Deli-cate Offerings (City Deli)

City Deli, 15 N. Willow St, Trenton, NJ
M-F: 6 AM - 4 PM
(609) 695-1119   Google Maps

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(Covid Update Dec 2021 – in business) City Deli is a somewhat misleading name for a small restaurant near the statehouse that is serving up an ambitious, home-cooked, vegetarian-friendly menu.  If you’re a carnivore, don’t let the veggie-friendly tag get in the way: you’ll find plenty to eat, too.

Indeed the menu is astonishingly broad, ranging from the best salad bar in town, to burgers, pizza, Italian entrees, and Mexican food.  Not to mention a full, hot breakfast menu featuring omelets, pancakes, and French toast.  I’ve sampled a modest cross section, and so far the quality has ranged from decent to really good.

Chicken Marsala

Take, for example, the chicken Marsala entree you see in the photo. For $7.25 (July 2015) it was an ample portion of chicken and pene pasta.  The Marsala sauce was appropriately garlicky, and redolent with carmelized onions.  The chicken breast was overcooked by about 10 seconds, so it was a tiny bit tough, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, and in recent months I’ve paid 2x as much for food not nearly as good.

What got me to visit City Deli was the salad bar.  My informant is a vegan woman who lives and works in town.  She swears by the joint, and I can see why.  It’s a very ambitious salad bar.  It has all the usual fixin’s (romaine lettuce, red onions, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, beets, kidney beans) and a fair number of more exotic  items that seem to rotate: artichoke hearts, stuffed dolma, florentine ravioli, green bean salad, lima beans, marinated mushrooms, and sun-dried tomatoes (among other items).  For protein, there’s grilled chicken, shrimp salad, tofu, and hard boiled eggs.  You can put together a truly nice meal and not spend of fortune ($6.99/lbs in 2015).

Pizza sliceI’m not a huge fan of their pizza (the crust went missing), but it’s a decent, NY style slice.  BTW, did I mention homemade soups which rotate daily?  Or the Buffalo wings?  Or the Cuban specialities?  Given the huge range of offerings, if you can’t find something you’ll want to eat, you’re probably a cyborg.

Really, overall, you’ll have to spend a lot more to get a better prepared meal downtown.  Most of City Deli’s business is take out (to a host of regular customers, judging from the large number the cashier greets by name).  But there are also a half dozen tables crammed into a small space where you can eat in.  Highly recommended for its tasty, inexpensive, home-cooked food.

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American | Burgers/Sandwiches | Restaurants

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