Pat Colalillo of Cosmo & Alex Pisano Brothers, Mamaroneck. By Ken Gabrielsen.
Look no further for the best of Italian combos, chicken cutlet sandwiches, BECs, and all else deli-cious in Westchester County.
By John Bruno Turiano, with Cristiana Caruso, Andrew Dominick, Michelle Gillian Larkin, and Maya Ono
SCHRIEFER’S ARMONK DELI & CATERING
Schriefer’s is a deli you’ll want to stop by for breakfast and come back to for lunch. Grab a croissant with ham, turkey, sausage or bacon, eggs, and cheese, and pair it with a fresh-fruit smoothie (love the coconut shake, with coconut water, coconut meat, raw cocoa, and fruit). Enjoy a leisurely lunch on the outdoor patio and pick up a classic — a Buffalo sandwich with a breaded chicken cutlet dipped in house-made hot buffalo sauce, romaine lettuce, and blue cheese dressing. They do a winning rendition of grilled cheese too.
Owner Michael Bueti has built a multi-decade neighborhood staple in the heart of Bedford Hills, formed on reliable sandwiches, hot dishes, and an evolving selection of soups, salads, and Italian grocery items. The smartest orders can be found on the daily specials menu, with selections such as roast beef, cheddar, bacon, horseradish, L&T, and garlic mayo on a wrap or any chicken-cutlet-based sandwich.
Vincent Janniello grew up on Arthur Avenue, where his mother knew the best local fish market and where to go for the freshest mozzarella. “We wanted to bring the atmosphere of Little Italy to Briarcliff,” says Janniello. He’s done an excellent job doing just that, offering handhelds made with first-rate ingredients, wild-caught fish, premium butchered meats, splendid catered dishes, and Italian market products from imported Grana Padano to premium dried pastas. The roasted in-house roast beef is a winning sandwich choice or try the New Yawka on a pretzel roll with smoked turkey, melted Pepper Jack cheese, sliced pickle, and deli mustard. Don’t forget the cannoli, either.
Just off the beaten of Bronxville’s busy main thoroughfare (the oﬃcial address is Yonkers, but locals know better), this welcoming, wee spot feeds the hungry from dawn to dusk, beginning with brekkie sammies ranging from indulgent (eggs, steak, extra cheese) to health-conscious egg whites and avocado iterations. Burgers and hot/cold sandwiches round out the rest of the day/night, with the hot roast beef — grilled and smothered with Swiss and Russian on a garlic roll — a neighborhood fave.
VILLARINA’S DELI & CATERING
Nestled in Chappaqua’s quaint downtown, steps from Robert E. Bell Middle School, Villarina’s has been a community staple for generations. Owner Juan Rosas proudly displays Greeley sports-teams memorabilia and serves many students and their parents after school. Service is quick, and there’s a nicely curated selection of wraps (The Greeley is a favorite, with grilled chicken, roasted peppers, and melted mozz). The Dinner for 4 specials are well-priced meals that make most any family satiated and content.
CROTON MINI DELI
Father-son owners Don Kenneally Sr. and Jr. know how to do a New York BEC right: soft roll, runny egg, crispy bacon, and plenty of gooey cheese, among other neighborhood deli talents that include genuine smiles and quick service. The Cali Melt (chicken cutlet, melted American, bacon, ranch, L&T) is a go-to lunch order. Offerings are reasonably priced — most roll sandwiches are $6 and most wedges $8 — and it’s not because they skimp on the meat.
SANSOTTA BROTHERS II
The daily special menu is where to find some of the superior selections, including half wraps or panini with a 16-oz soup for $8.95, and an entrée and two sides for $9.95 (pork tenderloin with cranberry and apricot stuﬃng sound good?). The specialty sandwich not to miss is Candy’s Creation: chicken cutlet, Pepper Jack, jalapeño, avocado, L&T, mayo. Fresh, chopped-to-order salads, house-made soups and mozz, and eye-catching party cold-cut platters are other draws.
Anything with a chicken cutlet is the popular order at this deli that regulars call “Scap’s” and order wedges (please don’t call them hoagies). The massive list — approximately 30 — of chicken cutlet combos makes it diﬃcult to choose (we like the cheddar, crispy bacon, avocado), but you also can’t go wrong with sandwiches of tender roast beef or fried eggplant with mozz and basil. They don’t skimp on the fillings, and lunch leftovers can easily turn into dinner.
V. ZUCCARELLI’S DELICATESSEN & PRIME MEATS
In case the name didn’t give it away, the hanging bulbs of dried meats and cheeses serve to cement the obvious: This is an Italian deli to the core. A family affair for 43 years, imported goods and all manner of Italian specialties are on offer, including rave- and crave-worthy fried eggplant, chicken cutlets, and house-made fresh mozzarella. However, it’s the sandwiches that are the star of the show, served on the softest, tastiest, semolina loaves this side of the Arno.
CARMINE’S ITALIAN DELI & CAFE
An amiable staff (including owner Robert Venuti), quick service, seating indoors and out, and a plethora of fresh-made sandwiches, such as the Gobbler (roasted turkey, apple-raisin stuﬃng, cranberry sauce, turkey gravy), make this a no-brainer as a top deli. One must respect the old-school brilliance of the breakfast menu, which has Mound of Corned Beef Hash and London Broil and Eggs on it. But then again, they also know to roll with the times by offering smoothies and a No Beef, No Grief vegan menu that includes chickpea tuna salad and impossible burgers.
CASA D’ITALIA SANDWICH SHOPPE
Pressed paninis on Terranova Bakery bread are at the forefront at this gourmet Italian sandwich emporium. Owners Lucy and Steve Selvaggio take the extra steps to prove it by making mozzarella in-house. Chicken or meatball parm, doused in red sauce and melty mootz will do the trick if you’re famished, as will paninis like the Bronx Tale (chicken cutlet, mozz, sundried peppers, hot cappy, nut-free pesto; below) and The Bronx Bomber (roast beef, muenster, and sautéed peppers and onions on pressed garlic bread). And don’t forget to sweeten your order with freshly filled cannoli featuring house-made ricotta-based cream piped into an Artuso Bakery shell.
EPSTEIN’S OF HARTSDALE
They don’t make ’em like this so much anymore, where Jewish soul food is doled out in good-sized portions, jars of sour pickles are on most every table, and fresh rye is the go-to bread of choice to surround layers of pastrami, brisket, smoked turkey, tongue, and the rest of the classics. Epstein’s keeps the kosher deli of your grandparents’ time alive. The matzo ball soup is a fine rendition.
AM JO’S CULINARY CORNER
For those that return to Hastings after having moved from the village, this cash-only community institution that’s an early riser (5 a.m. weekdays, 6 a.m. weekends) is one of their first stops for an overstuffed sandwich or hot entrée. You won’t go wrong with The Godfather (prosciutto, soppressata, capocollo, provolone, roasted peppers, green olives, L&T) or The Rancher (mesquite-smoked turkey, bacon, muenster, L&T, Russian dressing). And don’t forget the house-made doughnuts (Sundays only).
Family owned and operated for nearly four decades, this friendly, no frills, what-you-see-is-what-you-get quick-serve spot offers a soup, sandwich, and entrée of the day daily, plus classic cold-cut combos and outrageous signature sandwiches, like The Godfather, with breaded eggplant, sautéed spinach, fresh mozzarella, roasted peppers, balsamic vinaigrette. Salads by the pound, wedges by the foot, and cold-cut platters (Boar’s Head only) make frequent appearances at local house parties.
GEORDANE’S WORLD FOOD
They’ll know your name after just a few visits to this village stalwart, open since 1988, where basic sustenance is covered: groceries, an in-house butcher proffering grass-fed meats, coffee bar, local honey, produce, and a first-rate deli. Go for the warm panini (The Hot, with pepper turkey, Pepper Jack cheese, tomato, mayo) and specialty sandwiches (The Genova, with roast beef, mozz, tomato, and pesto mayo on ciabatta). Not in the mood for a between-the-bread? Try the mac ’n’ cheese or pan pizza.
Sure, this 47-year-old mini gourmet market makes solid deli standbys (e.g., an Italian combo, turkey BLT, egg salad, anything with roast beef), but where they truly excel are the specials, such as sandwiches of soft-shell crab or beef brisket with caramelized onions. And you’ll be hard-pressed not to take home some house-made sausages or marinated kebabs from the butcher counter for the grill.
We’ve all been there: hustling to make the morning train, forced to eat a soggy subpar BEC from the station counter. Trax Deli, located next to Larchmont’s Metro-North, keeps things interesting with an eclectic sandwich menu and a daily rotation of hot food. Waltz out of your comfort zone and order a Hawaiian Delight (sliced ham, pineapple, mozzarella, bacon, L&T, apricot jam), or play it safe with The Fordham Station (deluxe ham, genoa salami, capocollo, provolone, L&T, roasted peppers, O&V), each $7.99. Oh, and that sad egg sandwich? Trade it in for the Italian Stallion Breakfast — three eggs, bacon, sausage, and home fries on a hero. Now that’s how you start a morning!
The stars at Cameron’s go by such names as Cluck’en Ranch and Cluck’en Russian. Both provide thick chicken cutlets on poppy seed rolls with bacon, but the differences are in the sauce and cheese. Each comes with the titular dressing, but the Ranch gets cheddar, while the Russian gets Muenster. Morning, noon, or night (it’s open 24/7), when you’re cruising on Route 35, the famous Cluck’en of your choice will be there.
COSMO & ALEX PISANO BROTHERS
They may be on Mamaroneck Avenue, but Cosmo & Alex is Arthur Avenue vibes through and through with salami hanging from the ceiling, high counters, a tantalizing bread display case, prepared red sauce pasta dishes, and a bunch of imported groceries from Italy. Keep it original with an Italian combo and its perfect meaty layers of ham, mortadella, prosciutto, and salami. It comes classic (provolone, L&T, O&V), but no one will fault you for asking them to toss a handful of roasted red peppers, mayo, or whatever else meets your combo desires. If you have a sweet tooth that needs sating, try Boiano Bakery a couple doors down, another tasty business by C&APB owner Pat Colalillo.
The sandwiches at this 30-plus year mainstay are not known so much as large or overstuffed but instead, to be blunt, fat. Don’t believe the word is fitting? Try the Breakfast Barge wedge (three eggs, bacon, ham, sausage, American cheese) or The Godfather (salami, pepperoni, ham capocollo, proscuitini, mortadella, soppressata, provolone, hot peppers, lettuce, O&V) on Arthur Avenue bread to change your mind. The daily hot specials hold some gems, too, like the stuffed shells and sausage and peppers.
ROCKY’S MILLWOOD DELI
Arguably the sandwich at this always-open delicatessen, around since 1960, is the Balboa — a combination of piled-high grilled roast beef, fried onions, and melted Swiss or provolone on buttery garlic bread. A few more freakish, but delicious, sammies include a cheeseburger between a sliced glazed donut and the Hash Tag: a chicken cutlet BEC topped with a hash browns. You obviously can opt for turkey and Swiss, but why bother when there are so many guilty pleasures to be had?
Joe Sirena’s passion for Italian home-cooked dishes (a 30-foot showcase contains more than 60 trays of prepared foods) and premium ingredients comes through in the extensive sandwich menu and hot meals prepared fresh daily. A&S Marketplace features house-made mozzarella, the star of many sandwiches, including La Bella Mozzarella, with roasted bell peppers, tomatoes, basil, a balsamic glaze, and olive oil. What makes a good sandwich? “The person who builds it,” says Sirena. “My guys are engineers when it comes to building great sandwiches.”
THE FLEETWOOD DELI CAFÉ
Howard Feigenbaum has been dishing out homestyle hot food and jam-packed sandwiches since 1991. Rare is a deli that does quality food beyond sandwiches and salads, so Feigenbaum’s extensive menu comes as an initial shock to the senses. However, if you push aside all prejudices (and cravings for that turkey sandwich that brought you in), the hot bar offers a mouthwatering selection of barbecue, Italian, and Caribbean cuisine. When the doors open at 5 a.m. (earlier than most delis), snag a house-made pastry made daily.
Serving New Rochelleans comfort on a seeded roll for nearly 20 years, Loupino’s has perfected the build of a good sandwich. Keep it classic with an Italian combo, layered to perfection with a Fibonacci Sequence of meats, cheeses, and peppers. Pro Tip: Loupino’s wedges have made them a staple, but their catering makes them legendary. Order a three-foot wedge for your next event (or Tuesday, who cares?) and expect a sesame-speckled fluffy circle bread with meats and cheeses stuffed so thick, they spill out the sides.
This old-school deli counter has been family-owned for more than 27 years. Battaglia Brothers has you covered for dinner too. There’s no way to go wrong with the fresh mozz or hand-sliced deli meats, but the unexpected outlier is Battaglia’s roast beef sandwich, which delivers a tender bite without being dry or chewy. Strut to the back of the deli to find precooked meals, such as meatloaf and chicken parm or pick up some fresh pasta.
MAIN STREET DELI
House-made empanadas, soups (split pea is a winner), and mozzarella, along with all-day breakfasts are draws at this 10-plus-year-old deli, as are the abundance of smart deals (e.g., wraps/panini come with a side for $9.95; special-combo deluxe sandwiches come with chips and soda for $9). The Midtown Combos menu lists the most intriguing handheld offerings: Try the #4, with roast pork, ham, melted Swiss, pickles, and mayo.
Owner Sophia Ferony always has a smile for her customers at this 5-year-old deli, where pillow-soft rolls, fresh wraps, and Bagel Emporium bagels cloak best-selling sandwiches, some named after Peekskill people and places. Don’t miss the Washington St. (garlic wrap with chicken cutlet, bacon, avocado, cheddar, L&T, ranch) and the Blue Mtn (spinach wrap with grilled chicken, mixed greens, bacon, tomato, onion, provolone, barbecue sauce). They even have a hand-painted sandwich mural on the ceiling, so you know they’re dedicated to the art of the handheld.
WOLF’S LANE DELI
A neighborhood institution since 1936, Wolf’s Lane is ideal for fast service and simple, fresh sandwiches. A crowd favorite is the Fast Freddie, a crispy chicken cutlet with jalapeño jack cheese, hot peppers, and mayo. If you’re in the mood for a hot dish, the chicken scarpariello with broccoli rabe has just enough flavor-to-spice ratio.
FRANK & JOE’S DELI
For a solid dozen years now, buddies Mal Costello and Rob Spitalieri have been enticing shoppers on P’ville’s main drag with fresh mozz made daily, house-made sausage, soups, and salads, every Italian dish and import under the Tuscan sun, and a butcher shop churning out Prime steaks and burgers. Tastefully arranged party platters of fresh cold cuts and Italian staples make quick getaways all weekend long, and all-day breakfast is a bonus — and sometimes a must.
Fast and accurate with orders, sizable with portions, this busy deli offers a broad menu, including sections for Mexican fare, cheesesteaks, and burgers in addition to myriad panini, wedges, and salads in just about any combination imaginable. Try a quesadilla, which comes with rice, beans, salsa, and freshly prepared guacamole. Empanadas (cheese, beef, chicken, or buffalo chicken), taquitos, and churros are also popular.
LONGO’S PARK DELI
You’ll rarely wait long to be helped or check out at owner Tony Longo’s deli, which is also a market with butcher counter (oh that house-made sausage!), produce section, prepared meals case, and gourmet groceries, such as J.B. & Sons ravioli. Gently pressed panini are a smart order (try the Monte Cristo with ham, turkey, Swiss on Arthur Avenue bread) or the fried eggplant with fresh mozz, tomato, roasted peppers, spring mix, and pesto.
A&S FINE FOODS
Save yourself the gas and parking gripes of the Arthur Ave journey: A&S Fine Foods has the same level of authentic provisions. While you’re picking up said Italian delicacies, like imported dried pasta or olive oil, also spring for a hot special — eggplant parm and sausage and peppers are among the faves. For a meal that’s easier to eat at traﬃc lights, opt for the crowd-pleasing Hot Take: buffalo chicken, cracked pepper turkey, and Pepper Jack cheese, polished off with long hots and chipotle mayo.
ROCKRIDGE DELI & FLOWER SHOP
What began as a fruit stand almost 50 years ago is now the city’s fave deli (and full-service florist). A member of the founding Lagana family is always present and will likely remember your name after but a handful of visits. A solid variety of hot foods and sandwiches can make ordering a challenge, but we’d recommend the hot roast beef with onions and cheese; the Guido Kid (ham cappy, salami, provolone, sweet peppers, creamy Italian), or the Tuscan grilled chicken (below), with artichokes, fresh mozz, tomato, and pesto mayo.
RYE RIDGE DELI
What opened as The Surrey luncheonette in 1962 has grown to a trio of Jewish sandwich shops. You can keep it simple with an overstuffed corned beef, hot pastrami, or brisket sandwich in Rye Brook (Stamford and Westport too), but there are several variations of each. Reubens (corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss), Rachels (roast turkey or pastrami, coleslaw, Swiss), The Mamaroneck (pastrami, beef tongue, Russian dressing, slaw), and the Rye Ridge Special (pastrami and corned beef, Russian dressing, slaw) are only a fraction of what’s on their massive menu.
For just shy of 20 years, this busy, petite spot at the edge of the village center has been a go-to for imported Italian specialty items, American and Italian hot entrées, inventive salads, and a grilled panini list that rivals the breadth of the Riviera. Grilled artichokes, caramelized onions, fresh mozz, and black-olive pesto compose the standout Sienna panini, but for a homegrown variation, consider the 009: hot roast beef, sautéed onions, roasted potatoes, mozzarella, and chipotle mayo.
J&G ITALIAN DELI
Fast and faster are the service levels at this friendly downtown village deli, where delicious Colombian coffee and the BEC topped with a hash browns is the way many regulars start their days. The sandwiches are reasonably priced and generously filled; try the chicken cutlet with mozz, roasted peppers, and a balsamic glaze. House-made rice pudding, a solid hot-food line, and owners who are genuine and friendly are other allures.
The fillings-to-bread ratio and quick service are on-point at this deli, which also has two locations in Putnam and one in Fairfield. The selection of breakfast sandwiches is excellent (The Windman, with two eggs, bacon, cheese, hash browns, and maple syrup, is a standout) and served until 3:30 p.m. The Mama Russo (fried eggplant, mozz, roasted red peppers, lettuce, oil and vinegar) is a worthy lunch order. Avoid the noon rush by texting your order; it will be ready and hot.
Sandwiches that can feed two (and we mean a hungry two) on superb bread, killer potato and macaroni salads, and specialty Italian cold cuts (mortadella with pistachio, hello?) are some of the draws at this deli run by father-son team Joseph and Dominic Fiteni. The Italian combo is textbook, but the #2 — hot roast beef, Muenster, grilled onions, hot peppers, mayo/mustard/cracked pepper dressing — may be the biggest showstopper.
A*S FINE FOODS OF THORNWOOD
Christopher Cardillo is the man behind the sandwich mastery at this deli, which also offers expertly butchered Prime meats and house-made sausage, specialty groceries, such as multiple brands of San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella made in-house, and fresh-filled cannoli. Original sandwiches to order include The D-Bro (aged braciole, provolone, pickled eggplant) and The Nicola (aged speck, Parmigiano-Reggiano, arugula, sun-dried tomatoes, oil, and balsamic). The Sinatra, with roast pork, broccoli rabe, and mozz, will have your taste buds crooning.
SAN FRATELLO’S DELI
Self-described by owner Sal LaMarca as “an old-school Bronx Italian deli in Tuckahoe,” this Main Street newcomer (open just before that pivotal period in 2020) became a quick hit in the neighborhood for its fresh mozz made daily in-house, authentic and flavorful Italian entrées, house-made soups, and overstuffed heroes served alongside creative down-home dishes (Philly cheesesteak fries, anyone?), and festive holiday offerings, from quesadillas to corned beef. Patio seating out front is a plus.
PAT’S DELI & CATERING
Although this local institution has changed hands a couple of times over the years, it’s always been a family show, and the Cardillo crew is currently playing a starring role. As the surname suggests, offerings sway Italian, with a near limitless line of house-made strombolis commanding immediate attention on the counters while acting as a tempting prelude to the array of artfully displayed hot entrées, mouthwatering salads, pizza by the slice, BECs, and arancini the size of a small Tuscan villa.
The waits can be long, but what do you expect from a deli/grocery that seems to have been teleported straight from Arthur Avenue? Shelves and cases replete with every sort of imported Italian good, including olives, sweets, dry and fresh pastas, old-country-style ceramic serving trays, dried meats hanging from the ceiling, house-made soups, truﬄe butter, creamy Gorgonzola, fresh figs, and more await. The devotedly assembled panini can match nearly any in the Tristate area. Italian rosemary ham, roasted pork loin, fried eggplant, and others will rouse your palate to sandwich nirvana. And don’t miss a side of the top-notch macaroni salad.
ROYAL SCARLET DELI
One step through the door of this 80-plus-year-old institution, and you’re instantly transported to the delis your grandparents frequented (read: unassuming appearance). Royal Scarlet’s massive menu includes sandwiches as simple as a ham & cheese or an Italian combo, while others are named after regular customers’ orders. Local judge Robert Neary has a sandwich named in his honor (chicken cutlet, Virginia ham, melted mozzarella, honey mustard), but so do Dave, Fernando, Claudia, and Ralph, whoever they are. Suﬃce it to say, they don’t do Instagram here or even a have website, but they do know the basics of making a superior sandwich.
MR. KOLD KUTS
The lively, good-natured counter guys at this half-century-old Yonkers Avenue deli know that the art of a good sandwich starts with fresh fillings and first-rate bread. The Mona Lisa (paper-thin prosciutto, house-made mozz, hot peppers), The Goodfella (prosciutto, eggplant, mozz, pesto), and the old-school meatballs on a crusty wedge are all must-haves. The garlic bread in the refrigerated prepared-foods case is a lesser-known gem to take home and eat with your best red sauce.
Mother-son team Maria and Joe Avitabile carry on the tradition begun by husband and father John in 1986 of fresh meats and cheeses (the in-house mozz is among the best in the county, if not the best, period), top-notch breads, more than a dozen house-made salads, like-Grandma-cooked-it hot foods, and imported Italian products. The dilemma here is what delicious item to order: the stromboli (meats and cheese rolled in pizza dough), the chicken or eggplant parm, rice balls, and the Italian combo are on the short list of must-tries.
A&S PORK STORE OF YONKERS
A step into this deli/full-service butcher open since 1980 will have your head swiveling to gawk at the surfeit of tantalizing foods on display — the kinda dreamy foodie nirvana where you come in to pick up an item or two but instead walk out with several loaded bags. Sausage and peppers, Italian combo, prosciutto sliced gossamer-thin… no matter what you order, it’s likely to be very good if not exceptional. Bonus Italian-deli street cred for selling pizzelle presses, tomato machines, and the like.
A&S PORK STORE AND FINE FOODS
Mozzarella and sausages made daily, a superb assortment of Bronx breads, and the aroma of something delicious cooking are but a few reasons for a visit to this Jefferson Valley deli/gourmet market open since 1998. Go for the chicken club (cutlet grilled or breaded and fried, mozz, roasted peppers, red onion, tomatoes, olive oil, and balsamic) or The Goodfella (Genoa salami, hot soppressata, provolone, tomato, roasted peppers, oil and vinegar) with a side of the top-notch marinated bocconcini.
*Considering the worthy options, we couldn’t choose just one deli for this town.