photo credit: Noah Devereaux

Defonte's image



BrooklynRed Hook

$$$$Perfect For:Cheap EatsClassic EstablishmentSerious Take-Out Operation
Earn 3x points with your sapphire card

Included In

Defonte’s is the complete opposite of what you see popping up on so many Brooklyn corners. It’s not a cute sandwich shop on a cute Brooklyn street. It’s not new, it’s not trendy, and it’s nowhere near gluten-free. Instead, it’s an old school sandwicheria that specializes in homemade ingredients and big-ass heroes. Defonte’s doesn’t do its take on a classic. Defonte’s is the classic.

No frills, yes turkey gravy.

Defonte's image

This place, which has been open since 1922, is a deli, not a restaurant—no tables, no waiters—but the menu goes way beyond your normal spread of cold cuts. Between the trays of parmigiana and house-brined meats, you can legitimately come to Defonte’s for three meals a day without repeating the same taste twice.

We wrote that sentence and instantly realized that we should set out to prove it. We started with the egg and potato on a sesame seed roll for breakfast, moved over to the Italian combo with extra hot peppers for lunch, and finished off strong with an eggplant parm for dinner. It was one of our best days of eating in a long time and we didn’t even go as big as we could have (see: the Giuseppe Special).

Good luck to whatever opens up next door.

Food Rundown

Defonte's image

Egg And Potato

Somewhere between a scramble and a frittata, this guy is served on an excellent, fresh sesame seed roll. Get peppers on top if you like. (Hint: you like.)
Defonte's image

Italian Combo

A classic at any Italian deli. Good meat and lots of it.
Defonte's image

Turkey With Turkey Gravy

The homemade, hand-carved turkey is aces, but the ladles of turkey gravy on top make it something else entirely. Turkey with turkey gravy, extra turkey gravy. You can say that here and get a “sounds good” instead of a “you have problems.” That’s special.

Pastrami With Pastrami Gravy

Aaaaand you can do it with pastrami too. God is good.
Defonte's image

Eggplant Parm

Great red sauce, great bread, and some damn fine eggplant. A bit sloppy, so not the best to eat as you walk, but otherwise a can’t miss.

Meatball Hero

If eggplant isn’t your thing, stay on the red sauce and get this instead.
Defonte's image

Giuseppe Special

The only thing better than eggplant parm or meatball parm is eggplant parm with meatball parm on top. No joke, and not on the menu for novelty. This is something anybody who cares about sandwiches should take seriously. Save it for a special occasion, AKA tomorrow.

Included In


Suggested Reading

Katz’s Deli image

Katz’s Deli

Orgasms, pastrami, matzoh ball soup, hurried service. What more could you ask for?

Parm image

Checking back in on Parm, now that the hype has died down. Three years later, the sandwiches are still excellent, and the novelty still makes up for the rest.

Court Street Grocers image

Some of the best sandwiches in Brooklyn. Court Street Grocers is a Carroll Gardens favorite, but it's good enough to travel for, too.


Welcome to the Texas-style dining hall of sacred smoked meats known as Hometown Bar-B-Que.

Infatuation Logo


2024 © The Infatuation Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The views and opinions expressed on The Infatuation’s site and other platforms are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of (or endorsement by) JPMorgan Chase. The Infatuation and its affiliates assume no responsibility or liability for the content of this site, or any errors or omissions. The Information contained in this site is provided on an "as is" basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.


Get it on Google PlayDownload on the App Store