Food & Drink

The Most Mouth-Watering DC Sandwiches You Can Order Right Now

Perfect for a park picnic.

During sweltering DC summers, we typically spend more time fighting tourists for space on the National Mall than we do actually enjoying the summer months. But this socially distanced summer is a little different. Sure, restaurants are still open for outdoor dining and you can always flex your culinary skills in your own kitchen, but we’re opting to get out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner picnics to preserve our level of sanity and have some contact with the outside world. When it comes time to load up your picnic basket, an easy-to-eat sandwich is the perfect solution, so here are 12 sandwich ideas all over the District.

Four-Meat Grinder from Stachowski’s Market

If you’re looking for an authentic Italian sub with freshly carved meat, look no further than Stachowski’s Market. This butcher shop has extensive sandwich offerings that cover just about every meat they have in the shop. You can go all in with a four-meat grinder that has salami, coppa, mortadella, and soppressata, or try a hot sandwich like the pastrami or sausage varieties with house-made kielbasa, bratwurst, and hot Italian sausage.
How to order: Stop by the shop or pre-order takeout by calling 202-506-3125

Athens from SUNdeVICH

At this truly global sandwich shop, you can get picnic fare that will transport you to every corner of the globe and each sandwich is named for a different city. Try a lamb gyro dubbed the Athens or a cubano by way of Havana, or stay domestic with the Memphis, a BBQ chicken sandwich with iceberg lettuce, pickles, onions, and mayonnaise. The shop also has globally inspired salads, sides, and breakfast sandwiches influenced by Mexico City, Milan, and more. 
How to order: Takeout via website

Island Dip from Crush Subbies

When Coconut Club’s chefs team up with Yang Market’s former owner, you get the summer of the subbie. The team now runs Crush Subbies, a delivery- and takeout-only business out of Union Market, and the spot has no shortage of classic cold cut grinders or hot subs built atop soft bakery rolls. The Island Dip is influenced by Coconut Club’s tropical menu and combines spicy coconut chicken, pickled fresno chiles, pepper jack cheese, and a spicy coconut curry sauce for a truly unique sandwich.
How to order: Takeout and delivery via Caviar and Doordash

Return of the Mack from Your Only Friend

Another hit in the era of COVID pop-ups is Your Only Friend. This sandwich shop is running alongside Columbia Room’s expertly crafted cocktails and features big ol’ fried chicken sandwiches doused in sauce and shredduce, hearty meatball subs, and thoughtful vegetarian options like a cauliflower banh mi variation. You can grab your sandwiches to go, steal an outdoor spot in Blagden Alley, or snag a picnic tote for $85 that includes two sandwiches, two drinks, a side, and a bottle opener all inside a reusable bag.
How to order: Takeout and delivery via Tock or make a reservation for outdoor seating

Banh Mi from Banh Mi DC

Falls Church
For the area’s best banh mi sandwich, you’ll have to venture out to Falls Church. But once you arrive, you’ll have a wide variety of sandwiches to choose from for just about $5 a piece. You can get a banh mi you may have tried before with crispy pickled daikon and carrot, fresh cilantro, cucumber, and pork and pâté, or try other meat options like BBQ pulled pork or sugarcane shrimp. You may automatically think of pork and pâté, but banh mi really just means sandwich so the possibilities are endless.
How to order: Stop by for takeout or delivery via GrubHub

Bolognese Parmesan from Bub and Pop’s

Dupont Circle
This sandwich mainstay typically slings giant hoagies to all the workers who occupy K Street, and it’s easy to see why it has become a go-to. Skyhigh subs with Italian meat and cheese are the classics, but the shop also serves hot subs like chicken parmesan and a bolognese sandwich with meatballs, sweet Italian sausage, and plenty of melted cheese and sauce slathered on top. Whatever you imagine when you think of a big sandwich, think bigger. These subs are so giant that a full size will run you about $20, but it’s more than enough to feed two.
How to order: Stop by or call 202-457-1111 for takeout and delivery via UberEats

Steps Beach from Jetties

Multiple locations including Bethesda, Foggy Bottom, and Foxhall
Known for its sandwiches piled atop soft white sourdough, this DC favorite now has three locations you can order from. Some go-tos are the Nobadeer, a Thanksgiving sandwich that’s delicious any time of year, and the Steps Beach, a turkey salad sandwich spiced up with golden raisins, apples, and tarragon. Keep an eye out for seasonal offerings and don’t skip the salads.
How to order: Takeout at all six locations via website and delivery via Doordash

Peppered Ham and Pepperoni from Subbs by Carl

This sandwich shop has been a neighborhood staple for more than 30 years and the simple menu has largely stayed the same. This no-nonsense shop serves strictly cold deli sandwiches, but there’s a variety so you can mix and match meats and cheeses, and each comes topped with fresh, crisp veggies, and hot peppers that live up to their name.
How to order: Stop by the shop to take your sub to go

Italian Combo from Capo Italian Deli

This deli has serious style. Its black-and-white tiled floors and sleek red subway tile are reminiscent of old-school Italian delis in New York and Philadelphia. And with that in mind, its sandwiches deliver. The classic Italian combo with salami, capicola, and provolone is a hit, as are the hot parmesan subs, cheesesteaks, and pasta dishes you can take to-go. During normal times, it has a speakeasy hidden behind a freezer door, but these days you can order “Fauci Pouchys,” named for the doctor who has become a household name, or other cocktails in adult juice boxes.
How to order: Takeout via website

Roast Turkey Sub from Red Apron Butchery

Penn Quarter and Fairfax
People usually flock to Union Market for a bite of the famed Red Apron burger and some groceries to take home, but its other sandwiches are true standouts thanks to all of the quality meat this butcher has in house. The roast turkey sub is a BLT dialed up a notch with freshly carved meat and whipped avocado, and the hot wagyu pastrami sub uses top-notch meat and crispy red cabbage slaw to make a well-balanced sandwich. The Union Market location is currently closed, but Red Apron is doing takeout and delivery out of its sister restaurant, The Parisian in Penn Quarter, and the Fairfax location.
How to order: Takeout and delivery from both locations via website

Italian Stallion from Duke’s Grocery

Dupont Circle, Foggy Bottom, Woodley Park
You know Duke’s for its burger, but don’t skip other sandwiches on the menu. The sarnies (aka British sandwiches) cover traditionals like BLTs with avocado, banh mis, or cubanos, but they also have more inventive options like the Spicy Aubergine or Italian stallion for vegetarians. The latter sandwich utilizes meatless Italian sausage as a base topped with goat cheese and rainbow cabbage slaw on a rice flour baguette.
How to order: Takeout and delivery at all three locations via website

Pastrami on Challah from Call Your Mother 

Bethesda, Capitol Hill, Georgetown, Park View
This Jewish deli originally drew crowds to its Park View location, but they’ve since opened three more spots where you can get bagel breakfast sandwiches. You can keep it simple with a bacon, egg, and cheese; cream cheese and veggies; or some whitefish salad piled on a bagel of your choice. Or opt for a lunchtime option like the cheesesteak-style sandwiches or pastrami piled on challah sub rolls. Plus, consider visiting Mercy Me in Foggy Bottom, the owners’ newest spot with South American-inspired fare like a chorizo sandwich topped with chimichurri, cabbage, and red onion or their take on a French dip sandwich -- which has marinated sirloin, caramelized red onion, spicy jus for dipping, and a side of pickled vegetable slaw.
How to order: Takeout via Call Your Mother’s website or takeout and delivery via Mercy Me’s website

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Liz Provencher is an editorial assistant at Thrillist and a former DC dweller. You can talk to her at or check out her picnic spreads on Instagram.
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