The Jewish Deli: An Illustrated Guide to the Chosen Food (Hardcover)

The Jewish Deli: An Illustrated Guide to the Chosen Food By Ben Nadler Cover Image
Available For In-Store or Curbside Pickup
In Store
1 on hand, as of Jun 14 8:00pm


A delightful celebration of Jewish delicatessens in an accessible comics format, full of history and humor, and guaranteed to make you hungry.

Beloved culinary and cultural institutions, Jewish delis are wonderlands of amazing flavors and great food—bright, buttery, briny, sweet, fatty, salty, smoky. . . . In The Jewish Deli, comics artist and deli aficionado Ben Nadler takes a deliciously entertaining deep dive into the history and culture of this food and the places that serve it up to us across the counter.
Chapters guide readers through the details and delights of each major food category, all playfully illustrated and each more irresistibly noshable than the last, including:
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Bagels and bread
  • Schmears
  • Soups and sides
  • Sweets
  • Drinks
A visual treat, this accessible and informative nonfiction graphic novel delivers stories of tradition and innovation, celebrations of iconic menu staples, flavor profiles, food preparations, ordering advice, spotlights on legendary and up-and-coming delis, and much more.

DELICIOUS HISTORY: The history of a people is found in its food, and in this book! Trace the history of Jewish cuisine from ancient days to the birth of the modern deli as we know and love it now.

DESTINATION DINING: When this book makes you hungry, plan a visit to one of the sensational North American delis featured in its pages, including Manhattan's Kenny and Ziggy's, Montreal's Schwartz's, Atlanta's The General Muir, Brooklyn's Shalom Japan, and many more

FOR FOODIES AND FOLKS ALIKE: Nadler shares colorful, researched stories of deli food, preparations, traditions, and innovations that entertain and inform, whether you're a deli expert or just find yourself wondering where bagels (or babka, or matzo ball soup, or the Reuben) come from.

FUN COMICS STYLE: Fans of Relish: My Life in the Kitchen and Cook Korean: A Comic Book with Recipes will love Ben Nadler's fresh and colorful illustrated approach to the food and culture of the Jewish deli.

Perfect for:
  • The ultimate gift for foodies, deli devotees, and anyone hungry for more culinary knowledge
  • Jewish history and culture buffs
  • A must-have resource for all who love Jewish customs, cooking, and comedy
  • Pairing with Jewish foods or cookbooks for birthday, bar or bat mitzvah, Chanukah, or Passover hostess gifts
  • Fans of nonfiction comics and graphic novels

About the Author

Ben Nadler is an illustrator, designer, writer, and comics artist originally from Wisconsin. A graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Illustration, he now lives, works, and enjoys the Jewish delis in New York City.

Praise For…

"With whimsy and a comic-style approach, the book touches on the history of Jewish delis; explores iconic items such as “The Smoked Meat Sandwich,” “The Reuben Sandwich,” and “Chopped Liver”; and interviews the owners of some of the best-known establishments around...It’s impossible to leaf through this book without developing some major cravings, too."

—Food Gal

"The Jewish Deli allows readers to learn the history of Jewish deli food, by first absorbing the look of the food with their eyes. The carefully detailed, colorful drawings leave nothing out...makes you feel one step closer to a juicy bite of food yourself. The images pop to life, allowing readers to feel like deli food is within reach."

—Jewlish (AISH)

“This book is the greatest thing to happen to Jewish deli since mustard met cured meats. A brilliant, hilarious mitzvah on every page!”—David Sax, author of Save the Deli: In Search of Perfect Pastrami, Crusty Rye, and the Heart of Jewish Delicatessen

An epic ode to glorious deli eats! Keep a pastrami sandwich on hand during your reading. This book is a great combination of passion, instruction, history and cool tips, and the art is rad.”—Lucy Knisley, author of Relish: My Life in the Kitchen

"Packed with comics exploring Jewish history, vivid renderings of NYC's Jewish delis and delightful illustrations of everything from knishes to latkes, the book makes for a mouthwatering read"

TimeOut New York

"This is fun: The Jewish Deli by Ben Nadler is an illustrated guide to delis that covers the history, hallmarks, and landmarks (Canter’s! Katz’s! More!) of this storied genre of food purveyor."

—The Stained Page News

Best Cookbooks of July selection


"This book is 256 pages of joy, replete with Alaskan king salmon wear­ing crowns and an adorable car­toon parve rugelach cozi­ly sand­wiched between its bud­dies, a milk jug in Crocs and a chick­en drum­stick with plaid socks...This won­der­ful book will sure­ly appeal to any­one who is hun­gry to learn more about the his­to­ry of Ashke­nazi com­fort food."

—The Jewish Book Council

Product Details
ISBN: 9781797205243
ISBN-10: 1797205242
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: July 11th, 2023
Pages: 248
Language: English