Situated on San Marco Avenue between Myrtle and Sanchez is the tiny and unassuming Drake’s Deli. Drake’s Deli is definitely a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it kind of place. But what it lacks in square footage, it more than makes up for in delicious food and hospitable service. Drake’s Deli serves up all sorts of hot and cold sandwiches, salads, soups, and cheese steaks. They also offer breakfast, as well as amazing homemade cakes. Chocolate Oreo Cheesecake? Yes, please!
We grabbed lunch from Drake’s Deli during a recent weekend trip to St. Augustine and I have been dreaming about those tasty eats ever since. We were hungry (bordering on hangry) and looking for a sandwich place within walking distance of our vacation rental. Drake’s Deli fit the bill perfectly. This place is small, to say the least. There are a few tables in a patio seating area outside and a handful of seats at the counter inside. So takeout is probably the best way to go. And that was exactly what we were looking for on this particular day. We placed our order and after a short wait, it was all packaged up and ready to go. During the wait, it was clear that the folks running Drake’s Deli are passionate about their food, and their friendly service made the restaurant a comfortable place to be.
When we unwrapped our sandwiches back at the house, we were pleased to find that all our food had traveled very well and still looked amazing and tasty. We couldn’t wait to dig in. The kids were especially thrilled about their Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich ($5.00). We were expecting a run-of-the-mill, slapped together pb&j, but it ended up being so much better. First off, this thing was massive – more than enough for our two hungry kiddos to share. It was slathered in thick layers of gooey peanut butter and perfectly sweet/tart raspberry jam. It was definitely an above-average peanut butter and jelly sandwich, especially for the price. It also came with a pickle spear and a bag of chips, as did all of our sandwiches.
The hubby opted for the Muffuletta Sandwich ($8.50). Again, this sandwich was huge, and it was packed full of deliciousness. This take on the New Orleans classic was served on a baguette rather than the more traditional round muffuletta roll. It was overflowing with ham, salami, and cheeses. The olive salad added a nice texture and a salty, slightly spicy pop of flavor in each bite. And the fresh-baked bread was just heavenly – soft on the inside and toasty on the outside.
Since I was craving something a little lighter, I chose the Fountain of Youth Wrap ($6.50). The description sounded like exactly what I was hankering for and this wrap really delivered. It was like a caprese salad all bundled up in a neat little package. Fresh, juicy tomato slices were layered between crisp lettuce and flavorful basil. Creamy fresh mozzarella slices pulled it all together and made for a perfectly fresh and delicious wrap. It came with a side of balsamic vinaigrette, but I didn’t even find it necessary. The veggies inside were so full of flavor that it was perfect without the vinaigrette.
Having found Drake’s Deli by chance and sort of at the last minute while looking for a quick lunch, we were thoroughly pleased with our to-go meal. Everything was fresh and delicious. And the portions were very generous for the price – our sandwiches were huge! The only drawback that we really found with Drake’s Deli was the diminutive size and noticeable shortage of parking. Take advantage of the few street side parking spots, or otherwise be prepared to park nearby and walk to this hidden gem. And takeout may be your best bet, given the small interior and limited seating. Taking all that into consideration, Drake’s Deli still gets high marks in my book. Their huge, tasty sandwiches and friendly service definitely won me over. I can’t wait to stop in and try more of their yummy food next time we’re in town – especially a slice of that Chocolate Oreo Cheesecake.
Rhonda Kovar grew up in the heart of North Carolina before moving to Florida after getting hitched in 2002. She is a graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne University and a lover of all things crafty, musical, or edible. Rhonda loves finding new and delicious ways to turn her two tiny picky eaters into future foodies. You can follow her on Instagram and read her other reviews over at Jax Restaurant Reviews.