downtown los angeles, little tokyo
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Mike’s Deli #2 Expands Eating Options in Little Tokyo Downtown LA

Mike's Deli is now open on First Street near San Pedro Street in Little Tokyo

Back in early March, a reader sent in a tip to watch for a new deli shop from the Crenshaw District, called Mike’s Deli, that was opening along First Street in the Little Tokyo and Civic Center area. Now, Mike’s Deli has been open for a little longer than a month and has added another eatery to a growing neighborhood in Little Tokyo. Already, it seems like Yelp reviewers have embraced the new location with 4.5 out of 5 stars.

On any given day or night, Little Tokyo is a thriving district that feels, in my opinion, like one of the most coherent neighborhoods in Downtown LA. Not long ago, Little Tokyo was as empty and derelict as any other abandoned part of Downtown LA but has evolved quickly into a culinary and retail hot spot. Residents have also been moving in as new developments have been completed (i.e., Hikari, Sakura Crossing, Savoy, etc.).

Contrary to the district’s ethnic moniker, it has evolved into a diverse culinary dining scene filled with eateries of many backgrounds in addition to Japanese ramen and sushi, such as Korean, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Hawaiian and now Mike’s Deli on First Street.

Mike’s Deli is stocked with Boar’s Head meat sandwiches, and according to the manager I spoke to at Mike’s Deli, has become a popular lunch spot for Civic Center workers including LAPD and even those here in Downtown LA on jury duty. In addition, I was told that a few residents of Little Tokyo have discovered the deli by just walking by.

To me, this is the exciting evolution of a cosmopolitan neighborhood (as one would expect for a metropolis as diverse as Los Angeles) and reminds me of the kind of neighborhoods one might see in New York where people of all backgrounds live in close proximity, bringing together a diverse mix of culinary tastes.

Corned Beef sandwiches at Mike's Deli

A variety Boar's Head meat

...and cheeses

Mike's Deli menu is stocked with a variety of hot and cold sandwiches and salads

Mike's Deli also carries Isabella Cookies


  1. Raymond 3000 says

    nice addition to the hood’ now maybe they can open one on either Spring or Bway to serve Historic Dtown residents, nice to see DTLA adding local services now next hopefully there will be a 24 hr newsstand & nice butcher shop somewhere.

    • Veronica says

      Yeah, where is a butcher shop in downtown, I’m new to the area
      I’m on 6th/Spring?


  2. sebastian says

    How about putting a few tables with chairs outside the deli to give the sidewalk a little more life.

  3. brudy says

    A few outside tables would be nice, good idea.

    I love Little Tokyo, we walk over there all the time for dinner or some shopping, or the MOCA (which always has something cool going on). It’s one of the areas that always feels vibrant. Just wish it were larger…

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