"The wood-panelled walls evoke the homey feeling of being in someone’s den, all that’s missing is the shag rug."
It’s rare that Los Angeles can outdo New York in anything remotely indigenous to New York: Not subways, not bagels, not skylines. We can, however, claim the best hot pastrami sandwich of the coasts—the nation, really. Since opening shop on the corner of 7th and Alvarado in 1947, Langer’s Delicatessen is revered citywide for its timeless appeal and its signature twice-baked rye bread.
Langer’s decor rings very 70s with an earth-toned color palette and odd pops of yellow and orange. The wood-panelled walls evoke the homey feeling of being in someone’s den, all that’s missing is the shag rug. Slide into one of the numbered booths and a bowtie-clad waiter will be right over to promptly to take your order. There’s a wide range of comfort foods on offer at Langer’s, but we strongly encourage you to get the #19 if you’ve never tasted it before (save the brisket for your next visit). And if you can’t dine-in, preorder your pastrami to-go and pick it up curbside. Unlike any restaurant we’ve visited, Langer’s has an authentic, community feel. It’s not easy to replicate—though many restaurants do try—and it’s certainly not common in a city as expansive as LA.
From humble beginnings, Al Langer and his wife, Jean—both intrepid entrepreneurs—opened the delicatessen of their dreams in a then thriving neighborhood in Los Angeles. Today, the neighboring MacArthur Park is dilapidated, but the deli perseveres, serving customers one after another with their signature sandwich. For Al, this deli was a labor of love for a city to which he was proudly devoted. Nearly 70 years later, that feeling remains.