Food & Drink

The 14 Best Sandwich Shops in Houston

Published On 02/19/2015 Published On 02/19/2015

Sandwiches: America kind of has a problem with them, devouring them in all their carb-loaded glory for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all those other meals hobbits talk about. At least it's a delicious problem to have. Houston, being such a fine city, naturally has many a damn fine sandwich shop making sure the local citizenry doesn't get too skinny. It seems to be working. 

Local Foods

Local Foods

Multiple locations
Farm-fresh produce and locally sourced proteins are at the front and center of this scratch-made, gourmet sandwich shop. Get everything from crunchy nut-crusted chicken with house pickles and buttermilk ranch on a pretzel bun, to a duck confit sandwich with gooey Brie and cranberry jam. No, but really, get everything.

Cafe TH

Cafe TH

EaDo
Good luck getting a seat at this Vietnamese eatery during weekday lunch. That’s okay, you can call ahead and take one of Houston’s freshest, most excellent bánh mì sandwiches to-go. Go for quadruple-pork meatball "Porter’s Balls" or the everything-topped, man-sized "Zombie" if you’re feeling particularly ravenous.

Revival Market

Revival Market

Heights
Lunch at this local goods and sandwich purveyor is pretty hard to beat. Not only do they make their salumis in house, they also have deliciousness like whiskey pate, lardo, local cheeses, and lamb pastrami up for grabs, too.
 

Pappa Geno's

Multiple locations
Philly meets Houston at this sub shop that’s totally worth the triple-bypass surgery you’re going to need after visiting. Yes, the cheesesteaks are Texas-sized. But more importantly, they’re covered with the fatty goodness of hot oil peppers, brown gravy, mayonnaise, and -- if you order the Fat Philly -- a handful of mozzy sticks, chicken fingers, and French fries. 

Carter and Cooley Co.

Carter & Cooley Co.

Heights
With sammies like all-beef bologna and the mayo-bomb that is their tuna melt, this 19th St deli boasts the kind of old-school charm that'll have you kind of sad that a little note from your mom didn’t come with your lunch. Go with something classic -- then call your mom just to say hey, because you totally don’t do that enough.

Tortas El Angel Mexican Grill

Las Tortas el Angel

Heights
Visit this unassuming hole-in-the-wall for authentic tortas that come in two sizes -- grande or gigante. Served on angel-soft-on-the-inside, crisp-on-the-outside custom-baked telera rolls, stuffed with things like spiced-beef fajitas, ham & pineapple, and Veracruz grilled fish. That being said, go for the gigante size.

Fat Bao

Fat Bao

Multiple locations
Because bao count as sandwiches too, yo! Especially when the soft, yeasty buns are stuffed with things like Chinese-braised pork belly, curried brisket, fried chicken and soft-shell crab. 
 

Nielsen’s Delicatessen

River Oaks
It’s hard to call yourself a local without having had this lunchtime-standby’s egg salad sandwich. The secret’s in the ridiculously delicious house-made mayo. And in the fact that the sandwich is basically carbs smothered in eggs and fat.

Spec's Wines Spirits & Fine Foods

Spec’s Deli

Midtown
Sandwich enthusiasts know Midtown’s biggest liquor store is hiding one of the best delis in town. Get a badass pastrami melt or the roast beef- and pate-stacked "Pate de France." Then get a six-pack to-go because YOU CAN.

Kenny & Ziggy's

Kenny & Ziggy’s

Galleria
True story: Shaq once came in and ate two eight-decker, 4lb clubs piled with salami, roast turkey, corned beef, pastrami, coleslaw, roast beef, red peppers, and Russian dressing. Another true story: you shouldn’t try that. But you should go in and get a normal person's sandwich.

Antone's Famous Po'Boys

Antone’s

Multiple locations
Houston’s original po’ boy spot brought the crunchy, spicy hot pepper-loaded condiment “Chow-Chow” to the forefront. And Houstonians have been chow-chowing down overstuffed Italian, cheesesteak, and fried oyster sandwiches ever since. Though the chain lost some steam after it into the truer-to-the-classic Antone’s Original Import Co. and the too-wide-spread Antone’s Famous Po’ Boys, both have worked hard to return to their former glory.
 

Maine-ly Sandwiches

Multiple locations
With fresh lobster shipped in from Maine every week, these New Englanders focus Maine-ly on lobster rolls. But you can also get classics like spicy salami, meatball Parm, and whoopie pie -- which can kinda count as a sandwich, right?

Kraftsmen Baking

Kraftsmen Cafe

Heights
Is there anything better than the smell of freshly baked bread? How about freshly baked bread with things like braised short ribs and fried pickles, or in-house pecan-smoked turkey with caramelized onions stacked inside? Yeah, that’s probably better.

BB's Cafe

BB’s Café

Multiple locations
This Cajun eatery has over 10 po’ boys that are so good you almost want to drink them. Go for the "Door Steps in the Marigny" -- a sloppy roast-beef-and-ham number fully-dressed with a crap ton of mayo; or the "Bullet for the King" -- an overloaded grinder that comes with "bullets" of cream cheese and jalapeño-stuffed fried chicken that gets wrapped in bacon and topped with bacon ranch. Yeah.

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Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. Cafe TH 2108 Pease St, Houston, TX 77003

This Vietnamese eatery is packed for lunch because of its banh mi sandwiches and for dinner because of its banh mi bo tho, a beef stew that's so damn good you'll crave it even during Houston's hottest months. The aforementioned dishes, plus phos, curries, and vermicelli bowls, have given Cafe TH a cult following, even among the vegetarian crowd. Located in a strip mall, the tiny spot is BYOB and a great place for a cheap, casual, and hella good dinner.

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2. Revival Market 550 Heights Blvd, Houston, TX 77007

This craft butcher and cafe in The Heights offers breakfast, lunch and full-service dinner and even has an in-house charcuterie program. Most of what Revival sells is made in-house, from all of the butchered meats to bottled jams, pickled vegetables and condiments. What is not made from scratch is sourced from other local and artisanal vendors.

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3. Carter & Cooley Co. 300 W 19th, Houston, TX 77008

Carter & Cooley -- the decades old delicatessen in Greater Heights -- is a classic. Its menu is comprised almost entirely of sandwiches; it’s a budget-friendly Houston sandwich institution! Sandwiches are served on the requisite white, wheat, or rye toasts, unless otherwise specified, with a kosher pickle and your choice of potato salad or chips on the side. Classic. Carter & Cooley is serving up the kind of sandwich that’ll leave you looking for that note your mom used to leave in your lunch.

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4. Las Tortas el Angel 1018 N Shepherd Dr, Houston, TX 77008

Visit this unassuming hole-in-the-wall for authentic tortas that come in two sizes -- grande or gigante. Served on angel-soft-on-the-inside, crisp-on-the-outside custom-baked telera rolls, stuffed with things like spiced-beef fajitas, ham & pineapple, and Veracruz grilled fish. That being said, go for the gigante size.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
5. Nielsen’s Delicatessen 4500 Richmond Ave, Houston, TX 77027

It’s hard to call yourself a local without having had this lunchtime-standby’s egg salad sandwich. The secret’s in the ridiculously delicious house-made mayo. And in the fact that the sandwich is basically carbs smothered in eggs and fat.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
6. Spec's Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods 2410 Smith St, Houston, TX 77006 (Midtown)

Sandwich enthusiasts know Midtown’s biggest liquor store is hiding one of the best delis in town. Get a badass pastrami melt or the roast beef- and pate-stacked "Pate de France." Then get a six-pack to-go because YOU CAN.

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7. Kenny & Ziggy's 2327 Post Oak Blvd, Houston, TX 77056 (Uptown)

Kenny & Ziggy's is a shining oasis of Jewish deli goodness right in Uptown Houston. Whether you get a sandwich, burger or knish, expect it to come in the kind of colossal portion only a Brooklyn grandmother would force on you. But that probably won't stop you from ordering sides of matzo ball soup and pastrami cheese fries, two too-good-to-ignore menu staples.

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8. Kraftsmen Cafe 611 W 22nd St, Houston, TX 77008

Is there anything better than the smell of freshly baked bread? How about freshly baked bread with things like braised short ribs and fried pickles, or in-house pecan-smoked turkey with caramelized onions stacked inside? Yeah, that’s probably better. Be sure to get those beauties and more at Kraftsmen Cafe.

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