Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery – Los Angeles (Santa Monica)

Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery

After spending Sunday afternoon watching “The Never Ending Story” with 80 diehard Weezer fans, I stepped out of the theater feeling positively hungry. It turns out that fantastical stories populated by a cast of strange characters bring on the pangs like you wouldn’t believe.

I remembered seeing Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery when we exited off the highway and couldn’t think of a better time than the present to finally experience “The Godmother.” Cue the singing angels…

Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery

The hype surrounding The Godmother is nothing short of tremendous. Its legion of passionate fans endure long lines, nightmarish parking, and gruff customer service for the pleasure found between two slices of hefty Italian bread.

When The Astronomer and I arrived at the market slash deli sometime past four o’clock, we made our way through the sizable crowd  hovering around the counter to grab a numbered ticket. One Godmother sandwich with “the works” was in my hands within fifteen minutes.

Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery

All of the picnic tables along the L-shaped patio were occupied, so The Astronomer and I dug in on our feet over a slab of concrete railing.

Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery

The small-sized Godmother was the perfect portion for me this afternoon. It included slices of Genoa salami, mortadella, coppacola, ham, prosciutto, and provolone. “The works” added some sauce and spice in the form of mayonnaise, yellow mustard, onions, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, Italian dressing, and a hot pepper salad. Everything was neatly layered between two slices of fresh Italian bread.

Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery

My first bite into the Godmother was a messy one. The bread’s chewy texture made it impossible to bite cleanly through and as a result, the condiments and meats slipped left and right, while the dressing slid down my arms. I found that eating the sandwich from both ends was necessary to ration the filling and to control the unwieldy bread.

Consumption complications aside, the Godmother tasted like the hoagies I used to eat in college. While the quality of the fixings was better and fresher, the flavors were straight out of South Philly. Considering the Godmother’s reputation, I was hoping for something a lot more interesting than a gussied up hoagie. I mean, what’s so godly about a cold cut sandwich? I’d much rather have a banh mi.

Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery
1517 Lincoln Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Phone: 310-395-8279

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12 Responses to “Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery – Los Angeles (Santa Monica)”


  • I was thinking the same thing!!! For that price, you can get almost 3 full sized Banh Mi Thit!! I don’t the difference between VN Banh Mi and this Hoagie. I don’t think the former gets the respect it deserves!

  • LOVE the Godmother!! (Hate the parking) ;)

  • My fav is the chicken parm. AND you don’t have to wait in the long deli line, you can order it from the side ‘hot’ counter.

  • You can order the Godmother online and have it waiting for you, which is better. The good thing about it is the bread (and when I go to Bay Cities, I check the loaves of bread for sale to see if they’re warm. Chewy, with that crackly exterior, it’s a very good iteration of Italian bread. Second, you have to factor in westside agoraphobia. I, too, would rather have a bahn mi, but then, I happen to live all over Los Angeles. There are people in Santa Monica who won’t go east of the 405, and I have yet to find a decent banh mi in that neighborhood. Then there are the captive lunch bunch. If you’re in SM, where the quick lunch options aren’t that great or that cheap, the Godmother starts looking pretty darn good.

  • Kate - Thanks for attempting to explain why this sandwich is so popular! Agoraphobia? The picture grows clearer…

  • Couldn’t agree more. I do love the bread, but I’ll take a pass on the standard Boar’s Head fillings.

  • that bread makes it IMPOSSIBLE.

  • Looks good. Chef Michael Voltaggio’s Ink.Sack just opened up in west hollywood and they have a sandwich called “the Jose Andres” aka The Spanish Godfather (kinda like this godmother) which I hear is suppose to be a spanish explosion in the mouth, im going there this week I’ll let you know how the sandwiches there stack up.

  • The slipping around of meats and condiments always makes for a good time. I am a sucker for a hoagie or Italian sub of mostly any kind. Even though I grew up on banh mi (even sold at our school food fairs) here in the SGV, I am willing to make the drive for this tasty sandwich. A girl can have two loves.

  • Cathy Danh, I will not accept this kind of talk from you. That sandwich is pure heaven!

  • Val - LOL! The only person who calls me “Cathy Danh” is my mommy ;-) Heaven?! Hoagie heaven?! Get outta here!

  • Hmmmm…..If I knew you’re middle name, I would have been forced to use it! :)

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