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Zak the Baker
Photograph: Wei Shi Zak the Baker

The best delis in Miami for old-school classics

The best delis in Miami serve hot soup, smoked fish and tasty sliced-meat sandwiches that require a forklift

By Ryan Pfeffer
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May 2019: Order up! If there’s one constant with Miami’s culinary scene, it’s that it’s always changing, and this feature’s just gotten a sleek new update one long-awaited opening: Stephens Deli. Not only is it Hialeah's oldest deli but it's a great place to grab a hearty Reuben and a craft cocktail—the revitalized deli features an adjacent Hialeah-themed bar, La Cocina. Where else can you get your deli fix and knock one back all in one trip? 

What do we look for in the best delis in Miami? Well, here in the USA, the deli—or, if you want to go old-school, delicatessen—has long been a place where you can go and grab prepared sandwiches, soups and more dishes you won’t find at your usual fast-casual spot. It’s not quite the same as the best diners in Miami or the best bakeries in Miami. The deli is more comprehensive. Many people think about traditional American Jewish cuisine when they think about delis: matzo ball soup and pastrami on rye. And kosher delis are still a strong tradition in the states—especially in Miami. But the deli is flexible. Below, we have the usual kosher options but also butcher shops pulling double duty, a super authentic Russian restaurant and more that will blow away both your notion of a deli and your tastebuds. 

Best delis in Miami

Stephens Deli
Photograph: Miranda Kruse/Misstakes Photography

1. Stephens Deli

Restaurants Delis Hialeah

What is it? This classic Jewish deli in Hialeah closed for renovations in 2017 (It’s set to open later this year!) Until then, stop by Time Out Market for some big bites of the deli’s hearty Reuben or a warm bowl of the cure-all matzo-ball soup. 

Why go? We’re telling you, this is one serious Reuben sandwich that you’re gonna want to try your best to finish. Dig into the mouth-watering pile of corned beef and then top it of with—of course—a side of coleslaw and a dill pickle.

Josh's Deli, Restaurants and cafes, Miami
Photograph: Joshua Marcus

2. Josh’s Deli

Restaurants Snacks Surfside

What is it? A safe space for the lover of the New York-style deli. Those folks can feel at ease in the comfy Surfside deli thanks to the familiar comfort of pastrami, corned beef, lox, latkes, matzo ball soup and more.

Why go? That corned beef sandwich, piled high between a soft roll. That’s why.

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Buena Vista Deli
Photograph: Felipe Cuevas

3. Buena Vista Deli

Restaurants Bakery Buena Vista

What is it? A simply charming neighborhood French deli and bakery. It’s been a local favorite for years but now that Buena Vista seems to be blowing up, the secret of BVD’s fluffy croissants, French sandwiches and tasty dessert is spreading.

Why go? BVD’s weekend brunch is clutch if you don’t feel like fighting mimosa-chugging crowds elsewhere. Sit outside if it’s nice out and let a basket of beignets bring you back to life.

Babe's Meat and Counter
Photograph: Unsplash/Jez Timms

4. Babe’s Meat & Counter

Restaurants Delis Palmetto Bay

What is it? A local butcher and deli that does some out-of-the-box and undeniably delicious breakfast and lunch dishes. Grab some to-go sausages to cook up at home or have Babe whip something up for you—like the restaurant’s Montreal smoked meat sandwich or banh mi.

Why go? Miami finally has a tasty poutine option thanks to Babe’s. If you’ve never had the Canadian treat, change that at once.

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Mo's Bagels and Deli
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Philippe A.

5. Mo’s Bagels and Deli

Restaurants Delis Aventura

What is it? Aventura locals know and love Mo’s, a classic kosher deli that does the requisite smoked fish and sandwiches such as corned beef, pastrami, brisket and a lot more. Mo’s is a rare thing both grandparents and grandkids can agree on.

Why go? Mo’s is only a five-minute drive from the Aventura Mall, which makes it a perfect place to fuel up before a day of shopping (and you will need an entire day at this mall).

Kalinka Euro Deli
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Kalinka Euro Deli

6. Kalinka Euro Deli

Restaurants Delis Sunny Isles Beach

What is it? A favorite of Sunny Isles huge Russian population. Kalinka serves Russian and Eastern European expats a slice of home in the form of authentic deli dishes you really can’t find anywhere else in the city. It’s a damn fun eating experience and a rare opportunity to expand your palate without buying a plane ticket.

Why go? You’ve never had borscht this, uh, borscht-y?

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Zak the Baker
Photograph: Wei Shi

7. Zak the Baker

Restaurants Delis Wynwood

What is it? A bakery first—no doubt about it—but Zak the Baker also has a super delicious deli component to it. Its soups and sandwiches are fresh and constantly shifting to accommodate fresh ingredients.

Why go? So you can also take home one of Zak’s miraculous loaves, which you will scarf down in mere days.

Toasted Bagelry and Deli
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Yanessa E.

8. Toasted Bagelry and Deli

Restaurants American Brickell

What is it? A Brickell breakfast and lunch favorite. In addition to the (very, very good) bagels, this place serves overstuffed sandwiches bursting with roast beef, whitefish, egg salad and more. There’s a Coral Gables location too.

Why go? To tear into the Tiger Tail Bagel, a bagel sandwich featuring your choice of bacon, ham, sausage or turkey with egg and cheese.

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Proper Sausages
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Yanessa E.

9. Proper Sausages

Restaurants Delis Miami Shores

What is it? First and foremost, a butcher shop. And one that sells some truly special sausages, ribs, bacon and more. However, Proper Sausages also has an outstanding selection of grab-and-go sandwiches, which makes it a deli in our hearts.

Why go? They use their own famous bacon to create what is absolutely the best BLT in Miami. So. Freaking. Good.

Bagel
Photograph: Unsplash/Stefania Crudeli

10. Roasters ’N Toasters

Restaurants Delis Mid-Beach

What is it? Another New York-style deli known for dishing out fresh bagels piled high with lox. This local chain (there are four locations in South Florida) also does the deli essentials: pastrami, corned beef and Reuben sandwiches.

Why go? They do traditional Shabbat dinners every Friday featuring matzo ball soup, challah and more kosher treats.

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