Sometimes you find places by chance. And on a random trip to the veterinarian a few months back, while two lovebirds shrieked in my ears, I spotted a large sign on Dempster that directed my attention to a retro brick building with large glass windows and a tiny parking lot. Now a tiny lot is one of the tell-tale signs of a great joint. If a patron is willing to maneuver their shiny new Mercedes into a precarious position next to a beat up chevy and my aging Honda Civic with nothing more than inches to spare, you know the stuff here has got to be good.
It’s a local spot right off Dempster, if you miss the entrance, you’ll have to circle around and make another go at it. Upon entering you are greeted with day old bake goods at ridiculously low prices. As you near the register you can eye-up their bagel selection and then check out the bakery display cases, that are filled with everything from ruggalach to coffee cake. And as if that wasn’t enough, head left into the deli where you grab a number and peruse the specialty items while you wait to be called by the friendly staff. Kaufman’s serves a diverse population, some patrons are from the community and have been going to Kaufman’s since they were children. Others like me randomly stopped by and now find themselves returning from the city to satisfy their hunger. If you’re lucky you can grab one of the four seats overlooking the parking lot. If not, be prepared to take your food to go.
You know, I don’t even know where to begin. They have a variety of breads, bagels, cakes, cookies, sweets and rolls. There is such a variety of goods from the bakery, I like to try something new each time. A few of my favorites are the: cinnamon twist… sweet and doughy, the cream cheese danish… rich and so fresh, and the Irish Soda Bread… its seasonal, and quite possibly the best I have ever had. If you want their amazing chive cream cheese with your bagel, you’ll have to head to the deli. If you’re not into sweets or bread, the deli has pretty much anything else you might need. I nearly died when I found out I could have all the fat trimmed off my corned beef. They have 4 different cuts of corned beef and you can request it hot or cold! They have a variety of specialty sandwiches to choose from, but my favorite is a take on the reuben, super-trim corned beef, swiss cheese and fresh cabbage slaw on rye. If you’re concerned that your heaping sandwich won’t be enough to conquer your hunger… add a knish, Matzah Ball Soup, or some potato pancakes.
I may not be a New-Yorker, but I am a fan of this Chicago Jewish Deli and its incredible bakery. It’s refreshing to see a responsible family run establishment from the 1950’s that still prides themselves on quality products and producing items in house.
Kaufman’s Bagel and Delicatessen | 4905 W Dempster | Skokie IL 60077 | 847.677.6190 |