Real Italian Delis
I am a displaced New Jerseyan in search of an Italian-owned Mom & Pop type deli. While I am aware that these places are declining nationwide (due to phenomenons such as "Fresh Fields" and "Giant"), I know that there must be one around here somewhere. Any advice would be most appreciated.
It's not a real Italian deli but the Italian store at the corner of Lee Highway/Spout Run Parkway in Arlington sells sandwiches as well as Italian foods (it's next to the Giant in this small shopping center). I have no idea what the sandwiches are like as I've only gone there a few times just to buy pasta, cans of tomatoes, cheese, etc.
Run don't walk to Vace on Comnecticut Ave. near Macomb St. in Cleveland Park. Fabulous Pizza by the slice (better yet, call ahead and order a whole pie with onions, olives and red peppers, or spinach and garlic or white pizza with sausage and onions, the list goes on ...), homemade pasta (the frozen pumkin agnoletti are amazing), great meats, cheeses, olives, and my favorite, spinach pie, which usually sells out by late afternoon. I love Vace.
P.S. There's also a branch in Bethesda, but I don't know much about it.
In Baltimore, try DiPasquale's on Gough St. Their prosciutto and parmesan stuffed pepperoncini's are unbelievable.
You didn't mention where you lived - Baltimore? VA?
Vace's was mentioned before, there's one in Bethesda off Bethesda Ave near Rte 355
Also try Santucci's on University Blvd, 4 Corners/Woodmoor area of N Silver Spring.
And Italia Deli on Rt 29 in downtown Silver Spring
Vignola's on N Washington St in downtown Rockville
Lucia's on University Blvd in Wheaton
Marchone's on Triangle Ln in Wheaton
In NE DC is a very old-fashioned store - Litteri's? You'd have to drive tho - not a great neighborhood I guess.
And Three Brothers' original location, in Bladensburg, sells Italian groceries.
Hopes this helps you!
I think they closed their NE location (could be wrong). Fortunately they opened a phenominal shop on conneticut between r and s. Great stuff, fresh mozarella, salted anchovies, nice olive selection, and I think the slices are better than vace (though not by much and still not as good as NY, but thats what you get for living below the Mason Dixon).
I have not been to this place since I lived on the Hill but Mangialardo & Sons, 1317 Pennsylvania Ave SE used to have a wonderful Italian sub called the G Man (as in FBI). They also sold frozen balls of good pizza dough, and had a limited selection of Italian specialities. Their hours were also limited - something like 8 am - 3 pm, Mondays thru Fridays only. The Italian Store in Arlington, mentioned in other posts, is quite good too - personally, I like their veggie sub with fontina cheese. And their pizza definitely ranks high.