The Deli: an Essential Jewish Delight


If you are an Ashkenazi Jew, especially those who have lived in America. Then the above picture is a tantalizing treat that in Israel is usually just a tease.  But maybe that is changing.

At least in Jerusalem, there some options although nothing like the non-kosher but kosher style delis of America.

New Deli:

A cross between fast food and deli, which is a kind of antithetical by nature. Deli food is in essence non fast foods its food that takes a long time to prepare. For example, corn beef made right can take up to days, and pickles well then you are talking at least a week. Although their meat is tasty, it’s not the same flavor as old style deli meats. But they do make the best restaurant hotdog in Israel with an actual bun. Plus they recently changed their fries from whole fried potatoes slices to skinny and crunchy, which are my favorite. All around better alternative to the standard burger, but not quite the deli flavor


Nestled in the Russian compound is Hess the self proclaimed “Sausage King of Switzerland”. This is a full on European style eatery complete with homemade everything, from sausages to pickles. Since the American deli has its roots in the European foods, they pass pretty well for one another. The food at Hess is delicious and the service is friendly and helpful, usually the owner and his huge saint Bernard are hanging by the entrance. But be prepared to bring your wallet, Hess is great but very pricey so it’s a special occasion spot.

Chofetz Chaim

Although Chofetz Chaim is not a restaurant, I could not write a post on deli and not speak about them. Hailing from Chicago, Chofetz Chaim is a family run butcher shop on Agripas street that makes their all deli meat from scratch and in house. Plus excellent pickles, coleslaw and chopped liver. An excellent place to get great deli for Shabbos and just for home use.  Beware though they are well known by the Anglo community so prices are high, but it’s the most authentic American style deli you can get in the country.

I don’ t know if Israel will ever get an authentic American deli, but I’m off to American so ill wallow in Corn beef for at least a couple of weeks.

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