- Canter’s Deli/Facebook.com
The Jewish deli is an American institution, serving up some of the classics of our national cuisine: fresh bagels and glistening lox, a proper pastrami sandwich heaped high with juicy sliced meat, pickles bursting with tart flavor.
Foursquare, the city-guide app for discovering new places, has compiled a list of the 26 top-rated Jewish delis across the US. The data takes into account likes, saves, tips, and more from Foursquare users. Some are kosher and old-school; some are creative, trendy takes on traditional deli cuisine. (And, unsurprisingly, many of the list are concentrated on the East Coast).
Whether you’re seeking your deli fix in Brooklyn or Texas, here’s where to find the best brisket and more.
26. Langer’s Delicatessen-Restaurant (Los Angeles, California)
- Viktor N./Foursquare
Pastrami on rye is the recommended order at this down-home Los Angeles deli, where you can also get yourself some highly-rated chili-cheese fries or matzo ball soup, depending on your mood. Langer’s was named by the LA Times as the city’s best deli; their juicy, hand-sliced pastrami gets rave reviews.
25. 2nd Ave Deli (New York, New York)
- David T./Foursquare
2nd Ave Deli is also a pastrami haven. The Manhattan standard is beloved by New Yorkers for a matzoh ball soup that will cure all ills, and a meaty sandwich that overflows with fresh sliced pastrami.
24. Wexler’s Deli (Los Angeles, California)
- Vanessa W. / Foursquare
A toasted bagel, fresh, oily lox, and a generous spread of cream cheese: Wexler’s keeps things simple but artisanal, applying its own spin to the classic Jewish deli enterprise. Located in Grand Central Market, it’s a destination for anyone seeking a bagel fix. The chef smokes his own fish, cures his own pastrami, and does his own pickling.
23. Nate ‘n’ Al Delicatessen (Beverly Hills, California)
- Arash M./Foursquare
Since 1945, Nate ‘n’ Al’s has been serving up massive sandwiches, classic soups, and other favorites like blintzes or a traditional breakfast. A daily hangout of TV host Larry King and a slew of celebrities and movie industry game-makers, it’s a no-frills restaurant with history and staying power.
22. Roasters ‘n’ Toasters (Miami, Florida)
- Grant S./Foursquare
Miami’s Roasters ‘n’ Toasters doesn’t play around. From challah French toast to fish platters featuring a tasty whitefish salad, Floridians flock to this classic deli for their fix of the Jewish staples. A friendly, neighborhood feel remains, as the chefs and servers have all been fixtures for years.
21. The Bagel Deli (Denver, Colorado)
- Foursquare / Rokas B.
It may be called The Bagel Deli, but this Denver restaurant is also an ideal spot for a pastrami sandwich piled high with meat and sauerkraut. An “Eggs Bagel-dict” is another popular order.
20. David’s Brisket House (Brooklyn, New York)
- Julia M./Foursquare
This Brooklyn hole-in-the-wall specializes in one thing: meat. The sandwiches are stacked with smoky meat, whether you choose brisket, pastrami, or corned beef (or any combination of the options). Brisket lovers seek this place out, given its sterling reputation.
19. Parkway Deli & Restaurant (Silver Spring, Maryland)
- Tyler N./Foursquare
This neighborhood deli near DC has you covered with savory matzo ball soup, whitefish salad, or even a large falafel plate. And save room for dessert: customers like the chocolate cake and spoon cakes.
18. Weiss Deli and Bakery (Henderson, Nevada)
- Rob P./Foursquare
You may associate Las Vegas more with celebrity-chef restaurants and casino buffets than down-home delis, but Weiss is a classic. Comforting chicken noodle soup, stuffed tuna fish sandwiches, and hearty breakfasts abound at this deli, offering a new destination for Vegas visitors seeking somewhere to ease their gambling woes.
17. Jake’s Deli (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
- Barbara D./Yelp
Milwaukee’s most traditional Jewish deli, Jake’s is known for its pastrami and corned beef sandwiches. There’s often a long line, so be prepared to wait.
16. Famous 4th Street Delicatessen (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
- Lyman C./Foursquare
Philly’s number-one ranked deli is called “famous” for a reason: visitors love the hot pastrami sandwich (and the free chocolate chip cookies to finish off a meal). Breakfast is served all day, and you can snack on free pickles while your order comes up.
15. Zingerman’s Delicatessen (Ann Arbor, Michigan)
- Lawrence W./Foursquare
Sndwich lovers make pilgrimages to Zingerman’s for their creative takes on traditional combos, like a corned beef option served spread with chopped liver and Russian dressing. They offer samples if you can’t make up your mind – and don’t miss the pickles.
14. Saul’s Restaurant & Deli (Berkeley, California)
- Vance T./Foursquare
The deli is big, with vaulted high ceilings and classic red leather banquettes. And the food is big, too: giant sandwiches, cheesy blintzes, and challah French toast make diners happy any time of day.
13. Harold’s New York Deli (Edison, New Jersey)
- Jim C./Foursquare
Harold’s is best known for the size of its sandwiches: the meat gets stacked to some serious heights. Bring a big appetite, and check out the pickle bar and the light-as-air matzo balls in the matzo ball soup.
12. Shapiro’s Delicatessen (Indianapolis, Indiana)
- Jeff E. / Foursquare
The strip-mall exterior may not be atmospheric, but this Indianapolis favorite delivers on its deli promise: your pastrami sandwich won’t come cheap, but it will come bursting with flavor and slices of meat.
11. Mile End Delicatessen (Brooklyn, New York)
- Matt B./Foursquare
Mile End is a Montreal-style deli, which means you can expect to see the Canadian classic poutine on the menu; Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau even stopped by on his last visit to New York. The chic deli, which has a second location in Manhattan’s NoHo neighborhood, is known for its smoked meat sandwiches and creative take on Jewish classics for dinner.
10. Manny’s Cafeteria & Delicatessen (Chicago, Illinois)
- Matthew M./Foursquare
Manny’s is no-frills counter-service done right, dishing out sandwiches that are more like hearty piles of sliced meat into which a few pieces of bread disappear. It calls itself a “Chicago tradition since 1942”, and patrons say it hasn’t changed much in the intervening years.
9. Kenny & Zuke’s Delicatessen (Portland, Oregon)
- Oscar G./Foursquare
Portland may be known for its creative farm-to-table fare, but Kenny & Zuke’s refuses to fall in line with trends, instead selling traditional deli staples in all their meaty glory. For the hungry, pastrami cheese fries are a must-order.
8. Kenny & Ziggy’s Deli (Houston, Texas)
- Val B./Foursquare
Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the New York-style deli sandwiches served up at Kenny & Ziggy’s. Cheese blintzes, latke sandwiches, and generous cheesecake slices keep customers happy at the spacious, no-frills restaurant.
7. Brent’s Deli (Northridge, California)
- Brent’s Deli/Foursquare
Pepper-edged pastrami and tasty matzo ball soup are the go-to orders at Brent’s, a southern California mainstay. Extra rye bread is free, so the meaty sandwiches can be easily split and shared.
6. The General Muir (Atlanta, Georgia)
- Becky T. / Foursquare
Atlanta’s contribution to the Jewish deli pantheon is this chic, upscale restaurant that has top-notch bagels and lox as well as more non-traditional options, like a healthy kale salad, for dinner.
5. Zaftigs Delicatessen (Brookline, Massachusetts)
- Brooke C./Foursquare
From crisp-edged potato latkes to banana-stuffed challah French toast (and the more traditional options), Zaftigs has a menu piled high with crowd favorites. The wait can be long, but the portions are huge, making it worth your time.
4. Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen (San Francisco, California)
- Joshua C./Foursquare
From the matzo ball soup to the decadent sandwiches and the rich chocolate babka for dessert, Wise Sons is San Francisco’s own take on the traditional deli, although this one is hip, pricey, and packed with people.
3. Ben’s Best Kosher Delicatessen (Rego Park, New York)
- Ben’s Best Kosher Delicatessen/Foursquare
This no-nonsense kosher deli has been around for 65 years, doling out serious sandwiches, crispy latkes, and tasty kreplach. The pastrami gets top marks.
2. Canter’s Delicatessen (Los Angeles, California)
- Canter’s Deli/Facebook.com
A Los Angeles landmark, Canter’s is the kind of large, old-school deli where thick-cut pastrami, soft white rye bread, and a dollop of potato salad are the norm, 24 hours a day. The yellow lighting and ornate stained-glass ceiling add quirk; it feels like it’s set in a different era, when people didn’t count calories. Customers like to stop by the bakery on the way out for a black-and-white cookie, too.
1. Katz’s Delicatessen (New York, New York)
- Neil A./Foursquare
When it comes to classic New York eats, Katz’s is the mother of them all: the old-school Lower East Side Jewish deli to rule all delis was founded in 1888. It’s a big, open restaurant with a distinct ordering system (don’t lose your ticket, prepare to pay with cash), but even after all these years, tourists and locals alike can’t stop ordering the classic pastrami or corned beef sandwiches. Also excellent: the knishes, latkes, matzo ball soup, and pickles.