Special Report

The Best Deli in Every State

Source: Courtesy of John S. via Yelp

Alabama
> Deli: Mr. P’s Deli
> Location: Birmingham

If you’re the kind of person who has trouble deciding on things, then you’re going to have a tough time figuring out what to order at Mr. P’s, owned by the Pilleteri family since 1975. Their sandwich menu is absolutely sprawling, but standouts include ones with ⅓ pound ribeye steak, provolone, and marinade on a white hoagie bun; a classic muffuletta with homemade olive salad; and the Ashmonkey with smoked turkey, bacon, mozzarella, and BBQ sauce on a honey wheat bun. All sauces are made in-house, and the burgers, homemade sausages, and chili are also worth seeking out.

Source: Courtesy of Kendall N. via Yelp

Alaska
> Deli: Mo’s Deli
> Location: Anchorage

Owned by husband and wife Jason Ellis and Betty A. Sheldon and inspired by the Jewish delis Jason ate at when visiting relatives in New York as a kid, Mo’s Deli is bringing the classic Jewish deli experience to Anchorage. If you’re in the city and find yourself in the mood for a bagel with lox and cream cheese, a corned beef or pastrami sandwich, some potato latkes with sour cream and applesauce, or blintzes, knishes, or matzo ball soup (all washed down with a Dr. Brown’s soda, of course), you know where to go.

Source: Courtesy of Stacy J. via Yelp

Arizona
> Deli: JJ’s Deli
> Location: Scottsdale

At Scottsdale’s warm and inviting Jewish deli JJ’s, they bake more than 20 varieties of bagels and bialys fresh daily on-premises, making fresh salads including smoked whitefish salad and potato salad from scratch; and all sandwiches, noodle kugel, and chopped liver to order. A huge variety of omelettes and breakfast dishes are on offer, along with all the classic deli meats on rye. Standouts among the huge variety of hot sandwiches include Reubens, French dips, and “Pnishes” (pressed sandwiches with a knish as the bun) – and regulars swear by Bonnie’s Old Style Chicken Salad, white meat chicken mixed with tarragon, raisins, celery, scallions, and almonds.

Source: Courtesy of Gandolfosdelilr

Arkansas
> Deli: Gandolfo’s New York Delicatessen
> Location: Little Rock

Gandolfo’s has locations in six states (the majority are in Utah, where it’s based), and the Little Rock location is the best in Arkansas. Founded in 2004 by New York native Dan Pool, Gandolfo’s bakes all of its breads in-house multiple times daily, slices all meats and cheeses to order, and offers a menu that’s not quite classic Jewish deli. You’ll find pastrami and corned beef on rye as well as bagels and lox, for sure, but there are also Italian sandwiches, meatball subs, and even biscuits and sausage gravy (because this is Arkansas, after all).

California
> Deli: Langer’s Delicatessen
> Location: Los Angeles

Langer’s is an LA icon, going strong (and serving what they consider to be the “world’s best pastrami”) since 1947. It’s grown from a small lunch counter into a sprawling restaurant, but remains owned by the Langer family. You’ll find essentially perfect renditions of all the Jewish deli standbys including chicken in the pot, blintzes, stuffed cabbage, matzo ball soup, and smoked fish, but if it’s your first time, you owe it to yourself to try the pastrami. Go for their famous #19, which partners the smoky housemade pastrami with Swiss cheese, cole slaw, and Russian dressing on rye.

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