When it comes to eating your food between two slices of bread in New Orleans, the po-boy clearly reigns supreme (and really, how could it not?), followed very closely thereafter by the muffaletta. But after that, things really get interesting, as not all great sandwiches in the Big Easy necessarily come on French bread or a muffy loaf. If you’re looking to engage in alternative sandwich excellence, here are some of the best in town right now.
DISTRICT: Donuts. Sliders. Brew. (address and info)
Lower Garden District
The inventive donut creations at DISTRICT might have people flocking to its Magazine St store -- maple Sriracha with candied thyme (!!!) -- but you’d be remiss to skip out on the perfect little sliders there, as well, which feature house-ground Creekstone Black Angus beef.
Hooks Cheddar Sandwich
St. James Cheese Company (address and info)
Employing the eponymous Wisconsin cheddar, the Hooks at St. James also sports house-smoked turkey, fresh basil, tomato, mayo, and avocado on fresh ciabatta. It’s delightful. Trust us.
Dong Phuong Oriental Bakery (address and info)
New Orleans East
Although New Orleanians tend to refer to the banh mi as a “Vietnamese po-boy,” it is its own sandwich in its own right. It’s hard to beat the classic out at Dong Phuong bakery.
Wayfare (address and info)
Fancy ‘wiches are the hallmark at Wayfare and it’s difficult, if pressed, to choose a favorite. "The Knuckle” is always a crowd pleaser with its combo of rare roast beef and horseradish, but don’t miss the Porchetta: pork loin wrapped in Kurobuta pork belly, caramelized onions, salsa verde, arugula, and fennel aioli on a hoagie. Yes, a hoagie. Not a po-boy.
Kebab (address and info)
Although Kebab only opened recently and it's serving through the weekends alone, it’s worth a trip over to St. Claude Ave in order to experience its dynamite Dutch/German/Turkish street food, particularly its version of the gyro, made here with Chappapeela Farms pork and dressed up with tzatziki and skhug sauces, pickled onions, and cabbage.
Cochon Butcher (address and info)
Those in the know realize that the muffaletta at Donald Link’s snack shop is one of the best in the city. Slightly less known, however, is its fantastic classic Cubano.
Stein’s Market & Deli (address and info)
Lower Garden District
Though not really known for its Jewish delicatessens, New Orleans does indeed have a rich Hebrew heritage, which can be enjoyed at Stein’s (along with a killer beer selection). The Rachel -- a Reuben variant featuring pastrami instead of corned beef -- hits the mark every time.
Liberty Cheesesteaks (address and info)
It may have taken some decades, but hungry New Orleanians can now find a solid, true-to-Philly cheesesteak, and thank goodness for that. Skip the variants and go with the classic Wiz, just like you’d find in the city of Brotherly Love: loaded with steak, onions, and gooey, bright, yellow Cheez Whiz.
Mister Gregory's French Casual Cafe (address and info)
This Rampart St sandwich shop bills itself as “Fast French,” and proves it with these delicious “Hot Les Sandwiches,” which employ savory fillings (beef, ham, chicken, andouille, etc.) and thick gobs of blowtorch-melted cheese.
Pulled pork sandwich
McClure’s Barbecue (address and info)
Neil McClure knows his way around some classic American BBQ, and there’s no doubting that. If you’re headed to his Magazine St spot, you’ll have your eye on the awesome chicken (with white, Big Bob Gibson-style Alabama sauce), but don’t let that keep you away from the spot-on pulled pork, especially when paired with vinegary NC-style sauce.
Casamento’s (address and info)
Yes, everyone knows -- or should know -- that Casamento’s is the place you want to go to satisfy that raw oyster jones. On top of that should also be added its famous fried oyster “loaf,” which would be a po-boy if it were served on French instead of thick slices of buttery Texas toast.
Fried Lobster sandwich
The Sammich (address and info)
Okay, so this one is, in fact, served on Leidenheimer French bread. But this alone does not make it a po-boy! It seems impossible that a tempura-fried lobster sandwich hasn’t been done everywhere at this point, but The Sammich grabbed that (insanely good) idea and ran with it... with spicy mango cream.
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1. DISTRICT: Donuts. Sliders. Brew.2209 Magazine St, New Orleans
2. St. James Cheese Company5004 Prytania St, New Orleans
3. Dong Phuong Oriental Bakery14207 Chef Menteur Hwy, New Orleans
4. Wayfare4510 Freret St, New Orleans
5. Cochon Butcher930 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans
6. Stein's Market & Deli2207 Magazine St, New Orleans
7. Liberty Cheesesteaks5031 Freret St, New Orleans
8. McClure's BarbecueNOLA Tap Room, 3001 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans
9. Casamento's4330 Magazine St, New Orleans
10. Mister Gregory's French Casual Cafe806 Rampart St, New Orleans
11. Kebab2315 Saint Claude Ave, New Orleans
12. The Sammich7708 Maple St, New Orleans
As the name implies, DISTRICT excels at coffee, sliders, and donuts, all while making innovative changes to each. In lieu of your average breakfast sandwich, expect "croquenuts" (a hybrid of a croque madame and a donut) or bacon & egg on a miso-praline biscuit. Donuts, meanwhile, range from the simple glazed and cinnamon sugar to the more unconventional Sriracha-maple, candied thyme, and cereal & milk. While you could pair your sugary goodies with a basic brew, we suggest you opt for house staples like Vietnamese cold brew or the "Sproca-Cola," a winning combination of cola, espresso, and chocolate milk.
This Uptown eatery is oh-so-more than just a cheese shop. It also sports fantastic sandos that qualify as some of the best in the city, such as its Hooks Cheddar sandwich that's made with Wisconsin Hooks cheddar, smoked turkey, basil, tomato, mayo, and avocado.
This eastern New Orleans Vietnamese standby might not amount to much from the outside -- with a mixed brick exterior and fading eggshell awning greeting diners -- but the signature bahn-mis here have drawn accolades from the country over. In addition to functioning as a casual full-service restaurant, the venue comes with a bakery that turns over equally excellent pastries like coconut rolls, egg tarts, and strawberry shortcake.
Wayfare is a proud provider of the great American sandwich. Actually, they make a bunch of them, using house-made jams, mustards, and spreads. And if you want to try one of their specialties, go for the Knuckle sandwich, which features roast beef and other amazingness on a pretzel bun.
Donald Link's love letter to Louisiana, Cochon, is back at it again with this meat-centric offshoot. Build your ultimate, meaty sandwich at this hybrid butcher shop, deli counter, and wine bar in the Warehouse District. Inspired by old-world meat markets, Cochon Butcher specializes in house-cured meats, terrines, and sausages. The lines can get long at lunch, making the simple pleasure of sitting at the bar with a drink and a bite feel like a luxury.
This deli & market in NOLA's Lower Garden District offers traditional and specialty sandwiches, including breakfast sandwiches (on Davidovich bagels straight from NYC) all day. Stein's also sells a huge selection of cured meats and salamis, over 50 cheeses from around the world, and a massive selection of domestic & international craft beers.
Located in Uptown New Orleans, Liberty brings the taste of Philly cheesesteaks to Creole Country with classic sammies loaded with steak, onions, and gooey cheese.
One of NOLA's finest BBQ joints, McClure's cooks his meats in a gigantic courtyard smoker and gives you the option of selecting from a variety of sauces, including North Carolina-style, sweet Kansas City sauce, and white Alabama sauce.
A New Orleans landmark since 1919, Casamento's is the grandaddy of all oyster bars, serving up fried oyster po' boys and equally delicious raw oysters, shucked right in front of you. The space is small and completely tiled, because the owners know oyster juice spillage is inevitable when you're marathon-slurping your meal.
This French Quarter cafe is a prime spot for breakfast and coffee, but don't forget its wide variety of sandwiches, which garner plenty of attention themselves.
This Bywater eatery immediately found a cult-like following after moving in and for excellent reason: its Dutch/German street food is spot on, especially the dark meat chicken doner, which has no equal in town.
This tasty Uptown used to be a pop-up, but they earned enough acclaim and business to launch a brick and mortar that cooks up sophisticated entrees and throws them between two halves of a French bread loaf. Pro tip: get the En Brouchette, which features a combination of fried oysters with bacon, bleu cheese, and meuniere sauce.