These Shops Turn Sandwiches into Art: the Best Delis in Los Angeles

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The sandwich is a cornerstone of the eating habits of everyone in the United States. It’s the most popular homemade lunch item, it’s easily assembled, and extremely portable. Still, sometimes you want a sandwich that’s crafted outside of the usual bologna or peanut butter realm. A sandwich made with exotic meats and cheeses, served with panache at a counter by a woman who calls you “sweetheart” with a gravelly voice deepened by fifty years of smoking. That’s where the deli comes in, and this is our list of the five finest delis in Los Angeles.

5 Canter’s

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The thing Canter’s has going for it that is different than the rest of the delis on this list is the fact that they are open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. They also have the Kibitz Room attached, where you can listen to garage bands wail on their instruments almost nightly. It’s definitely a Hollywood tradition, and not just because of those two deli oddities. Canter’s does deli well, and with the attached bakery they do pastries, breads, and cakes very well. You want to go here.

4 Art’s

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Art Ginsberg opened his delicatessen in 1957 and, to this day, he swings by every week to check in on his baby. Art’s slogan is “Every Sandwich is a Work of Art” and they stand by that with incredible results. It also doesn’t hurt that the portions are ludicrously sized. Even the place itself is a throwback to an era long gone, with classic deli seating and large pictures of pastrami and corned beef on the walls. The sandwiches are stacked really, really, high, so the next time you feel like stuffing your face with a sandwich the size of your face, swing on down to Art’s.

3 Junior’s

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Have you noticed a theme with deli names? They are all “Somone’s”. I suppose most everything is someone’s, but it’s kind of interesting. Anyway, Junior’s is another long-standing deli that deserves to be on this list. Opened in 1959 by Marvin Saul, this deli has really kept to its roots. Walking into Junior’s feels like you and your crazy scientist friend just pulled your DeLorean over for a bite to eat. By far the best combo they have is the sandwich made with both corned beef and pastrami, served with cole slaw and hushpuppies. Hushpuppies! When was the last time you had hushpuppies? I wonder how hushpuppies got their name? I also wonder why it’s so much fun to type “hushpuppies,” but that’s another Top Five list entirely. By the way, Junior’s bakes all of their own bread, pastries, cakes, cookies, and the like.

2 Langer’s

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If you find yourself downtown, do yourself a favor and swing into Langer’s. In operation since 1947, this place has been serving mouth-watering faire daily for a long time. The downside is that they close at 4 p.m., which is problematic when a late-night or even early evening craving hits, but if you get there early and stock up you should be fine. One of the best sandwiches they offer is the Number 19, which is pastrami, cheese, and cole slaw served on lightly toasted rye bread. If you want something a bit out of the ordinary, grab the stuffed cabbage.

1 Greenblatt’s

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Greenblatt’s Delicatessen opened shop on Sunset Boulevard in 1926, back when a good chunk of Sunset was still dirt. Oh, to be able to travel back in time and buy up a load of property there. Greenblatt’s was the “deli to the stars” back then, serving regulars like Groucho Marx, Marilyn Monroe, and a host of other movie stars of the years. It’s now surrounded by pavement and a host of other shops, but the quality remains the same. Also serving as an excellent wine shop, Greenblatt’s serves up one of the best Reubens in town. Their matzo ball soup is another popular item, and the rare roast beef is perfection in your mouth.

That’s our list of the best delis in Los Angeles. Have you tried them or, unrealistically speaking, know of a better place than these five? If so, do tell. We’re totally excited to hear your opinion. No, really. Okay, that’s a lie. We don’t care.

Raised in Colorado but seasoned in Hollywood, Scott has been in L.A. for over fifteen years exploring everything this amazing city has to offer. Yes, ladies, your prayers have been answered – he’s single!

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