#6 Chompie’s Phoenix, AZ
This is getting very tough. My final six restaurants are on a different level than the rest. Take nothing away from the others, but we are in serious territory with these last few. I stumbled upon Chompie’s a few years back on a Spring Training baseball trip with my brother. The baseball was great…Chompie’s was better. You may be in the desert, but when you walk through the doors of this deli, you are sent straight back to Queens, NY. It’s really hard to even know where to begin, so I’ll start with bagel chips. Their version of chips and salsa….the wise owners of Chompie’s feel no need wasting stale bagels. After a basket of those, I move on to the classic good matzo ball soup. A sandwich usually follows. Can’t go wrong with a mile-high pastrami or corned beef. Not into sandwiches? Don’t worry, at Chompie’s you could go an entire year and never order the same thing…I’ve never seen a bigger menu and I’ve never gotten something bad. I went there three times that first trip and twice when I went back two years later. Tried out the breakfast skillet on my second go round and was not disappointed. Did I mention the bakery? Leaving Chompie’s without a Black and White cookie is a sin. I’ve been to several NY-style delis through the years. None uphold that true New York feel like Chompie’s.