Food & Drink

These are the 5 best sandwiches in Detroit right now

Published On 10/01/2013 Published On 10/01/2013
Mikes Famous Ham Place Detroit
Jeff Waraniak

Finding the perfect sandwich can be challenging for pretty much anyone who's not either, A) Kevin Bacon in that Wild Things scene with all the Champagne and nudity, or B) us in this article about the five best sandwiches in Detroit. To wit: these are the five most perfectest sandwiches you can get in the D.

Jeff Waraniak

The Mudgie, Mudgie’s
From the Sho ‘Nuff to the Sorry Charlie to the Bat Outta Hell, Mudgie’s Deli in Corktown knows how to make sandwiches with fun names to type. The move, though, has to be The Mudgie -- the signature bread-hugger from owner/sandwich-operator Greg Mudge, featuring Michigan-raised grass-fed beef brisket, house-roasted turkey breast, and creamy house-made veggie cream cheese.

Jeff Waraniak

Avocado Melt, Russell Street Deli
This guy, on crispy pumpernickel, is the kind of gourmet grilled cheese that flavorful dreams are made of: fresh avo, tomatoes, and zippy garlic mayo blanketed by melty provolone. Yes, it doesn't have meat on it, but neither does Star Wars, and you like that, DON'T YOU?!?!?

Jeff Waraniak

Ham Sandwich, Mike’s Famous Ham Place
Mike’s friendly mom-n-pop diner has specialized in ham since 1974. Served on a poppy seed roll with mustard, pickles, Swiss, and thick, tender, freshly sliced pig meat, this is the pinnacle of ham sandwichery.

Jeff Waraniak

“Catfish” Tofu Fillet Sandwich, Detroit Vegan Soul
Not just what Manti Te'o's imaginary girlfriend ironically orders him when they go out for imaginary lunch at West Village newbie Detroit Vegan Soul, the Catfish takes tofu (booooo!), then cornmeal batters it (way less boooo!), then amazingly combines it with lettuce, tomato, and vegan tartar sauce on a whole grain bun.

Jeff Waraniak

Michigan Cherry Chicken, Lunchtime Global
“Don’t hate yourself—Eat Here.” So reads the slogan for downtown, quick-fix favorite, Lunchtime Global. Stop in for the $7.25 reuben, “the Dam Ham”, the falafel, the roasted sweet potato, or, for a sweet and savory pick-me-up of pure Michigan, go for the Michigan Cherry Chicken. Packed with red onion, green onion, celery, lettuce, tomato, mayo, and Michigan cherries, it’s a chicken salad that calls for, nay, demands your lunchtime attention.

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1. Mudgie's 1300 Porter, Detroit, MI 48226 (Corktown)

This artisanal deli is a source of pride for Detroit natives, and it should be: nearly all the meats are roasted in-house and everything from soups, salad dressings, and ketchup is made from scratch. What isn't homemade is sourced from local vendors, and the result is hearty sandwiches like a Reuben on onion bread and the multi-meat Gutty packed with salami, pastrami, corned beef, bacon, and beef brisket. A formidable selection of craft beer, including local and imported bottles, makes Mudgie's a veritable Corktown hot spot for locals on the lunch prowl.

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2. Russell Street Deli 2465 Russell St, Detroit, MI 48207 (Eastern Market)

You'd expect a favorite Motor City deli to serve a tasty meaty sandwich -- and Russel Street Deli, partnered with local vendors in Eastern Market, certainly does -- but their vegetarian sandwiches and soup options truly set them apart. The weekend lines are indication enough. Look no further than the standout potato-leek soup or Avocado Sandwich, on whole wheat with Swiss cheese, organic spouts, mixed greens, and house Ranch dressing, Swiss cheese, organic sprouts, mixed greens, and house-made Ranch dressing. We suggest you grab-and-go, but you’ll likely make a new friend or two if you linger at one of the buzzy, communal tables.

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3. Mike's Famous Ham Place 3700 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48216 (Mexicantown)

Mike's Famous Ham Place is doling out fresh ingredients, stellar combinations, and mouth-watering ham... hence, uh, the name...

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4. Detroit Vegan Soul 8029 Agnes St, Detroit, MI 48214 (West Village)

Marrying vegan cuisine with soul food flair, this cozy West Village spot serves up some serious flavor. You’d think it’s impossible to create authentic Southern barbecue fare using 100% plant-based, organic ingredients devoid of trans-fat, but Detroit Vegan Soul executes it perfectly -- for example, take the signature “Catfish” tofu sandwich, a gluten-free option with cornmeal-battered tofu, broccoli-corn slaw, redskin potatoes, and onions. Combined with the cute, contemporary digs and friendly staff, it’s a neighborhood staple.

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5. Lunchtime Global 660 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48226 (Lafayette Park)

The reason Lunchtime Global in the First National Building has been going strong since the late 90s is because it's hardly your typical grab-and-go spot: a genuinely international menu is made in-house and has impressive range. House-baked breads support filling sandwiches like tahini-soaked falafel and oven-roasted turkey with creamy brie. In the mood for soup? The rotating list of specials are updated regularly and make for globe-trotting flavor tours, from African peanut soup to Brazilain seafood stew. Still, if you want what you know, count on familiar recipes like tomato-basil and chicken noodle, too.

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