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Jul 9, 2006 12:49 AM

Best Jewish Deli in Chicago?

Coming to Chicago and want great lox, sturgeon, corned beef etc. Where?

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  1. this has been discussed before - if you do search on the chicgao board you will find the threads -

    but with that said - my favorite for corned beef, pastrami is romanian kosher sausage on the north side - Touhy and Clark

    3 Replies
    1. re: weinstein5

      Omigosh, yes--except you can't eat there, don't even think of asking for swiss on your corned beef sandwich, though or you will get really dirty looks. My folks live in the suburbs and I am bringing some Romanian there tomorrow.

      1. re: andigirl

        If you have not done so already - try their hot dogs as well - best in the city

      2. re: weinstein5

        Great deli at Once Upon a Bagel in Highland Park, homemade bagels, rugelach, smoke fish is delish

      3. samuels deli in boys town. broadway and roscoe ish

        1 Reply
        1. re: jrj

          do they have kosher bologina? i cant seem to find it anyplace.

        2. Kaufmans on Dempster st. in Skokie.

          7 Replies
          1. re: Darren72

            Kaufmans had a salmonella situation once a long time ago.
            We never went back after they re-opened - why take the risk.
            Max's HP - best homemade gefilte fish.

            1. re: lukebradlee

              That was 20 years ago. The "risk" could happen anywhere. At this point you're as safe at Kaufman's as you are anywhere.

              1. re: lukebradlee

                Personally, I think that you might almost be safer there. Obviously they have corrected the issues, since the health department has certified them. And I tend to think that places are more careful after an issue then the average resturant.

              2. re: Darren72

                My vote for Kaufmans as well. Sandwiches are ridiculous.

                1. re: bourj

                  I'm a transplant from the TC and stumbled upon this place when very VERY hungry and was shocked at how amazing the sandwiches were! A quintessential Jewish deli, wonderful meat (especially the pastrami), and the bakery looked yummy, too!

                  Kaufman's Bagel & Delicatessen
                  4905 Dempster St, Skokie, IL 60077

                  1. re: jbcoughlin

                    Kaufmans is closed because of fire damage (Jan 2012).

                    1. re: brokentelephone

                      They are still planning to reopen once the damage is fixed - they have not given a date as of yet but keep and eye on their website

              3. The best Jewish Deli is actually in Highland Park - Max's, 210 Skokie Valley Road. It's a 40 minutes drive form the Loop (longer at rush hour), but worth it, IMHO. Ask them to slice the pastrami thin - it's out of this world.

                I do like Kaufman's, and also Ashkenaz (12 E. Cedar) in Chicago, but like Max's much more.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Akatonbo

                  do they have kosher bolongia? i use to be able to go to skokie at the jewels and get it but they no longer have it i have looked every place.

                  1. re: gntpaula

                    The Jewel in Skokie (on Skokie Blvd) actually has an expanded kosher and for an even greater selection there is the Jewel on Howard in Evanston - both have kosher bologna

                    1. re: weinstein5

                      I was at the Jewel on Howard in Evanston less than an hour ago, and they did indeed have kosher bologna at the kosher deli counter facing the produce department. I thought it was funny that the kosher salami was priced by the pound ($7.58) but the kosher bologna was priced by the half pound ($3.49).

                      I'm pretty sure their kosher deli counter is closed on shabbat (sundown Friday to sundown Saturday), and probably Saturday night as well.

                      1. re: nsxtasy

                        It is closed on Shabbat and Jewish Holidays and will close early the day before holidays and Shabbat.

                        I think they do the price per half pound to reduce the shock of how much they re-sell Romanians cold cuts for - last time I checked almost it is $6-*$ per poiund surcharge -

                2. As a NY transplant I have been to all these places and none of them can compare to any deli in NY. Certainly none of the places in the city are good. In my opinion your best bet would be Max's if you are willing to make the trip.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: cjulius94

                    My brother-in-law, who turned us on to Max's, reminds me that for some unknown reason the food you take out from Max's is much better than the food you're served if you eat there (maybe they keep the latter under a heat lamp, or something). So that's the word on Max's: Take-out only.

                    As for cjulius94's comment "none of them can compare to any deli in NY," as a transplanted Noo Yawker who loves Chicago and is sooo glad I escaped the Big Apple - I have to say that though this statement is a broad generalization - I'm afraid that, with the exception of Max's, it's generally true. There are some things that New York does better, and Jewish delis is one of them. Perhaps it would have been more accurate (and less inflammatory) to say: "in my opinion, the best New York Jewish Deli is way better than the best Chicago deli." Max's ships their meats in from New York, so that's one big plus in their favor.

                    1. re: cjulius94

                      This board isn't about chow in NY, it's about chow in Chicago. Comparing the deli in one city to another doesn't help find good deli in Chicago.

                      Thus, such rants are counterproductive and usually off-topic. In our experience, making sweeping statements about an area's chow does not make one eat better. It's also beside the point, as the best chowhounds chow without borders; comparing one area with another is often meaningless in the big chow world out there.

                      Please focus on seeking out the best chow in Chicago as you can with your available resources -- it's a much more delicious experience.

                      1. re: The Chowhound Team

                        Sorry! But my basic point is: Max's (in Highland Park) is best! I'll try to control myself in the future ;)

                        1. re: The Chowhound Team

                          OK, here goes for Chicago. Not technically a deli but has all the traditional good stuff on the menu, which can be reviewed online before you go, just to be sure: The Bagel, 3107 N Broadway at Barry. If you're visiting and not driving, take the 36 bus, which from downtown runs north on Dearborn to Illinois, thereafter on State; ask driver to call Barry.

                        2. re: cjulius94

                          Also an NYC transplant, though HP native have always been unimpressed with Max's overall, generally depressing scene. I like Brad Rubin's 11 City Diner on S Wabash. Or The Ashkenaz.