section of the menu dedicated to roast beef po boys, and you won't go wrong with any of them.

The rest of the menu includes other classic American and Italian sub combos, which are equally as popular. Anywhere you turn on this menu, you're bound to run into good food. Comparatively, the prices on these sandwiches are also something you can't beat.

(314) 773-8225

2439 Mcnair, St. Louis, MO, 63104

Sam and Gertie's

Sam and Gertie's in Chicago has made a name for itself as the world's first completely vegan, Jewish deli. Despite the fact that this establishment has made accommodations for our non-meat eaters in the house, it still maintains its status as a renowned deli serving traditional Jewish foods. In 2019, couple Andy and Gina opened up their deli after nailing down the recipe they would use to recreate traditional flavors without their key ingredient.


At the very least, props should be given to this place for offering an entire plant-based menu from pastrami to lox, to everything that would be typically meat-based — no small feat. Even better, it all tastes good. Locals recognize this spot as a reliable option for those who are plant-based but still want to experience the joys of Jewish comfort foods. In addition to traditional deli sandwiches, Sam and Gertie's also serves housemade bagels and latkes to round out the menu, as well as an array of baked goods.

1309 W. Wilson Avenue, Chicago, IL