Food & Drink

The LA Sandwich Bucket List

Published On 10/06/2015 Published On 10/06/2015
Zach Brooks/Thrillist
Zach Brooks/Thrillist
Zach Brooks/Thrillist
Zach Brooks/Thrillist
Zach Brooks/Thrillist
Zach Brooks/Thrillist
Zach Brooks/Thrillist
Zach Brooks/Thrillist
Zach Brooks/Thrillist
Zach Brooks/Thrillist
Zach Brooks/Thrillist
Zach Brooks/Thrillist
Zach Brooks/Thrillist
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1. Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery 1517 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401 (Santa Monica)

Slinging sandwiches in Santa Monica since the 1920s, Bay Cities is responsible for masterpieces like The Godmother, a sub made with basically every Italian cured meat, Provolone cheese, and the works (mustard, mayo, Italian dressing, onions, pickles, tomato, and lettuce). More than just a sandwich specialist, the shop also serves prepared pastas like lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, and stuffed shells. While the counter crew assembles your order, browse through the grocery section that's stocked with imported Italian specialities.

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2. All About The Bread 7111 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90048

Spicy capocollo, mortadella, prosciutto di Parma, ham, Genoa salami, and provolone... that's right, it's a recreation of Santa Monica's fav sandwich: The Godfather. Even though it's a copycat, it saves you the long drive you'd otherwise be making for one of these babies.

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3. Eastside Market Italian Deli 1013 Alpine St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

A true and authentic Italian deli, Eastside is a landmark eatery for their outstanding sammies (both hot and cold), pasta dishes, and salads.

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4. Langer's Delicatessen 704 S Alvarado St, Los Angeles, CA 90057

Langer's has been a go-to spot for their classic hot pastrami sammy (which has been touted as the best in the WORLD) since 1947.

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5. Philippe the Original 1001 N Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Open since 1908, Philippe the Original is an iconic deli in LA that claims to have invented the French dip sandwich. That said, it's not your typical sandwich shop where you wait for your ticket number to be called. Here's how things go down at Philippe's: if you're getting a sandwich, get in the specified line and watch as one of the "Carvers" works his magic, then order any sides (like a bowl of chili). If you decide post-French dip bliss that you want a slice of cheesecake, line up at the non-sandwich counter instead.

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6. The Apple Pan 10801 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064 (West La)

This West LA diner has been serving burgers, pie, and classic American sandwiches at its U-shaped counter since 1947. Not much has changed about The Apple Pan since it opened: the registers are mechanical, the cooks wear soda jerk paper hats, and the red counter stools are still intact. Thankfully, the menu is pretty much the same too, and the signature Hickoryburger, Steakburger, and banana cream pie are as popular as ever. Fun fact: Diner chain Johnny Rockets is modeled after The Apple Pan.

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7. Son Of A Gun 8730 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048 (Mid Wilshire)

The menu at this nautical Melrose spot from chef superstars Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo (Animal and Jon & Vinny's) is seafood heaven with a fried chicken sandwich thrown in to remind you just how great turf can be, too. It's a hulking masterpiece with a spicy bread & butter pickle slaw and Sriracha aioli. If you're in the mood for surf, go for the trout or the octopus salad.

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8. Banh Mi My Tho 304 W Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91803

This cash-only Vietnamese sandwich shop in Alhambra serves up hefty banh mi filled with everything from grilled pork and veggies to fried eggs and pate, as well as tasty summer rolls made with vermicelli noodles and generous helpings of shredded pork. Banh Mi My-Tho is a tiny operation, and you'll likely have to eat your sandwich on a bench outside the shop, but the sub-$5 prices are too good to pass up.

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9. Top Round 1000 S. La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90019

This classic window-serve stand serves up classic roast beef sandwiches, curly fries, and frozen custards at the corner of LaBrea and Olympic Avenues in Los Angeles. Like Arby's, but good. In fact, you should stop going to Arby's and let Top Round fulfill all of your burger needs.

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10. Fat Sal's 950 Gayley Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024 (Westwood)

When all of the sandwiches at an establishment begin with the word “Fat,” you know you're in for some truly flavorful, gut-busting creations. Take the classic “Fat Sal,” for example, which is loaded with roast beef, mozzarella sticks, onion rings, and brown gravy -- all served on an extra-wide garlic hero roll. One in a mini-chain of counter-serve spots, this Fat Sal's outpost is a favorite cheap-eats joint among UCLA students, who fill up the tiny, hip space quickly, itching to get their hands on the stacked lineup of hot dogs, heroes, and burgers, like the Fat Bruin: a cheeseburger-, chili-, and bacon-stuffed sandwich that reps the school's mascot.

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11. Gjusta 320 Sunset Ave, Venice, CA 90291 (Venice)

An artisanal bakery-deli hybrid, Gjusta is a takeaway-centric spot from the Gjelina owners that mixes up American, European, and Middle Eastern flavors. It’s a mecca for all your breakfast and lunch cravings -- think everything from baklava croissants and lox to porchetta melts and tuna conserva. While the interior is industrial and sprawling, the counter-serve interior is standing room-only, but there is a sprawling back patio.

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12. Father's Office 3229 Helms Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90034 (Culver City)

Chef Sang Yoon is the brains behind this nationally-acclaimed Los Angeles gastropub. Father's Office is especially famous for its Office Burger: a 100% chuck, dry-aged beef patty topped with blue cheese, arugula, and onion jam, and served on a toasted oval bun with garlic butter. Chef Yoon has a strict no modifications allowed policy on his burger, so either you like it or you don't -- but chances are you probably will.

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13. ink.sack 8360 Melrose, Los Angeles, CA 90048 (Mid Wilshire)

Ink's a hole-in-the-wall gourmet sandwich stand lined w/ graffitied blackboards and not much else, opening from Top Chef winner Michael Voltaggio, who managed to pull off a somehow under-the-radar build-out despite obsessive scrutiny from media, food blogs, and Val Kilmer's stomach.

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14. Attari Sandwich Shop 1388 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024 (Westwood)

The sandwiches at Attari in Westwood will make you rethink the lunch staple. Each features a main ingredient like chicken cutlet, tongue (the bestseller), or the omelet-like kuku layered between crusty slices of French bread and topped with tomatoes, pickles, and spiced Iranian pickles. The menu also includes Iranian stew specials and classic kabobs. The sunny courtyard patio will make your lunch taste that much better.

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15. The Little Jewel of New Orleans 207 Ord St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (Downtown)

Head to this Downtown spot where you'll find straight-up recreations of New Orleans' finest food, including crawfish mac & cheese and outstanding po' boys, which are crispy and chewy at the same time.

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16. Papa Cristo's 2771 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006

Papa Cristo's in West Adams is a Greek food destination. The massive blue-and-white space takes up more than half a block on West Pico Blvd, and includes a market, bakery, and sit-down restaurant that extends onto an enclosed patio. The traditional menu runs the gamut from pita pizzas and gyro platters to spanakopita and full racks of lamb, but everything you order is guaranteed to be a) good, b) cheap. The "Big Fat Greek Family-Style Dinner," a weekly five-course meal that includes a wine tasting and baklava, is a must for groups.

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17. Night + Market Song 3322 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

The second location of Chef Kris Yenbamroong's Night + Market, the cool and casual Song (which means two) continues the original restaurant's ode to Thai street food. The Silverlake spot serves all of Yenbamroong's cult classics, like the sweet and salty party wings, plus a revolving door of dishes exclusive to the location. The far-from-ordinary Northern Thai plates certainly aren't the Americanized cuisine you're used to in LA, so trust your gut and order whatever looks good. FYI: the fried chicken sandwich is a lunchtime hit.

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18. Torta Company 735 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90017 (Downtown)

Brought to you by the Shaw Brothers, this Downtown spot specializes in Mexican sammies, with a number of options like the Papa Con Rajas (roasted poblano peppers, panela and Oaxaca cheese, pinto beans) and the Tinga de Setas (mushrooms, tomato-chipotle sauce, pinto beans, avocado, Oaxaca string cheese).

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19. Eggslut 317 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013 (Downtown)

Originally a food truck, this Grand Central Market vendor serves a menu entirely centered around eggs. Pricier than your average breakfast sandwich, Eggslut's creations are served on house-made brioche buns and prove that everything is better with an egg on it. The Fairfax, featuring fluffy scrambled eggs, chives, cheddar, caramelized onions, and Sriracha mayo, is a must-order. The stand is located on the Broadway side of the market and has counter-seating.

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