The Upper Crust

Deli Meats and Good Eats

If you love to lunch, chances are you go crazy over a good deli sandwich. And whether you order it loaded with Italian cold cuts, stacked with fresh veggies, or stuffed with hot fixings, there are plenty of options in the 209 to satisfy your sandwich cravings. Stroll from hole in the wall institutions to comfortable café’s for the perfect places to pull up a chair and devour a good deli sandwich in style. This month we’re delivering the perfect menu for your sandwich needs with some of the region’s top bites and the best sides to pair them with. Enjoy!

Bon Appetit

The Golden Gate

If you’ve ever stepped foot in Lodi’s gourmet French café, then you know what we know. Like the fact that the owners Thierry and Pascale are two of the kindest folks you’ll ever meet and that every sandwich is made with love. When it comes to the menu, we’re seldom stuffing our face with anything other than the #6, also known as the Golden Gate, on Squaw bread. The dark bread is a perfect balance to the grilled chicken breast, crispy bacon, smoked gouda, vine-ripened tomatoes, and lettuce, all slathered in a creamy garlic aioli.

Specialty Side

If there is one thing to know about Bon Appetit, it’s that everything they make is from scratch, and the homemade ranch just might be the best we’ve ever had! Go green with a side salad, top it with garlicky croutons, and drizzle it in ranch.

1012 W. Lodi Ave. Lodi, 209-367-5930


Fiori’s Butcher Shoppe

This beloved Lodi delicatessen and butcher shop has been around since 1974. Their longevity speaks to the quality of the sandwiches, served up to hungry kids and families. Go for the Bishop Bruiser on a French roll, loaded with sliced chicken, roasted red bell peppers, creamy Havarti cheese, romaine lettuce, and savory tomatoes.

Specialty Side

There is no shortage of side options when dining at Fiori’s. However, it’s the fresh pesto corkscrew pasta always has our mouths watering with its herbaceous flavors.

400 W. Lodi Ave. Lodi, 209-334-4121


Gian’s Delicatessen

This Miracle Mile mainstay is an authentic Italian deli that serves up sandwiches East Coast style. If you want to take a trip to flavortown (Guy Fieri once made a visit here), go big with the #5 on ciabatta bread, stacked with coppa, peppered turkey, creamy Havarti, roasted red bell peppers, mayo, and mustard.  

Specialty Side

Gian’s may be known for their sandwiches, but its homemade ravioli plays second fiddle to nothing. The delicious bites are doused in meat sauce—good for a meal on their own or as a compliment to your sub. You can even pick it up to go, and frozen bags of the stuff can be cooked up for your next event.

2112 Pacific Ave., Stockton, 209-469-0108


Genova Bakery

At Genova bakery, we build our own sandwich, with a little help from Rachel Kisker of the Edible Hours food blog. Her creation (that we’ve adopted)? A spicy, salty, stack of excellence. Ask for a combo with hot salami, hot coppa, havarti cheese, mustard, lettuce, tomato, and Bruno peppers. Give it the perfect texture by adding oil and vinegar. Expert tip: Order it on ciabatta bread. 

Specialty Side

Balance the big flavors of your sandwich with a simple side option. Opting for a bag of chips keeps the focus on the quality of Genova’s deli meat and adds extra crunch between bites.

749 N. Sierra Nevada St., Stockton, 209-466-6145


Podesto’s Market and Deli

If you grew up in the 209, you know Podesto’s has been slanging delicious deli sandwiches for decades. Located in Lincoln Center, arrive early and fill out your order form for a turkey and avocado sandwich on Dutch crunch bread built with fresh, creamy avocado and oven roasted turkey. The sandwiches here are colossal in both size and flavor.

Specialty Side

Two words: potato salad! The deli staff confirms this is the most popular complement to any deli sandwich on the menu. Made in house, diners love the hint of tang evident in every bite and the crunch of perfectly cooked potatoes. Order up a larger side to-go to serve at family gatherings or your next backyard barbeque.

104 Lincoln Center, Stockton, 209-951-0234


Cut the Mustard

Beth’s CBR

As the days of fall grow shorter, those cravings for a hot sandwich oozing with sauce and cheese are undeniable. At Cut the Mustard, a bustling Deli in Lodi’s industrial area, the Beth’s Chicken Bacon Ranch sandwich satisfies those cravings. Tender chunks of everroast chicken breast are layered with crispy bacon, spicy pepper jack cheese, and homemade ranch dressing. Expert tip: Do not take this sandwich to go. It tastes best hot and fresh.

Specialty Side

No matter what you get, don’t forget to ask for a tangy pickle spear to accompany your meal. Alternate bites between sandwich and pickle for a winning combination.

1371 E. Pine St., Lodi, 209-368-5259


Yosemite Meat Market

This popular Stockton butcher shop serves up some serious eats, but it’s their tri-tip sandwich that keeps us coming back for more. Perfectly cooked and seasoned, the meat is tender and juicy, just the way good tri-tip should be. And while some tri-tip sandwiches are hard to eat with your hands, here they slice the smoky meat thin for ease and portability. When choosing bread, opt for Dutch crunch if you like it. It’s a good roll to soak up the juices with.

Specialty Side

Yosemite Meat Market’s version of your grandma’s classic potato salad is off-the-charts good. You can taste the fresh, whole potatoes, with hearty chunks of starchy goodness and a good dose of fleshy skin in every bite. Perhaps the best part though is YM’s ability to keep the flavorful recipe creamy, but not heavy.

915 N. Yosemite St., Stockton, 209-466-7537

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