Bay Cities Deli, Santa Monica

Based on the reviews on Yelp, Bay Cities is THE place for sandwiches in Santa Monica.
The Bay Cities Deli famous Godmother sandwich.

Unfortunately, I am giving Bay Cities Deli a big zero Pig rating for their sandwiches. A big 0! I won't feel bad either. Maybe the people of Santa Monica never had a good sandwich. If you want a solid sandwich, I'd go to Langer's in DTLA or Ike's in San Francisco. But this place, Bay Cities, a big Z-E-R-O.

Why? Its their bread. Their bread is tough to bite into. You have to pull the sandwich from a tight grip with your teeth. Then you chop on the hard crust, only to rip the roof of your mouth. Then you continue to break down the bread till your jaws get sore. Its not a fun experience. Sandwiches are all about the wrapping - the bread. I had the standard Italian roll, as most everyone does.

With this mouth ripping bread experience, I am not sure why so many people are willing to wait, up to 1/2 hour to get their sandwiches. Then we had to wait another 15 minutes in line to pay for them. On top of that, the parking situation was horrible. Thanks goodness, the turnover rate is high, with people coming in and out.

I guess I will mention the sandwiches that we had. We had their famous Godmother with Genoa Salami, Mortadella Coppacola, Ham, Prosciutto, and Provolone, which had a decent flavor with the different deli meats. I did like the combination of the meats. I also had to try the Hot Pastrami, as I had to - to compare with Langer's and Katz. Unfortunately, the bread just made me want to cry with this one. I figure I have to mention my friend also had the Veggie Only - with Avocado Spread, Cucumber Slices, Lettuce, Tomato, Pickles, Olives, Onions, Oil & Vinegar. Hmm. . .avocado spread sounds interesting.

Anyways. . .I would stay away with Bay Cities. And I hope you do the same.

The Veggie Only sandwich. Notice the bread. If you want a good sandwich with great bread - look for the Dutch Crunch at Ike's in SF.

The Hot Pastrami at Bay Cities Deli. Nice try . . . but no cigar. If you want a good pastrami, go to Langer's or even Canter's.

0 pigs, $$

Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery
1517 Lincoln Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 395-8279

Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery on Urbanspoon
Bay Cities Deli in Los Angeles


  1. I went there once because I wanted to try the Godmother. It was obvious it was going to take longer than 30 minutes to order, maybe as much as an hour, just a complete cluster****. So I left. While it doesn't look bad, it looks like I made the right decision.

  2. the bread is awesome, if you don't want crusty rbead, don't order it. there are plenty of other styles to choose from.

    i can't belive you compared bay cities to canter's.
    i know canter's is an institution but it's not actually any good. it's jsut that everything else around there is worse. and it's open 24 hours.
    yes the staff can be abrupt, you probably would be too if you served 500 sandwiches a day, and had some idiot wait for ages and then still din't know what they wanted.

  3. Granted this may be over a year later and thus somewhat irrelevant, but I feel it needs to be said. To anonymous above, Canter's: pretty delicious east coast style deli. And Langer's, a damn good pastrami; probably THE best I've had while living here in Los Angeles.

    But comparing these two to Bay Cities is like trying to compare you're favorite comedy flick versus a sci-fi film. Theyre just different ends of the spectrum.

    No Santa Monica native expects to find a great Jewish-style deli sandwich at Bay Cities. You go there for the Italian food, and that is something that they do phenominally well. Great homemade pasta and sauce; killer meatballs with a pork/veal/beef mixture and the proper proportions of cheese, basil, and bread crumbs mixed in; carefully selected italian coldcuts and produce. The place is surely with at the very least "one pig rating." But then again Mr. or Ms. Thirsty Pig Poster, you may just not know you're Itlian food


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