By Dylan Bailey
I have lived around the Amelia Island area for more than 15 years, but 4th Street Deli and Salads has managed to slip under my radar. I’d heard people mention it, but never found my way there.
That was until just recently. Located on 4th Street, as the restaurant’s name implies, you’d be forgiven if you missed it. While not a flashy establishment, it’s one that’s stood the test of time in Fernandina’s historic district. And that was one of the biggest reasons I wanted to check out its offerings.
The outside of the restaurant features a large window where you can sneak a peek at the deli. And just beside the window are some tables and chairs, for those who’d like to enjoy the ambiance of Centre Street.
Going in was far more exciting than I’d imagined. The door that led from the street brought me into an almost alley-like area, with a sign showing the daily offerings and specials. There’s one more door to go through, and this is the one that brought me to where I could order.
On one of the walls, they had a myriad of pictures featuring celebrities like Bob Dylan. It was a charming environment, to say the least. And if you peek behind the counter, you can see the grill they use to cook all their sandwiches to order. Not only that, but they have a glass display showing off their cold salads, which are plentiful.
I had no idea what I was going to get but the blackboard hanging on the back wall showed off a variety of sandwiches and salads to choose from. Chicken salad, veggie clubs, grilled chicken gyros, and crabcake sandwiches are just a few of what they had for sale. I decided to go with something simple, yet familiar and ordered the turkey and bacon sandwich, which comes hot with provolone, mayo, lettuce, and tomato. You’re able to choose what bread you’d like for your sandwich too, with choices ranging from white, whole wheat, pita, marble rye, ciabatta, sub roll, or croissant. I was almost overwhelmed by how many I could choose from, so to keep things simple, I went with white.
The restaurant also has a variety of sides you can add to your order. I’m not the biggest fan of cold salads, but they did have chips, as well as chocolate chip cookies available. What was most impressive, even though I was the third person to order, my food was ready within a matter of minutes. Being able to walk in and order food this fresh, and not have to wait forever, was a big plus to me.
The sandwich came wrapped in aluminum foil, which helped steam the bread and meat even more. But, I was highly disappointed when I unwrapped it. When I ordered my sandwich on white, I was not expecting it to come on untoasted, plain sandwich bread. It was delicious, but I was expecting something entirely different in my mind. The price of the sandwich was $9.50, before tax, and having it served on what looked like Wonder Bread, left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth.
I didn’t want to write off the restaurant though, so a few days later I went back and ordered two more sandwiches. This time I ordered the Cuban, which came on (you guessed it) Cuban bread, and the chicken salad sandwich, which I asked to be put on a sub roll.
I opted for just the sandwiches since I didn’t want chips or any of the cold salads. I will say that many people have spoken highly about their cold salads, so they may be right up your alley if you enjoy them.
Wrapped in aluminum, like before, I eagerly tore into the Cuban and this was what I had been expecting from my previous order. The Cuban bread was an actual loaf cut down the middle, and not traditional sandwich bread. A thick layer of pork tenderloin, ham, swiss, mayo, mustard, and pickles was beautifully laid out on the bread. It came warmed and the flavor of everything put together was phenomenal. Each bite I took had me eagerly anticipating the next. The Cuban comes in at around $12.99 and for all things considered, I was highly impressed by the amount given for the price.
My second sandwich was their grilled chicken salad on a sub roll. I like my chicken salad to be heavy on the mayo, and this was on the drier side, but the flavor was still spectacular. They loaded the sub roll to the brim. Coming in at $9.50, if you’re looking for something to really fill you up, this one will do the job.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at 4th Street Deli and Salads. This is definitely not a tourist trap restaurant. It’s a hidden gem in Fernandina’s historic district and I’d absolutely recommend it to anyone who is wanting good food at an affordable price.
For many of us at Century 21 the 4th Street Deli is the go to for take out lunch!
The trio salad selection is amazing…..beyond anything available downtown…and shrimp salad on croissant with a side terrific. Best go to forme
Wait a minute- you ordered white bread, got white bread & you complained? What, you think this is Yelp or something? Seriously, every bite I’ve had from 4th Street has been delicious! And you are missing out on the cold salads!!
Being still new to the Island, this is a place I certainly check out and I will be specific should I want my bread toasted
Thanks Dylan for the recommendation.
To go to 4th st. Deli,not sample salads then write a review, Criminal.
Agreed. Avocado, tomato, corn, bean is a personal favorite but was not in the rotation this past week.
As a gluten free customer – the broccoli, Thai and pineapple salads are delish!!
Love 4th Street Deli! I haven’t tried the salads, but look delicious. Sandwiches are wonderful!
Lived here for 7 years & never heard of this place!! Am DEFINITELY going this wk!!
Thank all for these comments!
And the ladies behind the counter are super sweet and efficient. The selection of cold salads is awesome.
You order a sandwich on white bread and then complain because your sandwich came on white bread? You say you had a view of Centre Street when the restaurant is on 4th Street. And you’ve lived here for 15 years and just discovered this great eatery with the best salads on the island and you order a bag of chips as a side? Is this supposed to be a humor column? If not you really need to get out more, get some fresh air, and pick up a city map.
Thanks for the comment. My point of this column is specifically for those who had not visited. I believe some people may be put off from traditional sandwich bread, especially as sandwich shops in the area do not adhere to that and when you order white you receive something entirely different.
He’d complain if he was hung with a new rope!
I go about once every 6 months. Very good sandwiches and very good salads. The ladies do a great job.