Located in Five Points, Enzo’s Delicatessen is what owner Joe Cardinale describes as a place for “homesick Northerners” who miss that familiar feel of a neighborhood deli.
When Cardinale moved to South Carolina, he noticed that Columbia had very few delis to offer, so he decided open one of his own.
"[In New York], there's more than one in every single neighborhood. I mean, almost on every corner," Cardinale said.
Originally, he wanted to open the deli under one of his family surnames, but it proved to be too hard to pronounce. Instead, he decided to go with “Enzo” — the name of his dog.
Enzo’s offers a wide variety of sandwiches to choose from, including the Rico, Larry Boy, Turkey Pesto and Piper. Uncle Louie, a crowd favorite, consists of capocollo, Genoa salami, provolone, roasted peppers and arugula.
Enzo’s doesn’t stop at sandwiches and drinks. Among its variety of baked goods are the black and white cookies, New York’s famous half-and-half iced dessert. If a customer is looking for something distinctly more Italian, Enzo’s also offers cannolis – freshly piped to order.
Because Enzo’s is an Italian deli, it also stocks hard-to-find Italian products. Toward the front of the deli, shelves are stocked with canned tomatoes, imported olive oil, cheeses and pasta, among other items. In fact, Enzo’s has the largest selection of De Cecco pasta in South Carolina, with around 34 varieties.
Cardinale's favorite pasta shape is bucatini, a thick, spaghetti-like pasta, and was also his grandfather's favorite, he said. While Enzo’s does not currently have bucatini on the shelves, it’s on the way, and the business has an assortment of other pastas, including penne, rigatoni and fusilli corti.
While the small, brick-and-mortar location has only been open for about three weeks, Enzo’s has seen its fair share of customers.
“Enzos has a very laid-back environment. You walk in, and they have a a nice selection of pasta, meats, cheeses, canned goods, amongst other things,” Jonathan Switzer, one of Enzo’s recent customers, said in an email interview. “They are doing a great job following the covid guidelines so they limit the number of people allowed in the shop but still have plenty of tables outside where people can eat.”
Lindsey Griffin is the woman behind @ColaTownFoodieAndFun, a popular Instagram account dedicated to food around Columbia. So, when she heard about Enzo’s, she gave it a try.
“Everything on the menu is made from scratch and they’re doing an awesome job importing authentic Italian specialities,” Griffin said in an email interview. “So whether you’re wanting a great sandwich or to pick up some items for cooking at home — it’s a one-stop shop.”
Enzo's is currently open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday through Saturday. And while you cannot eat inside, the restaurant does currently offer delivery, pickup and patio dining.
“[It’s] a cute deli with all the Italian vibes nestled in the heart of Five Points,” Griffin said.