Downtown Deli, a Scranton Staple

Downtown Deli french toast

By Leandria Hercules – Staff Writer

Imagine a dollop of delicate, whipped butter gently sliding off from the warm stack of sweet pancakes. 

There’s the slow drizzle of sticky brown syrup just waiting to sweeten up your meal, followed by the light sprinkling of confectioners sugar as if it’s the first freshly fallen snow day of the cold season. 

Want something on the go?  What about the classic bacon, egg, and cheese on a bagel?  Feeling lunch?  How about a comforting burger and fries?  A thick, juicy Angus beef patty covered with melted American cheese, crisp lettuce, freshly-sliced tomatoes, and rings of sharp red onion, put together between two buttery brioche buns with a bed of crisp french fries.  

Embrace about the casual atmosphere of Downtown Deli.  You’re surrounded  by smiling faces, enjoying both their meals and their day.  The large glass windows bring an inviting ambiance as the busy streets of Downtown Scranton fill the view. A simple time to window-watch all the cars driving by and people going about their day. 

Downtown Deli is an experience because you get the welcoming feel where one can sit down and relax.  Feel free to catch up with friends or read a book.  Enjoy a diner-inspired meal while watching the hustles and bustles of the real world while you’re stepping back and enjoying the comfort of classic food.  

Downtown Deli is located at 300 Biden St. they are open every day from 8:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m.  Downtown Deli specializes in breakfast and lunch menu items varying from customisable French toast to sandwiches and salads. 

Recently, they have opened up a new addition to the restaurant which is a coffee shop that sells both coffee and smoothies.  Downtown Deli is also a family friendly establishment that students frequently eat at. 

Gianna Manzo, a U of S graduate and Downtown Deli Hostess explained in person about the aesthetic of Downtown Deli.  

“I would say it’s a pretty good family dynamic in there and definitely make you feel welcomed and always go outta their way to please everybody.”  

For Downtown Deli, everything is made fresh in house from their macaroni salad to their cookies.  Their Dave’s chocolate chip cookies are a top seller for their grab and go section.  

“We make the Dave’s brand of chocolate chip cookies every morning,.. Yeah, so we put those in the oven and um, wrap ’em up and people like those a lot….” Says Manzo in regards to the chocolate chip cookies. 

Manzo then goes deeper in depth about the grab and go section, “they cook the pasta and everything for the macaroni salad and when I work counter sometimes we throw it in the cups and put it out there for everybody, so that’s all homemade. I’ve used a melon baller to make all the fruit cups before… everything’s fresh and all the cooks, they make everything to order.” 

Students Julia Klotz and Zainab Shah both frequent Downtown Deli often and pointed out during an in-person interview what their go-to’s on the menu are. 

“I like their pancakes for breakfast and usually for lunch I’d get like a hoagie. I always get the same one. It’s the Spruce Street one. It has turkey, lettuce, tomato, and like a cranberry mayo. Okay. That I really like. And mozzarella cheese.”  Says Klotz. 

“What do I usually get? They’ve got this chicken parmesan. It’s… the sandwich, but it’s so good. You get that with like, there’s ginger ale and it is so, so good. So most of the time I’ve been there maybe like seven or eight times… so far. And I think a solid two or three times I’ve just gone for the chicken parm.”  Says Shah. 

Manzo points out that some menu favorites are the sweet cream pancakes, the avocado toast with egg, and their Jersey Girl Sandwich which has chicken and a mayo pesto.   

With new specials each week, Downtown Deli focuses on providing the freshest ingredients and a smooth dining experience despite how busy it gets.  The best time to beat the lunch rush is to get there before 11:00 a.m, Manzo recommends.  

In regards to hours, both Klotz and Shah explain their dislike for the hours since they close in the early afternoon.   

“I do not like their hours. Because I feel like they close early. I think they close at 3:00 o’clock and on like a Sunday sometimes… my mom and I will want to go to lunch there, but it’ll be like 1:30-2 o’clock and then usually it’s very busy at Downtown Deli, so the wait is kind of…, like 10, like 15, 20 minutes sometimes. So then we’re like, “Oh no, we can’t go there cause they’re gonna be closing soon.” So I wish they were open a little bit later.” Says Klotz in regards to a past experience she’s had with the hours. 

Shah also adds in her input about the short hours, “Oh yeah, I mean eight to three. It’s okay. It’s a cafe, but I think they could extend it to maybe like 4:00 p.m or 5:00 p.m so that it covers that like early dinner, light snack, tea sort of period between four and five, but Okay. Pretty solid I guess.” 

Disregarding the short hours, Downtown Deli is the place to be.  The food is classic, American-style and fresh.  The atmosphere is family-friendly, clean, and a good place to look out the windows and relax or even do an assignment. You can find more information about Downtown Deli at @downtowndeliandeatery on Instagram, Facebook page, or their website

Hours: Sunday-Saturday: 8:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m.