A Neat-o Guide to a Low-Carb and Keto-Friendly Deli Visit


Low in carbs, high in flavor

As serious food lovers, our mission is bringing the Zingerman’s experience to as many people as possible. We want to help each and every one of our guests find food they feel good about eating—no matter their dietary restrictions or preferences. We take this job very seriously! It’s just an everyday part of our desire to give great service to every guest—no one should have to forgo access to great food due to dietary parameters! For those following a keto diet (so named because it aims to induce ketosis, a metabolic state in which the body burns fat as its main fuel source) we have a lot of delicious menu items and specialty food selections to enjoy.

Insert the little disclaimer now: we are not registered dietitians or health care professionals (you knew that already though, right?!). But while we can’t help you count carbs, we can point you in the direction of naturally high-fat and low-carbohydrate foods at the Deli. After all, we are big fans of full-flavored foods, and fat = flavor! 

Lettuce Eat Low-Carb!

Following a keto diet doesn’t mean forgoing our sandwiches and sides! We can skip the bread and turn any of our substantial sandwich fillings into a salad; just make a note on your online order to “make it a sandalad” (or give us a call and place your order over the phone: 734-663-3354). Zingerman’s Reuben sandalad, Jenny’s Fix sandalad, Tarb’s Tenacious Tenure sandalad—the world is your sandalad oyster! (Or, at least our sandwich menu is!) And you can give any sandalad a flavor (and fat) boost by adding on avocado spread or bacon (or both!). Kay H. (@ketokalamazoo) raved about our sandalads, saying

If you know about @zingermansdeli in Ann Arbor, you know the gloriousness I’m about to share. LAWD! But did you know you can order sandwiches low-carb style? … Ask for your favorite selection as a “sandalad”! I took extra pics so you can see how the sandwich comes in the container—and how it folds into a giant, gorgeous dreamwich! Pics 1-3 represent “Jenny’s Fix,” I am OBSESSED! Zingerman’s house-made pastrami, Swiss Emmental cheese, coleslaw, & a gorgeous Russian dressing (also made in-house, clocking in at 3 total carbs for 2 Tbsp—I wish now I’d purchased a bottle for home!), sitting on top of huge, crisp, fresh, & green lettuce leaves. The third pic demonstrates my preferred way to eat this darling—a little lettuce with a good pinch of meats, toppings, and cheese. … Y’all, I am STILL dreaming about these sandwiches! PKH and I agree these are the BEST pastrami and corned beef sandwiches we’ve EVER had. If you’re in the Ann Arbor area, you MUST visit—heck, if you’re not in the area, you MUST visit. Zingerman’s is slingin’ PLENTY of delicious low-carb/keto options. And my GOSH they are DELICIOUS! 

Additional low-carb options include our Tuna Salad (made with MSC-certified sustainable pole and line caught 100% American tuna, mayo, Spanish onion, celery, sea salt, black pepper, and lemon juice) and our Chicken Salad (made with hand-cut Amish chicken, mayo, Spanish onion, and celery). 

And don’t forget to check our salad case! You’ll often find non-starchy veggie options, like our crunchy two-cabbage coleslaw. Offerings change seasonally, a couple examples of low-carb offerings you might find include Sonoma Trio, a beautiful salad of roasted Michigan carrots and beets with basil mixed with a Katz zinfandel vinegar, or Cauliflower Dreaming, harissa roasted cauliflower topped with a refreshing cilantro lime cream.

Oil Be Back (for Fats & Eggs)

We have you covered with olive oil options, we have dozens (and dozens). And not to brag about our bottles (okay, just a little bit!), but here are 8 reasons why our olive oil collection is outstanding. If you need a little guidance, brush up on how to read olive oil labels and olive oil tasting notes. Following a keto diet might mean enjoying butter in moderation, but for times when nothing else will do, we have a handful of different butters, from our house butter, made by Calder Dairy with sweet cream from their farm in Carleton, Michigan to European butters and even a European-style cultured butter made in Vermont. And yes, we have Michigan natural brown eggs from free-range chickens, too!

Really Gouda Meats & Cheeses

Our extensive Deli counter is loaded with meats and cheeses—how could we possibly choose what to highlight?! If decision paralysis can get the better of you too at times, stop in to see and chat through options or take a page out of Kay H.’s book. Since she is such a sandalad fan, she also likes to take home our corned beef and pastrami—and Swiss cheese, Brinery sauerkraut, and Russian dressing—to make her own take on them at home! Kay also loves Zingerman’s Creamery Pimento Cheese as a flavorful low-carb option. For the uninitiated, their version of this traditional Southern cheese spread features coarsely grated aged cheddar, slow-roasted red peppers, black pepper, mayonnaise, and just enough cayenne to give it a smidge of heat. 

Fin-tastic Seafood

Fish and shellfish can pack a punch of protein—perfect for keto converts. Did you know that we carry over four dozen varieties of tinned fish?! From Ortiz bonito tuna to Cântara grilled cod to 

Patagonia Provisions mackerel with lemons and capers and so many more. If you’re not sure where to start, check out our Eater’s Guide to Tinned Fish and visit our blog to find some of Ari’s tinned fish recipes like Sardines and Scrambled Eggs.

Nuts About These

Nut-urally we have an extensive selection! We have nearly every nut you can think of, like Marcona almonds, red walnuts, peanuts, pecans, baby pistachio kernels, and hazelnuts. For nut butters, Georgia Grinders’ almond butter, pecan butter, and hazelnut butter are all made with roasted nuts and a bit of sea salt. Grand Rapids-based Koeze makes peanut butters—smooth and crunchy—that also only include nuts and sea salt. (As always, head to our blog if you’d like to read more, Ari’s written about nearly every item listed.)

A Choco-lot of Options

Chocolate lovers rejoice! We carry Askinosie’s unsweetened cocoa powder and their single-origin cocoa nibs. And, we have half a dozen low and no-sugar chocolate bars, like our selection from The Good Chocolate. Their bean-to-bar chocolates are made with naturally occurring sweeteners like stevia, mesquite, and erythritol—a carbohydrate found in fruits and plants. Stop in the Next Door Café and ask for a sample to help you decide which ones are your favorites (keto followers or otherwise!). 

Brew-tiful Beverages

Hello, hydration station! Sparkling water fans can opt for a Spindrift or Northwoods Soda’s flavored soda water (choose The Dance: Blueberry Acai Soda Water or The Kiss: Rhubarb Lavender Soda Water). For a hit of caffeine, we have hot coffee and tea (feel free to add a little cream or half and half) as well as our own cold brew. We can hook you up with a drink on the spot, or shop our coffee and tea selection to brew your own at home.

If you have any questions about low-carb and keto-friendly options—or any other dietary restrictions—please let us know, we’ll be happy to assist. Stop in or give us a ring: 734-663-3354 (DELI).