Food & Drink

Seattle's Absolute Best Sandwiches to Order Right Now

The ultimate picnic food.

@rosink
Courtesy of @rosink

Covid-19 has impacted our relationship with food in many ways -- suddenly we're all experts on sourdough, we hardly remember what it's like to eat inside a restaurant, etc. But what's most surprising is that the Coronavirus has made sandwiches, which might be the perfect takeout food and the easiest thing to eat outside, even better. So, now you know what you're having for lunch, but with 5,000-plus places serving sandwiches in the greater Seattle area, where do you start? With our list of the best sandwich shops in The Town.

Tat's Delicatessen 

Pioneer Square
The live web-cam that Tat's lets you use to peep the line at their counter isn't nearly as much fun during a pandemic, but their bevy of East-coast-style-sandwiches are just as good as always, especially the corned beef/pastrami/Swiss/spicy mustard New Yorker or rye, and their signature 12-inch Philly Cheese Steak with Whiz, which they call the OG. 
Order curbside pick-up via their website or delivery via Caviar.

Where Ya at Matt 

Various Locations
After growing up in a family of cooks, New Orleans-born Canlis vet Matt Lewis started serving up Creole-style mainstays and a handful of signature Po-Boy-style sandos (served "dressed" with lettuce, pickle, tomato) like fried shrimp, chicken or soft shell crab, all from a 27-foot mobile food operation with a name that comes from the only-used-in-'Nawlins greeting, "Where Ya At?" The answer to which is below, actually. 
Walk-up orders only. Use their Facebook page to find their current location.

Delicatus

Downtown
Delicatus said goodbye to its original Pioneer Square locations about a year ago, but it's still crafting their famous series of Seattle-inspired signature sandwiches like the "underrated, but arguably the best" Mudd Honey with roast beef, smoked turkey, bacon, white cheddar, horseradish, and a bunch of deli classics headlined by The B.L.FingT, which comes with bacon, leaf lettuce, tomatoes, and mayo on sourdough. Oh, and a warning to consult your doctor.
Call 206.467.1803 or order via the Delicatus website.

Mammoth 

Eastlake 
Opened almost six years ago now by the people behind badass BBQ destination Bitterroot, this counter service-style spot specializes in two things: beer (they've got no less than 48 taps) and sandwiches, including a mammoth fried chicken leg & pork belly number served with Swiss & arugula that's called the Predator.
Call 206.946.1065 or order via ChowNow

Ma'ono Fried Chicken 

Multiple Locations
OK, so we know Ma'ono isn't really a sandwich shop. It's a fried chicken shop that serves one sandwich, but that sandwich is something special: a spicy, crunchy, fried chicken number with pickle, lettuce & kewpie mayo on a Hawaiian bun that was conceived by fine-dining chef turned fried chicken expert Mark Fuller. It's the result of a labor intensive process that involves both dry and buttermilk brines, Japanese spices, and a fiery finish reminiscent of Nashville hot chicken that gives it a considerable kick even in its most mild form.  
Get delivery from their West Seattle & U-Village locations via their website.

Mean Sandwich 

Ballard
This small sandwich slinger next to Peddler Brewing is helmed by a Momofuku alum turning out a handful of creative meat & bread-based food options ranging from a Hama Hama oyster po-boy, and a sardine/fried lemon/pickled jalapeno number simply called the Fish, to their signature corned beef that comes with pickled red cabbage, yellow mustard, mint, and maple syrup.
Mean is currently only accepting orders via their website. 

Dingfelder's Delicatessen 

Capitol Hill
Inspired by classic New York-style delis, this Pike/Pine establishment is serving classic deli sandwiches at decidedly New York prices. There are a dozen or so sandwiches on the menu -- the Hot Pastrami, corned beef, brisket, etc. -- and all but one of them will cost you at least $18... unless you get 'em "Seattle Style", which comes with half the meat, and may or may not hurt our feelings just a little bit. But when you consider the quality of the ingredients, the hours spent slowly cooking the beef, and the sheer size of their simple but scrumptious sandwiches, it's hard to argue they're not worth it.
Call 206.403.1365 or use their walk-up window to order.

Valhalla Sandwiches

Greenwood
What started as an ironically named food truck called Now Make Me a Sandwich is now a permanent sandwich destination on Greenwood, where you can get find the same gravy topped items they served from the aforementioned truck, including the Bad Lieutenant, which comes with pulled pork, chipotle BBQ sauce, and apple jalapeño slaw... plus bacon, ham & provolone, but thankfully, unlike the sequel, no Nicolas Cage.
Use their website to schedule a pick-up order, or get delivery via GrubHub, Uber Eats, Postmates, DoorDash.

Nickerson Street Saloon

Phinney Ridge
Obviously the Nickerson Street Saloon is... well, a saloon, but lucky for us this canal-adjacent saloon is owned in part by the guys who used to own Martino's Smoked Meats (did you know it's reopening this fall?!), which means they've put a few seriously good sandwiches on the menu, starting with the grass-fed Santa Maria Tri-Tip sirloin that's been smoked in red oak and topped with roasted poblano, tomato salsa & chimichurri on a Macrina roll.
Call 206 284-8819 or order via Postmates.

El Camion

Multiple Locations
As much as we love the Mexico City-style sandwiches at Tortas Condesa -- the walk-up window is a must after a late night on Capitol Hill -- or the fried flank steak torta at Fonda La Catrina in Georgetown, this particular classic gets our pick for Seattle's best torta, in part for the simple satisfaction that comes with pulling into the parking lot at one of their food trucks and finding your hands filled with a pile of carnitas (or one of 10 other meats) lettuce, mayonnaise, avocado, tomato, jalapeño, and pico de gallo, all on soft fresh bread.
You can order via GrubHub, or DoorDash, but their sandwiches are only available if you walk-up. 

Un Bien

Ballard & Shilshole
Yes, they make other sandwiches (we really like the Palomilla Steak FYI), but you're going for the Caribbean Roast, which is arguably Seattle's favorite sandwich thanks to caramelized onions and slow-roasted pork, aioli, cilantro, and romaine lettuce on Macrina bread, and is the same one that they used to make (and kind of still do) at Paseo. And yes, one of UB's locations is the same seaside shack where Paseo got its start, but this isn't some copycat operation. It's run by two of Paseo's former owner's sons using family recipes. And say what you want about that guy, he could make one damn fine sandwich.
Order pick-up via their website, or delivery via Caviar.

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Bradley Foster is a former Thrillist editor who really still misses the sandwiches from Pinky's Kitchen, and really just needs to get over it already.