DAYTON’S DELICATESSEN

Our Story

A TRADITIONAL NEW YORK DELI IN DAYTON, OHIO

Standing on the

Shoulder of Giants

All the Best has shamelessly taken from the best of the best. We would like to acknowledge the delis that helped us, inspired us, and worked with us to become “all the best."

  1. Second Avenue
  2. Russ and Daughters
  3. Manny’s (Chicago)
  4. Eleven City Diner (Chicago)
  5. Katz’s
  6. Carnegie*
  7. Stage*
  8. Kenny & Ziggy’s (Houston)
  9. Ohio Delis: Corky and Lenny’s, Jack’s
  10. Jack Rouda and the Upper Krust*
  11. Barney Greengrass
  12. Pastrami Queen

*Of blessed memory

meaty sandwich

Ingredients

Across the Map

Our ingredient “map” has become quite complex with smoked fish from Brooklyn, corned beef and pastrami from Detroit, chopped chicken liver “inspired by” Zabar’s in Manhattan, rugelach from Cincinnati, and even rye bread from Dorothy Lane Market, right here at home.

So what makes the perfect deli? Is it the food, the community, or the deli-in-the-deli where you can take home a platter of your favorite cured meats? According to All the Best owner Lee Schear, it’s unusually great food, relentlessly good service and, well…a heavy dose of whimsy.

cow with tongue sticking out
SCHEAR STORES & STORIES

The beginning

My grandfather, Abe, was born in Lithuania to a family of peddlers. From Kelme to Latvia through Baltimore and Cincinnati, he came to Dayton in 1899, and pushed a food cart. He was our original food pusher. Abe initially traveled the streets of Dayton’s west side, first with a horse-drawn wagon and then a motorized food cart, before founding Dayton’s first super-market – The Liberal Market – in 1921, where he could push more food to more people. My father, Eugene, followed in Abe’s footsteps, building 48 supermarkets and pioneering in the first deli operations and free-standing deli foods inside the store. The deli roots were spreading!
SCHEAR STORES & STORIES
The yiches
There were many relatives and many generations of food retailing to follow, but now, here we are at All The Best: not far from where we started. Food retailing is the family yiches – our legacy. The retailing and retelling of food stories and stories are in the family DNA. And while others (smarter and more successful) in that industry have created new ideas and pushed the boundaries of food, some of us watching all that delicatessen “progress” stood up and yelled “Stop.” We wanted to go backwards to go forwards. To step back in time when delis were perfect and deli food was just-about-perfect. Or perfect enough. And here we are, nostalgia intact and hoping to present, well… all the best.