Restaurant of the Week: Capri Deli

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Capri Deli, 713 E. San Bernardino Road (at Grand), Covina

I saw a newspaper ad for Capri Deli on a recent Saturday morning, which reminded me that I’d once clipped a newspaper ad for Capri Deli and never went there. Having nothing to do, I decided to try it for lunch. “Serving great sandwiches since 1954” is an enticing motto, after all, promising not only a good meal but history.

Capri was easy enough to find, not far west of Kellogg Hill off the 10 Freeway (and equidistant from the 210). Inside there was a line at the counter, which had multiple staffers taking orders and making sandwiches. This gave me time to look around and think over my options. I also grabbed a bottled soda from the alcove of grocery items, where sodas are sold individually.

I got a meatball sandwich, the 12-inch version ($9), which was soon delivered to my table on a garlic roll, marinara on the side. A very good sandwich. The dining room has kitschy, humorous decor.

This is a busy place, clearly still popular in the Subway era, and that made me think of Grinder Haven in Ontario, which hasn’t been able to cut it in recent years. Capri Deli proves that people are still willing to line up for a better sandwich. The menu even uses the term “grinders” for its subs.

I came back the next Saturday, this time getting the cold cut combo grinder, the 6-inch version ($7). The counterwoman listed all the toppings for me but I couldn’t remember them all: salami, ham, mortadella and a few more, with oil, lettuce and tomatoes. Another good sandwich, and this time I knew to grab my soda from the refrigerated case, where they seem to have everything. The dining room was almost full this visit.

There’s a case of desserts too (see below), which looked tempting. The menu also has pizza and lasagna, salads and specialty sandwiches.

Capri opened in 1954 nearby and moved to this location in 1979. It’s rare that I write about a restaurant that’s not within the Inland Valley, but this is close enough, and it might be of interest to sandwich fans, including those who miss Grinder Haven’s glory days.

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  • http://originalpechanga.blogspot.com OriginalPechanga

    Been there…. loved it. My daughter and Son got here often…

  • SAWZ

    My Weight Watchers leader owns a sandwich shop in Covina. This might be her shop–and it might not. The WW employees and WW meeting attendees are not allowed to name their own businesses or specific product brands (other than those products put out by WW’s Inc., of course.)

  • Paul Ochsner

    There used to be a Sandwich Haven in Azusa on the south end of the Foothill Center which many say was a Grinder Haven prior to that. I remember it as Sandwich Haven as far back as the mid 60s. The Foothill Center opened in around 1956.

  • Richard Viereck

    I love this place used to work for them while i was at Covina High. Back in the late 60’s,. Fantastic owners the old man, the brothers

  • carolyn

    I use to live just a mile or so from Capri deli’s. And always enjoyed it. And now that I’ve move from over 30yrs I and my always make it our first stop when we go back home.I try to go at least 2or3 times a year ..love it…

  • dadwheels

    Love this place, bounce between it and Old World Deli…also in Covina…as two of my favorite sandwich places. One of the few places that can put up as good a pastrami, maybe even a bit better, than The Hat.