Now this list is thanks to USA Today but I had to add a few that, as a Jewess, I'm sad to say they left off the list.
I'm quite partial to Zabars in NYC which was my first NYC Jewish deli experience thanks to my Temple confirmation class (woot woot Temple of Aaron!) and Jerry's in LA which was a safe haven for me and my (very few) friends when I needed to get away from the "breaking news" of Paris Hilton going to jail or washed up 80's stars going on celbrity rehab. There's also Katzingers in Columbus Ohio, which means a lot to me because everytime I went to visit my grandparents we'd go there- Oh! and Bill Clinton went there once and theres a sandwich named after him. Another fave mine that I added is Cecil's in St. Paul MN. You may be surprised to know that there actually are many Jews in the frozen tundra (myself being one of them) of the Twin Cities and this deli is proof of it.
So, on your next road trip plan on stopping at one of these delicious deli's! Oh damn, now I'm hungry.
This old-fashioned deli in the heart of Los Angeles looks much as it did when it opened at its Fairfax Avenue location in 1953 (though it's been in business since 1931). "The booths are the same. Even the waitresses seem pretty much the same. And they have the best bakery in the city: babka, rugelach, cheese Danish, cheese blintzes. The best," Bellman says. The 475-seat restaurant is open 24 hours a day. 323-651-2030; cantersdeli.com .
Established in the heart of the theater district in 1937, the restaurant drew actors and theatergoers and continued to attract those loyal customers after it moved in 1943 to Seventh Avenue and 54th Street, Bellman says. The original owner, Russian immigrant Max Asnas, was the first to put a celebrity sandwich on the menu, a tradition that continues today, with creations such as the Dolly Parton (pastrami and corned beef on twin rolls). 800-782-4369; stagedeli.com.
This city isn't exactly where you'd expect to run across a classic deli, Bellman acknowledges, but this one has been in the Shapiro family for four generations. The cafeteria-style restaurant seats 250, who flock to dine on traditional fare such as sour cream egg noodles and potato pancakes. 317-631-4041; shapiros.com.
Ann Arbor, Mich.
Owners Ari Weinzweig and Paul Saginaw couldn't find decent deli food in this Midwest college town, so they solved the problem by opening their own place. "It's not that old — they opened in the '80s, but they've developed into a famous place where people go for the reason people go to delis — good, plentiful food," Bellman says. 734-663-3354; zingermans.com.
The last deli in an area of East Baltimoreonce known as Corned BeefRow, the establishment has occupiedthe same spot on LombardStreet since 1927. It was founded12 years earlier in a nearby localeand remains in the Attman family.The salami, bologna and knishesare all homemade, and “the breadpudding here is divine,” Bellmansays. 410-563-2666; attmansdeli.com.
Rose's Deli & Bakery
Portland isn't exactly a hotbed of Jewish cooking, but Rose's has been an off-and-on fixture since 1956, when Rose Naftalin opened her place on NW 23rd Avenue. She retired in 1967. The restaurant closed in 1980 but reopened with new owners 14 years ago. It has changed and expanded — there are four Rose's Delis in the area now — and all rely on Naftalin's original recipes. People come from all over for the cinnamon rolls. 503-222-5292; rosesrestaurant.net.
Nate 'n Al Delicatessen Restaurant
Beverly Hills, Calif.
The whitefish is delicious; the lox, divine. And the celebrity spotting at this vintage deli isn't half bad, either. Regulars include Larry King, Suzanne Pleshette, Robert Wagner and Neil Diamond. Even so, "it's not as touristy as some New York delis. It's more of a locals' place," Bellman says. Little has changed since opening day in 1945. "The waitresses have been there forever. The menu hasn't changed." And even in weight-conscious Beverly Hills, "on Sundays there's a line out the door." 310-274-0101; natenal.com.
Corky & Lenny's
Woodmere Village, Ohio
This suburban Cleveland restaurant remains "the Jewish deli in the area" 50 years after Corky Kurland and Lenny Kaden opened it, Bellman says. It's still family-run and still known for its chocolate phosphates — "what we in New York call an egg cream. There are no eggs and no cream. It's milk and chocolate syrup and seltzer." 216-464-3838 corkyandlennys.com.
The sandwiches are huge. The wait staff is surly. The tour buses line up outside. "It's the quintessential New York deli. You eat at these long tables and everything's delicious," Bellman says. "It's a huge tourist place, but (diners) get their money's worth." 800-334-5606; carnegiedeli.com.
Patrons rhapsodize about the pastrami sandwiches, on the menu since 1947 at this downtown Los Angeles restaurant. Office workers routinely climb on the city's abbreviated subway system and take the "pastrami express" — the red line train to the Westlake/MacArthur Park stop — for one of these tender creations. Bellman persuaded co-owner Norm Langer to reveal his pastrami recipe, and she includes it in her book, "though no one is going to make it." (It requires three hours of cooking in a custom-made steamer.) "But it's nice that he shared it with me," she says. 213-483-8050; langersdeli.com.