CAPITAL CITY SICILIAN
A Baton Rouge favorite, Anthony’s Italian Deli has been serving delicious Italian specialties for nearly 40 years. Anthony and Maria Saia opened the deli in 1978 after they moved to Louisiana from Italy. Anthony’s operated on Florida Boulevard for 37 years before moving in 2015 to its new location on Government Street in the Mid City neighborhood.
The deli is best known for its muffuletta, which is piled with Italian cold cuts, provolone cheese, finely chopped house-made olive salad, and house dressing on homemade muffuletta bread.
“We do something special with the muffulettas before we serve them: We panini toast them,” says Marco Saia, manager and son of Anthony and Maria. “We toast them to perfection, and they’re nice and crunchy, so it’s not all bread, and it evens out with the meat.”
Marco, who grew up with the deli and so considers himself a muffuletta connoisseur, believes that Anthony’s Deli stands up to other versions throughout Louisiana.
“My mother was pregnant with me when she opened the deli,” he says. “I took my first steps in our old place. I’ve been eating these muffulettas since I was a child. I’ve gone around and I’ve eaten other places, and nothing compares to this…it’s one of a kind.”