The wait is over! This authentic Montreal-style deli is finally opening in Toronto

After 35 years as Thornhill’s favourite lunch spot and as an epitome for the Jewish community, Centre Street Deli is finally giving the 905 exactly what they’ve always wanted — a second location. And this time located right downtown, not the suburbs.   

Centre Street Deli Express is located on Bay Street, just north of Wellesley, and one might assume the overdue expansion aims to draw in new downtown customers, but co-owner Thavapalan N. clarifies that it’s actually for the opposite reason.

“A lot of our longtime customers — especially the younger crowd — are moving to downtown condos, so they are always asking to establish a presence in that area.”

Since 2015, Thavapalan N. has co-owned Centre Street Deli with his business partner, Nana Grande. His connection with the establishment goes back to its opening in 1988, where he has been working ever since.

@centrestreetdeli1988/Instagram

The only noticeable distinction at the express location is the limited seating, with the menu and quality of meats remaining uncompromised. The restaurant will continue to uphold its commitment to traditional recipes that have remained unchanged since its opening.

The express location will feature familiar sandwich options, including turkey clubs, corned beef, roast beef and hamburgers. Although some menu items will be made from scratch, soups and salads will be prepared at the original Thornhill location and transported to Bay Street due to the larger kitchen space there.

If the goal of Centre Street Deli is to keep alive the traditional recipes and flavours of Jewish cooking, the expansion of one of Toronto’s last remaining delis to the bustling downtown core is certainly a good way to do it.

The grand opening of Centre Street Deli’s second location is set to take place on January 23 at 995 Bay St.

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO