Home » Restaurant Review » Restaurant Review: C4 Deli -A little bite of Queens in Downtown Santa Ana
Restaurant Review: C4 Deli -A little bite of Queens in Downtown Santa Ana
C4 Deli Reuben

Restaurant Review: C4 Deli -A little bite of Queens in Downtown Santa Ana

C4: Cure for the Common Deli

Downtown Santa Ana gets a little touch of Queens New York

C4 Deli Exterior

C4 Deli brings a little bit of New York to thriving foodie scene in Downtown Santa Ana

c4 Deli interior BoothSitting on the overstuffed red vinyl booth, I took a big bite out of my Reuben sandwich. For those few seconds while my teeth sunk into the juicy Reuben sandwich, I felt like I went from hanging out in Dowtown Santa Ana to my Mother-in-law’s favorite deli in Queens. Good deli is hard to find in Orange County, C4 is among a small handful of shops who are doing it right. To the purist, yes it is not the same at Canter’s in Hollywood, but C4 offers an updated version of deli that can appeal to the snobbiest of foodies and the casual diner. 

C4 Deli Meats and Cheese

House Cured, Farm fresh and artisan cheese are the standard at C4 Deli

C4: Deli is owned by the same folks who operate  of Chapter One: The Modern Local. The secret sauce that helped Chapter One develop a cult following is being carried over to C4. What is the secret sauce? High quality ingredients, craft preparation, house made ingredients and excellent customer service. All of their meats comes from 100% all-natural and raised by “responsible farmers.”  Were possible, they house make their sauces, process their own meat. For example, C4 house cures their own pastrami, pickles their own cucumbers, smokes their own meat, and make their own sausage.  To me, I find this approach on the vanguard of restaurant trends.The result definitely better tasting food.


C4 Deli Cooking Style is Craft

C4 Deli house cures, smokes their meats and even makes their own sausage, salads, and sauces




The look and feel of C4 is Queens Deli, with inspirations art deco and the classic tiled walls. The front of the restaurant has a collection of overstuffed red vinyl booths. The heart of the action at C4 appears to revolve around the bar which supports craft beer, wine and food service.  With Downtown Santa Ana becoming one of Orange County’s hip dining centers, the Deli/Bar can get busy on weekends. Fortunately there is plenty of room at the standing bar as well.

c4 Deli Interior

C4 Deli’s interior is hip and welcoming. limited table spaces and food and drinks are ordered at the bar and service counters


What I ordered

Reuben Sandwich

This sandwich is on their “house cured” section of the menu, meaning they actually cure the meats themselves. I thought that this Reuben sandwich was very special both in terms of ingredients and execution. The sandwich is made with marble rye, house-cured pastrami, house-fermented sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and you guessed it house-made Russian dressing. The key element that made this sandwich awesome is the flavor layers created by the ingredients. The sandwich is made with one of the better marble rye breads that I have tasted. The bread is not as intense as some of the marble ryes that I have tried in the past, allowing the cured meat to take center stage. The pastrami was less salty than the standard pastrami I am used to, allowing it to balance with the acidity from the sauerkraut, ripeness of the Swiss cheese and sweet acidity of the Russian dressing.

C4 Deli Rueben

C4 Deli signature sandwich is their Reuben. Scratch ingredients and some of the best marble rye I have tasted

Other Sandwiches I sampled

Turkey Sandwich – made with Mary’s Free-Range Turkey breast, lettuce, tomato, provolone, malt vinegar aioli. I am never a fan of ordering a turkey sandwich when I go out to a restaurant or deli, but this one is definitely on my list.

C4 Deli Turkey

C4 makes a turkey sandwich that even I would order


Muffuletta  is made with Salami, Capicola, Mortadella, Olive Salad, Emmentaler Cheese, Aioli on Ciabatta Roll. This sandwich has its roots in New Orleans and C4 does a great job updating this sandwich while maintaining the classic mix of deli meats with the olive salad spread. This sandwich has an incredible balance of flavors.

C4 deli Muffuletta

The C4 Muffuletta is NOLA legit


Hearts of Palm salad – This cold salad a combination of hearts of palm, white beans, peas, goat cheese and a red wine vinaigrette. This was a delicious combination that provided the right blend of textures and flavors

C4 Deli salad hearts of palm

The C4 Deli Heart of Palms Salad has a nice creamy and acidic flavor profile. A must try

Other sides I sampled

The Curried Broccoli Salad  – This cold salad is made with toasted cashews, bacon, white raisins and curry mayo. It is an upscale version of the famous soup plantation broccoli madness. I could eat this salad all day. The Pickled Pesto Pasta Salad – made with elbow macaroni, citrus pesto, corn, diced pickles and green bell peppers. This was a very refreshing salad between the citrus flavors and the pickles. The pickled and smoked eggs are to die for.

c4 Deli other Sides

Some of C4 Deli other sides including curried broccoli salad, pickled pesto pasta and house pickled eggs



I was particularly impressed with their vast draft beer and wine selections. The draft beer selection is over 15 deep and features a nice selection of local craft breweries including Ballast Point, Oceanside Aleworks, and Valiant. They also carry a very nice selection of bottled beers.

c4 Deli Beer

C4 has an amazing draft and bottle beer list. Craft beer is their key focus.

The wine selection was also impressive with wine by the bottle and by the glass.  The by the glass program had a variety of reds, white and desert. The bottle program is retail so you can purchase a bottle to be enjoyed at the deli or take it home.

C4 Deli Wine

C4 Deli also has a very nice wine list for the oenophiles out there

We tried a couple of their specialty root beers, both are deliciously good.

C4 Deli Sodas

Specialty Sodas are also available. If you are from New York you might find some comfort ordering Dr.Browns.


My Final Thoughts

C4 Deli is something special and is yet another restaurant thatis helping to elevate Orange County’s dining scene by serving craft  food. The owners that brought us Chapter One have delivered another winning concept to Downtown Santa Ana with C4 Deli. One of the only issues that people seem to have with C4 is that the prices can be higher that your standard chain sandwich shop or Deli. For expect to pay $30 for two sandwiches, two specialty sodas and two sides.  To me the extra price was worth the flavor provided by very high quality ingredients. I highly recommend C4Deli/Bar. 

200 North Broadway 
Santa Ana, CA 92701



C4 Deli: Cure for the Common on Urbanspoon
Check out my other Restaurant reviews

Tuscany Grill

Chapter One: The Modern Local

The Playground

Where to Find Cronuts in Orange County

About Tom Holmberg

Tom grew up in a cultural diverse neighborhood and a culturally diverse family, so he has learned to appreciate all types of food. "I am not a Chef, nor do I play one on T.V., but I have learned to appreciate food from years of eating and cooking." Tom also spent 10 years in the restaurant industry in various roles, from Prep Cook to server.


  1. Those sandwiches look amazing! My mouth’s watering :-)

  2. I’m with Jo. The sandwiches made my mouth water. The only time I have deli food is in Las Vegas (of all places). I’ll have to try the one deli that I know of in Tucson and see how their food is.

  3. Its hard to find the quaint restaurants with the secret sauce! Once you find them you will always go back. Sounds like a wonderful deli with great food.

  4. That Muffelleta is so calling my name! Gosh…looks amazing with your article and pics!

  5. I think I gained 5 pounds reading this! Love hearts of palm salads…yum yum

  6. Yummy that looked very amazing!..

  7. Those sandwiches were amazing and I loved your descriptions and how you used my birthplace of Queens:) It totally had a NY feel…I could feel the presence of gramma:) <3

  8. I can taste a pastrami on rye with mustard now.. that rueben looked very good..

  9. OMG! I am starving now…. this food looks amazing…

  10. Love the tagline and would love to have a sandwich. This looks like a fantastic place to eat.

  11. Omg you took me back to New York to those famous diners. That sandwhich looks so good, I felt like I was eating it as I saw it on the page.

  12. A bit pricey but I will take your words for it when you say that it is worth it. Everything looks amazing btw!

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