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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Southern, Sandwiches
Counter service

Mon–Fri 6:00am–5:00pm

Features Kid-friendly
Bar None
Credit cards None

Northeast DC
2200 Bladensburg Rd. NE
Washington, DC
(202) 526-1800
Deli City
It ain’t the prettiest place, but get the corned beef sandwich—trust us

Deli City is one of those DC microcosms that brings together people from all sorts of ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Although the owner and his mother are of Eastern European descent, the rest of the counter staff and cooks are more of the Southern persuasion. And the menu reflects this: corned-beef sandwiches and pork chops share the same stage. The staff at Deli City—from the sweet, chatty register lady to the women in colorful nurses’ scrubs who take your order at the counter—are helpful and low-key. In essence, because the place is so small, they treat you like family.

Although many people take their orders to go, it’s worth sitting down for a while and enjoying the unique ambience at this joint. Taxi drivers, construction workers, and old friends enjoy a leisurely lunch at faux-wood cafeteria tables studded with fresh carnations. And although the well-lit dining room is a bit rough around the edges (the deli used to be a gas station), the magnificent sandwiches make up for it.

Corned beef on rye, maybe with a little bit of deli mustard, is definitely the way to go. Salty, moist, and tender, the meat completely falls apart in your mouth—it’s impeccable. Also recommended is the turkey reuben, made with thinly sliced turkey, tart sauerkraut, and a smear of Russian dressing. These sandwiches’ platform—griddled rye bread—tastes like all the good stuff that has been cooked on that griddle before it. The fatty pastrami, also a highlight, boasts a peppery crust and tastes exactly as it should.

DC has an incredible mix of people, cultures, and cuisines. Deli City represents that blend in a unique way, bringing together people that truly appreciate discussing church politics over a great corned beef sandwich, washed down with a glass of sweet tea.

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