Although you may think that the best sandwich of all time is the one you eat after a night out, which your roommate left in the fridge topped with Doritos, but it's fine cause you'll totally get him the next time... they aren't. Mainly because there are literally (maybe!) millions out there -- here are seven of the very best you can get right now.
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Brisket Sandwich, Ducks Eatery
Available only on "brisket day" (Tuesday) after 7p, this delicious bastard features smoked ricotta-covered brisket that itself has been smoked for 18hrs over oak, then topped with a "whole mess" of pickled red cabbage and shoved between two slices of corn English muffin that've been toasted in their master fat -- a mix of duck, Benton's bacon, and smoked pastrami fat. At only $10, it also happens to be an immense deal.
Patty Melt, The Butterfly
So burgers aren't technically sandwiches, but patty melts kinda are, and this is the tastiest one around right now. It's got a beautifully simple ingredient roster with a somewhat novel American-on-top/Gruyere-on-the-bottom cheese situation, and a "white label" meat patty that delivers a steaky, dry-aged funk flavor.
Godfather, Graham Ave Deli
This quintessential neighborhood Italian deli has a near-perfect Italian sub on hand: a hulking semolina roll filled with traditional Italian meats, their homemade roasted peppers, Parm, provolone, and either spicy or sweet vinegar peppers. This thing is a classic.
Pulled Bacon, Animals at the Wayland
This torta-style, destination-worthy (if you consider Avenue C a destination, and many do) sandwich features refried beans, pickled jalapeños, and chipotle sauce that's topped with pulled bacon -- which is just awesome as a concept in general -- that's been braised in bourbon and apple cider.
The Chicken Sandwich, The NoMad
The sandwich version of their hugely popular and impressive roasted chicken at dinner, this brunch-only sando has foie gras-injected chicken breast in between truffle spread-coated loaves of brioche. It's not cheap, but neither is complete satisfaction.
East Villy Cheesesteak, Whitmans
Held in higher esteem by some than even their Jucy Lucy burger, this take on the classic doesn't stray too far but delivers maximum deliciousness with Pat LaFrieda chipped beef covered in melty cheese and caramelized onions, all on a proper, just-soft-enough-yet-still-firm hoagie. Just get it, and you'll, well, get it. The included fries are outrageous too.
BLT, Mile End Noho
Although generally what makes a BLT excellent is tight execution on a simple sandwich, the Mile End meat-savants managed to kick it up beyond the others with the addition of a texture-changing flavor punch of chopped liver.
Texas barbecue and Vietnamese fare are the perfect couple at Ducks Eatery in the East Village, where the two cuisines come together to create fusion, one-of-a-kind meat dishes like brisket marinated in fish sauce and chili paste, and curry-laced goat neck. Most plates are meant to be shared -- and paired with an unpretentious cocktail or beer from the sizable roster.
Inspired by mid-century supper clubs, The Butterfly has killer cocktails by Eben Freeman and a patty melt so good, you should drop what you're doing right now to go get it.
Old-school Italian deli Graham Ave has been in business since 1985 and, in addition to selling quality meats, game & poultry, serves delicious sandwiches and paninis in Williamsburg.
The cocktail sanctuary is expanding, which means a bigger kitchen and beyond-piano live music. Hurray! And no offense, piano guy! It'll also allow the owners to unleash a concept they'd been planning before the 'Land even opened: a gourmet sandwich shop popping up exclusively on weekdays from 12-5p, and dubbed Animals after the Pink Floyd album, because nobody wants to eat at a sandwich shop called "Is There Anybody Out There? The Wall Live 1980–81".
Housed in a historic arts building, The NoMad hotel is a stylish, Parisian-inspired luxury hotel with hardwood floors and handmade rugs. Inside the hotel is a bi-level library, an opulent lounge with a mahogany bar, and an upscale restaurant. Around the corner from the hotel is the much-lauded NoMad Bar (10 W 28th St), serving refined cocktails and upscale pub fare in a hip, lively space.
Famous for its rendition on the Juicy Lucy -- a burger with a cheese-stuffed meat patty, for you amateur gluttons -- Whitmans delivers on the American Dream with indulgent burgers and rich sides like deep-fried crack kale, fried pickles, and sweet potato fries. The ground-floor counter service is grab-and-go, but the downstairs dining area offers a more intimate and leisurely setting in which to court your peanut butter-bacon burger.
Mile End Deli doesn’t fit neatly into a single category, serving non-kosher Jewish French-Canadian comfort food with a hipster twist. And yet, ironically but un-ironically, this has solidified it in the hearts of New Yorkers. Well, that and the absurdly succulent smoked meat. The meat masterminds here have crafted a true tour de force de fries -- poutine with cheese curds, chicken gravy, and the option to add smoked brisket (do it).