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Great Boston Area Delis to Remember

Jack and Marion's matches. Photo source: the Daily Dish at
The Boston area had this bad rap in the 60s, 70s and 80s about lacking good delis, but in a pickle they seemed just fine to me.  Plus, it was a lot closer, geographically, than traveling to that deli capital of the world called New York City!

Here are some great Boston area delis that bring back some wonderful memories...

Ken's at Copley, Boston Ken's seemed to please all generations -- popular amongst students looking for a cheap meal, kids magnetized to sandwiches, and, in general, all fans of good deli food. I remember the rotisserie chickens, excellent pastrami sandwiches and that brisk, sometimes brusque deli service so akin to many delis. The Boylston St. location was ideal, as back then, the area had a surprisingly low number of good places to eat -- probably fewer than the towns of Podunk and East Washbucket (sorry, had to be dramatic here to prove a point). Ken's always seem to hit the spot and one of the owners (the one named Ken) brought a lot of pride and character to this Boston deli landmark.

Mel and Murray's, Liberty Tree Mall in Danvers I used to go to Mel and Murray's Deli with my grandma Anna and family at the Liberty Tree Mall location. My grandma made the best Jewish-style food anywhere in the Boston area in her very own kitchen, but sometimes she needed a break from all her hard work. Mel and Murray's more than held its own as a convenient stop for excellent deli food. The original Mel and Murray's started in Lynn, I believe, in the 1920s, but they eventually expanded -- seemingly with no drop in quality. Usually mall and "sequel" suburban restaurant locations fall about as flat as a potato pancake, but Mel and Murray's somehow held onto the tenets of a good Jewish deli that reflected the quality of the original location.

Metro Deli, Boston As a Suffolk University student with a fast metabolism, I would often walk to Cambridge St. for a full turkey dinner at the Metro Deli and then return to sociology class lethargic from the large serving and all that tryptophan. They would carve the turkey fresh every day to create the next best meal to Thanksgiving. I remember the drumstick that was about the size of Rhode Island, and all the "fixin's" including stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce and mashed potato. The Metro Deli wasn't just about the turkey, however, as they served some huge, delicious sandwiches. Why didn't anyone outside this neighborhood know about the Metro? I think it was the best deli in Boston! As an added bonus, virtually everyone working at the Metro looked like comedian Richard Lewis.

B&D Deli, Brookline Not that I am an expert of New York City delis, but my guess it that B&D came as close to an authentic Big Apple Deli as any in the Boston area. From 1927 to 2005, B&D took on a household name status in the world of local delis. I always thought it was better than the famous, also closed Rubin's Deli in Brookline. Through the years and the many conversations about local restaurants, experts on delis and those who knew nothing at all (translation: vacuous), mentioned the B&D Deli as one of their favorite delis. Falling into the latter category, I really loved this place!

Jack and Marion's, Brookline Jack and Marion's offered amazing soups, substantial main meals and huge desserts in a bustling, semi-urbane atmosphere. I loved the pleasant dining room with deli aromas that seemed to extend to our faraway parking space -- and, lucky us, that is was always raining on those days. For some reason, Jack and Marion's gets lots attention as the deli locals miss most -- just look online, or ask any local senior citizen or knowing baby boomer loving good deli food.

What were your favorite delis in the Boston area that are now closed?


  1. Robin's Deli on Arch St Boston in the late 1970s. Best place for corned beef sandwich.

  2. Buzzys Roast Beef that was on the rotary tgast used to be at the end of Storrow Dr where it meets Mass. Ave. They,were open late nights maybe 3 am in thast takeout o not spit. We would leave the clubs and stop there for knishes. To this day I dream about those Knishes. They are unlike any others. I would lick 10 miles of highway for just one of those gems.

  3. Buzzys Roast Beef that was located where Storrow Dr ends and meets Mass Ave where the rotary used to be. It was open late...maybe 3 am. They made Knishes unlike any others. We would leave the club's (back in the 1970s,) and stop at Buzzys for Knishes. I still dream about them and remember every detail vividly. I would lick 10 miles of highway for just one of those gems.


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