Chicago, the Windy City, has plenty of delis to satisfy your cravings for delicious bagels, matzo balls, and meat sandwiches with flavors that burst in the mouth and enough calories for energy for the rest of the day.
While most of the city’s best delis are located on its outskirts and suburbs, the trip is well worth it especially when you enjoy the camaraderie between patrons and owners.
Here are a few of the best delis in the Windy City that every visitor should visit and enjoy.
This is a deli that has risen from the ashes, literally, after a 2011 fire forced it to close. Opened in 1955, Kaufman’s serves the best in traditional Jewish breads including bagels and rye bread, which are the base for its delectable deli specials.
Be sure to order the New York Special, thinly-sliced corned beef generously sprinkled with chopped liver and set on rye with mustard, as well as sliced hard salami whitefish salad, and black-and-white cookie to complete the authentic Kaufman’s experience.
Are you looking for artisan cheese for your discriminating palate? Pastoral is the best place to go in Chicago for yummy artisan cheese cut to your desired sizes.
But while the cheese is the star of the show here, the wines as well as the Spanish tuna salad sandwich filled with pickle and onions are a must-have especially on your picnics at the park.
You will also love the friendly, attitude-free, and cozy vibe of the outdoor seating.
Turn off your cellphones when you enter Perry’s – it’s a strictly-enforced store policy. This is true even when you have been waiting for over 30 minutes in the line although your wait will be well worth it.
Perry’s has many of the best deli classics in Chicago including egg salad sandwiches, hot pastrami, and Perry’s Favorite, a must-have combination of corned beef, coleslaw, jack cheese, and Russian dressing on fresh rye.
Breakfast brings in the crowd, too, for their Mad Moscow, a combo of scrambled eggs with pastrami, corned beef and the now-famous Russian dressing on toasted bagel.
Eleven City Diner
Brad Rubin, the owner of the Eleven City Diner, has a charismatic character all of his own that adds to the charm of his place. But his food can also hold its own amidst the Jewish delis and diners in the city – fatty, flavorful and tender pastrami; thick milkshakes; and enormous matzo balls as well as brisket with homemade flavors that any Jewish grandmother will be proud to serve to her family.
New York Bagel & Bialy
Drive to Lincolnwood to a strip mall off I-94 and you will find the best bagels in the Chicago metropolitan area. While the place never closes, you have to eat either in your car or find another place to enjoy the scrumptious bagels because New York Bagel & Bialy does not have tables and chairs.
But the bagels are truly worth the drive with the must-have being a bagel sandwich with nova lox, the salt-and-poppy bagels, and the sesame bagels.
When you come to Chicago to experience its culture, be sure to enjoy its cuisine, too – and it starts with these delis!