Dining Review: Shapiro’s kosher-style Delicatessen

Joey Amato | April 13, 2021

Every now and then I get to visit a restaurant that reminds me of home. I was born and raised in Queen, New York, just outside Manhattan. Kosher and Kosher-style delicatessens were abundant, with every neighborhood having a variety to choose from. After relocating to Florida, then Tennessee and now, here in Indy, these family-owned delicatessens were replaced with chains, none of which came close to the quality of food I was used to. It came as a wonderful surprise to find a family-owned restaurant established in 1905 named Shapiro’s was located less than 10 minutes from my home in Indy.

Little did I know that Shapiro’s is such a loved restaurant in Indianapolis. After posting some images of my dinner on Facebook, I received a ton of comments raving about the food, some from out of state friends who have been there. Needless to say, my first experience was nothing but extraordinary.

We began our meal with Reuben and Pastrami sandwiches. One thing is for certain, Shapiro’s does not skimp on portion size. The overstuffed sandwiches were delicious and reminiscent of those I used to have a kid in NY. Everything at Shapiro’s is made in-house, so guests can expect the freshest and highest quality ingredients.

Next up, we tried the Stuffed Cabbage and Meatloaf, two of my favorites from the evening. My grandmother used to make these, and I was instantly transported into her kitchen in Flushing, Queens where she spent hours preparing these items for our holiday dinners. Shapiro’s is a restaurant steeped in history and tradition and this is obvious when you taste their food.

Shapiro’s also offers a variety of soups and stews from traditional Matzo Ball soup to a delicious chicken stew, my guest’s favorite of the bunch.

In addition, the restaurant is known for their bagels, having sent their chefs to New York to learn exactly how to make a NY-style bagel. It is known that the secret to a great bagel is the water, so Shapiro’s installed a water-filtration system to ensure that their bagels taste as close to the real deal as possible. I didn’t have room to try any during dinner but did take some home for breakfast the next morning and I can assure you, they are the best I’ve had outside New York, and better than some NY bagels.

To cap off a wonderful meal, Sally Shapiro, one of the restaurant’s owners brought us their two types of carrot cake to try. The first was a traditional version and the second was something they created called Carrot Cheesecake; a cheesecake baked inside a carrot cake. I must admit I was a bit hesitant to try this one as I’m not a big fan of cheesecake, but it turned out to be my favorite of the two. The cake was so moist, and the cheesecake didn’t overpower the delicate flavors of the carrot cake.

After dining here, I have no idea why it took me two years to visit Shapiro’s, but I will be back often and it’s a place I’d proudly bring my family when they visit Indy.

For more information, visit https://shapiros.com/