Wednesday, 26 January 2011

The New York Deli, Cardiff

Lunch in Cardiff’s own New York Deli: a bagel oozing cream cheese and crammed with salt beef, horseradish sauce, tomato and lettuce (no pickles for me), accompanied by a mug of coffee (£5.10).

Before the bend in the High Street Arcade, you’ll see an outdoor bench, a US flag overhead, and attractive art deco windows. You enter and walk across a rustic wooden floor, past window seating, tables and chairs, modern art (by the owner's son) and a carving of a Native American, and up steps to the counter. There is also a mezzanine upstairs floor; the multilevel arrangement makes this place look bigger than it actually is.

The New York Deli was established in 1990 by New York-born Harriett Davies, who plays a very hands-on role. The place operates a loyalty card scheme to reward its many regulars. Its Take Out service is popular with local shop and office workers (they also deliver, “office catering a speciality”). You will not find friendlier staff in a snack bar in Cardiff.

Not wanting to meddle with the traditional-style American Delicatessen formula that has served them well for 21 years, the New York Deli has declared itself a mobile phone free zone and there’s no Wi-Fi in sight. So, a good choice if you want a break from electronic information overload while you eat. There is a laid-back atmosphere and period music: early Led Zeppelin while I lunched.

The bread choice is bagels (white or cinnamon raisin), sliced wholemeal or light rye, and hoagies (long soft bread rolls “for the very hungry”); it would appear the White House Special hoagie is not for the faint-hearted. Numerous fillings are available, including ham, pastrami, tuna, bacon, smoked salmon cheese (Swiss, cheddar, Brie, provolone, Philadelphia), and a range of salad garnishes. In fact, you can make combinations up to suit your particular taste. The Harriett Special is a bagel with ham, cream cheese, sweet thai chilli sauce and gherkin. Currently, a breakfast bagel option looks particularly good value.

Think Subway, but as a local one-off; it's friendlier and offers a more authentic Deli dining experience.

The New York Deli, 19 High St Arcade, Cardiff. Tel: (029) 2038 8388


  1. Sounds like a nice place, with good food.

  2. Cracking food! Some massive New York special absolutely stuffed me out! Took forever to eat but was so full of flavour!

    Well recommended! Not too sure non-wifi is a good or bad thing?


  3. For more photos and additional info on the New York Deli see this post in Amy Davies' excellent Arcades Project blog:

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