Zia's Delicatessen

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zias.jpg ziasmural.jpgThe mural outside of Zia's

Location
616 3rd Street (Next to Manna)
Hours
Mon-Fri 10am-6pm
Sat 10am-5pm
Sun noon-4pm
No phone orders accepted between 11:30am and 2:30pm
Phone orders only accepted for 3 sandwiches or more
Phone
(530)750-7870
Official Website
[WWW]http://ziasdeli.com/
Proprietor
Kevin and Anne Marie Crilly
Established
1996

Menu as of 10/3/07 menu_zias.pdf

Zia's Delicatessen is a sandwich shop and deli in Downtown Davis, serving both meat and vegetarian options for lunch. Expect to spend around $6 for a sandwich. Zia's has some of the best local sandwiches, winning Zia's the Aggie's 'Best of Davis' award several years in a row. Their sandwiches are predominately cold, but they also offer hot sandwiches such as panini and a meatball sandwich. If you're not worried about dripping, they are happy to give you extra sauce. They also carry specialty condiments, like tomato paste in a squeeze bottle.

They are planning on opening a location in Sacramento in late November 2012.

Zia's is quite simply the best sandwich in Davis, if not in all of the Sacramento Valley. Zia's, however, does not cater much in the way to typical American views of sandwiches. What you might expect to find at a New York deli or mom and pop sandwich shop is not something you will necessarily find here.

Zia's specializes in sandwiches with Italian flavors and ingredients, with a particular focus on cured meats, a variety of cheeses, and simple but effective toppings. Zia's Sandwich Shop also sells a number of Italian and Greek appetizers that are not available anywhere else in Davis. Try the stuffed grape leaves (filled with rice), or if you're feeling rich, give the stuffed cherry peppers a try (they're stuffed with cured meat and covered in olive oil). Zia's offers the only true all-in-one Italian delicatessen experience you'll find outside of San Francisco.

Additionally, Zia's will place any topping you so desire on a sandwich (including special cheeses, meats, and other toppings) and bill you piecemeal for the extra ingredients. There are truly, then, an unlimited number of possible sandwiches which one could devise. The bread at Zia's is also worthy of high praise, it is generally very soft and perfectly suited for all of their sandwiches. Their choice of mineral waters and gelato (both packed and scooped), along with the salads/snacks, can make for a delicious, rich, and filling meal. Of course, the price of these items very quickly adds up if you have a huge appetite; don't go to Zia's expecting to spend less than $8 per person unless you're getting just a sandwich.

They accept cash and credit cards, but there is an arbitrary minimum for credit purchases. Depending on customer traffic, your 99 cent item, or humidity index, you may or may not be charged.

Zia's sells a few Italian grocery items. Some are expensive due to being special imports; however, other items (such as polenta) are far cheaper here than other grocery stores.

Zia's has added a now popular gelato stand; it is one of a few places offering it in Davis.

Zia's is mentioned in The Motive, a novel by best-selling Davis author John Lescroart.

2005 Reviews ~ 7 reviews/comments
2006 Reviews ~ 10 reviews/comments
2007 Reviews ~ 10 reviews/comments

Comments:

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2008-01-29 02:57:05   I am one of those people who find Zia's overrated, but to be fair I have only been there a few times. I'm rather unimpressed so far though. —JakeJames


2008-02-15 18:11:47   Not cheap, but I love the Viareggio! Never been disappointed. —jglovicz


2008-02-26 17:56:28   their meatball sandwiches AMAZING...I've been looking for a sandwich like this since moving to Davis! —drozelle


2008-02-26 20:18:01   I've only had the chance to eat here once, but the sandwich I ordered was really really good. Definitely recommended. —IDoNotExist


2008-03-03 11:38:50   i *absolutely* love their sandwiches. the gentlemen (owner?) is always nice and makes the visit special. my only negative comment (minor) is one female employee *always* looks like she's having a hard time smiling LOL.....her attitude doesn't take away from the food tho! —michaelG


2008-03-03 13:36:31   The Toscana is hands down the best Salami sandwhich I have ever had. So simple but my goodness the meat is cut paper thin and the taste is out of this world. At least twice a month my girlfriend and I go there to satisfying this craving. Have tried some other sandwiches for but us the Toscana is the reason to go there. Super nice folks at the counter, efficient and they seem to listen well to special requests if you make them. —loneshark


2008-04-04 00:31:53   I don't get it! I've consistently found sandwiches from Zia's to be overpriced and disappointing. Dry turkey, too much bread, sad tomatoes... it's really not worth it. For this price you can build yourself one hell of a sandwich at Nugget. At least the mozzarella is good. —BrianLum


2008-05-17 16:47:02   I ate here a couple times last summer, and I had the same experience as the previous person and others. The Lucca sandwich was dry and quite tasteless mostly due to the massive, not very good roll they used. I usually prefer oil and vinegar on sandwiches instead of mayo, but I was not a fan of the vinegar they used here. Maybe I didn't try to the right sandwich, and I would be willing to give the place another shot, but I still can't imagine liking it better than my other favorite sandwich spots in Davis, like the Mustard Seed and Nugget. —SRB


2008-05-17 16:49:00   I've now eaten here a bunch of times. Definitely yummy food. Highly recommended. —IDoNotExist


2008-06-01 00:27:30   omigosh. the paninis here are AMAZING. i think i had a turkey one? i'm not even sure, i just asked about a good one and she said something about red bell pepper paste, foccacia, turkey, cheese, and some mixed greens, i think. i forget, really, but it was amaazing. —Esther


2008-07-01 11:39:23   I go there at least once a week and love the Viareggio the pesto mayo is delicious as are all the other things I've ordered. I especially love the roatating Gelato selection. Always worth the walk and wait. —JamesLDownie


2008-07-17 10:25:46   We ordered several sandwiches the day before for a work function, as we had in the past. We ended up needing to cancel one persons order due to illness a couple hours before the pickup time and they refused!! They said that they had already made the sandwiches hours ahead -yuck! The owner was very aggressive about his refusal to take off the one sandwich. I spent years working in restaurants and cafes and that is a really good way to lose customers. It certaintly *permanently* lost the business of everyone in our office, and future catering orders. For the cost of one sandwich they lost thousands of dollars in future business. Bad move guys! —Karik


2008-09-06 13:33:54   Viareggio is awesome, veggie options are great too. Never experienced the $10 minimum. Great staff and the owner (the old guy) is really nice, always tip! —shraken


2008-09-25 13:16:56   sounds like Karik was just having a bad day in general, or is just a bad customer. I have been going to this place since college, and my wife and I drive from Sacramento each Saturday to have lunch at Zias. The prices are amazing compared to places in Sacramento and the sandwiches are even better than Corti Brothers. I suggest ordering a livorno and add a few slices of parma prosciutto to it. Easily the best place to get a sandwich in the area. —sacfood


2008-09-26 14:49:29   I use them often for lunchtime catering; the food is always delicious (the pasta always gets raves!), they are happy to provide vegetarian sandwiches with wonderful fresh mozzarella, and they are—perhaps most importantly—rock-solid dependable. After dealing with several flaky caterers over the years, I am happy to keep coming back to Zia's for their consistent professionalism and reliability. —AMcAdow


2008-09-26 16:17:39   Just went to lunch here and ordered the Viareggio on wheat, with a small side of their basic pasta salad and a coke. I can quite happily say that I was very satisfied. The price may have been more than I cared for, but the food was quite lovely. You can really tell the freshness of the food items in the taste. —SunjeetBaadkar


2008-09-28 18:10:33   ZIAS IS THE BEST!!!! get the viaregio!! and man that meatball sandwich is good...everytime im outta town i miss it... —liamcalfy


2008-10-28 16:55:13   Overrated. It is by no means a bad place to eat, but I would rather spend my money elsewhere. I bought a gelato, which was very expensive for the amount I received, and a Viareggio, also expensive, because of all the strong recommendations from this site. I was very disappointed with the way my sandwich turned out. It was very plain and dry. I couldn't taste anything but bread. Maybe the guy behind the counter screwed up while making my sandwich. —BenLee


2008-11-06 21:51:15   I've always walked by this place and thought to myself, "This place will pillage my wallet." Looks good though. —thelonepiper555


2008-11-10 23:25:40   Why is this the best sandwich in town? Could such bland sandwich shop really be the best? The prices are pretty expensive, and nothing about my sandwich really wowed me (it was a 'Zia's,' you'd think a sandwich named after the joint would be better...but honestly the frittata was soggy and gross and the sandwich overall was...for lack of a more descriptive word...blegh). My advice? Go to the coho...you can't taste a difference. Aree Rating: 4.5/10. —ArianeMetz


2009-01-02 15:26:41   I go to Zia's all the time and never have cash and I've never heard anything about a 10.00 min purchase. That's odd. —Miranda


2009-03-18 21:08:05   Their sandwiches are worth their cost! They are DEEEEEEELLISSSH and probably the best sandwich I've ever had in Davis. The service is good too :) —renee415


2009-04-10 10:39:26   Love this place a little tooooo much. Really cute people work here. —strawberry


2009-05-21 14:02:31   curiosity got the better of me. I also tried this place for the first time, seeing how people like to eat and relax here. I ordered zia's sandwhich and yes it was like how ariana described it. soggy and disappointing. I was hoping the fritata would taste somewhat more "italian". I saw that they have corned beef but they have no sandwhich that utilizes it. The Lucca was okay. The sandwiches here are sandwiches anybody can make using the same amount of time with ingredients that are simple to get. its not worth your time or money here.

Also, you can order your sandwhich on wheat? I was not given that option. just a roll or slice. ughhhh, not coming back here again. —chand3123k


2009-07-24 15:58:31   Their sandwhichs are great. I love the soft, fresh bread. The Lucca and Pisa are good options! —ces139


2009-08-07 15:41:46   really enjoy coming here, getting a sandwich and bottled coke and sitting outside. It may be slow, but when you cut the accessories and take care making something, thats usually what happens. Its not a fast food joint. thank you zia's staff. —patrick82


2009-08-11 19:25:55   Zia's is quite simply the best sandwich in Davis, if not in all of the Sacramento Valley. Zia's, however, does not cater much in the way to typical American views of sandwiches. What you might expect to find at a New York deli or mom and pop sandwich shop is not something you will necessarily find here.

Zia's specializes in sandwiches with Italian flavors and ingredients, with a particular focus on cured meats, a variety of cheeses, and simple but effective toppings. Zia's Sandwich Shop also sells a number of Italian and Greek appetizers that are not available anywhere else in Davis. Try the stuffed grape leaves (filled with rice), or if you're feeling rich, give the stuffed cherry peppers a try (they're stuffed with cured meat and covered in olive oil). Zia's offers the only true all-in-one Italian delicatessen experience you'll find outside of San Francisco.

Additionally, Zia's will place any topping you so desire on a sandwich (including special cheeses, meats, and other toppings) and bill you piecemeal for the extra ingredients. There are truly, then, an unlimited number of possible sandwiches which one could devise. The bread at Zia's is also worthy of high praise, it is generally very soft and perfectly suited for all of their sandwiches. Their choice of mineral waters and gelato (both packed and scooped), along with the salads/snacks, can make for a delicious, rich, and filling meal. Of course, the price of these items very quickly adds up, don't go to Zia's expecting to spend less than $10 per person unless you're getting just a sandwich.

My personal favorite is the Livorno, which is fresh mozzarella, fresh basil leaves, olive oil and vinegar, and tomatoes on a roll. I substitute pepperocinis for the tomatoes to the give the sandwich a very vinegary, salted taste to contrast the milkiness of the fresh mozzarella and liberally added basil leaves.

Zia's definitely is a 5 out of 5 eating experience. —RDRIII


2009-11-05 16:44:02   They make amazing meatball subs. I'm willing ride my bike from north davis just to pick one up for lunch, so trust me, its good. Also, if you like Italian cold-cuts, their hot coppa is good too. —nqbui89


2009-12-13 00:29:37   this minium thing needs cleared up I work there
theres a FIVE dollar minium for debit
but well give you slack your first time

PS get the roast pork —shambler


2010-02-04 14:23:29   Zia's only seems good because there aren't really any other "deli's" in Davis. Too much attitude, cookies brought in from New Jersey (why? Aren't there good local bakeries that can make black and white cookies?), meat is from Sam's club (seriously-not what I'd consider 'high quality'). The Livorno and Viareggio are good but I'm over the attitude I get at this place. Definitely not all it's made out to be. Why is it so hard to get a turkey sandwich made from a fresh roasted Turkey rather than pressed meat? That to me would be a real deli sandwich. —shelanagig


2010-02-06 13:50:49   Great chocolate cheesecake! —eipp


2010-03-31 00:19:57   Hands down, best damn sandwiches in town. —tneeley


2010-04-24 22:17:12   I love their delciious turkey subs. So good!!! Half of the reason I go to the UCD Baseball games is to win a free coupon to this place. The sandwhiches here are amazing. —BryceH


2010-06-05 02:01:06   Zia's is the best, I was a diehard fan of the Lucca but have recently converted to the Viareggio... So good, A friend just turned me on to the moz/tomatoe salad and now I'm hooked. Great Sandwich, killer bread and good service. Yum —krissyp


2010-07-25 01:10:27   Best sandwiches I've ever had. The Lucca or Viareggio have never let me down. Plus, the service is super nice. —AnhthuDo


2010-08-11 11:51:34   I love Zia's. Fantastic food and it isn't everyday stuff. It's a little more expensive, not necessarily bang for buck, but totally worth it. They have two young women behind the counter though that aren't all that nice. Some days they are really nice, but there have been a few days they've been really snippy and I've had to repeat my order like five times because they don't listen. They had some major attitude with my gf one day I didn't appreciate. The rest of the staff and owners are really nice though. —aggie2009


2010-08-19 11:17:44   I have been coming here quite a bit recently. I do not know what they put in their roast beef sandwiches, but I can't stop eating them. Their sandwiches are a few dollars more than what you would pay at Subway or the sort, but I feel the quality makes up for it. Unlike most sandwich places, they don't rely heavily on the mayo or ranch dressing for flavor. What I like best is that the sandwiches do not fill you up to the point that it affects your cardio in a negative way or leave you hungry to the point where it affects your heavy lifting in a negative way. —hankim


2010-10-06 17:39:45   I recently saw the owner of Zia's Deli buying a large load of pre made food including a whole bunch of Prego pasta sauce at Sam's Club in Vacaville. Very disappointing. —ACA


2010-10-06 20:39:57   I regularly used Zia's to bring a couple platters of 1/2 sandwiches (variety of meats or veggie) and mac salad to meetings I was in charge of— they were always great! I need to host another meeting.... —RichardL


2010-10-08 09:24:11   I am not under the impression that most restaurants or delis make all of their sauce from scratch. Zia's styles itself a authentic Italian Deli, I would expect better than Prego it's still crap, how about starting with canned tomatoes (that would be basic, not much harder, and better). Prego is full of high fructose corn syrup and MSG. no thanks. Also Sam's club is a big box retailer owned by Walmart. Considering how much the Davis Downtown Business association complains about competition from big box retailers you'd think that their members would look elsewhere for their raw materials. There are plenty of wholesale only suppliers for restaurants. —ACA


2010-11-11 16:38:06   Zia's is great. Good place for a nice sandwich and assorted supporting items. Only small negative is that it gets a line out the dang door around lunchtime, so it's best to hit it during non-peak times. —Flokkenfisch


2011-01-10 12:41:04   If you guys made cannoli and sold Stella D'Oro cookies, I wouldn't have to go to the Italian market in midtown anymore. I have to agree with whoever posted above about the Prego. I had a meatball sub today and it didn't do it for me. Marinara is VERY easy to make in large quantities, so it would be nice if you made it from scratch. You could even put it in jars and sell it in the store. Other than that though, your sandwiches are great. —Jibbajaba


2011-01-14 13:47:42   I love Zia's and everybody I have introduced Zia's loves it too. My favorite sandwiches are the Meatball Sub and The Viareggio. Around noon the line gets crazy long and you have to wait forever, so I normally hit it up around 11 or after the lunch rush. The staff is always friendly and kind and I am never disappointed when I get a sandwich from here. —JYuki


2011-07-20 11:47:22   Zia's is truly the best sandwich place here in Davis! However, the customer service fails. I called to order a pick up at 11:30 and they refused to take my order. She even said "we aren't all that busy right now, so you are more than welcome to come by and place an order". They are not very friendly even when you visit the store. Make sure you call no later 11:29 if you want to place your order over the phone! I would probably eat at Zia's a lot more often if they stepped up their customer service skills. I am not asking for them to make me feel special, but normal/common courtesy would be nice. —StephanieArreola


2011-12-30 17:23:34   Best Sandwiches in Davis by a long shot. Anyone that says that it is not very good is crazy. My favorite is Ham on a roll with everything. —JamesB


2012-01-30 00:07:46   After like 6 years of living in davis, I've finally tried this place. What a let down. There was nothing exciting about the sandwiches I had here. Over-hyped like fat face. Points for being closed on Sunday though. —CarlosOverstreet


2012-02-29 20:57:44   awesome food, awesome Staff, people will say its a bit high on the pricing end(i disagree, if you drive a car/have a U-Lock, you can surely afford food in Davis), but it is THE BEST sandwich shop in DAVIS. —ndah100


2012-05-20 15:32:47   Hands down, Zia's makes the best sandwiches in Davis. I stopped by for lunch the other day and placed an order just before the lunch crowd extended out the door. My girlfriend had the Lucca and I had the ham and mozzarella panini on rosemary bread. Both sandwiches were hefty and flavored just right with oil and vinegar. We also ordered a serving of the asiago pasta salad and the cherry tomatoes and mozzarella appetizer on the side. The pasta salad was deliciously cheesy and the cherry tomatoes were sweet and tasty under the drizzle of vinegar and oil. We managed to enjoy a delicious lunch that was large enough to provide leftovers for $20—not bad at all. —AlexHirsch


2012-10-19 11:32:57   Delicious sandwiches! —Trena


2012-11-28 17:45:59   Zia's is simply not a good sandwich shop. They are overpriced and overrated, no matter what your definition of a sandwich is.

Their meats are not very good, which is sad for a shop priding themselves on traditional Italian sandwiches.

The bread was disappointing as well.

The sandwiches are hit or miss. Sometimes too salty, sometimes soggy, sometimes dry as a bone, sometimes actually good.

Overall 3/10. Try it for yourself, though. If you really have that much money to spend, you might as well give them a shot. —hobobot


2012-11-30 13:52:59   Zia's has become our go-to place for sandwiches in Davis, rivaled only by Cloud Forest (and as variety is the spice of life, I am happy to patronize both places). As with many places, sometimes it takes a few tries to find your favorite things. The Zia's frittata is pretty unique and worth a try if you're feeling like something different. The Roma's artichokes are a lively complement to the turkey and provolone. Love the soft rolls. Love that they are great about large orders (call ahead) and accepting UCD purchase orders. The sandwiches are large and a good deal in the $5-$6 range. Still wish that they were open a little bit later in the evenings, but I am happy to see that they added some Sunday hours! —CovertProfessor


2012-11-30 16:00:29   I have never had a disappointing sandwich at Zia's. I've never even had a mediocre sandwich at Zia's. They're always excellent, and remarkably consistent considering I've been buying them there intermittently since they opened. And I can't even remember how long ago that was. Outstanding. —DonShor


2013-01-02 09:57:56   Highly recommend! Just beware of the lunch crowd. —SamuelJensen


2013-03-24 12:39:52   If you like a light sandwich that won't weigh you down then this is the place. The ingredients are fresh and the meats are tasty. Your options are limited in this town and it's a definite toss up between Nugget and Zia's for best sandwich. If you are looking for something more hearty with a bit of fat, try the meatball marinara (def. best in town). The lunch crowd is pretty unbearable as stated.

Have they opened a Sacramento location? I was eavesdropping on conversation the owner was having and thought I heard this. —shraken


2013-07-06 21:19:58   This may go against everything the city of Davis is about, but in terms of a meatball sandwich, Subway's tasted better. Yes, it was just a meatball sandwich. No, its expectations did not supersede any I would have had at a large chain store. And I really thought it would have. —DavidBarnum

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