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The 7 Best Delis in St. Louis

9thstreet.jpg
       More cheese! | Madelaine Azar

9th Street Deli
(900 Shenandoah Street; 314-664-3354)

Located on the corner of Soulard's picturesque and peaceful Pontiac Park, 9th Street Deli offers several must-try sandwiches -- the meatball sub, with Provel and marinara sauce, and the "St. Louisan," comprised of mortadella, capocolla, salami, ham and Provel, are good places to start. Then there's the "Cajun B.L.T.," with slices of very thick, smoky bacon, or the baked mortadella sandwich, an ingenious concoction of mortadella, capocolla, Provel and a relish of artichoke, black olive and tomato. And last but certainly not least is the cheeseteak. What makes 9th Street Deli's cheesesteak superior to all others, you ask? Pasteurized process cheese product. That's right, as far as we know, this is the only place in St. Louis that uses the true "cheese" of an authentic Philly cheesesteak, Cheez Whiz, with wonderful results.

See also:
-
#46: The Philly Cheesesteak at 9th Street Deli

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       Carl's Deli. | Madelaine Azar

Carl's Delicatessen
(6401 Clayton Road, Clayton; 314-721-2393)

The New York deli experience is waiting for you at the corner of DeMun Avenue and Clayton Road. Giant, meaty, overstuffed sandwiches (the pastrami!) are the foundation of any deli worth its salt, and Carl's does not disappoint. There are no frills once you're inside, and you're likely to encounter a diverse clientele from all walks of life sitting around sharing a table. If a heap of thinly sliced meat is not your forte, try the egg salad, or maybe even the Provel sandwich -- there is a vegetarian menu. That being said, it'd be difficult to go and pass on that famed pastrami. Carl's has been around for more than 60 years with no signs of slowing down, so take advantage of the opportunity to visit this staple of the St. Louis deli scene.

See also:
-
DeMun Neighborhood Guide: Fine Dining and Pastrami Deli Sandwiches
- Best Delicatessen - 2012

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       What's your pick? | Madelaine Azar

Pumpernickles Delicatessen
(11036 Olive Boulevard, Creve Coeur; 314-567-4496)

Pumpernickles Delicatessen is the kind of place where the pastrami is brined and then seasoned with just the right amount of garlic and pepper -- enough to give it a kick, but not enough to burn you. Then it's steamed and sliced thin enough to melt in your mouth. The menu lists the Reuben as the "Absolute best in St. Louis." True to its word, you'll be served up two healthy but not excessively thick halves, plus a pickle. Between two slices of rye bread grilled to golden brown you'll find a pile of thinly carved corned beef on a generous bed of sauerkraut. Atop the corned beef is a slice of melting Swiss cheese, covered with a peach-pink layer of Thousand Island dressing. Pumpernickles specializes in gourmet smoked fish, like the Ultimate Fish Sampler, offering up smoked salmon, smoked sable, whitefish, two slices of Nova lox, chive cream, cream cheese, tomato, onion, olives, lemon and two bagels, which should hit the spot.

See also:
-
Battle Reuben: East Coast vs. West Coast
- Best Pastrami - 2012

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20 comments
tokertim
tokertim

awful list.. sad old tired places like carl's and kopperman's.. and missing the best sandwich makers in the stl.. pickels deli

bigern314
bigern314

Went to Kopperman's after reading how it was a great NY style deli...well to say I was disappointed was an understatement.  Got a half corned beef sandwich and it was tiny.  Piled high meat? Please.  First and last time I ever went there.  Blues City Deli was OK but very average.  Nothing compared to good delis on the Hill. 

And where is Eovaldi's on this list?  Best deli sandwiches in the city.

rhclingenpeel
rhclingenpeel

Well, at least this was a better story than where to find the best french fries in St. Louis.  After that ground-breaking story I was expecting a follow up:  "Where to find the 7 best ranch dressings in St. Louis."


Although I might take issue with those on this list (Blues City - -which tries to mimic New Orleans neighborhood fare without really coming close) it is not a bad list. And although there may be unanimous agreement or disapproval, this was a much better food story.

Speaker222
Speaker222

Blues City Deli is unquestionably the most overrated deli in all of St. Louis. I mean, it's fine, but that line? Give me a break. LaGrande's easily has better sandwiches.

jcthelilly
jcthelilly

Good list.  Vivola Express in Maryland Heights is also very good.  Maybe we could have made this a top 10 list and included three more?  Why seven? 

Ladie Bugg
Ladie Bugg

Mmmmm corned beef on pumpernickel

Barry Bean
Barry Bean

Kopperman's Tongue Fu is a thing of beauty. I know what I want for lunch.

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