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Dec 14, 2009 12:23 PM

Deli in Tel Aviv

As a transplanted New Yorker, I'm looking for great Deli in Tel Aviv. Thinking about a large pastrami and mustard on rye ie Katz deli in NYC? Ideas where to find such a sandwich?

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  1. HA! good luck. There are dozens of shwarma,falafel,and humus joints in NY,but not one real deli in Israel.

    Ok,this is what I have found,that comes close.. I keep kosher,so the list might be incomplete,but as far as I know,there are no non-kosher delis in Israel,either.

    The New Deli chain located in Modiin and Jerusalem-pathetic.

    Hess in jerusalem-cool place,but crappy deli. Probably closer to a german deli,lots of knockwurst.

    Chofetz Chaim on Agrippas st. in Jerusalem-claims to be a real NY deli,but I haven't been there yet. Looked in the window when they were closed,and it did not look like a real NY deli.

    Chicago Chef Deli in Raanana-joke.

    Tel Aviv used to have a Mendy's deli. (the NY chain),but that closed. Otherwise I know of nothing else in Tel Aviv.

    If I am missing something,someone PLEASE PLEASE let me know. Meanwhile I count the days till I return to NY,so I can get a decent sandwich.

    8 Replies
    1. re: newyorkerinisrael

      In my 24 years in Israel the food scene has improved beyond belief. However, when it comes to deli, I'm at as much a loss as you guys are.

      It's a shame Mendy's closed. They produced the real thing.

      I do beg to differ regarding Hess. They make a quality product, but are very expensive. Their hot dogs are the closest to a U.S. kosher deli-type dog. However, I recently saw their For Sale ads in the newspaper, so I don't know if they're going to be around for long or with the same products.

      I have been to Chofetz Haim in Jerusalem . It's not a sit-down sandwich place, but a butcher shop which is more American than other butchers in Israel. I have bought their corned beef and their pastrami and these are definitely the closest thing in Israel to what we are all craving. I live far north and when I'm in Jerusalem I try to pass by and pick some up. It ain't cheap, but I usually wind up eating most of it on the drive home.

      If we look to the supermarkets for some take-home relief, there are certain bright spots. If we look at the more expensive salami products, check out the ones which are primarily beef, and I've found that some of them are quite good. Most chains no longer carry the "Ace" brand, due to a price dispute with the manufacturer a few years ago. Either my memory is playing tricks on me or the Yehiam Cognac salami is pretty close to what we're used to. In any event, I like it a lot. There are 2 products using goose breast-one is primarily turkey breast mixed with goose breast, but the one which is all goose breast (I think it's made by Tirat Zvi or Zoglowek) is good, especially if you brown it in a frying pan. Tirat Zvi makes a good roast beef which is available at most supermarket deli counters. The only supermarket hot dogs worth a try are the Tirat Zvi American Beef Hot Dogs. They're not quite home, but the closest thing. BTW, Tirat Zvi also makes a prosciutto available at deli counters. I, too, keep kosher, so I don't really have use for a ham substitute, but it's nice to know it's available.

      A very good pickled tongue is manufactured by the Eisen company located in Haifa (but I think they distribute to other areas). I buy it frozen and boil it like I used to in the U.S., but add about 6 cloves of garlic. They also make a whole corned brisket of beef which I hope to experiment with soon. (I do a lot of smoking-fish, brisket, etc., and my dream is to produce a homemade beef pastrami.)

      Sorry to go on so long, but this topic is really close to my heart. If anyone has more info on kosher deli products in Israel, PLEASE pass it on.

      1. re: lawmann

        Last week I saw an ad in the Jerusalem Post magazine for a place called Kedma, located on the third floor of the Mamilla Alrov mall. It's called a Kosher Brasserie, but the ad was for a "Corned Beef Experience" and offered Corned Beef thinly sliced on bread with mustard and pickles. They give a web address, but I couldn't access ( Does anybody located in Jerusalem know anything about this place? I live in the north, but will be asking my daughter (based in Jerusalem) to pick some up on her next visit home.

        1. re: lawmann

          I ate at Kedma yesterday for lunch. We had the teriyaki-chili chicken wings (good), the meat stew with spaetzle (fair), and the corned beef sandwich (ha!). Let me summarize their "corned beef experience": Two not-bad slices of rye bread with mustard, and a paper thin SLICE (or two) of what looked more like roast beef than corned beef. It tasted slightly of corned beef. On the side: flavorless pickle slices and some tomato-onion relish. If you're looking for a mouth-filling, satisfying corned beef sandwich, I'm afraid your best option is to hop the next El Al flight back to New York. Sigh.

      2. re: newyorkerinisrael

        please if you can remove the chicago chef deli ranana-joke

        1. re: miki2954

          let's see if this post sticks around. Chicago Chef Deli is a good bistro style restaurant.

          It just isn't a traditional deli.

            1. re: miki2954

              I suggest to go for Ruben, 112 Yehuda halevi Tel Aviv, sun-sat: 11:30-01:00 best NY style 'DELI' Sandwich

              1. re: boaziko

                I know it's not a restaurant, but I was in Nahariya today and stopped in the Zoglowek factory outlet store. They have a large selection of cold cuts on display, which is largely the standard Israeli fare. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they carried Ace (in Hebrew it's "as," with the letter "a" pronounced like in the word "ah") cognac salami. Ace is a high quality line that the supermarkets stopped carrying due to a price dispute. I haven't seen it anywhere in the last couple of years. While not cheap (NIS 9.90 per 100 gr.), it's one of the best tasting salamis I know of in Israel. I had a sandwich tonight. While my "taste memory" may be foggy after 24 years in Israel, it seemed really close to the salami I remember from Chicago. In any event I enjoyed the sandwich every bit as much as I used to enjoy the stuff I grew up on. While I would not consider the shop an extraordinary "find," it does have a fair selection of cooked food for take-away, including a decent selection of Eastern European Jewish food. I bought an already cooked kishke and it was way above average compared to the other examples I've tried in Israel. Maybe not worth a special trip, but if you're in the neighborhood....