Jewish delis are one of the highlights of LA’s dining scene. Institutions like Canter’s, Brent’s Deli, and Langer’s deliver timeless appetizing experiences, serving everything from pastrami and corned beef to breakfast classics like cheese-stuffed blintzes. In addition to these affordable and casual stalwarts, there is an emerging breed of contemporary delis offering modern riffs while still staying true to the classic flavors, too. Places like Wexler’s spin traditional Jewish cookery, while Mort & Betty’s vegan fare steps into a whole new realm. From age-old institutions to new-school innovators, here now is a handy guide to Jewish delicatessens in LA.Read More
13 Essential Jewish Delis to Try in Los Angeles
Why LA boasts the best Jewish delis in the country
Brent's Deli Northridge
Following Langer’s, Brent’s is widely considered to be one of the best places for pastrami in the greater LA area. At the very least the Valley restaurant’s grilled black forest pastrami reuben is a good place to start for delving into the city’s deli culture. The strip mall location feels plucked right out of the early 1970s, and everything from the matzo ball soup to the deli meats are top rate.
Grandma's Deli Babushka
With locations in Valley Village and Hollywood, Grandma’s Deli Babushka offers Russian, Ukranian, and Lithuanian specialties along with turkey sandwiches, potato salad, stuffed cabbage, and even branzino.
Art's Delicatessen & Restaurant
Art’s Deli is an absolute Valley staple for the Jewish set, having opened way back in 1957. The Northridge earthquake almost took the place out decades later (and owner Art Ginsburg has since died) but the deli endures as a staple for blintzes, corned beef, and other classic.
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Daughter’s Deli hails from Jewish deli royalty. Its founder, Trisha Langer, is the daughter of Norm Langer and granddaughter of Al and Jean Langer, all of Langer’s Deli fame. While Daughter’s Deli boasts many overlapping menu items as Langer’s, the offerings have Trisha’s distinct touch. From breakfast bagel sandwiches to hot pastrami sandwiches, every menu item boasts heart and pride.
Though the food at Canter’s deli isn’t quite up to par with LA’s better delis, the ambience is hard to beat, especially in the middle of the night when the city dies down. That colorful, weird ceiling has been feeding LA night owls for generations, and Canter’s continues to be one of the most fun places to hang out late on a Saturday night.
Nate 'n Al Delicatessen
Over the last few years, this classic Beverly Hills deli weathered a series of setbacks with potential new locations, new owners, and temporary closures. But LA loves Nate ‘n Al’s, so the longtime favorite is still cranking out corned beef and pastrami fans in the Golden Triangle. Though perhaps the meats are a step behind some of LA’s better delis, what Nate ‘n Al’s really provides is fantastic daytime vibes that feel plucked right out of Mad Men.
The Nosh doesn’t get quite as much love as some other Beverly Hills Jewish restaurant institutions, but that’s okay. The restaurant instead spends its time turning out reliable all-day fare from breakfast bagels and omelets to staples like matzo ball soup, stacked sandwiches, and brisket and potato pancake plates.
Perennially considered the best pastrami sandwich in the country, Langer’s produces some of the finest deli meats anywhere. Open since 1947, their legendary Number 19 sandwich is a crowd-pleasing favorite, with hand-sliced pastrami, Swiss cheese, Russian dressing, and coleslaw served between two plush slices of rye bread. It’s a big sandwich that can easily be shared between two people. Don’t sleep on the corned beef or any of the other classic deli plates either, because they’re all excellent.
Charlie's Kosher Delicatessen
This Pico-Robertson kosher deli does all the hits: chopped liver, matzo ball soup, and corned beef. Look for the sun-stained retro sign before walking into Charlie’s Deli, and trust the staff who will proudly steer customers towards the hand-sliced lox.
Mort & Betty’s
Chef Megan Tucker runs Mort & Betty’s, an entirely plant-based deli from Crafted Kitchen in the Arts District. Also find her every week at the Atwater Farmer’s Market where she prepares dishes like carrot lox and corned beet reuben tacos.
Some say that the housemade pastrami here rivals the stuff at Langer’s. That’s high praise for this modern interpretation of the Jewish deli, but add in the proprietary bagels, smoked fish, and everything else, and Wexler’s is certainly a contender to the throne. There’s a full size location in Santa Monica open until the early afternoon and a busy kiosk at Grand Central Market in Downtown LA.
New York Deli
Spanning 38 years of history in the South Bay, this unsung hero of the Los Angeles deli world serves terrific pastrami and corned beef sandwiches constructed with expert hands. The menu spans other classic deli fare, from latkes and bagels with lox, but the sandwiches are the best thing to eat, evidenced by the regulars who seem to come in every week. Don’t mind the kitschy mishmash decor — it’s all part of the charm.
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Katella Bakery, Deli & Restaurant
This longtime Los Alamitos institution has a wide menu of classic diner and coffee shop fare to go along with stellar Jewish deli sandwiches. The pastrami is as respectable as any great LA deli, and the matzo ball, featuring a softball-sized load of carbs plus thin noodles, could weave a legend on its own.