Let's face it: the Mile High City has a particular lack of good Jewish delicatessens. Perhaps pastrami and bagels and lox don't do well with altitude. In our quest to find the best Jewish delis in Denver we left no matzah ball unturned . Hats off to the following places for keeping this culinary tradition alive and well in our city.
- Zaidy's Deli: This timeless Cherry Creek classic was founded in 1985, making it one of the oldest standing family restaurants in the glitzy Cherry Creek neighborhood. With green vinyl upholstery, framed and signed photos of B-list celebrities, bowls of pickles on every table, coffee cakes, kugels, and smoked meats and fish on display, Zaidy's is reminiscent of a quintessential East Coast deli. Breakfast is served until four everyday, a mixture of traditional and non-traditional Jewish fare. Corned beef hash, kippers and eggs, and potato latkes with sour cream and apple sauce only begin to skim the surface of the breakfast offerings. For lunch, guests can order "chicken in the pot," a quarter chicken with matzah balls, noodles, and kreplach (a compact dumpling generally filled with meat and/or potatoes), brisket or meatloaf plate with potato knish and coleslaw, or choose from a wide variety of traditional deli sandwiches. Corned beef, pastrami, beef tongue, tuna salad, kosher salami are a few of the options. And what could be better than a sandwich served between two potato latkes?
- Rosenberg's Bagels & Delicatessan: Next we jump over to the shining Star of David of Five Points, or should I say Six Points? Rosenberg's is less of a classic, authentic Jewish deli than it is a modern, kitschy neighborhood spot. The clean and sunny aesthetic and inventive takes on traditional Jewish comfort cuisine make this a truly special place. We recommend the L.E.S., a hot sandwich with pastrami, swiss cheese, coleslaw, and deli mustard served on an onion bagel. Any of the whitefish bagel sandwiches are sure to please as well. The Heebster is a favorite, with scallion cream cheese, whitefish salad, and wasabi flying fish roe on a bagel of your choice (go pumpernickel). New York native and genius behind Rosenberg's bagels, Joshua Pollack, brings the perfection of Big Apple bagels and lox to Colorado, and boy are we happy about it. This is the perfect place to grab a dozen bagels, shmear, and lox, and be the star of your next breakfast.
- The Bagel Deli: Tucked unassumingly between a Goodwill and a dry cleaner off of East Hampden is a hidden gem. The smell of smoked meats and fish along with freshly baked challah and knishes greets guests as they meander in. This is a place where the matzah balls are the size of softballs and the corned beef reuben is a New York-sized monster. Food comes up at the Bagel Deli quicker than you can say 'oy vey.' The massive sandwiches are served with many accoutrements including Russian dressing, spicy brown mustard, beet horseradish sauce, and of course, pickles. Breakfast runs all day and features both beloved classics such as matzah brei (fried matzah) and salami and eggs, as well as inventive newcomers like a latke benedict and challah French toast. The soups are not to be missed. The vegetable beef barley is proclaimed the best in town and the cold beet borscht topped with sour cream is a prime specimen of the Eastern European classic. Just make sure you save room for a freshly baked apple knish at the end of your meal. The menu catchphrase: "As authentic as it gets" is no joke at The Bagel Deli.
- New York Deli News: A few blocks down Hampden from the Bagel Deli stands the equally impressive New York Deli News. The sign out front reads: "Leaving Denver Entering New York," and it certainly feels that way at Deli News. Service is quick and friendly and the food does not disappoint. The cheese blintzes served with fruit preserves and sour cream are an absolute must for breakfast (or anytime for that matter,) and the pastrami and eggs are outstanding. The extensive menu offers larger sharing-sized platters of goodness as well, such as the assorted deli meat platter served with potato salad and coleslaw, or the Nova Scotia salmon platter with two bagels, cream cheese, tomatoes, and onions. The cuisine at New York Deli News is delicious. authentic, and filling and the drinks are cheap. This is the ideal spot for your next brunch.