The Thriving Jewish Deli Scene in Washington DC

When you think of Washington, DC you probably get images in your head of the White House, cherry blossoms or maybe a West Wing episode. In addition to being a political nerd’s paradise, DC has got a pretty awesome food scene these days including not one but two New-ish Jewish delis: DGS Delicatessen and the new kid on the block, On Rye.

DGS Delicatessen, which we were proud to feature several years ago, just celebrated its four-year anniversary–since launching its DC location it also has opened an outpost in DC suburb Fairfax, Virginia.  This past weekend I was visiting DC with my family and finally got the chance to stop by for brunch, where we happily indulged in DGS’ perfectly spiced Bloody Marys (they use some cumin, brilliant), pastrami egg rolls (which dripped delicious meat juice all over my shirt), brightly hued house-made pickles, poached eggs over latkes and even matzah ball soup. A true “breakfast of champions” as my daughter exclaimed.

DGS matzo ball soup

Meanwhile, On Rye, which served up its signature corned beef and pastrami sandwiches as well as babka ice cream sandwiches at Nationals games this past summer, opened a beautiful storefront in the heart of Chinatown just this past week. Not only is it serving up classic Reuben sandwiches on signature marbled rye bread, it is also serving vegetarian-friendly fare with classic deli twists: a smoked beet reuben, a portobello reuben and a crispy cauliflower sandwich in a hot dog bun.

Jewish food is trendy and delicious here in the nation’s capital, where people of all backgrounds are eager to dine on matzah brie and pastrami sandwiches for brunch. We knew that new spins on old-world classics would take over in 2016, and all signs point to yet another year of Jewish-deli-inspired noshing in the year ahead.

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