The Times podcast: The ever-endangered, ever-reborn Jewish deli

Two men men talk over the counter of a restaurant
Norm Langer, left, owner of Langer’s Delicatessen-Restaurant, chats with Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer at the eatery’s June 2021 reopening.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Bagels and lox, pastrami on rye and maybe a dollop of sour cream or applesauce on your latkes: The Jewish deli is a staple of American city life, and it’s delicious. But over the last decade, icons of the genre, from New York to Los Angeles, have shut down — even as the food itself has become more popular. So why are the delis disappearing?


Today we’re looking at the Jewish deli. It’s always been a nexus of tradition and assimilation, old country and new, with rugelach for dessert.

Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: The Forward national editor Rob Eshman and Mort & Betty’s chef and curator Megan Tucker

More reading:

In search of perfect pastrami: Your guide to the Jewish delis of Los Angeles

On Greenblatt’s Deli’s last night, guests waited for one final taste

The deli capital? It’s L.A.

About The Times

“The Times” is made by columnist Gustavo Arellano, senior producer Denise Guerra and producers Shannon Lin, Marina Peña, Melissa Kaplan and Ashlea Brown. Our engineer is Mario Diaz. Our editors are Lauren Raab and Shani O. Hilton. Our theme song was composed by Andrew Eapen.