Delis. The Earl of Sandwich could never have foreseen the artisanship, family tradition or importance that two slices of bread with a selection of condiments, meats and cheeses wedged in between said slices could have. Arguably, Delicatessens, pushed the sandwich to new levels. “Have it your way, or let us show you the way,” these niche sandwich shops scream. They have the power to make your weekday, providing a lunch hour joy each and every day. Of course, you need to know what’s out there in the Sac foodie landscape. “Enjoy every sandwich,” the late, great Warren Zevon would say, and here’s a list to guide you on your way to deli bliss.
Pennisi’s Deli
1237 J St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 448-5610
www.pennisisdeli.com

It’s no secret that Italians had a stake in setting California, so it should come as no surprise that one of the longest standing delis in Sacramento is an Italian joint. Pennisi’s began in 1952 and has remained as a successful, family-run eatery. They have sandwiches, pasta and the like, but you’ll want to be sure and try the Reuben. Sit inside or out, your tastebuds won’t care.

Juno’s Kitchen And Deli
3675 J St.
Sacramento, CA 95816
(916) 456-4522
www.junoskitchen.com

With accolades up the Salami, Juno’s Kitchen has received praise from just about every major Sacramento publication; such as The Sac Bee, Edible Sacramento, Comstock Magazine and Sacramento Magazine (to name a few). Juno’s is open for lunch and dinner with an availability to cater your event as well. Their selection goes beyond sammy’s providing a few pasta items and few vegan and vegetarian options (Panko Grilled Eggplant, Haloumi Cheese, etc). The Membrillo takes things to the next level, with a simple combo of Manchego cheese, olive oil and arugula.

Zia’s
1401 O St., Suite A
Sacramento, CA 95418
916-441-3354
www.ziasdeli.com

Touting several accolades for both the Sacramento and Davis locations, Zia’s has received praise from the likes of KCRA, “Midtown Monthly,” “Sacramento Magazine” and many more publications. With a decade of service between the two locations, Zia’s owners, Kevin and Anne Marie Crilly, brought their craft out of SF to create an old-style family eatery. The Zia, their signature sandwich, puts a zucchini frittata on a roll with provolone, served hot or cold, with oil and vinegar mix drizzled over top; have it as a cold cut sammie or a melt, hard to beat either way.

Related: Best Breakfast Sandwiches in Sacramento

Tipps & Shakes
5103 Florin Perkins Road
Sacramento, CA 95826
(916) 387-8477
www.tippsandshakes.com

Burgers, sandwiches and shakes make this little deli a must for Sacramentoans. That tri-tip and provolone sandwich is just the obvious sum of two great things adding up to an even greater thing. Fresh ingredients abound at this masterful eatery that specializes in the best of traditional American fare. And with a comprehensive milkshake menu that allows you to mix flavors for an extra $.50. That  just might make this place one of SacTown’s best hidden gems.

Sampino’s Market
1607 F St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 441-2372
www.facebook.com/SampinosTowneFoods

Sampino’s Meatball Sandwich takes the cake if you’re looking for an authentic Italian deli in Sacramento. Sampino’s provides a comfortable, Italian dining experience. Hit the deli, or for something more formal, make reservations and enjoy a multi-course meal. The Sampini Sandwich is a hands-down favorite, while their monthly menus change for dinner. This may just be the classiest Deli in NorCal.

Related: Best Italian Restaurants In Sacramento

Christopher Millard is a freelance writer and cultural critic whose music reviews can be found on Examiner.com. He also works as a publicist for Valence Communications Group and is a contributor to the health and wellness magazine, Hybrid. Chris currently resides in Sacramento, California.