There is something about putting two pieces of bread together and filling them with meat and cheese (and in your most glutinous hour, French fries) that really fuels the soul. While Pittsburghers have several sandwich joints available to get their fill, consider these the 11 best.
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Strip District What you’re getting: The Thin Man Thin Man Sandwich Shop gets a little fancy with its sandwich choices. Its signature sandwich features chicken liver mousse and locally-sourced bacon accordingly. The in-house infused seltzer beverages help wash each bite down.
South Side What you’re getting: Donnie Brasco Carson Street Deli allows sandwich fans to create their own meals, but if your brain is overridden by your stomach, there's no shame in staying on-menu. There are 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.
Downtown What you’re getting: Pole-Lockarogi From the sauces, breads, and pierogies (that can be put IN the sandwich), Szmidt’s stays old school with its house-made recipes. Try one of the pierogi sandwiches, like the Pole-Lockarogi which includes four potato cheddar ‘rogies, bacon, sauerkraut, and garlic mayo.
Garfield What you’re getting: Seitan melt While Spak Brothers is more than just a sandwich shop -- you can also order pizza, wings, and salads -- the hoagies are total standouts, and the offerings of buffalo chicken and hot sausage are worthy pursuits. Go big and order the seitan melt, covered in BBQ or buffalo sauce. It’s truly hard to know this baby is meatless.
Swissvale What you’re getting: A battleship The Triangle Bar is a star for its outrageously large sandwiches coined "battleships." A battleship is a classic Italian sandwich that is over 2ft. long, making for the ultimate game-day snack.
Multiple Locations What you’re getting: The 7 Naming sandwiches after football players isn’t just a Pittsburgh thing, right? Maybe it is. At Peppi’s, you can order up the quarterback of sandwiches named after Big Ben himself, complete with sausage, cheese, and egg.
Downtown What you’re getting: Croque monsieur or house roast beef Bluebird is way more than just sandwiches, but the ones served at this breakfast and lunch spot are beyond impeccable. 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.
Bloomfield What you’re getting: Breakfast sandwich or Hobo sandwich This tiny shop along Liberty Ave 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. A breakfast sandwich, with two eggs your way on grilled bread, will be a perfect remedy for Monday morning or late Saturday night.
Multiple Locations What you’re getting: Reuben Smallman Street Deli is a straightforward, no-nonsense deli in Squirrel Hill and the Strip District. Deli classics like a Reuben or Rachel are good bets, or get a little crazy and get your Reuben sandwiched between two potato latkes.
Multiple Locations What you’re getting: Uncle Sam’s Special Steak 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.
Multiple Locations What you’re getting: Capicola & Cheese You weren't going to make it through a PGH sandwich pilgrimage without a visit to Primanti Bros. The fries and coleslaw topped ‘wiches put Pittsburgh on the map for crazy food combos. Pork cold cuts (capicola) and cheese given the Primanti’s treatment is a ‘burgh must.
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Laura Zorch is a Pittsburgh writer who loves the crap out of cake. Follow her sweet tooth at @eatpgh where she eats around town with her three pals.