5 Fun Facts about Zingerman’s Delicatessen

  5 fun facts about zingermans delicatessen, picture of the front of zingermans delicatessen with people walking and sitting in front of it.

5 Fun Facts about Zingerman’s Delicatessen

Zingerman’s Delicatessen has been a local community staple for many decades. When Ann Arbor comes to mind, Zingerman’s is not a far thought behind it. Zingerman’s Delicatessen offers many choices of tasty sandwiches, breads, vinegars, cheeses, and so many more specialty items. You might know that Zingerman’s Delicatessen has been around for over 40 years, but we bet there’s a fact or two that you might not know about this famous deli! We have compiled a list of our favorite 5 fun facts about Zingerman’s Delicatessen.

  1. Shhhh: the Deli has Zecrets!

Have you heard of Zecrets? They’re special perks or fun options that you might not know about. We would tell you not to tell anyone, but this is the kind of Zecret we would not mind getting out. (See what we did there?) Here are some Zecrets that you can use for your next visit to Zingerman’s Delicatessen. 

Zingerman’s Delicatessen offers tours of the deli where guests can further explore things such as the basement and see behind the scenes. A fun Zecret is that if you attend any event at the Deli, virtual or in person, you can receive a 20% off coupon that you can use anywhere in the deli. Have you been eyeing some items at the specialty grocery store? Attend an event and enjoy 20% off the next time you come in! 

You can also enjoy 15% off on your birthday! We love saving money, how about you? 

  1. Zingerman’s Delicatessen is in a historically significant neighborhood

Ann Arbor has over a dozen historic districts! The Deli Campus of buildings sits within the Old Fourth Ward historic district. Not only is the original Deli building, built in 1902, a historic structure, but there’s a historic home hiding within the complex, too. The deli address is 422 Detroit, St, Ann Arbor, MI. The historical house address is 420 Detroit Street. How incredible! 

In addition to 5 fun facts about Zingerman’s Delicatessen, due to the house’s recognition as a historic structure, Zingerman’s was limited in changing the house when they expanded in 2012. They were unable to physically move the house, so the house was lifted, and a basement was built underneath it. The house was adjoined to the expanded space, repainted, and it is now known as the pick up area for all orders (internally referred to as “420” or “ the 420 pick-up area”.)  

Another fun fact about the historic house is that the space was not only once used as office space for the Deli, but it was the location where Food Gatherers started. Food Gatherers was founded in 1988 by Zingerman’s Delicatessen, Michigan’s first food rescue program and the sixth in the United States. Food Gatherer’s is now an independent non-profit. 

If you are unfamiliar with Food Gatherers, check out more information here!  Learn how you can become a volunteer to help partner with the local community to fight against hunger in our community. 

  1. The Deli makes over 200 sandwiches every hour!

Long-time Deli fans will remember the days of long lines wrapping around the building. These days, thanks to having multiple ways to order your sandwich, you’ll rarely see a lengthy physical line, but that doesn’t mean the Deli crew isn’t still skillfully and speedily turning out dozens of hand-crafted sandwiches.

If you arrive at the Deli and you are told there is a one-hour wait for your order, it is because there are about 215 sandwiches in line in front of you. You could be physically present at the Deli and not see that 215 sandwiches have been ordered but it is indeed happening. The Deli sandwich line can make on average 18 sandwiches every 5 minutes; during super busy times, that can go up to 25 sandwiches every 5 minutes! On a busy football Saturday, the Deli can make between a whopping 2,000 to 2,500 sandwiches! 

  1. Zingerman’s Delicatessen has achieved celebrity status!

Who knew Zingerman’s Delicatessen starred in a movie, the Five-Year Engagement? The Five-Year Engagement is a story of a couple played by Jason Segel and Emily Blunt trying to balance professional ambition with the demands of a relationship. Fun fact, although the main character Tom appears to work at Zingerman’s Delicatessen, most scenes were filmed at Zingerman’s Bakehouse.  

Jason’s character was a baker at the real Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor. Zingerman’s full essence including the illustrations, design, and logo of the restaurant is captured authentically in the film. How cool is it that not only was Zingerman’s featured in a film, but the Deli was able to play itself? It shows how the Zingerman’s brand is far-reaching and felt through screens worldwide. With over 6,700 independent retail bakeries in the United States, production of the Five-Year Engagement decided to take residence at Zingerman’s. 

But Zingerman’s shine does not stop there. Zingerman’s has served its fair share of heavy-hitter guests such as President Obama, University athletic teams, a plethora of entertainers, and news anchors. Zingerman’s Delicatessen even hosted an ESPN Game Day and has regular visits from former football coach, Lloyd Carr at the Next Door Cafe.  

Even with its popularity and frequent visits from amazing people all over the world, Zingerman’s is a community-focused business that takes immense pride in its dedication and love for Ann Arbor. You really can taste the difference! 


picture of film crew at zingerman's delicatessen for the movie 5 year engagement. film crew wearing a zingerman's work uniform

Photo used from thebananadoc. 

Check out detailed footage and more facts about the filming of the Five-Year Engagement here

  1. Zingerman’s Delicatessen still uses its original recipes!

Over the years, the Deli has revamped and elevated its recipes with higher-quality and more sustainable ingredients, while staying true to tradition. For over 40 years, the recipes, like for Russian dressing, knish, chopped liver, and matzo balls, have stood the test of time. 

Since opening its doors on March 15, 1982, corned beef sandwiches have been a hallmark of the Delicatessen. And the corned beef recipe has not been changed since the first Reuben was made! Zingerman’s corned beef is sourced from Sy Ginsberg at United Meat & Deli, a manufacturer of premium deli meats based in the Eastern Market. 

You may be surprised to know that Ari Weinzwieg and Paul Saginaw, founders of Zingerman’s Delicatessen, were not raised in family businesses the way so many deli owners were. Ari has admitted that while his grandmother was a great cook and he ate at Jewish delis, he lacked in the family food heritage department. Ginsberg was skeptical of his partnership with the ambitious Paul and Ari, but he quickly learned that they were a passionate force to be reckoned with. With Ginsberg’s guided expertise, he helped them create a perfect recipe that would later become a leading sandwich in the industry. Zingerman’s decision to import Swiss cheese gave it a leg up in the race of classic famous corned beef sandwiches. If you want to dive deeper into what makes Zingerman’s corned beef sandwiches so darn good, check out Zingerman’s Delicatessen feature in The Takeout.

The next time you indulge in a bite of Zingerman’s food at the Delicatessen, know you are biting into tradition. With so many delis that have come and gone, Zingerman’s Deli is still standing with no signs of stopping. We hope you have  enjoyed learning about 5 fun facts about Zingerman’s Deli!

If you have any other interesting facts about the Delicatessen that you would love to share, we want to hear from you over on our social media platforms. Share your experience or your favorite food at Zingerman’s Deli or any of our businesses’ delicious food items. We will happily share it on our Instagram and Facebook @Zingermanscommunity.