deli sa / clairemont – san diego, ca

I was doing my usual “find some interesting food for us to eat” search when looking for a new place to check out for lunch with my co-workers when I found Deli SA.

Deli SA serves up South African food – mostly in the form of meat pies for lunch. After a little circling around Clairemont to find just where we needed to go… and then driving to the back of the building… and then still wondering if we were going in the right direction, we finally found the place tucked waaaaay in the back. At least there was plenty of parking back there?


This is what it looks like. Itty bitty little sign. The “3” is sad because it’s a different color.


There’s a little market side with a few shelves of various products I have never heard of before. Mostly jarred sauces and snacks.


This is the counter, with a smiling Lauren. That little shelf above Lauren’s head is where they hold the food they have for sale… yeah, it’s not very big. I was a little concerned since they only had 2 things left by the time we got to the front of the line, but luckily they were making more stuff in the back. To the right, that case has drinks and desserts.

I started inquiring as to what everything was and we were treated to a few samples of things!


[koeksisters / donut like dessert made of fried braided dough and dropped into a cold, sweet syrup]

These little braided donut looking things are only sold by the dozen, hence the samples. They are served cold and have a clear, sweetened sauce with them. They are quite donut-like… but cold! And with a drippy glaze. It was akin to a honey flavored sauce. Since they’ve been sitting in the sauce, they are a bit soft in texture but not soggy. They hold up their shape and texture well.


We were also given samples of this jerky-like dried beef. It was really interesting to try because the flavors changed while you were chewing it. It tasted like regular jerky at first, but then all of the other spices kicked in and created a completely different flavor in your mouth. Kind of reminded me of that 3 course gum that Willy Wonka invented with the changing flavors. But you know, without the whole blueberry part.


[chicken & mushroom meat pie / seasoned chicken and mushroom in a gravy sauce]

I ordered one of the items that was left in the case – a chicken & mushroom meat pie.


[chicken & mushroom meat pie – inside peek]

It’s got a flaky puff pastry-like crust on the top and bottom and was filled with white meat chicken, mushrooms and a bit of gravy. I would liked to see a bit more sauce in this since it was a little on the dry side and maybe a few more veggies. But overall I liked it – the pastry shell was cooked to a perfect golden brown and the top and bottom were nice and flaky. The filling was tasty and pretty much just reminded me of a homemade pot pie.


[ground beef curry pie / spiced ground beef and vegetables]

David got the other ready to go pie from the case – a ground beef curry pie. I had a little piece of it and it was hella spicy! Too spicy for me and my weak tastebuds but still really flavorful. The outer crust was also really good.


[pork sausage roll samples / spiced pork sausage in a puff pastry]

Since Matt and Lauren had to wait for new items to get baked, they kept giving us more samples while we waited at the one table they had inside the shop.

Matt and Lauren ordered by what they had available and almost ready to go – there wasn’t really a menu available to order from, it seemed kind of like you ordered on the whim of what was currently available.

These were probably my favorite savory samples!


These are sausage rolls – this is one sausage roll cut into 4 bites. I really, really liked this – I wish they had this out and ready (or that I knew I could wait and order one). The sausage inside was really nicely seasoned and the outer puff pastry shell was perfect. Crispy and golden, this was a really delicious little bite!


[boerewors sample /spiced beef and pork sausage]

We also got these samples of boerewors or sausages. I can’t recall how they tasted though.


[cornish pastry pies / filled with beef & vegetables in a gravy sauce]

Matt’s pastry pie was really filled with veggies & stuffs!


[steak & mushroom pie]

Lauren got something really similar to mine – but with steak instead of chicken.


[lamington squares / squares of marbled cake dropped into chocolate, rolled in coconut]

I felt I had to get at least ONE thing to go and I chose this from the dessert case – a Lamington Square.


It’s a square piece of marble cake that’s dipped in a chocolate sauce and then rolled in coconut. It was super, super moist and delicious. You could taste the chocolate and yellow cake parts quite separately and the outer chocolate was very good. The coconut was soft but mostly just added flavor and didn’t make the texture weird. Really lovely and tasty dessert!

This was a pretty adventurous undertaking that turned out for the best! I’d definitely come back to try their other desserts and have more pastry pies. I wish they had a menu you could order off of inside of just being told what they had available that day, though. I think that would make it easier to order – and I sure wouldn’t mind having to wait for a few minutes to get what I really wanted instead of just picking from whatever they were baking right at that minute.

Deli SA
8360 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. Suite#112
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 694-0212

Mon-Fri 9:00am-5:30pm
Saturday 9:00am-4:00pm
Sundays Closed

Deli-SA on Urbanspoon

8 thoughts on “deli sa / clairemont – san diego, ca

  1. Man, I’ve been wanting to go here forever! I was curious about their meat pies as well as that Lamington (Darlene posted on making that dessert during the holidays).

    Too bad your orders were based on what they had, instead of a full menu available. At least you had some samples….seems like they gave you guys a lot of ’em! : )

    1. Hi CC – They were really nice and offered us lots of various samples while we waited for more food to come out for my other two co-workers. It was nice being able to try a bunch of stuff – I had to look up what it all was on their website! It was tasty overall – if you go, make sure you get a Lamington, it was really good!

    1. Hi JS – I wasn’t familiar with them before, but I have to agree with their popularity – they are quite a tasty little treat!

  2. The little pot pies look amazing. And what’s up w/ the Costco style free samples – that would sooo make my day!! I’ve been meaning to try this place so your post was helpful.

    Did you get a new phone app for your blog?! I was reading the post last night on my phone and noticed that your blog comes in mobile format now? Looks great btw 🙂

    1. Hi Faye! The samples made me excited haha! I loved that they gave us so much to try (we also told them it was our first time there – maybe that was also why they kept giving us samples? In any case – I’ll take it!). Hope you to get to try them out! And YES, I did install a mobile widget like last weekend. It’s a free version, but I thought it would make my site easier to read on the phone. 🙂

  3. I’m an Aussie who has lived here for 40 yrs (and 4 in England) so am VERY familiar with the desserts, meat pies, sausage rolls and cornish pasties (aka “oggie”). It took a mate from Australia to direct me to this site. Will have to try it out for authenticity and also if they serve vanilla slices and custard pies. Every time I go back home I indulge in lamingtons (the strawberry kind), pavlova, meat pies, napoleons and vanilla slices…YUMMM!!!

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