World's first vegan Jewish deli opens in Chicago

The deli's menu includes traditional and gluten-free bagels, salad sandwiches and traditional dishes such as "Zish's potato knishes," as well as deli salads and "a bisl more."

Seasonal vegan gourmet (photo credit: Courtesy)
Seasonal vegan gourmet
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The world's first vegan Jewish deli opened in Chicago earlier this month, selling out of all of its stock during its first weekend, vegan media company LiveKindly said on Friday.

Sam & Gertie's Vegan Jewish Deli, according to its website, is named after European Jewish immigrants Sam and Gertrude Stewart, "who crossed an ocean and borders to find one another and a safe home to build a life, work hard, raise a family, celebrate Judaism and make good food."

“Thank you to everyone for a great opening weekend,” said the deli on its Facebook page on January 11. 

"The crowd today was amazing and we've sold out of everything. Due to this, we will be closed tomorrow. We'll make more and be back next weekend."

According to the website, the two have three children and ten grandchildren, none of whom are vegan.

"Sam was a great businessman and Gertie and impeccable homemaker and cook," the website said.

"One has to believe that had they been around today, they would be filled with shtolts and freyd [pride and joy] to have their names on the world's first vegan Jewish deli."

The deli's menu includes traditional and gluten-free bagels, salad sandwiches and traditional dishes such as "Zish's potato knishes," as well as deli salads and "a bisl [a little] more."

The couple's grandson, Andy Kalish, told Book Club Chicago that, "there are vegan delis owned by Jewish people, but they are broader deli or sandwich shops. We are the worlds first."

Kalish added that "we just want to work with plants. The world is just a better place if we eat more plants."