Best Old School Deli

Zarri's Delicatessen

This little gem of a deli is the kind of store every neighborhood would be lucky to have: a friendly, unpretentious place where you can grab a cheap, satisfying sandwich for lunch or pick up everything you need to throw together a quick weeknight Italian dinner. Ever since Zarri’s Delicatessen opened for business on Solano back in 1974, its calling card has always been the store’s simple but tasty sandwiches, many of which will run you less than $4. Popular choices include an egg or tuna salad that’s about as good as you can get, as well as Zarri’s signature “poor boy,” which, for just $3.25, comes piled high with bologna, salami, and sliced cheese. The sandwiches come on your choice of bread, but those in the know tend to stick with the excellent soft sourdough rolls. While waiting in line to place your order, check out the wide selection of gourmet Italian food products — high-quality olive oils, boxed pannetone, canned sardines, and plenty more. It’s a no-frills, no-credit-card kind of place, so bring cash, debit, or — in keeping with the overall quaintness of the store — a personal check.

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Oakland
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