NYC transplants have long prayed for a full-scale, New York-style deli in Boston. Turns out those prayers have been answered—just a little outside Boston proper. Moody’s Delicatessen & Provisions merits a detour to Waltham, where chef-owner Joshua Smith sells a stellar sandwich lineup alongside charcuterie and house-made provisions like Truffle Chips and Black & White Cookies. While there are no wrong choices, it’s hard to beat The Katz, a serious sandwich that pays homage to the Manhattan icon with a delectable pickle mustard and piles of pastrami. In case you’re craving something more substantial, Smith operates a full-scale restaurant behind the deli, appropriately dubbed The Backroom at Moody’s.
Boston joints prove this handy treat is oh-so-much-more than the sum of its parts.
There’s barely enough room inside Mike & Patty’s for two customers to form a line. That’s a bit of a problem for this Bay Village corner deli, considering the popularity. But crowded quarters are no excuse to skip Mike & Patty’s, which serves an all-day menu of hearty, delectable breakfast and lunch sandwiches. One of our favorites is the Fancy, a perfect marriage of fat (two fried eggs, cheddar cheese, house mayo, avocado) and bite (red onions) on perfectly grilled multigrain bread. But be warned: Opening hours only extend from morning to early afternoon, so save your late lunch ambitions for another day.
What looks at first sight like another humble, no-frills Brookline deli is hiding quite the pedigree: The married duo behind Cutty’s met while studying at the Culinary Institute of America and spent five years at America’s Test Kitchen. That knowledge is now being put to use via sandwiches of the highest order, such as the Roast Beef 1000, their take on a Massachusetts staple with house-roasted beef and crispy shallots. Poultry enthusiasts, take note: One Sunday each month is a designated “Super Cluckin’ Sunday”, which is the only time to savor the buttermilk fried chicken sandwich (which will be the only sandwich served that day).
Dave's Fresh Pasta
We’d never discourage you from picking up the homemade ravioli at Dave’s, but if you haven’t yet experienced the Davis Square market’s sandwich counter, you’re missing out. The two dozen offerings range in fanciness from classic Ham & Swiss to unexpected Roasted Lamb, but we keep coming back to the hefty Italian, which makes the most of Dave’s deli meats and homemade dressings and spreads. Seating inside the bustling shop is sparse, but a handful of cafe tables on the sidewalk outside provide the perfect lunch venue.
Hi-Rise Bread Company’s two Cambridge locations offer customers a bevy of loaves, jams, and other take-home goodies, but don’t let those raisin pecan rolls distract you from the sandwiches on homemade bread. In a pinch, go with Fern’s Problem Solver—roasted turkey with Monterey Jack, avocado, and Russian dressing on grilled sourdough. You may feel a strong urge to nap afterwards, but there’s plenty of coffee on hand to fix that.