Manny's Cafeteria and Delicatessen, commonly known as Manny's Deli and sometimes known as Manny's Coffee Shop & Deli, is a delicatessen in Chicago, Illinois, United States, located in the Near West Side community area.[1][2] It has been described as "the biggest, best-known, and oldest deli in the city".[3] The deli has long been a meeting place for Chicago politicians[4][5] and became the subject of national interest because of its popularity with President Barack Obama.[6] One writer called Manny's "the second-most-likely place to see local politicians, after City Hall",[7] and former governor George Ryan referred to it in his memoir as "one of my favorite places to eat lunch in Chicago" and reminisced about once receiving a phone call from Nelson Mandela while eating a corned beef sandwich there.[8]

Manny's Cafeteria and Delicatessen
Exterior of Manny's Deli, taken from Jefferson Street
Restaurant information
Owner(s)Ken Raskin
Food typeDelicatessen
Street address1141 South Jefferson Street
CountyCook County
Postal/ZIP Code60607
CountryUnited States
Coordinates41°52′04″N 87°38′31″W / 41.8679°N 87.6419°W / 41.8679; -87.6419

History edit

Ordering at the counter

Manny's traces its history back to 1942, when the Raskin brothers, Jack and Charlie, went into business together in Chicago, opening the Purity deli located at Van Buren and Halsted streets.[9] After World War II, Jack Raskin opened his own restaurant on Roosevelt Road near Maxwell Street, where he purchased a business known as Sunny's. In order to save money, Raskin chose to name his new restaurant "Manny's" after his son Emanuel, known as Manny, thus requiring only two letters on the "Sunny's" sign to be replaced.[10][11]

The restaurant had various locations over the ensuing years, with Manny Raskin eventually taking over for his father Jack.[12] Manny Raskin moved the cafeteria to its current location at 1141 South Jefferson Street in 1964.[12][13] Manny Raskin's son Kenneth began managing the restaurant during his father's lifetime and continued to do so after his father's death in 1983.[12] It is now run by Ken Raskin[14] and Ken's son Dan.[15] It has moved multiple times through the years, and was renovated in 2016.[16] The restaurant celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2022 with Governor J. B. Pritzker in attendance.[17][18]

In 2002, a Manny's location was opened at Midway International Airport,[19] but it closed in 2017 when many of the airport's restaurants were replaced.[20]

During the COVID-19 pandemic Manny's gave away 1,000 free sandwiches to masked customers.[21][22]

In 2022, Manny's began to make some of its food available for shipping nationwide.[23]

Cuisine edit

Manny's is self-described as a "Jewish-style cafeteria",[24] although it is not kosher.[25] Among the foods it is known for are corned beef sandwiches,[26][27] pastrami sandwiches,[13][27] potato pancakes,[27][13][28] and matzo ball soup.[26][27]

References edit

  1. ^ Twietmeyer, Hannah (December 6, 2021). "The Chicago Deli Former Presidents Love To Visit".
  2. ^ Imam, Medha; Morgan, Clancy; Stuart, Matthew (October 13, 2020). "The corned beef sandwich at Manny's Cafe & Deli is a Chicago icon". Insider.
  3. ^ Sax, David (2009). Save the Deli: In Search of Perfect Pastrami, Crusty Rye, and the Heart of the Jewish Delicatessen. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 106. ISBN 9780151013845.
  4. ^ Warren, James (November 21, 2009). "At Work in Washington, at Home in Manny's Deli". The New York Times.
  5. ^ Simon, Scott (July 18, 2020). "Opinion: An Ode To Manny's Cafeteria And Delicatessen In Chicago". NPR.
  6. ^ Simon, Scott (December 6, 2008). "Obama's Lunch Love: Manny's Deli". Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  7. ^ Moser, Whet (2019). Chicago: From Vision to Metropolis. London: Reaktion Books. p. 204. ISBN 9781789140002. Retrieved December 24, 2022.
  8. ^ Ryan Sr., George H.; Possley, Maurice (September 18, 2020). Until I Could Be Sure: How I Stopped the Death Penalty in Illinois. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 207. ISBN 9781538134559. Retrieved December 24, 2022.
  9. ^ Eng, Monica (November 22, 2008). "At Manny's Deli in Chicago, President-elect Barack Obama is served corned beef with a side of applause". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  10. ^ Oppenheimer, Laura (March 25, 2008). "What's in a name". Time Out Chicago. Retrieved March 18, 2011.
  11. ^ "Spotlight on: Manny's Deli". Tastes of Chicago. Retrieved August 23, 2022.
  12. ^ a b c "Manny Raskin; owned popular coffee shop". Chicago Tribune. February 17, 1983. pp. A15.
  13. ^ a b c Hughes, Holly (2009). Frommer's 500 Places for Food & Wine Lovers. Frommer's. p. 222. ISBN 978-0470287750.
  14. ^ Schutz, Paris (July 25, 2017). "Manny's Deli Celebrates 75 Years". WTTW. Retrieved August 23, 2022.
  15. ^ Piff, Michael (May 18, 2022). "Manny's Deli: A True Chicago Classic". WGN Radio. Retrieved August 23, 2022.
  16. ^ "America's Best Jewish Delis". Food and Wine. Retrieved December 23, 2022.
  17. ^ Selvam, Ashok; Waxman, Naomi (September 20, 2022). "Manny's Deli's New Smoked Pastrami Sandwich Is a Keeper". Eater. Retrieved December 24, 2022.
  18. ^ Elwood, Patrick (August 30, 2022). "Savory Chicago staple Manny's Deli celebrates 80th anniversary". WGN-TV. Retrieved December 24, 2022.
  19. ^ Haddix, Carol Mighton; Kraig, Bruce; Sen, Colleen Taylor, eds. (2017). The Chicago Food Encyclopedia. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. ISBN 9780252099779.
  20. ^ Selvam, Ashok (May 11, 2017). "Midway Airport's Food Upgrade Adds 19 New Restaurants Starting Friday". Eater. Retrieved December 24, 2022.
  21. ^ Lewis, Sean (March 30, 2021). "Manny's Deli gave away 1,000 sandwiches Tuesday thanks to generosity of 1 person". WGN-TV.
  22. ^ Noel, Josh (March 24, 2021). "Manny's Deli didn't last 2 hours without a maskless customer in its 30-day challenge. Next week, it's still giving away free sandwiches".
  23. ^ "Manny's Deli Now Shipping Select Products Nationwide". NBC 5 Chicago. December 9, 2022. Retrieved December 24, 2022.
  24. ^ Associated Press (March 13, 2007). "Corned beef is worth its salt for butchers, delis". Archived from the original on March 29, 2007.
  25. ^ Stern, Jane; Stern, Michael (August 15, 1989). "A Taste of America: Unabashed, honest food". Deseret News. Universal Press Syndicate. pp. C5. Retrieved March 18, 2011.
  26. ^ a b Littman, Margaret. The Little Black Book of Chicago. White Plains, N.Y.: Peter Pauper Press. p. 55. ISBN 9781593598129.
  27. ^ a b c d Gibson, Kelly; Lowndes, Portia Belloc (2004). The Slow Food Guide to Chicago: Restaurants, Markets, Bars. White River Junction, Vt.: Chelsea Green Publishing. pp. 223–224. ISBN 193149861X.
  28. ^ "Hound previews the Taste". WLS-TV. June 26, 2009. Retrieved March 19, 2011.