Best Sandwich Shops in the U.S.
The sandwich has been around for centuries, but it was perfected in the last century as a cheap, filling and delicious food for the masses. And while it wasn't invented in the U.S., it's become as much a part of American culture as hamburgers and pizza (which were also invented elsewhere).
If you love a great sandwich, put these 15 sandwich shops on your list of must-visit spots. Some of them are legendary, others are up-and-coming, but they'll all melt your tastebuds like gooey cheese in between roast beef.
15. Pat's King of Steaks
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Open since: 1930
Rating: 31.6 (based on Tripadvisor reviews)
Bottom Line: Pat's
According to our readers, the Philly cheesesteak is the best sandwich in America. And according to our in-house cheesesteak expert and Philly native, there's no place better than Pat's to get one.
Geno's fans will be offended, but the truth is the truth. If you want a classic cheesesteak that's been feeding the hungry since the 1930s, make plans to visit Pat's on your next visit to the City of Brotherly Love.
14. Katz's Delicatessen
Location: New York, New York
Open since: 1888
Bottom Line: Katz's Deli
When you can call yourself the oldest deli in New York, you earn a spot on every single sandwich list. Opened in the late 19th century, Katz's Deli is the best in the city — and that's not open to discussion.
Go in for the mile-high sandwich and to relive the iconic "When Harry Met Sally" scene filmed here.
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Open since: 2005 (selling from a pushcart since 1995)
Bottom Line: Chacarero
Chacarero has become the unlikely king of Boston sandwiches. Yes, the North Shore-style roast beef sandwich is amazing, but it's this Chilean spot that people in the city can't stop raving about.
Come at night to enjoy the charmingly tacky neon signs before biting into a chacarero, made with grilled steak, Muenster, avocado and tomatoes on round bread.
12. Enriqueta's Sandwich Shop
Location: Miami, Florida
Open since: No data
Bottom Line: Enriqueta's
Enriqueta's claims to have the best Cubano in Miami — and the people of the city agree. The laid-back joint is perfect for a cortadito, a small but strong Cuban coffee. Pair it with a sandwich to get an authentic Miami experience that has nothing to do with the beach.
And while the Cubano is near and dear to our hearts, every sandwich here is absolute perfection.
11. Saigon Deli
Location: Seattle, Washington
Open since: Before 2012
Bottom Line: Saigon Deli
The competition for the best bahn mi in the country is heated, but Seattle's Saigon Deli might just be the winner. Their bahn mis hit all the requisites: flavorful, affordable and varied. Go for the grilled pork, which is a taste of heaven.
You'll also find delicious stews to complement your sandwich at this Vietnamese restaurant. What you won't find is seating, but that has never bothered customers.
10. Killer PoBoys
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Open since: 2012
Bottom Line: Killer PoBoys
A small shop in New Orleans' French Quarter, Killer PoBoys has managed to maintain a primarily local clientele — a true feat in the city's most touristy neighborhood. The menu includes inventive sandwiches like the whiskey grilled cheese alongside classics like the seared Gulf shrimp.
Order a local beer to go along with your po' boy.
9. Zingerman's Delicatessen
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Open since: 1982
Bottom Line: Zingerman's Deli
A veritable Ann Arbor institution, Zingerman's is a city legend that has received guests such as former president Barack Obama. The Jewish deli is famous for its perfectly crispy homemade bread.
It may be cliché, but you'll definitely want to order the Reuben, the shop's most popular sandwich.
8. Philippe the Original
Location: Los Angeles, California
Open since: 1908
Bottom Line: Philippe the Original
Any restaurant that lasts more than five years in Los Angeles is onto something. But a restaurant that has lasted over 115 years has earned its place amongst legends.
The haters complain that Philippe's is simply famous, but we'd say its French dip sandwich (which it claims to have created) still hits the spot perfectly.
Location: Portland, Maine
Open since: 2005
Bottom Line: Duckfat
Portland is one of Maine's main food destinations, so it's hard for any restaurant to make it. We're not worried about Duckfat, though. It's been a well-loved local favorite for over 15 years, and its fanbase continues to grow.
Ignore everything else on the menu, and go for one of their heavenly paninis, particularly the Oaxacan-style smoked brisket that will literally melt in your mouth. Oh, and you can't leave without getting hand-cut Belgian fries that have been fried in duck fat.
6. Tattooed Moose
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
Open since: 2010
Bottom Line: Tattooed Moose
While not exclusively a sandwich shop, Charleston's Tattooed Moose deserves a spot on this list for its swoon-worthy club sandwich. Even Guy Fieri couldn't resist its unique recipe, which uses duck confit to add an extra layer of fatty goodness.
The restaurant also has wings, soups and duck fat fries, but the sandwiches are most definitely what brings people and keeps them coming.
5. Crown Candy Kitchen
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Open since: 1913
Bottom Line: Crown Candy Kitchen
The first soda fountain in St. Louis still serves some of the city's best food. Its signature offerings are sundaes, milkshakes and, of course, sandwiches.
Crown Candy Kitchen's signature sandwiches include a delicious Reuben and a mouthwatering turkey and bacon melt. But the absolute best thing to get is the heart-stopping BLT, which is topped with Miracle Whip and is oh-so-so-good.
4. Meltz Extreme Grilled Cheese
Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Open since: 2012
Bottom Line: Meltz
Proving that big cities don't have a monopoly on great sandwiches, Meltz Extreme Grilled Cheese will blow your mind.
If you thought grilled cheese was the simplest and most boring of all sandwiches, you'd be thrilled to find out you're wrong as you take a bite of the Ultimate Meltz. Made with white cheddar, mozzarella, provolone, fontina, goat cheese and gorgonzola, this is heaven stuffed in bread.
3. Johnnie's Beef
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Open since: 1961
Bottom Line: Johnnie's Beef
Serving the best Italian beef sandwiches in Chicago, Johnnie's Beef is living proof that the less pretentious a sub place is, the better. Traditionalists will always say that the Elmwood Park location is the best one and that you can't beat a traditional beef sandwich, wet (dipped in jus) with sweet peppers.
The joint doesn't offer indoor seating but provides picnic tables to customers. Visit on a nice spring or summer day for the full experience.
2. Slyman's Deli
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Open since: 1964
Bottom Line: Slyman's
Looking for a perfect corned beef sandwich in Cleveland? Everyone in the city will tell you to go to Slyman's. Well, except maybe the people who want to keep tourists away from this beloved spot.
Come with an appetite. The owners aren't kidding when they say they have some of the biggest sandwiches in town.
1. Big Wally's Subs and Deli
Location: Parling, New Jersey
Open since: No data
Bottom Line: Big Wally's Subs
When it comes to subs, we have a simple rule: Always trust cash-only places; they're usually the best. And if one is to believe reviewers, the rule certainly holds true for Big Wally's Subs and Deli.
This simple sandwich joint in New Jersey is not big in size, but it is gigantic in the number of choices it offers customers. You can choose from 50 sandwich combos on the menu. Or, if that's still not enough for you, you can build your own sub exactly how you want it. We recommend going for the submarine sandwich.