365 New Orleans: Empire State Deli

365 New Orleans is focused on local artists and businesses. Every single day, for one year, a new person or place will be highlighted. Follow along on Instagram: @365NewOrleans 


Paul Tufaro, clearly a New York native, arrived in New Orleans 21 years ago. As a kid, he grew up working in New York delis. He came down here to study jazz at UNO. Paul knew if New Orleans was going to be his forever home, he would need that piece of home down here.

Paul spent 2 years crafting a business plan and looking for the right location for his deli. Since the CBD is a great mix of locals, transplants from around the country, and, of course, lots of business people – he knew he found the right spot for Empire State Deli.

Empire State Deli specializes in traditional hot Reubens, Philly Cheese Steaks, Chicken Cheese Steaks, Hot Italian Heroes, 1/2 lb. 100% Angus Beef Burgers, BBQ Brisket, Chicken or Eggplant Parmigiana heroes, Triple Decker Clubs, fresh crisp salads, hot soups, and gourmet sides. We also have freshly prepared Daily Specials created by Paul himself, who is a hands-on part of all daily operations.


1. Tell me about your deli. 

We are an authentic New York deli in New Orleans. I moved down here and I needed a New York sandwich if I was going to stay.

We make our sandwiches on soft, Italian bread. We make our own specials, sauces, and dressings too.  We only use Boar’s Head meats too. 


2. How long have you been in business? 

14 years now. We were open less than a year when Katrina hit. We came back and reopened. then we made it through Gustav and the BP oil spill. It’s been interesting!


3. How do people find you online? 

empirestatedeli.com, Facebook, Waitr, UberEats, & Instagram @empirestatedeli


4. What is lesser known about your business that you wish more people knew? 

That we offer catering. And that you can always catch a Yankee game here.


5. Lagniappe Info. 

My two girls (8 & 11) are really involved in the business too. My 11-year-old can ring people up faster than I can!

We sell her girl scout cookies here when it’s cookie season too.

The Grateful Veggie Burger was named for when I used to follow the Grateful Dead around in the 90s.

Lots of the sandwiches have New York-themed names. They’re all good.


Check out Empire State Deli for yourself at 701 Poydras for breakfast or lunch. 


Learn more about the New Orleans neighborhood, the CBD. 


365 New Orleans

365 New Orleans was created by New Orleans real estate agent, Leslie Heindel. To contact Leslie about buying, selling, or renting a home - please input your info. She will respond within 24 hours.