Traditional, gussied-up, deconstructed or reinvented: you know a sandwich when you see one. The perennial school lunch staple, picnic provision, DIY treat and restaurant feat is essentially something smushed between two slices of bread, but it’s oh so much more. The simplicity of the form is carte blanche for creativity, and since New York City is teeming with people simultaneously hungry for innovation and nostalgic for the classics, we have sandwich shops slinging a massive range of interpretations.
Our best local sandwich purveyors come correct and honor the foundation of the category. That doesn’t mean they’re simply slapping baloney and cheese on white, nor does it mean they even specialize in sandwiches, per se. It means that they’re straightforward while considering each sandwich element to serve you a thoughtful construction. Each location has a great bang for the buck, serves a satisfying meal even outside of lunchtime, and has a story to tell with layers of bread, meat, cheese, and veggies.
We’ve avoided any delicacies with deep ties to civic or regional pride, e.g., spiedies, pork rolls, Cubans, po' boys, muffalettas, beef on wecks, croque madame/monsieur, Philly cheese steaks, lobster rolls, and BBQ anything. Burgers, of course, have no place here, and it doesn’t matter what anyone says: hot dogs don’t count.
Hot and cold, meaty, cheesy, fresh, crisp, and bold, these are the best sandwiches in New York City.