By Daniel Paris

When I lived in Boston I scoured the city’s North End for Italian delis in hopes of finding a place where I could get a great sub and stock up on imported Italian groceries.  Flash forward thirty years to Palm Desert’s “North End” when I walked in to The Real Italian Deli.

John Devita’s deli and adjacent bakery stacks up favorably to any east or west coast Italian deli.  The fresh-baked breads, high quality meats and cheeses, plus the house-made condiments and pickled veggies combine to make an outstanding sandwich at a reasonable price.  The only thing missing is the east coast attitude of the sandwich makers.

The store is generously stocked with olive oils, ready-to-go entrees both fresh and frozen.  An impressive variety of pastas, sauces, specialty canned products such as anchovy, canned tuna, sardines, octopus and San Marzano tomatoes are available.  An entire glass freezer locker is devoted to Italian desserts.  Gelato, spumoni, tiramisu and cannoli tempt those with an active sweet tooth.  The adjacent bakery offers beautifully displayed pastries and brads.


I suggest ordering ahead as the area around the sandwich counter is limited.  The Real Italian Deli has their act together since their business was primarily takeout  prior to the advent of the Covid-19  crisis.  High quality and authentic flavors are a trademark of their cuisine.  There are no bad choices here.

If only I could figure out how to shelter in place here…

The Real Italian Deli (2 Locations)

44795 San Pablo Ave. Ste. 1

Palm Desert, Ca. 92260

(760) 836-1493

Hours: M-Sat.   9-5   Sun. 11-3

Palm Springs:

100 S. Sunrise Way. Ste. B

Palm Springs, Ca. 92262

(760) 325-3800