Walking into a delicatessen or “deli” is like stepping back in time. Delis have been popular across the U.S. for more than a century, but the array of meats, the variety of cheeses, and the selection of breads never goes out of style. Delis are especially known for their made-to-order sandwiches, along with prepared goods ranging from penne pasta salads to falafel balls. Still, each one is original. In fact, some of the best contemporary delis have their own unique twist.
Whether you're looking for traditional Italian focaccia bread or a Philly cheesesteak with Cheez Whiz, here are six West Coast delis sure to satisfy your palate.
Kenny & Zuke's Delicatessen, Portland, Oregon
Portlanders love this downtown Jewish deli known for its classic Reuben sandwich on freshly baked bread. The signature beef pastrami also makes an appearance on the loaded cheese fries, while the vegetarian version is topped with mushrooms and sweet and spicy peppers. A second Kenny & Zuke's location in Northwest Portland specializes in hand-rolled, small-batch bagels. A smear of cream cheese topped with a layer of house-cured wild salmon puts these chewy bagels over the top.
The Butcher's Son, Berkeley, California
Opened in 2016, Berkeley's all-vegan delicatessen, the Butcher's Son, features a regularly changing menu that caters perfectly to the city’s non-conforming crowd. Try the fried vegan "mozzarella" squares with marinara sauce for dunking, or devour the carnivore-inspired “pulled pork” sandwich, made with tofu skins and topped with grilled onions and cabbage slaw.