Gioia's Deli Takeaway. A meaty marvel. 7.8/10 sandwich. Eating this sandwich is a joyous experience. 24oz total with 8oz of meat is one of the biggest sandwiches in St. Louis. $14.36 with tax and tip. Order ahead online to avoid a wait. Expect 1 minute per person in line and then another six for the sandwich to be made. Seating inside and outside. Fun Italian deli experience and decorations. Can be incredibly busy. Parking is simple in a dedicated lot or on the street, depending on the location. There's no L in the name despite what my brain says.
Gioia's Deli Sandwich Stats - The Hot Salami
Size: 10" long x 3" high x 3" wide
Meat Weight: 8oz
Base Cost: $12
All In Cost: $14.36
Time to Order: 1 minute per person in line
Sandwich Perp: 6 minutes
Gioia's Deli Experience Summary
Gioia's Deli is my OG St. Louis sandwich experience. It was my first fancy sandwich when I moved here in 2019 after searching "Sandwiches near me." And up until my St. Louis sandwich adventures, it was my go-to for a Saturday lunch or contractors working around the house.
While not the best sandwich in St. Louis, Giola's boasts the biggest - the Hot Salami is a meaty marvel tipping the scales at eight ounces of meat, with my particular sandwich hitting an impressive 24oz overall. You can jack it up to 26oz if you order the Hot Salami and Roast Beef for an extra $1.
The giant size alone makes it an absolute joy to eat. I haven't had that much fun with each bite with any other St. Louis sandwich.
However, when it comes to flavor, the Hot Salami - their signature choice - is somewhat underwhelming. It's not hot enough, and it doesn't have enough flavor to stand out amongst the rest of the ensemble. Overall, I give the sandwich a 7.8/10 and on my list of the best sandwiches in Saint Louis. A very worthy neighborhood joint that won't leave you disappointed.
The Food At Gioia's Deli
My go-to sandwich is the signature Hot Salami sandwich.
Hot Salami is a St. Louis thing, but the flavor reminds me of Taylor Ham from breakfast sandwiches in New Jersey (or pork roll if you're from South Jersey).
The texture of the meat is fantastic. It's almost airy but gives a complete mouth feel. Like literally makes your mouth feel full. Feel for it the next time you have it.
Unfortunately, while the flavor is good, it's not intense enough for the rest of the sandwich. The meat gets lost in the sea of very good toppings.
The 'hot' in its name is somewhat misleading as it barely registers on the heat scale, maybe a .75 out of 5. My suggestion to Gioia's would be simple - amplify the salami's flavor profile, and the sandwich moves from a 7.8 to an 8.5.
Not that I have any idea how one amplifies a salami's flavor profile.
The toppings - standard lettuce, pepperoncini, oil, vinegar, and non-spicy giardiniera - create what is essentially a solid Italian sub. In my experience, they are top-of-the-line freshness and are definitely a net positive to the sandwich experience.
The bread is St. Louis sandwich standard - it does's job of holding the sandwich together without being memorable. Another place that would up its sandwich quality by simply using Union Loafer bread.
Assuming it could fit all the meat in it.
As a note, my buddy opted for a half-roast beef, half-hot salami sandwich that clocked in at 26.1oz for $13. So, if you go that route, an extra 2oz of something for $1.
Also, grab some Ripplin Red Hots or Goat Kicker chips to round out the St. Louis experience.
Gioia's Deli Atmosphere And Miscellaneous
Giola's system of service efficiency works swiftly, with only a 9-minute 8-second wait despite being third in line.
That broke down into 3:44 time-to-order followed by 5:23 seconds of prep time. They call your name when your order is ready.
To avoid any variability, I usually order online before I head over. Their square website lets you set a pickup time, so I normally order for my designated time in the morning. The minimum wait can be only 15 minutes, but I mentally prep at least an hour as sometimes it's super busy.
I noticed they had two registers, but only one cash register was open during my visit. On a busier day, I hope both registers will be open as that would significantly reduce wait times. I've seen mega lines at the Creve Couer location when I go to pickup.
The shops themselves have a typical, cozy deli atmosphere. My experiences at the Creve Coeur location and the one in the Hill have always been met with friendly service.
There are a half dozen seating options in both locations I've been to. The Hill location has outdoor seating which becomes an additional perk in warmer weather.
And for the love of god, my brain will not stop adding an L to make it Giola's. This review has seen me fix that typo…every…single…time.
Parking At Gioia's Deli
Parking poses no problem at both locations I've been to. There's a dedicated parking lot at the Creve Coeur location and ample street parking around Berra Park in The Hill.
Gioia's Deli Receipt
Sandwich Size Comparisons