Best sandwiches in New York City in 2013

This year’s best sandwiches in NYC give the meat-cheese-and-bread model a boost, loaded with foie gras, truffles and steakhouseworthy beef.

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Upscale patty melts, gussied-up grilled cheeses and truffle-topped burgers—New York’s best sandwiches of the year aren’t for the timid. Between the bread, find LaFrieda steak, Polish wedding sausage and a French-onion-soup-inspired sandwich. Sink your teeth into this year’s best sammies.

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  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Patty melt at the Butterfly

    Like many favorite childhood classics, the patty melt—a burger with melted cheese and onions on toasted bread—has been elevated to modern NYC standards. Six ounces of dry-aged, überbeefy meat is blanketed with fried onions and a gooey mix of cheeses (nutty Swiss and mild American), all layered between crisp slices of caraway rye. It’s a messy, dripping affair, and though it’s served with whole-grain mustard and ketchup on the side, this sandwich needs neither, relying on its own juices for succulent moisture. 225 West Broadway at White St (646-692-4943, thebutterflynyc.com). $17.—Stefanie Tuder

  • Photograph: Michael Rudin

    Steak sandwich at Pat LaFrieda’s stand at Citi Field

    Like French dip au jus on steroids, this version from Gotham’s butcher king is the grand slam of steak sandwiches. Filet mignon sits on a hefty baguette practically soaked through with meat juices. Slathered with a creamy combo of tangy melted Monterey Jack cheese and sweet caramelized onions, this monster sub requires extra napkins. Never mind the long line to order—the Mets aren’t scoring anyway. Citi Field, 123-01 Roosevelt Ave at 126th St, Flushing, Queens. $15.—Stefanie Tuder

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Steve’s Polish-wedding kielbasa sandwich at Sea Witch

    To fully appreciate this meaty behemoth in all its beer-soaking glory, order it after you’ve downed a few pints of craft brew. A double-smoked, garlic-dappled pork wurst procured from a Greenpoint meat market gets split down the middle before hitting the grill alongside tangy Pickle Guys sauerkraut. Once browned, the sausage is nestled inside a toasted Martin’s hoagie roll slicked with tongue-prickling house mustard. A final flourish of chopped, raw white onions lends a sharp bite. 703 Fifth Ave between 21st and 22nd Sts, Sunset Park, Brooklyn (347-227-7166, seawitchnyc.com). $7.50.—Sarah Bruning

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    Egg-and-cheese sandwich at Parish Hall

    At this farm-to-table spin-off of Egg, chef Evan Hanczor gives the old breakfast-cart staple the locavore treatment. Tucked into a sweet Bien Cuit bun, a softly scrambled egg is cloaked with molten Shelburne cheddar. To complete the buttery package, choose thick house-made bacon, links of fatty pork sausage or seasonal vegetables (sautéed kale, roasted broccoli rabe) straight from owner George Weld’s farm. 109A North 3rd St between Berry St and Wythe Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-782-2602, parishhall.net). $11.—Soomin Shom

  • Photograph: Melissa Sinclair

    Brisket-and-short-rib sandwich at Mayhem & Stout

    The braised-meat specialists behind this Murray Hill joint build their wonderfully sloppy sandwiches on a Caputo’s roll with a double hit of beef: juicy short rib and brisket, both slow-cooked in beer. Countering the delicious mess of shredded meat is sinus-clearing horseradish crème, sweet-onion confit and bitter roasted kale. 711 Second Ave between 38th and 39th Sts (212-986-1600, mayhemandstout.yolasite.com). $9.—Molly Aronica

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    French-onion-soup grilled cheese sandwich at Mother’s Ruin

    Taking a classic lunch combo one step further, this hybrid sammie converts scraps from the Nolita hot spot’s French onion soup. Leftover strained Vidalia onions nestle in with Gruyère and white cheddar between grilled thick slices of Balthazar peasant boule. The whole thing is topped with Parmesan and more Gruyère and broiled until they bubble. Take it over the top by adding a splash of sherry to the onion broth to make a dipping jus. Ooh la la. 18 Spring St between Elizabeth and Mott Sts (mothersruinnyc.com). $13.—Jasmine Moy

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    Truffle burger at Umami Burger

    There’s nothing subtle about Adam Fleischman’s ornate, New Age patty—it’s an unapologetically in-your-face blend of meaty mushroom, mineral-rich beef and roasted-garlic aioli. The unctuous six-ounce round—coarse-ground and medium-rare by default—arrives on a palm-sized Portuguese bun, pungent truffle cheese and glaze clinging to the burger’s caramelized crust. Pedestrian lettuce and tomato are notably absent, letting that distinctive umami-funk shine. 432 Sixth Ave between 9th and 10th Sts (212-677-8626, umami.com). $12.50.—Christina Izzo

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    Foie gras and smoked-cheddar grilled cheese at Chez Sardine

    Chef Mehdi Brunet-Benkritly pays homage to the fat-on-fat cooking of his alma mater, Montreal’s Au Pied de Cochon, with this elevated stoner sandwich. Generously buttered Sullivan St Bakery filone encases thin pickles and smoked New York cheddar, brought to glutinous new levels with dabs of Quebecois foie gras. The deliciously high-low sandwich is griddled until golden brown and molten, and served with acidic counterpoints: brined shallots and an extra helping of pickles. 183 W 10th St at 4th St (646-360-3705, chezsardine.com). $18.—Soomin Shon

Photograph: Jessica Lin

Patty melt at the Butterfly

Like many favorite childhood classics, the patty melt—a burger with melted cheese and onions on toasted bread—has been elevated to modern NYC standards. Six ounces of dry-aged, überbeefy meat is blanketed with fried onions and a gooey mix of cheeses (nutty Swiss and mild American), all layered between crisp slices of caraway rye. It’s a messy, dripping affair, and though it’s served with whole-grain mustard and ketchup on the side, this sandwich needs neither, relying on its own juices for succulent moisture. 225 West Broadway at White St (646-692-4943, thebutterflynyc.com). $17.—Stefanie Tuder


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