Benjies has been operating as a two-generation family owned New York style deli originated by Stan Weinstein in 1967 and still operated today by Stan's son and daughter-in-law, Lloyd & Noriko Weinstein. Striving to keep the family oriented style and quality created by Stan while still keeping up with modern trends in dining. For a truly New York style deli experience, if you are ever in Orange County, California you must eat at Benjies.
Featuring traditional dishes such as matzo ball soup, sweet & sour cabbage soup, tender brisket with potato latkes (pancakes) triple-decker deli sandwiches, the best Ruben sandwich in town, fantastic pastrami, pickled tongue and many more deli favorites. Please check out our extensive menu here.
Born in Brooklyn New York in August of 1921 Stan Weinstein was raised with his younger sister Isabel during the depression era in brownstone apartment on Avenue K in Brooklyn. Graduating Boys' High he went on to college as a pre-med student.With his education being interrupted by World War II, he proudly served in the army as a radio and communications specialist in India. While serving in the military, he met the love of his life Eleanor Finegold and they were married in 1946.
With the new responsibilities of marriage and a new baby, he wasn't able to continue with his education and became the breadwinner for his new family. Working for Eleanor's family in the "needles trade" as a cloth cutter in a clothing manufacturing plant, Stan decided to pursue a better life for his family and moved to Los Angeles where he continued to work for relatives in the garment industry.
His dream was to open his own business someday which he finally did in the 50's purchasing Richies drive in restaurant in Garden Grove complete with roller skating carhops!. Stan quickly outgrew Richies and it was decided that it would be torn down and a new full service family dining restaurant would be built on the site. Cookies Family Restaurant was built and flourished, but Stan's dream of owning a New York delicatessen had not been fulfilled.
In 1967 along with two partners, Stan purchased Squires coffee shop here on Tustin Avenue where it was remodeled and opened as Benjies on October 8 of 1967 where it exists today. It is now run by his son and daughter-in-law Lloyd and Noriko Weinstein where it has remained as an Icon for 40 years.
Keeping it Real at Benjie’s / A Place Where Customers Feel at Home
Some things in life get better with time, they also become appreciated more. In a world where old is out and new becomes old overnight, it is comforting to know that some refuse to fall victim to this vicious cycle. One such example is Benjie’s New York Deli on Tustin Avenue in Santa Ana, which was established in this location in 1967 by Stan Weinstein. Stan moved his family from Brooklyn to Orange County to build a brighter future for his family. The idea paid off because Benjie’s is still going strong after 42 years, now being run by Stan’s son, Lloyd, and his wife Noriko.
Benjie’s ambiance is that of a 70’s New York Deli, complete with a fantastic menu, friendly waitresses, and a façade to match the era. “I have been coming here since it opened in 1967,” says John, a local resident, “and I will keep coming here, because there is nothing around that compares to the food quality and service.” It is rare to find a place that has been preserved so well and untouched by time.
Benjie’s has something to satisfy every appetite, from fresh-cooked savory soups, to tender brisket with potato latkes (pancakes), unbelievable stuffed cabbage rolls, and the most delicious pastrami sandwiches in town. And don’t forget the most important meal of the day! That’s right, Benjie’s also serves a delectable breakfast selection, all freshly made and at unbeatable prices. When was the last time you had a huge omelet complete with all the fix-ins for $5.95? Furthermore, Benjie’s has a full bar (in the bamboo lounge) with several flat screen TV’s for the sports enthusiasts and weekly karaoke nights.
Perhaps the most fascinating feature of this quaint joint is that many of the staff working at Benjie’s has been there for 30 years or more. There are even photos of these employees on the wall at the restaurant commemorating the years gone by. While change is inevitable and we cannot resist it, it is very comforting to know that some things (and places) are immune to it. Here’s to another 40 delicious years!
To experience a true New York Style Deli right here in Orange County, please visit 1828 N. Tustin Ave, Santa Ana (714)541-6263.
Written by Irene Voronel
Benjies restaurant is open 7 days a week, Monday - Thursday 7 AM – 8:30 PM, Friday 7 AM – 9 PM.
The Bamboo Lounge is open until midnight.
Karaoke is 9PM- midnight Friday and Saturday nights.