Food & Drink

The 11 Best Sandwich Shops in Pittsburgh

Published On 05/12/2015 Published On 05/12/2015
Thin Man Sandwich Shop
Courtesy of Jessica Yurjevich/Carson Street Deli
Courtesy of Szmidt’s Old World Deli
Laura Zorch/Thrillist
Flickr/Joseph
Flickr/Kate Hopkins
Courtesy of Adam Milliron/Bluebird Kitchen
Laura Zorch/Thrillist
Laura Zorch/Thrillist
Flickr/Sean Kelly
Primanti Bros.
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1. Thin Man Sandwich Shop 50 21st St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 (Strip District)

For a sandwich shop, Thin Man is fancy as hell. What's the fanciest thing you can stick between two pieces of bread? Chicken Liver Mousse? Shaved Pickled Fennel? Smoked Scallop Croquettes? Expect fresh and seasonal fare between your carb boats, and wash it all down with a house infusion of "Pineapple-Brown Sugar seltzer."

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2. Carson Street Deli & Craft Beer Bar 1507 E Carson St, Pittsburgh, PA 15203 (South Side Slopes)

Carson Street Deli allows sandwich fans to create their own, but why bother? The menu is full of crazy concoctions like the Donnie Brasco (buffalo chicken and egg salad) and the Big Porker (pulled pork topped with cole slaw). The bar is stocked with local brews that pair well with your hefty sandwich.

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3. Szmidt's Old World Deli 957 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15207 (Duquesne Heights)

Szmidt’s Old World Deli is all about homemade. From the sauces, the breads, and the pierogies that can be put in a sandwich (we’ll get back to that), this is as fresh as it gets. Try one of the pierogi sandwiches, like the Pole-Lock which is potato cheddar ‘rogis, bacon, sauerkraut and garlic mayo.

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4. Spak Brothers Pizza and More 5107 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15224 (Garfield)

This Garfield pizza joint is a crowd-pleaser with its many vegan options -- plus plenty of choices for carnivores. Slices are bubbly and big enough to fold, andare served on pieces of wax paper. On most nights, a line snakes through the shop, and punk or metal music blasts through the speakers. Bring along some coins to play the restaurant’s vintage pinball machines while you wait for slice after addictive slice.

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5. Triangle Bar & Grill 2122 Monongahela Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15218 (Regent Square)

The Triangle Bar is a star for their outrageously large sandwiches coined battleships. A battleship is a classic Italian sandwich that is over two feet long. These beasts make the ultimate game day snack.

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6. Peppi's 12 Smithfield St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

With four locations throughout the city, you have no reason NOT to visit Peppi's. These subs are of the old school meat-and-cheese variety, and are come fully loaded. Chicken Fingers are under the "Veggies and Stuff" section of the menu. That's the kind of magical place we're talking about.

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7. Bluebird Kitchen 221 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Bluebird is more than sandwiches, but the sandwiches at this breakfast and lunch spot are beyond the beyond. The Croque Monsieur, a ham sandwich on brioche covered in béchamel sauce, takes your mouth to France, without the airfare. The House Roast Beef on ciabatta is also on point and worth the inevitable lunch line. For the vegans among you, the seitan taco is a must.

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8. Bloomfield Sandwich Shop 4613 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15224 (Bloomfield)

This tiny shop along Liberty Avenue in the heart of Bloomfield is the best kind of greasy-spoon. Open for breakfast and lunch during the week, and late into the night on weekends, it’s a neighborhood favorite. Ordering a breakfast sandwich, with two eggs your way on grilled bread, will be a perfect remedy for Monday morning or late Saturday night.

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9. Smallman Street Deli 2840 Smallman St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 (Strip District)

Smallman Street Deli is a straight-forward, no nonsense deli in Squirrel Hill and the Strip District. Chow down on a Reuben with some latkes and matzo ball soup. Finish it all with some Hamantaschen and dream of the old country.

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10. Uncle Sams Sandwich Bar ‪5808 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15217-1602 (Squirrel Hill North)

Uncle Sam’s Sandwich Bar is known for having some of the best French fries in town, but the sandwiches hit the spot too. Get the cheesesteak topped with peppers, mushrooms, and provolone. If you're feeling brave, get an Ultra. It's like a regular sandwich, but with extra EVERYTHING.

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11. Primanti Brothers 46 18th St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 (Strip District)

Primanti Brothers sandwiches are as iconic as Pittsburgh food comes, and the caloric empire all began with a humble food stop slinging sandwiches to truckers in the 1930s. The must-order Almost Famous Sandwich has equally humble beginnings: when a food transporter feared his potatoes may have been ruined by the cold, he asked the kitchen to fry some up to test them. Customers quickly asked for the fried potatoes inside their sandwiches, and a tradition was born: the addition of a pile of french fries to sliced tomatoes, tart coleslaw and your choice of meat (from pastrami to roast beef) between thick slices of Italian bread. Come hungry, because these things are gigantic. And you want to leave room for the wings, cheese-drenched fries and beer, don't you? This flagship location, marked with an old-time neon sign, has been the deli's home since 1933, long before the brand expanded up and down the East Coast.