Brooklyn is like nowhere else on the planet. Its cultural diversity, thriving music scene and eclectic arts exhibits give it an energy that’s truly one of a kind.
Not to mention it’s got some amazing eats too. Here you’ll find Michelin-starred restaurants, iconic dive joints and everything in between.
And let’s not forget about all of the great Brooklyn delis. Here are some of the best of the best that the borough has to offer.
Now a major business with locations in multiple states, Junior’s got its start in 1950 at the corner of Flatbush and DeKalb avenues in Brooklyn. And it’s still thriving there today. The bakery and the overstuffed sandwiches that generations of New Yorkers have loved are still on the menu — as are the famous cheesecakes that customers love so much that they order them with overnight shipping across the country.
David’s Brisket House
Are mind-blowing brisket and pastrami sandwiches your jam? You definitely don’t want to miss out on David’s Brisket House. Opened originally by a Russian Jew named David, this place has been around for more than half a century and is 100 percent the real deal.
Betsy Andrews wrote all about the brilliance of David’s brisket in the New York Times. She explained that it’s moist, beefy, perfectly seasoned and cooked low and slow for the perfect amount of chew.
Mile End Delicatessen
This place has an interesting angle. It’s one part Jewish delicatessen and one part Canadian-style restaurant. Put that together, and you get a one of a kind deli with some truly mouthwatering cuisine.
At Mile End Delicatessen, you’ll find Montreal-style smoked meat like the cured and smoked beef brisket with mustard on rye as well as the chicken schnitzel BLT with maple bacon, pickled green tomato and mustard-mayo on an onion roll. It’s the best of both worlds.
Essen NY Deli
If old-fashioned, authentic delis are your thing, Essen NY Deli is a must. Everything is done by hand here with no machinery involved. As David Sax points out in The Atlantic, a hand-cut sandwich is always superior to one that’s sliced on a machine. So this is huge if you’re a true deli purist.
Take your pick from one of their robust sandwiches like the Romanian pastrami, hot corned beef or salami. Or opt for one of their specialties like “The Herminator” with schnitzel topped with derma, sliced brisket and gravy or “The Broadway” with turkey and chopped liver.
Belka Deli is both a delicatessen and store that pays homage to Old World fare. They offer delicious foods from Russia, Europe, ex-Soviet Union countries and the Middle East.
Some notable favorites include the blood sausage and cold boiled pork. With over 20 years of business under their belt, this is one of the top spots in Brooklyn for these international delicacies.
God Bless USA Deli
At God Bless USA Deli, it’s all about the classic dishes that New Yorkers know and love. You won’t find anything pretentious here — just great food.
You’ve got all the bases covered with salami, honey glazed turkey and fried chicken cutlet. There is also some delectable halal food including a lamb gyro with fries and a falafel sandwich.
The Original John’s Deli
Established in 1968, John’s Deli is a Brooklyn staple. Their mission is simple: serve up great food to their loyal patrons for a reasonable price.
And this is definitely the spot to check out if you’re craving an epic hero. They’ve got amazing cold cuts, hot sandwiches as well as their signature daily sandwiches, which all pay tribute to legendary TV and movie characters.
Try “The Sam ‘Ace’ Rothstein” with hot corned beef, melted Swiss and spicy brown mustard on pretzel bread or “The Johnny Drama” featuring chicken marsala, melted fresh mozzarella and sauteed spinach.
Shelsky’s of Brooklyn
This is a place that clearly respects the old school delis of a bygone era. Shelsky’s goal is to provide its customers with the nostalgic throwbacks they adore, while doing it “the right way.”
Here it’s all about simplicity. A quick view of their menu shows classics like homemade pastrami, corned beef and tongue. They’ve also got a killer Reuben with corned beef, Swiss cheese, Riesling braised sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing. It’s oh so delicious!
Mill Basin Deli
If you’re looking for a quintessential Jewish deli, this is the place. Mill Basin Deli has the goods and some seriously tasty overstuffed sandwiches.
You’ve got the favorites like hot brisket or beef, salami and pastrami. Or go for one of their overstuffed combinations like “The Mark and Donny Special,” a club sandwich with hot corned beef and hot pastrami, layered over a sweet red pepper or “The Twin Kings: Triple Decker” with white turkey breast and roast beef with Russian dressing and coleslaw.
Lioni Italian Heroes
The motto at Lioni Italian Heroes is: “It’s not just a store…it’s an experience.” And that’s fitting considering that they offer over 150 unique and arguably life-changing sandwiches.
Just a couple of options include “The Frank Sinatra ‘My Way or His Way-It’s the Best” with salami and fresh mozzarella, pure olive oil and oregano and “The Rocky Marciano ‘This One’s a KNOCKOUT’” with sweet capocollo, ham, fresh mozzarella and sun-dried tomatoes.
Hannah Frishberg writes in the BKLYNER about the sheer size of Lioni’s heroes – the length of a grown man’s forearm – and raves about the flavor and freshness as well.
Here’s an old school, no-nonsense kind of place that gives its patrons what they crave — awesome sandwiches. Jackie’s Delicatessen has an assortment of specialities and each one has its own interesting name.
There’s “The Reaper” with roast beef, melted muenster cheese with onion rings and honey BBQ sauce and “The Yankee Clipper” with pastrami and corned beef with coleslaw and Russian dressing.
Jay & Lloyd’s Kosher Deli
Looking for a classic, old world, kosher deli with an appreciation for the past? You’ll definitely want to check out Jay & Lloyd’s.
This place is your quintessential corner deli that oozes authenticity. Try one of their tantalizing overstuffed sandwiches like hot corned beef, pastrami or roast veal on garlic bread. They’ve also got some crazy good open sandwiches including roast beef, prime brisket and hot Vermont turkey.
Bonafide Delicatessen & Cafe
Here’s a nice little corner joint with an assortment of killer sandwiches. Check out “The Bonafide Icon Sandwich” with a breaded chicken cutlet, melted cheddar, bacon, coleslaw and ranch dressing. There’s also “The Russian Sandwich” with grilled roast beef, melted mozzarella, sauteed onions, bacon and Russian dressing.
On top of this, they’ve got delicious wraps and burgers, so you really can’t lose at Bonafide Delicatessen and Cafe.
This place was actually voted the best deli in Brooklyn for four years in a row. So you know it’s legit.
During its nearly 40 years of operation, Mike’s has gained a reputation for being a genuine, old-fashioned deli where things are still done the traditional way. They even make their own mayonnaise in-house.
On the menu, you’ll find everything a deli lover could wish for – pastrami, corned beef and liverwurst with homemade macaroni salad, potato salad and coleslaw.
You won’t find anything fancy or ostentatious at Brooklyn-Heights Deli – just must-eat sandwiches.
Check out “The Fat Boy” with hot lean pastrami and corned beef, topped with Swiss, coleslaw and Russian dressing on toasted bread or “The Stallone” with smoked turkey, pepperoni and salami with melted mozzarella, also on a toasted bun.
Canteen Delicatessen and Cafe
Here you’ll find a modern interpretation on classic dishes and an emphasis on using only the freshest, highest quality ingredients. The sandwiches truly run the gamut at Canteen.
There’s everything from “The Mediterranean Heaven Sandwich” and “The Falafel Sandwich” to “The Outrageous L.A. Sandwich.” All of which are delicious and very affordably priced.
Deli 52 has a little bit of everything. There’s southern fried chicken, Chinese food and some pretty epic deli sandwiches as well. They’ve got the classics covered with their beef brisket, pastrami and corned beef.
And their assortment of tasty hot sandwiches is impressive. There’s “The Jerusalem Mix” with chicken liver, baby chicken cubes, fried onions and special sauce as well as “The Deli 52 Crunch,” which includes schnitzel topped with grilled pastrami and fried onions with BBQ sauce.
Al Noor Halal Deli
Known for its delicious Middle Eastern cuisine, Al Noor Halal Deli is a cool little spot where you can find an assortment of delectable sandwiches.
Some of their favorites include the falafel, grilled chicken and kofta, which consists of lamb meat, lettuce, tomato onion and tzatziki sauce.
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