The Best Delis in Toronto
The best delis in Toronto (Jewish-style delis, that is) uphold time-honoured traditions and family recipes for the perfect pastrami, corned beef and Montreal-style smoked meats. These are the places where you'll find big bowls of soul-soothing matzah ball soup and smoked meat sandwiches so big you'll have to stretch your jaw just to get it in your mouth.
Here are the best delis in Toronto.
The delicatessen on College Street pays reverence to the old ways, carving smoked meat, corned beef and pickled tongue to order and crafting thick sandwiches on rye. Reviving recipes that would make bubbie proud, the menu also features homestyle Jewish comfort foods like matzah ball soup, blintzes and kishka.
Situated in a Thornhill strip mall, this perpetually-packed deli has been in business since 1988 and boasts a fiercely loyal following. House specialties include hot, hand-cut smoked meat sandwiches on double rye, chopped salads, breakfast platters and comfort foods like cabbage rolls.
The Wilson Heights deli is relatively new but the Pancer’s name is steeped in Toronto history; generations of the same family have operated delis along Bathurst Street since 1957. Gently spiced, slippery pink pastrami is the house specialty, and it's best had piled high between fresh rye bread or a fluffy onion bun with sides of fries, tangy slaw and pickle spears.
This Sheppard and Bathurst stalwart has been serving up classic deli sandwiches and sides since 1975. The menu lists all the standard brined beefs but the thing to get is the brisket, available lean or double layered (ribboned with fat). When feeling like a fresser, have it "Wolf-sized" to a triple decker tower of meat, bread and mustard.
The deli on Bay is clad in a yellow and black checkered motif to evoke that iconic NYC taxi feel. It's a solid spot for a hearty bowl of chicken noodle soup, all day breakfasts and big sandwiches layered with thinly-sliced smoked meats. Try the Carnegie, a sandwich loaded with 3/4 pounds of any meat and served with a choice of latkes or fries and coleslaw or dill pickle spears.
The compact deli on McCaul is run by the daughter of the late Sid Starkman, the president of Chicago 58 Foods, and her husband, a long-time deli guy who was the former manager at Moe Pancer's Deli. The menu here opens with latkes, matzah ball soup and pickles then covers the gamut of classic deli sandwiches overloaded with pastrami, smoked turkey and roast beef.
This shopworn deli in Mississauga has been serving up the best west-end Reuben and baby back sandwiches for over 30 years. The well-loved location is known for an extensive menu featuring club sandwiches, Julienne salads, cherry cheesecake and new-found novelties like Reuben poppers
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