Milburn Deli

See my post with pictures and links here.

For the famous Sloppy Joes

Milburn Deli
328 Millburn Avenue
Millburn NJ 07041-1621
(973) 379-5800




You probably know the background of the NJ Sloppy Joe and how it differs from what the rest of the country calls the sandwich of the same name. The NJ version is not ground beef in a sauce on a bun. It’s a double decker on rye with a combination of deli meats, cole slaw, Russian dressing and, sometimes, cheese. It’s always cut into multiple sections, not just into 2 halves. Usually you see them on a big platter at parties, carved into squares about 3″ X 3″ X 3″ with a toothpick holding each section together.

The Millburn Deli makes a gourmet version of the sandwich. The 3 slices of rye are thinly sliced fresh to order, meats are of super high quality (fresh turkey, rare and lean roast beef), there is one slice of Swiss cheese, and the homemade slaw and Russian are kind of sweet and thick, gluing the sandwich together. The sandwich could be described as creamy. You order the sandwich by the (single) type of meat you want, for examples, a Turkey Joe or a Roast Beef Joe. The ham Joe, which I believe is the most popular version, is simply called the Sloppy Joe. One unique feature of the Millburn Deli Joe is that it is sliced into 3! sections – picture an oval rye slice divided this way with 2 opposing D shaped sections surrounding the center Wedge. Just as people have various ways they might approach eating an Oreo cookie, there are different schools of thought on whether to eat from L to R, R to L, start with the Wedge, or save the Wedge for last. (There is no toothpick, as the sandwich is only about 1.5 ” tall.) The sandwich has remained essentially the same since I first had one around 1970, even though the ownership of the deli has changed. They used to butter each slice of bread – now, that’s only done on request (by some old timers).

Here is their website, which doesn’t give too much info and provides no pictures.

You should order one (or some) and see what you think.

The MD SJ was recently featured in a NY Times article.

I’ll try to remember to take a picture next time I eat one.

Millburn is an upscale suburban NJ town whose poshest area is called Short Hills.



12 responses to “Milburn Deli

  1. B Dummy and Jim S, both born and bre(a)d Jersey boys, crave the Milburn Sloppy Joe’s.

  2. JAF has nailed it. The Friday special (offered all week) is one of life’s special offerings….mix that with some of their homemade iced tea, a few insults, and if you have room some yodels (though they used to offer these amazing brownies called rachels brownies back in the day…..)

  3. Wedge last – absolutely!

    And though we always remember it as Russian dressing, it’s more like Thousand Island.

    Need some chips too, then go out back and eat it in the park… Don’t forget the pickle!

  4. Winadu Mitch – is that you at the end of the Over-the-Top-Springsteen fan video?

  5. The Milburn Deli used to brew their own sweetened iced tea. It was the perfect way to wash down the perfect sandwich.

  6. The Millburn Deli still brews their Ice Tea.
    Even bottles each one….

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  9. I will be honest, this thing looks bad. Being from Chicago there were no “insert lunchmeat name-Joe” of any kind. This is America and Sloppy-Joe is Sloppy-Joe. Does this exist elsewhere in Jersey – or Millburn the only one thumbing there noses at convention? This is like making a hot dog out of tofu…..Un-American!

  10. Listen Doug, stick to your doughy Chicago deep dish pizza and bratwurst. These sandwiches are the best! You should try one before you judge it. – Don’t criticize what you can’t understand!

  11. to the millburn deli i mis the joes sandwitchs. my mom wode buy them every now and then. iwas about the age of 6 yersold when i hade my first ham joe. i have had the ave delis joe its ok and have hade the town deli joe to. but next time i come home to shorthills nj .wher i lived as a young boy. i will buy a eleast one ore more of each. i heare from nease that you mack. a tune joe. wode youe beable to ship them .to me in md . if so . leat me no . and how much dose one cost to are still the top joe to me .thos other twe can. not come close to the millburn deli. thanks bill.

  12. from bill sory about mi spling.

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