Great Jewish Deli?
I am looking for a great deli - not really thrilled with Manny's. I just moved here from Michigan and so far nothing compares to Zingermans in Ann Arbor. Can anyone help? Thanks!
You'll find plenty of recommendations of Jewish delis in the huge discussion at
You'll also find a few more suggestions for specific needs in these smaller discussions:
Jewish deli style sandwiches - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/457889
Pastrami - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/579562
Pastrami - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/487439
Pastrami - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/119877
Corned beef - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/111782
Amen. Manny's is not ersatz, but it's not great either. I have no idea why, but Jewish delis seem to have disappeared from chicago in the early 80's, possibly even earlier. When I arrived in 1970, there were two in the loop--no idea of name--on maybe Randolph or Washington and Madison mid-way between Franklin and State. I remember they had exquisite half-pickles and rye and every diner was served those plus a plate of cold sauerkraut for a starter. Of course the ultimate was the Ashkenaz on Morse avenue. It not only served great food but had a wonderful atmosphere--this was another country away from Chicago--and it was a beautiful place as well. Anyway, whatever the reason for their demise, they're gone and that's that. You're whistling Dixie if you expect to see a Jewish deli in Chicago. Sad, but I think absolutely true.
>> You're whistling Dixie if you expect to see a Jewish deli in Chicago. Sad, but I think absolutely true.
I disagree 100 percent. I live here and I frequently travel to New York. I would put Steve's and Kaufman's right up there with the best in Manhattan. They may not have the precise deli experience (the "shtick") of eating at a Jewish deli in New York, but their pastrami and corned beef sandwiches are every bit as good. And the experience at Kaufman's, which is carry-out only, is often very similar to the carry-out-only delis in the NYC area, with frequent ongoing repartee among the staff and customers. Go there a couple days before any Jewish holiday and you'll see for yourself!
I have not been to Steve's Deli, so I can't comment on it, but it IS from Michigan and it just opened up here. It doesn't look like a Zingerman's, though...but not much compares to Zingerman's, right?
One friend of mine went to Steve's and loved it. Another went and thought it was lousy.
Steve's Deli Chicago
354 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654
I was not particularly impressed with Zingerman's, and I think Chicago's best delis compare favorably. However, I found some other delis in the Detroit area (notably Deli Unique; I've also heard good things about Star Deli and Steve's) which are the best Jewish delis I've been to west of the Delaware River.
I went to school in Michigan and remember Zingerman's. The ones around here are a little different, Zingerman's had the advantage of having really fresh breads and other ingredients.
My personal favourite here is The Bagel on Broadway, they have a full menu of noshes like kreplach, latke, blitnzes, etc. I am partial to their Mish-Mash soup, which has matzo balls, noodles, kreplach, rice, and kasha -- it's a meal onto itself.
Or if you are wanting some place "interesting" rather than "authentic" try the Eleven City Diner. It is not Kosher (they have pork and shrimp) but they have a very neat atmosphere, complete with a soda fountain and some great desserts. Though, this is more of a diner place than a lunch place like the Bagel or Zimmerman's.
3107 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL 60657
Eleven City Diner
1112 S Wabash Ave Frnt 2, Chicago, IL 60605