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San Benito House Garden Deli & Cafe, Half Moon Bay, California

*Affiliate disclosure: I may receive commissions if you buy via the links below. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Two weeks ago I drove to the coastal town of Half Moon Bay, stumbled upon a hole-in-the-wall deli with a line halfway down the block, braved the long line and hectic ordering process, and ate the best sandwich that I am still craving to this day. So I decided to write about it. Since I can’t be at the San Benito Deli right now, and I don’t know when I’ll make another trip there, the best I can do is relive it by writing about it, and make you crave it too, so then we can both commiserate over how much it stinks that we can’t be there right now. Let’s start with pictures.

turkey sandwich and butternut squash soup
A turkey sandwich on freshly-baked Olive Walnut bread with avocado, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion, mustard, and mayonnaise. Also with a side of hot butternut squash and carrot soup.

And let’s be really tantalizing and do a closeup. 

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    turkey sandwich

    The sandwich was rich and packed to the max with meat, veggies, and condiments, as every sandwich should be.  The dense, moist bread melded perfectly with the rich, creamy avocado and thick slab of cheese.  The butternut squash and carrot soup was divine and didn’t suffer from the common soup ailment of being too salty. It was light and creamy. And the bread! Oh my gosh. I wish I could have bought a loaf of the bread to bring home.

    Add to that a beautiful view of the backyard of the San Benito House, and you have the perfect food experience.

    backyard and patio seating

    Now that you’re dying to visit this deli, here are the details:

    Tips to Know Before You Go

    • Address: 356 Main St
      Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
    • Website: https://sanbenitohouse.com/garden-deli-cafe
    • Parking: Since the deli is located downtown, there is street parking only. I didn’t have any trouble finding parking, but I did have to walk a couple streets down.
    • What to order: You probably can’t go wrong with any of the sandwiches, but for the sake of all that is delicious, order the olive walnut bread!
    • Cost: Each sandwich costs $6.60, but if you want to add cheese or avocado, there’s an extra charge (but I think it’s worth it).

    San Benito House Garden Deli menu

    • How to order: Be warned that this place is chaotic and a bit disorganized, but with these tips, you’ll be fine. You start by lining up (and the line will probably start out the door). There are two different places to order your food and then to pay for your food. When it’s your turn in line, you will be called forth by one of the sandwich makers on the right; you will then tell them what sandwich you want and what you want on it. Then, you will squeeze through the crowd to get to the left side, where the cash register is, where you will report what you ordered and then request any extra items (drink, soup, etc.). After you pay, you will be squished into the left corner, where you will stand uncomfortably with other customers-in-waiting breathing down your neck as you wait for your order to be called. Once you have your bag in hand, be sure to grab napkins and silverware from the front counter before you push your way through the dense crowd of hungry customers and then find a table in the beautiful outdoor seating area and happily devour your delicious food. Scared? Don’t be. It’s totally worth it.
    long line outside deli
    The long line outside the deli. A sure sign that the food is good–or that there are no other places open. But I saw plenty of other places open, so only the first part of this statement is true.
    long line inside deli
    The long line inside the deli
    awards won by San Benito Deli
    If my glowing review of the San Benito Deli still hasn’t convinced you, let this wall full of awards do the talking.