I read an article with the conversation in it:

“Did you pick up the Sunday Times?”
“No, I’ll get it tomorrow. The deli was closed.”

Does deli refer to the kind of shop that sells cooked food? Do those delis also sell newspapers? I'm confused about why the person would pick up Sunday Times from a deli.

  • Er, "tomorrow" is Monday. They don't sell the Sunday Times on Monday. – David Richerby Apr 21 '15 at 20:29
  • See deli. The rest of your question is business related, not language related. – user3169 Apr 22 '15 at 0:02

"Deli" is short for "Delicatessen," which originally referred to fine foods (delicacies) and/or the store that sold them: the corner shop that specialized in imported meats & cheeses, for example.

These days a deli (in the U.S. anyway) is typically a small local market that makes & sells sandwiches. Unlike a convenience store (7-11 or a gas station market) a deli prepares & sells food. Unlike a chain restaurant (Subway), delis are often family owned or local to the area.

Delis often sell other necessities too like milk, eggs, snacks, candy, and newspapers/magazines, which is why the person in your quote went there looking for the Sunday Times. You'll also see "the deli counter" in larger grocery stores where you can buy meats, cheese, sandwiches, and other prepared foods like pasta & salads, but you wouldn't call the whole large store a "deli."

  • 1
    "necessities… candy" yaaaaas +1 – bjb568 Apr 22 '15 at 0:57

A deli is a shop that sells food for you to eat immediately. But, it also usually sells many other things that you might purchase at a convenience store, such as newspapers, gum, etc. This is particularly handy if you want to read the newspaper while you eat.

If this is set in New York City (the Sunday Times), they may be referring to a bodega, where you can also buy a wide variety of groceries, household items like laundry detergent, and who knows what else.


Does deli refer to the kind of shop that sells cooked food?


Do those delis also sell newspapers?

Delis often contained a newsstand, especially in times past. One would go to the deli for sandwiches, coffee, newspapers, periodicals, etc. Not every deli sells all the above items, but many do.

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