A classic Reuben sandwich is made of corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing served on buttered, toasted rye bread. Open-faced or closed, it's a quintessentially American sandwich, and these 11 restaurants and delis have earned a reputation for making top-notch Reubens.
1. KATZINGER'S DELICATESSEN // COLUMBUS, OHIO
has been a Columbus landmark for 30 years, and their Reuben sandwich is billed as "the sandwich that built the business." The classic comes in two sizes, and the menu also features nine variations on the Reuben—including ones with slow-cooked brisket and oven-roasted turkey—to please any taste.
2. KATZ'S DELICATESSEN // NEW YORK CITY
in Manhattan was founded in 1888 and regularly appears in lists of New York's best delis. (You might also recognize it from the most memorable scene of the movie When Harry Met Sally.) Katz's goes through 8000 pounds of corned beef every week, with much of it going into their Reuben sandwiches. Their corned beef is slow-cured, which takes about 30 days and gives it a particular tenderness.
3. THE BAGEL DELI // DENVER, COLORADO
If you crave an extra amount of corned beef, The Bagel Deli offers a classic, piled-high Reuben with sauerkraut stuffed between layers of meat. You can also get a Reuben with pastrami or turkey, a hot Reuben, and variations using coleslaw.
4. SKIPPER'S SMOKEHOUSE // TAMPA, FLORIDA
boasts Floribbean cuisine, described as "a fusion of Caribbean, Florida, and Louisiana flavors." They serve seafood, crawfish, and alligator, yet they've built a reputation for their Blackened Grouper Reuben. This sandwich has a filet of grouper grilled with Cajun seasoning on rye with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Thousand Island dressing.
5. NATE 'N AL OF BEVERLY HILLS DELICATESSEN // BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA
Al Mendelson and Nate Rimer opened Nate 'n Al in Beverly Hills in 1945, and Al's grandsons Mark and David run the popular deli today. Their classic Reuben—called the "Hollywood"—is a favorite, but pastrami and turkey are also options, as are sides like potato salad and onion rings.
6. ZINGERMAN'S DELICATESSEN // ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN
Established in 1982, Zingerman's Delicatessen serves made-to-order sandwiches with locally sourced meat and bread and dressings made on site. In 2012, Zingerman's Deli's Reuben made Food & Wine's list of Best Sandwiches in America.
7. HAM HEAVEN & DEVIL DOGS // SARASOTA, FLORIDA
When former New Yorker Rocky Rocchio moved to Sarasota, he brought his penchant for class sandwiches with him. Floridians have loved it—his Reuben at Ham Heaven & Devil Dogs was once voted best in the state.
8. CRESCENT MOON // OMAHA, NEBRASKA
One of the Reuben sandwich origin stories is that it was developed at the Blackstone Hotel in Omaha, Nebraska. The Crescent Moon Ale House, which is located just a couple of blocks down from where the former hotel stood, appropriately named its Reuben sandwich after the local landmark.
9. COURT STREET GROCERS // BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
Last year, Grub Street named Court Street Grocers as the home of the best Reuben in New York (a high honor for a town known for their deli sandwiches). Court Street Grocers, which has three New York locations, makes their own "comeback" sauce for their Reuben sandwiches, described as a spicier alternative to Russian or Thousand Island dressing. They also use locally made bread and sauerkraut and concentrate on a balance of flavors instead of how much meat their Reuben contains.
10. CANTER'S DELI // LOS ANGELES
has been serving L.A. since 1931, and they say they've gone through 10 million pounds of corned beef in that time (though you can also order their Reuben with the usual alternatives—pastrami or turkey—or with a vegetarian option).
11. SAM LAGRASSA'S // BOSTON
tagline is "World's No. 1 Sandwiches," and its patrons—who regularly wait in long lines—probably agree. The family owned shop is only open during weekday lunch hours, but the take-out menu assures you can get your fix anytime, assuming you plan ahead. Their Jumbo Reuben, which comes on grilled pumpernickel, is also available for delivery.