It's is always a pleasure to find a family run business that still thrives in this era of super chains. Good quality and service have kept Bay Cities Italian Deli and Bakery around since 1925, but I only found out about it two years ago from Mark, a Santa Monica native. The perpetually jammed parking lot and lines out the door attest to the popularity of this neighborhood bakery, deli and Italian supermarket.
Some people come just for the freshly baked bread (which comes out several times a day in various sizes and shapes). Every meat lover loves their Godmother sandwich with every Italian deli meat on it, but my favorite is the Sausalito, a spicy turkey breast. Every sandwich is made to order, so pick your favorite filling (they have three kinds of prosciutto), toppings, and have your sandwich made on their freshly baked Italian rolls (I recommend ordering any peppers or dressing on the side as the vinegar tends to make the bread mushy if it sits too long before you eat it). There is almost always a wait and a line if you walk in, so take a number the minute you walk in, and shop in the store for chips, drinks, and hand made cookies to go with your sandwich while you wait. If you want to avoid the line, order online or by fax and they will have it ready for you when you arrive.
The store is filled with everything you could want to make an authentic Italian meal, including shelves full of imported tomato sauces, pastas, capers and anchovies. Shopping here is like going overseas; they carry some of my favorite products like Pomi marinara, De Cecco pasta, and they even have white anchovies. There is a specialty cheese and olive deli case in the back of the store, and they also carry some Greek items, like spanikopita, so you could make it an international feast. If you don't want to cook, get some of the prepared deli items, like their roasted balsamic vegetables, lasagna, or eggplant parmesan, and an tiramisu to take home.
This is a perfect place to come pick up a lunch for a nice day at the beach (just 8 blocks away), or to eat at one of the tables outside the deli. Don't forget to bring home the supplies to cook up an Italian dinner complete with freshly baked bread before you leave so you can savor the flavors of Italy all day long.