Like a high-stakes game of Jenga, stacking sandwich ingredients requires concentration, foresight, and the removal of tasteless wooden blocks. Build a savory tower with today's Groupon: for $10, you get $20 worth of deli fare, drinks, and more at Canter's Deli on Fairfax Avenue.
Since 1931, Canter's Deli has appeased the appetites of celebrities and hungry laypeople alike with a menu renowned for its gourmet deli sandwiches and homemade pickles. Empty belly sacks can peruse Canter's selection of sandwiches and breakfast goods at any hour of the day or night, and adult palates can imbibe full-bar mainstays such as beer, wine, and liquor in Canter's full-service lounge, affectionately called the Kibitz Room.
Hot pastrami on rye ($11.75), matzo ball soup ($6.50), and Canter's famous barley bean soup ($5.75) activate listless taste buds, and 13 different salads options ($5.25-$13.50) join forces to create an ultimate hunger-stopping outing. Breakfast-minded gourmands delight in eye-opening batches of lox and scrambled eggs ($10.25). Roast turkey with stuffing ($16.25) or char-broiled barbecue skinless chicken breast ($16.25) dinner entrees include choice of appetizer or soup and more. Draft beer and imported bottles are doled out to parched patrons, and drinks such as a Bloody Mary ($6.75) or a glass of wine ($4.75-$5.95) are exchanged for cash and write-in votes for president.
With its stately stone and wood-paneled walls, welcoming display of baked goods, swanky circular booths, and 1.5 hours of free parking with validation, Canter's cultivates a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Throughout the decades, Canter's has maintained a classic Los Angeles vibe that has been featured in several Hollywood films, and it is the perfect place to savor a late-night bite or pose for a photo next to your favorite semi-famous pay phone.
- You want New York Deli? You got it here. Generous portions and they can get you in and out if you're in a hurry or let you linger if you're not. Chicken rice soup is great. – Victoria R, Zagat
- People from all walks of life come here to commune in late-night foodery. Makes for a random, lovely atmosphere. – Kori S., Yelp, 1/26/11
Ben Canter and his brothers had been manning the counter of their deli in Jersey City, New Jersey, for five years—familiarizing faces of regulars and catching their culinary stride—when the stock market plummeted in 1929. Like many, they were forced to scrape together the little they had retained, a mere $500, and head west. Los Angeles in 1931 wasn't a delicatessen owner's dream location, but they opened Canter's Deli nonetheless.
Throughout the next 84 years, four generations of Canters would do their parts to help the displaced deli fit into its Hollywood setting. They moved to their current location at the old Esquire Theatre, added a cocktail lounge named the Kibitz Room, opened a new store in the "O" of the Hollywood sign, and watched their doors open to a who's who of celebrities, including Marilyn Monroe, Jack Benny, Elizabeth Taylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Prince, and the band members from Guns N' Roses. The deli has been utilized over the years as a filming location for many movies and television shows.
The Canters overhauled their menu in 2012 to reflect the changing times and West Coast tastes. Among the newcomers are panini-style deli melts and updated burgers such as the Black and Blue, which comes loaded with thick-cut bacon. The best East Coast staples remain, of course. A good example is the hot corned-beef Reuben served on rye bread that's double-baked in-house and grilled to perfection. Available 24 hours a day, the expansive selection of deli fare and baked goods has garnered an equally expansive amount of press, including the monte cristo’s designation as one of Esquire's Best Sandwiches in America.
As a microcosm of the deli's convenience and culture, the staff validates parking for up to 90 minutes in its parking lot, where muralist Art Mortimer's seven-panel collage-style mural depicts Jewish history in Los Angeles.
419 N Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, California 90036Get Directions