Carl’s is a quaint little hot spot resembling the closest thing to a New York Deli. Enjoy Breakfast, lunch or dinner 7 days a week. Thanks for supporting your local delicatessen!

Open Daily 8 a.m.–10 p.m. & Sunday 11 a.m.–9 p.m.


"Fresh, clean Carl's a Hyde Park mainstay"

  This article appeared in The Cincinnati Enquirer June 19, 2009 when Anne ran the business.


Cincinnati Enquirer Weekend / Life Section, page E6

By Pama Mitchell, Enquirer contributor

Carl's Deli, a little storefront on a residential stretch of Hyde Park, is a hybrid sandwich shop, gourmet -to-go, coffee house and convenience store. Patrons here tend to be either shoppers from nearby stores popping in for lunch or neighbors looking for a dinner to heat up at home, perhaps along with a bottle of wine or a six-pack of beer.

Owned mostly by members of one extended Cincinnati family since 1933, Carl's Deli stays busy seven days a week pulling in the most customers around lunch time.

The first thing you'll notice is the well-lit deli case full of salads, casseroles, and grab-and-go soups and spreads. A fresh broccoli salad with bacon and dried cranberries catches our eye, as does the turkey meatloaf and the daily special chicken and rice dish. Also featured are four house-made soups ($3.60 cup, $4.80 bowl).

The permanent chalkboard lists no fewer than 31 sandwich combinations from the ordinary (PB & J "for the little guys:) to the more fanciful (hot ham and swiss over egg salad, veggies veggies with scallion cream cheese and ranch dressing on wheat bread) at prices averaging $6-$7. There;s also at least one quiche every day and plenty of sweet treats, including carrot cake, cheese cake, and cookies made by a local baker.



IF YOU GO: Carl's Deli

The bill:
$18.20 plus tip
Where: 2836 Observatory Ave., Hyde Park
When: 8 a.m-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday,
11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday.
Paying for it: MasterCard and Visa
Information: (513) 871-2275

You have to keep a sharp eye to find Carl's which has minimal signage. it's mostly a carry-out business with just a handful of tables indoors and two on the sidewalk, so don't expect to bring the family or a group of friends and linger.

One of my favorite summer dishes was on the list of soups - gazpacho - but the sandwich array also looked too good to skip. My friend and I both opted for the soup and half-sandwich deal for $6.99 each. She was in the mood for egg salad and ordered creamy tomato bisque as her soup. To go with my gazpacho - bursting with fresh tomato taste but no discernable jalapeno - i tried hot crab and artichoke salad, which comes on a croissant. I switched to multi-grain bread, a good idea since the salad was oozing with melted swiss and cheddar cheeses and didn't need more richness. We each had a cup of coffee ($1.50).

Carl's also offers egg dishes and a few other breakfast items each day until 11 a.m. Their avowed "business philosophy" is to keep the place fully staffed, make sure the food is fresh and the store clean every day.

That's added up to more than 75 years of success.



Ashley Anne McManus
Sole Proprietor

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