Reuben Faceoff: Neighbor’s Deli vs. Katzinger’s Delicatessen

Two Columbus sandwich stalwarts do battle.

Erin Edwards
Columbus Monthly
Reuben sandwich at Neighbor's Deli

In 2009, Neighbor’s was in its infancy just as Katzinger’s was celebrating a quarter century in business across town in German Village. The two sandwich spots couldn’t be more different. Katzinger’s is a Columbus institution now owned by a restaurant group, City Brands, and Neighbor’s is a scrappy, one-man show that relies on word-of-mouth. What do they have in common? The two delis serve some of the best Reubens in town. Here’s how they stack up. 

More:25 of the Best Sandwiches in Columbus

Neighbor’s 

Grilled on a flattop with your choice of corned beef, pastrami or turkey, Neighbor’s Reuben is a big, messy affair that doesn’t travel well, but it’s still a thing to behold and to taste. If you’re a fermented cabbage fan, Neighbor’s sandwich is more sauerkraut-forward than Katzinger’s version. This Henderson Road spot also uses Thousand Island, while Katzinger’s employs Russian dressing. (And don’t even think about asking Neighbor’s owner, Jon Snyder, to put cold toppings like lettuce and tomato on your hot Reuben—that’s sacrilege.) Considering how much meat Snyder puts on his Reubens, there’s decent value in this $12 sandwich given its size, and you can order a half sandwich for $6.50. 

The Reuben at Katzinger's Delicatessen

Katzinger’s 

The most heralded deli in the city has too many sandwiches to count, but the Reuben (aka the No. 1) is an excellent place to start. If Neighbor’s Reuben is the work-from-home equivalent of a sandwich (disheveled and needing a haircut), then Katzinger’s represents back to the office (buttoned up, shaved and everything just so). Katzinger’s Reubens come in two sizes (regular for $12.95 and deli size for $15.95), and are easy to handle, making sure that the sauerkraut, Swiss, dressing and flavorful corned beef all remain within the confines of the rye bread. Katzinger’s regular size Reuben isn’t as good a value as Neighbor’s mammoth sammie, but this deli’s version remains a classic. Plus, if you don’t want a traditional Reuben, Katzinger’s has nine others to choose from. 

Alternative: Meatloaf Reuben and the Georgia Reuben, Newfangled Kitchen 

At this family-owned Bexley spot known for its meatloaf sandwiches, the American classic even gets the Reuben treatment, with a slab of meatloaf, Swiss cheese, coleslaw (instead of sauerkraut) and house-made Fang Sauce on grilled marbled rye. Meanwhile, the Georgia is an excellent, more traditional take on a turkey Reuben. Both are $8.75.