4766 Red Bank Expy
Madisonville, OH  45227
websiteIzzy's (Cincinnati, OH)4 stars

As a small deli chain in Cincinnati, Izzy’s totes itself as the “World’s Greatest Reuben,” and indeed among the many deli sandwiches this spot offers are plenty of fancy street sandwiches. Founded over 100 years ago by a group of Russian immigrants and named for a notoriously spunky founder, the spot quickly earned a reputation as one of the best delis in the city. Today it has nine locations in Cincinnati and northern Kentucky, and if you give it a try, you’ll find a lot of unusual things made in-house at this great spot.

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The spot makes a surprising number of things from scratch, more than you might find at your average deli. Some of the best things on the menu:

  • Izzy’s famous Reuben: corned beef, sauerkraut, Izzy’s special dressing and melted imported Swiss cheese. The meat is delicious, not too salty, and the dressing isn’t too bitter. Altogether it tastes fresh, which is a hard thing considering this is deli meat. Definitely one of the best Rubens I’ve ever had.
  • Spicy delight: The pastrami on rye has a bit of heat to it, but it’s not for the meat itself, it’s a topping that really makes the stuff good. It’s a blend of minced olives, sweet peppers, garlic and some spices. Great!
  • Sweet-N-Sour Cabbage soup: A soup with a kick. It’s got a warm heat and plenty of cabbage to make it sweet. Served with some slices of bread to add a little character. Highly recommended if you like good, thin soups.
  • Potato pancake: A potato pancake, deep fried, isn’t something you try in a lot of places. It’s crisp on the outside, and inside has something like a mashed potato consistency. Cool idea!
  • Pickles: Also something interesting, Izzy’s makes its own pickles. They’re served free as appetizers if you dine in. Fantastically fresh.

The service is great. This spot has a tendency to get crowded at meal times but fortunately some of the spots have a drive-through to make things extra convenient. I also found the price points to be great. Just a dollar or two higher than what you might find at your average sandwich shop, but at the same time the food is a notch above what you might find at one of those other spots. Altogether, a great experience.


  • The pickles are a great appetizer, and I highly recommend you dine in to give them a try.
  • The Reuben, it’s the real deal. The meat is fresh and that dressing that tops the whole thing off really hits it home. A great experience to be had, and really one of the tastiest sandwiches I have tried in Cincinnati.
  • The spot has a drive-though at some locations if you’re so inclined.

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