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Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery

Restaurant, Deli / Bodega, and Bakery
West Los Angeles, Santa Monica
318 Tips and reviews
  • sandwiches
  • delis
  • Italian food
  • lively
  • authentic
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  • The Standard
    The StandardJuly 24, 2015
    Get the Godmother sandwich with the works. The perfect sandwich to take to the beach or a night at the Hollywood Bowl. Pro–Tip: order ahead online to avoid having to wait in the long deli line.
  • Sonny L.
    Sonny LeeAugust 7, 2014
    Been here 10+ times
    What to get: Godmother with the works, hot peppers, let it sit for a bit so bread soaks and gets softer. Order online so you don't have to wait. Often they have pre-made godmothers in two spots too.
  • Jennifer M.
    Jennifer MaasSeptember 9, 2015
    Been here 10+ times
    The Godmother is a classic and the reason most people go. But take the time to look around the whole store and grab an authentic Italian soda and some imported candy to go with your yummy sandwich.
    Upvoted 1 day ago
  • Thrillist
    ThrillistMay 1, 2014
    There're two macaroni & cheese dishes at Bay Cities, but there's only one that you want. It's got eight cheeses and a crusty exterior made from crumbs from their bread, and is crazy -- CRAZY -- good. Read more
  • Michelle F.
    What's not to like? Buy 2 loaves of the fresh hot bread that they keep in baskets by the cheese counter. I love everything in this place. Hot food bar and sandwich bar are awesome.
  • Shaw
    ShawAugust 8, 2014
    Been here 5+ times
    Spicy godmother with the works. Crusty bread and all the goodness in between. Right up there in the Italian hero pantheon alongside the Pinocchio at Alidoro in NYC.
  • Ben K.
    Ben Kessler (@kessler)December 29, 2014
    If it's your first time you really need to get the Godmother with the works, definitely one of the better Italian sandwiches I've eaten in my life.
  • GMoney
    GMoneyMay 10, 2013
    The pastrami sandwich I had was very good. I really loved their bread coz it's crispy on the outside. They give you the option of adding either mild or hot chilis. Of course, I went with hot!
  • Glarence Z.
    Glarence ZhaoFebruary 12
    Not sure what sandwich bread I got but was incredible, nice crunch and soft inside, some of the best ive had, one up on the god mother, check the fridge aisles for packaged foods instead of ordering
  • Bon Appetit Magazine
    Grab a ticket at the magnificent deli and listen closely for one of the guys behind the counter to call your number (don’t space out; they move on before you know it). Read more
  • Caty S.
    Caty SoloneAugust 7, 2014
    The Godmother is my favorite sandwich at Bay Cities for sure! I also love all of the snack and drink options they carry. They have a unique, but big selection! Love it!
  • Jason H.
    Jason H.April 6
    Great sandwiches. Be creative and order something OTHER than the Godmother. Order online to save time. Be warned - no bathroom so you need to sneak into Swingers next door....
  • Harout D.
    Harout DerassoyanJune 15, 2015
    Everything is good here... Godmother is their signature sandwich, but don't be afraid to try everything else... I love the mesquite turkey with the works with Dijon mustard
  • LA Weekly
    LA WeeklyAugust 4, 2014
    Fully dressed, a Godmother feeds a couple of people at least; the guys behind the counter will look at you quizzically if they suspect you're planning to eat a whole one yourself. Read more
  • Connie C.
    Connie CollJuly 24, 2014
    The Godmother Sandwich Extra Spicy! I am Speechless with their Selections, Food & Service. ...Best away to avoid waiting in long lines, Sameday OnLine Ordering Simple & Easy!!
  • Jeremiah R.
    Jeremiah RagadioJanuary 7, 2012
    The hot pastrami is the best sandwich in LA (arguably the best anywhere). Get a large either hot or mild, jalapeno potato chips, an Orangina, and lots of napkins. The italian rolls are to die for.
  • Clean Bay R.
    Congrats to Bay Cities Italian Deli for passing their Clean Bay Restaurant Certification! They're doing their part to keep the Santa Monica Bay clean! Learn more:
  • @jasonyi924
    @jasonyi924February 20, 2012
    Been here 10+ times
    Any sandwich is amazing here -- they use only the best deli meats from Boar's Head and they use their crunchy sourdough bread. Order a loaf of freshly-baked sourdough bread to enjoy at home.
  • Meg L.
    Meg L.August 19, 2011
    Order online to avoid the madness of lunch rush. For your first time or anytime, the Godmother (with the works) is a solid classic. Their bread is also delicious to buy/take. Fun drinks inside.
  • Justin O.
    Justin OrdovezaSeptember 19, 2014
    Parking is a nightmare especially around lunch. There is an express lane to get the godmother sandwich on the opposite side of store across from the deli counter.
  • Offbeat L.A.
    Classic Italian market opened in 1925, serving deli sandwiches. The "Godmother" sandwich was first made in 1952. The exterior was given a modern remodel in 2010.
  • Nina M.
    Nina MoJune 9, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    the godmother works, caprese w prosciutto and the ready made baguettes w prosciutto (if long wait). Love the market! The exploratore cheese, hot sauces, fresh bread, creamy balsamic, truffle oil..yum
  • Nick B.
    Nick BurdApril 11, 2014
    Been here 5+ times
    The Godmother with the works and hot peppers. Also: their sandwiches may get all the love but spice heads should check out their stellar hot sauce selection.
  • Tom O.
    Tom OdellSeptember 3, 2011
    Been here 50+ times
    Probably best deli in Los Angeles. My favorite sandwich is the tri-tip but they're world famous for their "Godmother" sandwich. Staff is incredibly friendly despite being swamped from open to close.
  • Phillip W.
    Phillip WoodOctober 18, 2014
    Take a number & keep your ears open for it - they move fast. The deli gets a lot of the attention, but the European grocery carries loads of little continental treats.
  • Matt P.
    Matt PinnerDecember 30, 2012
    Always grab a couple fresh loafs from the back; one for you and one for a friend. They even sometime have them baked with tomatoes and basil inside
  • Scott R.
    Scott R.July 24, 2013
    Known for the sandos but a full Italian market with a great selection of cordials/liqueurs and kitchen accoutremonts.
  • Allan P.
    Allan ParsonsFebruary 16, 2013
    Been here 10+ times
    Don't be that asshole that saves a table for your 3 friends waiting on the sandwich line for 45 minutes. Some of us already with our sandwiches want to sit down to eat them.
  • Justin D.
    Justin DeanJanuary 3, 2015
    Skip the line: order The Godmother ahead online or get a meatball sub at the hot counter. They are, respectively, the #1 and #2 sandwich of LA.
  • Clean Bay R.
    Bay Cities Italian Deli is part of the Clean Bay Restaurant Program, helping to reduce stormwater pollution in Santa Monica Bay! To learn more, visit:
  • Steve J.
    Steve JohnstonOctober 16, 2014
    The place can get a little hectic, but they crank out a lot of great food. Try the meatball sandwich, a simple approach to a classic.
  • Clean Bay R.
    Bay Cities is a certified restaurant of the Clean Bay Restaurant Program, helping to reduce stormwater pollution in Santa Monica Bay! Learn about or find more certified restaurants at Read more
  • Voice Places
    Voice PlacesMarch 11, 2013
    Our members say, "Squid Ink is always raving about this place. I now see why," and "this is pretty much hands down your best bet for sandwiches in LA." Read more
  • kristine b.
    kristine b.November 2, 2012
    If you're in a hurry, pre-order online (and of course, order the Godmother). If you have some time, browse the crazy selection of all things cooking.
  • Brian W.
    Brian WilliamsonNovember 7, 2013
    Here for a sandwich? Godmother w/ the works. Spicy. Order ahead online and save yourself 30-45 minutes (long wait, but worth it).
  • Trent R.
    Trent RipperAugust 14, 2013
    So busy but easy to just walk in and grab a Goddess sandwich. Great local vibe that travelers can feel a bit cool being amongst.
  • Alyssa B.
    Alyssa BereznakOctober 25, 2015
    Subs so good I wanna cry. The Godmother and caprese sandwiches are my faves. Truffle oil chips make a nice side.
  • Stephen K.
    Stephen KoontzSeptember 9, 2014
    Amazing and large sandwiches. Best in Santa Monica. Extremely popular. I recommend ordering online to cut down wait time.
  • Food Network
    Food NetworkAugust 17, 2011
    On The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken both recommend Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery for their Godmother Sandwich and other specialties. Find more tips at FN Local. Read more
  • Lina A.
    Lina A.April 27, 2015
    All sandwiches are amazing, if you can't make up your mind just order the special and make your own sandwich ;)
  • Jamie F
    Jamie FMay 18, 2013
    The most amazing Italian food market w everything you could possibly dream of and the Godmother die for.
  • Casey S.
    Casey SchendelAugust 18, 2013
    There bread pudding is THE best bread pudding of anywhere. Grab it in the cold case behind the first check out lane.
  • Joe Y.
    Joe YocumMay 11, 2014
    The Godmother sandwich is their signature sandwich. I totally recommend it. The lines can be really long though at this Deli !
  • Riquel S.
    Riquel ShaneJune 3, 2013
    First time here, I got The GodMother after all the talk iv seen about it. It was delicious. I will be back!!!!!
  • Kate R.
    Kate RoseJuly 28, 2011
    The actual place is shit. However, I have dreamed about their Capresse with Roast beef for weeks. Freshest of the fresh roast beef, balsamic & basil. Unbelievably good. Shame about the bitchy service
  • Tara
    TaraAugust 11, 2013
    I came to try the Godmother. There was a long line of people at the deli counter. Was thrilled when they put out a basket of Godmother sandwiches for everyone.
  • Jada Pada
    Jada PadaJanuary 6, 2013
    The godmother is good, I admit. It's not the best sandwich ever, though. All who said that, obviously, hasn't had a po' boy in New Orleans.
  • Alexander K.
    Alexander KeimJuly 20, 2013
    Great sandwiches at a reasonable price for the area. It was worth the wait. A bit too much mustard on mine though.
  • Georgiana J.
    Georgiana JianuDecember 6, 2014
    Fancy small shop with international food. Found nougat here and panettone with chocolate. Great sandwiches. Parking sucks
  • Mat M.
    Mat MSeptember 28, 2014
    The godmother here is definitely the best sandwich I've had in LA. The Burrata Caprese is another solid pick!
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