Putting a man on the moon was briefly considered mankind's greatest achievement, until Neil Armstrong invented sliced bread. Savor civilization's finest creation with today's Groupon: for $10, you get $20 worth of gourmet deli fare and drinks at Canter's Deli.
A hot noshing spot for celebrities and laypeople alike since 1931, Canter's Deli dishes out hearty platters from a menu of gourmet sandwiches, homemade pickles, and fresh baked goods 24 hours a day. Named a Best Sandwich in America by Esquire, the Monte Crisco packs an arsenal of turkey, ham, and swiss between slices of grilled egg-bread wrapped in an edible award certificate ($14.75). Patrons looking for a heartier meal enjoy an entree of hot corned beef, cabbage, and boiled potato, alongside an appetizer or soup, vegetable or potato, dessert, and beverage. Skilled delicatessens craft the hot pastrami on rye ($11.75). Thirteen salad selections, including the chinese chicken ($11.95), salami-laden italian ($10.50) and the classic greek ($9.25), transport taste buds around the globe without inappropriate security pat downs or forgotten cell-phone chargers. Breakfast cravers can chomp a dizzying array of egg-based morsels, the Little New Yorker, a bagel slathered in cream cheese and lox ($14.25), cheese blintzes ($9.50), or potato pancakes ($7.50), or diners can bisect the day with matzo ball soup ($6.50), a tuna ($12.95) or avocado ($12.25) melt, or a variety of burgers ($9.95+)
Diners can also sip from the full bar in Canter's famous Kibitz Room or slide into a cushy circular booth and ogle the stately stone and wood-paneled walled backdrop. Draft beer and imported bottles are doled out to parched patrons, and drinks such as a martini ($6.25) or a glass of wine ($4.75-$5.95) are exchanged for cash and write-in votes for president. The gourmet deli courts patrons with validation for 1.5 hours of free parking, a long history of features in Hollywood films, and complimentary autographs from B-List matzo balls.
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