Best Deli

Saul's

California organic snobbery meets old-school East Coast deli comfort food at this Jewish delicatessen, one of the few places in the area with worthwhile matzoh ball soup, cheesecake, a barrel of pickles, and sandwiches the size of your face. It’s really not gritty enough to feel like an authentic New York deli, but if you’ve never seen the real thing (and maybe even if you have), you’ll probably be fine with the cleaner Berkelified version where the food is just as good. Though the back wall says “Times Square” in huge letters and the menu includes the “Bronx Treat” (a pastrami sandwich) and “New York Style Bagels,” Saul’s still declares that it doesn’t consider itself a New York deli, by simple virtue of its location. There are a few other key differences. For example, it boasts a daily vegetarian (“often vegan”) soup, something no New York deli would be particularly proud of, and there’s more avocado on the menu than you’d find in most Manhattan restaurants (though not much at all by California standards).

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