Technically speaking, a deli is any shop selling ready-to-eat foods. Whether you’re grabbing lunch on the go or pretending to have prepared a gourmet dinner, you should always opt for the best of the best. Quick and easy is not synonymous with cheap and comfortable, after all.
1 Artisan House
Artisan House takes the concept of a deli and takes it to a whole new level. Located on the ground floor of downtown LA’s Pacific Electric Building, Artisan House, as its name implies, turns food into an art form. Only local ingredients are used to create dishes like the Sloppy Saint Joseph, a dish of grass fed beef Bolognese, basil and tallegio or a gourmand-style flatbread with alba funghi, winter truffles and crispy kale. Additionally, this modern-day deli also offers a cocktail menu that employs ‘molecular mixology’ with haute drinks like its cryofrozen margarita. You may be ready to find your own muse after a meal here.
UMAMIcatessen is the best thing to happen since sliced bread (or bun). This downtown on-the-go emporium is the latest brainchild from Umami Burger founder Adam Fleischman. Inspired by international street bazaars and classic American delis, this huge dining hall inside downtown’s Orpheum Theater has five different kitchens creating pre-made goodies including every type of food from matzo ball soup to pork liver pate. Should you feel like taking your time to smell the roses (you will), there are 170 seats available inside the cavernous dining hall, as well as a full bar should you need a lunchtime cocktail.
3 Bouchon Bakery
Bouchon Bakery claims to carry the French version of fast food, but don’t believe for one second that any golden arches are in sight. Instead of a bun you’ll bite into the crispiest, freshest of baguettes. If you wished for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, you’d receive cashew nut butter and apricot jam. If you were dreaming of ham and cheese, you’d get your wish wi
4 M Café de Chaya
Hearing the words ‘green’, ‘organic’, ‘healthy’ or ‘gluten-free’ in Los Angeles is about as common as seeing a celebrity. M Café de Chaya is the modern-day option for those who want to enjoy a new kind of deli – a.k.a. the kind that doesn’t serve pastrami on rye. If seitan sandwiches, tempeh tortillas and tofu are your favorite treats and you understand that falafel isn’t how you excuse yourself after sneezing, head to M. It’s simply a-M-a-z-i-n-g.
5 Barney Greengrass
This is how the A-list deli. Located on the 5th floor of Barney’s, one of LA’s most exclusive department stores, Barney Greengrass is a study in decadence. There is caviar, chopped chicken liver and pickled herring. There is a killer view of Beverly Hills. There is shopping down below. What more can one ask for?