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7 Best Delis in Atlanta

Let’s face it…Atlanta isn’t exactly known for its deli scene.

Anybody from the Northeast will be quick to remind you that New York or New Jersey has a deli or bagel shop on every corner that’s better than you’ll find anywhere else (“it’s that New York water!”). 

But we actually have a surprisingly solid lineup of delicatessens to choose from.

Whether you’re craving a toasted everything bagel with chive schmear or a pastrami sandwich on rye, here are some places you need to add to your breakfast, brunch, or lunch rotation.

Pastrami, egg, and cheese on a bagel with latkes | Bagelicious

Bagelicious

Anybody in East Cobb knows this is one of the New York delis with true bona fides. In addition to their best-in-show bagels, they serve up some mean chicken salad, pasta salad, black and white cookies, kugel, and more. 

Anytime you go, you’ll find plenty of old New Yorkers there, which is all you need to know about the quality. Heads up: it’s still somehow cash-only, even in the age of COVID, so make sure you have some dollar bills on you. They also don’t exactly have a website or… any sort of online presence, so please excuse the link to their Yelp page and my mediocre picture from a year or two ago. They’re probably too busy counting cash to run an Instagram.

Goldberg’s Fine Foods

Goldberg’s is one of the most famous food brands in ATL. Some of this popularity is due to its sheer geographic coverage, with 9 locations all over the metro-Atlanta area, including two at the airport and one at The Battery that’s open late (which is just 9 PM, but still!) Much more of the Goldberg’s dominance is because of their delicious food.

While the bagels are certainly worth ordering, the sandwiches are what sets this place apart. It’s all the reubens, whether you’re getting the Brooklyn Reuben (a classic with corned beef), the Georgia Reuben (with turkey), or the Fried Chicken Reuben. I also have a soft spot for the Reuben Egg Rolls, stuffed with corned beef, sauerkraut, and swiss cheese, a delicious appetizer likely to irk a deli purist.

Bagel Sandwich | Photo Credit: Brooklyn Bagel

Brooklyn Bagel & Deli

These bagels are some of the best in town: thick but not too dense. Each flavor of bagel is worth ordering (even the sweet ones, if you’re into that kind of thing…) but the breakfast wraps are just as satisfying and more nutritionally balanced.  They also make their own pickles and the usual deli “salads” (chicken, egg, tuna).

It’s a breeze to order online and beat the line, so if you’re on the go, definitely check out their Ansley Mall or Johns Creek locations.

General Muir

The General Muir took Atlanta by storm in 2013, serving up a wide array of deli staples. They sling plenty of the usual favorites, like pastrami on rye and matzo ball soup, as well as some wilder items, like the poutine, topped with cheese curds and gravy. It’s not something you’d find at many New York delis, but that doesn’t make it any less delicious.

You could hardly call yourself a kosher deli without a strong bagel, and The General Muir has just about perfected theirs, with a few classic open-faced sandwich options, like the Avenue A: smoked salmon, grapefruit, avocado, red onion, cucumber, dill, and schmear. If you like what’s going on with the baked goods, they also have TGM Bread, which bakes for The General Muir as well as Fred’s Meat & Bread, Yalla, West Egg, and plenty of other Atlanta icons.

Triple Linden Club | Photo Credit: Jack’s New Yorker

Jack’s New Yorker Deli

Jack’s opened up in 2002 with the vision of a New York deli with a Southern twist. They’ve come a long way from a few reubens and phillies, now serving dozens of sandwiches as well as breakfast options. Their breakfast sandwiches display that perfect marriage of north and south, especially the aptly-named Heart Attack: fried pork roll, eggs, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mayo on a kaiser roll.

The lunch sandwiches are, of course, delicious as well. They have all your favorite reubens, clubs, and subs, but some of the most popular orders are the Turkey Rachel (turkey, swiss, coleslaw, and Russian dressing on rye), Al’s Big Roast Beef (roast beef, swiss, lettuce, tomato, and Russian dressing on a kaiser roll), and Jack’s Outlaw (steak, pepperoni, salami, red onions, and banana peppers with hot sauce and provolone).

They also sell their all-purpose seasoning blend called Deli Dust, which has been a fixture in my kitchen since college. It works on literally everything.

The Italian Combo | The Savory Gourmet Market

The Savory Gourmet Market

Up in Alpharetta there lies a deli unlike any you’ve seen around Georgia. The Savory Gourmet Market not only serves tremendously authentic and devastatingly delicious deli fare, but they also have a massive market with a slew of offerings, including (but not limited to) premade sauces, salads, ready-to-heat dishes, meats, charcuterie, fish, wine, coffee, and even serveware. You may come for one meal and leave with five more.

This place just has that classic deli energy. While waiting for my order, I overheard a customer with a thick New Jersey accent say, “this is the only real New York deli in town.” Praise doesn’t get much higher than that! Chef Adam is from Long Island and it shows with every dish he serves (thanks in large part to his CEO, CFO, and wife Carrie). You can go in countless different directions with your order, but the Reuben and Roast Beef sandwiches are piled high with fresh meats, the Italian Combo is locked and loaded with all your favorite cold cuts, and the Prosciutto Di Parma is a salty, creamy, and flavorful blend of toppings (prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, roasted red peppers, and an aged balsamic vinegar drizzle). They also have the thickest yet crunchiest latke you’ll ever try as well as rainbow cookies (the greatest of all deli desserts) imported straight from a New York bakery.

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