Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery's profile photo
Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery
Today 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Contact Information
1517 Lincoln Blvd Santa Monica, CA 90401
1517 Lincoln BoulevardUSCaliforniaSanta Monica90401
$Deli, Wine Store
Wine Store
Sandwich Shop
Today 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Monday ClosedTuesday 9:00 am – 7:00 pmWednesday 9:00 am – 7:00 pmThursday 9:00 am – 7:00 pmFriday 9:00 am – 7:00 pmSaturday 9:00 am – 7:00 pmSunday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
A Tradition In Santa Monica Since 1925
Gourmet Market Specializing In:
Italian specialty foods, Argentine, Greek, French and 
Middle Eastern Groceries
Fresh Pasta Made On Site
Italian Bread & Rolls Baked every 20 minutes!
Espresso Bar ? Sfogliatelle ? Cannoli
Gourmet Cheese Shop and Olive Bar
Full Service Deli ? Party Trays ? Gift Baskets
 Imported Liqueurs and Wines of The World

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Review Summary
250 reviews
5 star
131 reviews
4 star
80 reviews
3 star
23 reviews
2 star
6 reviews
1 star
10 reviews
Local staple known for its signature overstuffed sandwiches, Italian deli fare & gourmet groceries.- Google
"The Godmother is the best sandwich I've ever tasted."
"Hands down best deli sandwich I have ever had."
Featured by Zagat
Best Restaurants in Santa Monica
, and 4 other lists
See more from Zagat
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All reviews
tim mcclarty's profile photo
tim mcclarty
3 weeks ago
More than a sandwich shop, it is an Italian grocery store that has a deli in it. Service is very slow... great food... The GODMOTHER is a very good cold sandwich, but the best? I think that over rates it. Pulled pork with peppers recommended. Next time I'll try the rueben or the spaniard. Macaroni salad, for Macaroni salad, was very good.
Doug Rawson's profile photo
Doug Rawson
a month ago
This is an interesting place - good food but nasty - think Soup Nazi. They yell at customers, refuse to fix any order for any reason ("we've never had a complaint about this" - I must be lying) have lines out he door to both order and a long line to pay. As an example of Soup Nazi - they yelled out "no photos in the deli" when a teenager tried to share a picture on line (at the time there had to be 40 people waiting for food that always takes a long time) they insist on seeing your photo ID id you use a credit card. Why? they get paid if its approved even if it's not your card. It slows the already slow line but my guess is they can save in taxes by hiding the cash so they try to intimidate their customers into paying cash. They also have an interesting policy. The Santa Monica High School is walking distances and many of the 3200 students eat at Bay Cities but ask Hector (he's the head nasty guy) for $25 to place an ad in the school paper and you get a tirad about "we don't do that we don't have the money". Good food but don't take a picture, don't use a credit card don't comment on the quality of the food and don't be in a hurry.
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Kristin Rimbach's profile photo
Kristin Rimbach
a month ago
Nothing overrated here. These sandwiches are as good as everyone says. Bay Cities is the best place in town to grab lunch.
9 months ago
Sandwiches are reasonably priced for ingredients, size and tastiness. My friends and I all got different sandwiches and all of us were satisfied with taste. Recommend anyone who wants to try Italian style sandwiches. The Burratta Caprese sandwich was great. They had lots of other Italian items so I recommend it for getting those hard-to-get ingredients. Bread and bakery seemed fresh. However, it's SUPER PACKED. Took 20 minutes to get order in and another 10 to get and check out. It's always busy so try to not go there during lunch rush. Recommend walking as there is never parking in this area.
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ALAN FORESTER's profile photo
3 months ago
CUSTOMER SERVICE ZERO!! NOT A PLACE TO GO TO EAT WITH YOUR KIDS. My ten year old daughter, my wife and I went to this deli. My Daughter ordered a large mac and cheese that she had before when she went there with her friends. She eat a very small amount of it and told me Daddy this does not taste like before. I asked Hector the manager of the Deli to give my daughter something different for equal value. He refused and rudely told us that is abusive and they do not accept return or exchange of a food item. Hector also told us that we should tasted the mac and cheese before since it may taste different each time. When I asked him to let me write to the owner a letter he said that his uncle is the owner and now he is the owner. I mentioned to him that I will place a comment about this incident on the internet and he got irritated and said I am not welcome at the store anymore. Hector demeanor and statement frightened my ten year old daughter. We said to him thank you and left the store and bought a sandwich for my daughter to eat.
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Walter Macalma's profile photo
Walter Macalma
3 months ago
Yeah yeah yeah Godmother this and Godmother that. How in the world are you going to call and Italian sandwich Godmother and not Madrina? Wouldn't the name Madrina be 10000000% more appropriate. Fresh baked bread made in house has great crust, obviously heavy on the butter due to the bubbly crust, it makes way to an almost pillowy inside which soaks up the dressings well, fresh cold cut Italian salami's like genoa, prosciutto, mortadella, etc. Frankly I thought this place should be making some of those meats in house, but who am I to say anything when they call their most famous Italian sandwich by an American translation. I actually think that the bread, dressing and hot peppers are what make this sandwich so good because I found the meats slightly lacking the punch. I might have gone with a slightly different combination or even grilled the meats before assembling. If your questioning my last sentence you may not know how well all the meats sans the prosciutto hold up to a flat top grill. And that's because here it comes, the most pro pro tip of all the thousands of reviews. Protip: Get the Madrina with your meats grilled before assembly and avo spread. (since many sandwiches are no subsitutions, just add ons) My first time I got this 3 people behind me got it and even an employee wondered why he never got it that way before. I'm basically royalty and subsequent visits garnered fame and fortune. it's a great, almost amazing sandwich, but not quite at the top of the sandwich food chain. Needs some tweaking in the meat offerings, but the grilling and possible additional offerings could supplant others. Parking is small and crappy, lines are out the door with minimum 25 minute wait (off hours). I've waited or heard from good sources that the wait has been close to 90 minutes at peak. Service is good, friendly when ordering, but the whole ticket thing makes pick up a little soulless. Seating is limited and they aren't as quick to clean up as you might think. As with proper burger technique there is a proper sandwich eating technique to make everything not fall out people. Rookies. Smh. Meatballs are good, though a little dry, sauce is good, but not as flavorful as a true ragu. Love the caprese, extra pepper people, easy on the onions and it's easily their 2nd best offering. Most of their sides are only ok, fresh, crunchy, but not nearly as rich as their meats, so I guess they are good contrast. I get the red wine vinegar on everything except the caprese. Remember it's a deli, but not really a full service deli, think of it as just an Italian deli. Their prosciutto de parma offerings are good, but I find the bread for this cut a little too much. If only they offered culatello. It's the 2nd best charcuterie behind iberico ham. I never did find a restroom, but I did check out some of their grocery items and they are chalk full of old world imports. Cannoli's to me are their 3rd best offering and truly authentic because they fry in lard and use wooden dowels for shaping. I do wish they offered a pistachio topping offering though.
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Bruce Scott
8 months ago
Good food. We will return when there is a bathroom facility open to customers....even just to wash our hands before eating. The little package of fragrant papers does not do it for us. Although the city regulation doesn't require bathrooms when there is no indoor eating facility, your outdoor eating is, in reality, where people eat. When I asked for a place to wash my hands, which had lots of dirty stuff on them, I was told I could go across the heavy traffic street to Vons.... Doesn't feel right to serve food, mostly sandwiches without having a facility to wash our hands. Maybe even a few sinks with soap and paper towels? Leave out the urinals and toilets. Consider some sinks for children and adults, so they can eat with clean hands. Wouldn't that be a good idea? Maybe some "street" people would also use the facility to clean their hands, and that is OK. We can care for each other.
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Cary Gordon's profile photo
Cary Gordon
4 months ago
The Godmother lives up to its name. The meats and cheeses are what you would find in any good Italian deli, but the bread knocks it out of the park.