If there’s one food that’s truly universal, it’s the sandwich. Head to just about any small town in America and you’re bound to find a place where you can buy a well-made example. Meat, cheese, bread, various condiments… What’s not to like, right? Some delis are better than others, though, and we’ve tracked down the best one in every state. (Check out the best local sandwich to try in every state.)
There are obviously a wide variety of delis and sandwich shops out there. Jewish delis specialize in sandwiches piled with corned beef, pastrami, and the like, as well as traditional Ashkenazi Jewish fare like knishes, potato pancakes, and matzo ball soup; some also sell bagels with lox and smoked fish salads. Italian delis stack their sandwiches with cured meats like salami, prosciutto, and capicola, and sell them alongside a deli case brimming with antipasti and entrees like lasagna and sausage and peppers. (For a wider selection of such dishes, these are the best old-school Italian restaurants in America.)
The majority of the delis on our list fit into those two categories, but you’ll also find German delis, Polish delis, and “new wave” delis that don’t fit into any specific box and have instead devised a roster of sandwiches with a true chef’s touch and perhaps a nod to regional specialties.
To identify the best deli in every state, 24/7 Tempo compared reviews and ratings appearing on a wide range of websites, including Food & Wine, Food Network, Insider, Mashed, Eat This Not That, Taste of Home, Cheapism, My Jewish Learning, and The Local Best, as well as numerous state and regional listings.
Whether you’re in the mood for a hot pastrami on rye, a muffuletta, an Italian sub loaded with meats and cheeses, a BLT, a turkey club, or a personal favorite that you’ve invented on your own, the best delis in America are guaranteed to hit the spot.
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