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Mar 13, 2009 11:36 AM

Jake's or Benji's? - MKE

Hello all. I'm looking for the best deli in the Milwaukee area, and these 2 constantly pop up. Which one, between Jake's and Benji's, do you think offers the best deli experience? I would really like to take my Dad to a place reminiscent to Katz's in NYC, which we went to a while back. I realize neither may offer us an experience quite like Katz's, but we are really just looking for the best deli in Mil. Any thoughts?

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  1. Jake's is vaguely reminiscent to Katz's if you like corned beef and/or pastrami sandwiches on rye and maybe a bowl of soup. You walk in, take a number and order from the guy slicing your meat at the deli counter. The meat is sliced thick and it is outstanding. You can also sit down and have waitress service. The first time I went to Jake's, the counter guy even gave me a sample to taste exactly as they would at Katz's.

    Benji's is a sit-down place with a much more extensive menu. You can get blintzes, eggs with lox, and on and on. Because of our absolute lack of anything resembling an acceptable corned beef or pastrami on rye sandwich here in Minnesota, and my love for Katz's, I frequently travel for weekends in Milwaukee largely due to the existence of Jake's alone (and $40 per night rooms at the Hilton downtown). I also very much enjoy Benji's but find it much less unique.

    My nod goes to Jake's. That said, why not both? Benji's is open on Sundays and is a good breakfast joint. I've done the Saturday Jake's, Sunday Benji's combo multiple times.

    Hope that helps.

    2 Replies
    1. re: MSPD

      Ooh, I wish I'd known about Benji's when I was there last summer. We went to Heinemann's for breakfast, and it was only so-so. Next time, I'll get to Benji's for sure.

      What with pastry634's other question about Mekato's Bakery, I'm REALLY craving a trip to MKE-land. It'd be quite soon if only I could find those $40/night rates at the Hilton - you must be a frequent patron, MSPD. (But if you have some tips, do please send email to my chowhound name plus


      P.S. Yeah, p-634, see if you can get to both places. But if you don't have time, I'll bet either will be lovely - depends on what you're in the mood for.

      1. re: AnneInMpls

        Yeah, food is a real incentive to come home from college! I think we are going to do Jake's. Tonight, we head to Maxie's Southern Comfort. Many reports to come! Thanks for all the help.

    2. Should have done this in the first place. Photo of Jake's corned beef sandwich below.