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Cusser's Roast Beef & Seafood
Photograph: Holly Rike Cusser's Roast Beef & Seafood

The best sandwiches in Boston

With delicious ingredients between slices of tasty bread, these restaurants make Boston’s best sandwiches

By Gerrish Lopez, Time Out Boston Staff and Eric Grossman
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Hand-held and often easily portable, a sandwich packs complementary flavors into every bite. These Boston sandwich shops and delis know their way around fresh, delicious ingredients. Whether you’re looking for a quick lunch or a belly-busting pick-me-up, these are the sandwiches that will do the trick. From healthy, veggie-packed options to classic pastrami piled high, consider your lunch plans decided. For more hand-held options, check out our guides to these sandwich-adjacent treats: the best lobster rolls, best hot dogs and best burgers in Boston.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Boston

Sandwich makers we love so much that we welcomed them into Time Out Market

BISq, chicken sandwich
Adam DeTour Photography

BISq

Restaurants Fenway/Kenmore

At Time Out Market Boston's BISq outpost, customers can enjoy gourmet sandwiches such as a savory Cubano, crunchy fried chicken, or pork belly with sweet potato, salsa and aioli on ciabatta.

Cusser's Roast Beef & Seafood
Photograph: Holly Rike

Cusser’s Roast Beef & Seafood

Restaurants Fenway/Kenmore

You’ll be cussing at the moon when forced to pick between the critically-lauded, mouthwatering roast beef sandwiches at Cusser’s, which began as a street-side takeout window at the Back Bay’s upscale Mooncusser Fish House. Chef Carolyn Johnson is inspired by the popular roast beef shacks that dot the North Shore, and her gourmet interpretations of comforting classics will forever change the way you view sliced beef on a bun; here, the nourishing sammies are made with rare, all-natural wagyu and decadent toppings. Don't forget to round out your order with crispy onion rings or hand-cut fries.

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Mamaleh's bagel
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

Mamaleh’s Delicatessen

Restaurants Fenway/Kenmore

Boston has a sizable population who grew up with comforting deli staples, but in recent years most of the area’s old-school joints have vanished. Enter Kendall Square’s celebrated modern-era deli, Mamaleh’s. At Time Out Market Boston, the Mamaleh’s team brings its scrumptious smoked fish platters and juicy pastrami sandwiches—perfect for a filling meal or a quick nosh—across the river to the Fenway. Treat yourself to a freshly-prepped sandwich made with hand-made bagels and hormone-free, antibiotic-free meats (expertly cured, smoked, and roasted in-house).

Best sandwiches in Boston

Cutty's Pork Rabe
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Emily C.

1. Cutty’s

Restaurants Sandwich shops

This Brookline sandwich shop has a menu full of top-notch specialty sandwiches and well-made classics. The Spuckie (layers of cured meats, mozz and olive salad) is a favorite, but in-the-know sandwich aficionados head to Cutty’s on Saturdays to procure the famed pork rabe sandwich. Slow-roasted pork, sautéed broccoli rabe and sharp provolone are piled inside a sesame seed roll for a juicy sandwich with bite.

Sam LaGrassa’s
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Tony D.

2. Sam LaGrassa’s

Restaurants Sandwich shops Downtown

Montreal smoked meat and New York pastrami have nothing on Sam LaGrassa’s signature deli sandwiches. The self-proclaimed World’s No. 1 Sandwich joint has been dishing out robust reubens and hearty hoagies since 1968. Test your spice tolerance with the Pastrami Diablo or keep it classic with their version of a roast beef sandwich, the Roast Beef Blues. The real kicker? Sam LaGrassa’s ships their sandwiches anywhere in the USA, so you won’t even have to leave your house to chow down. 

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Tenoch
Photograph: Courtesy Tenoch

3. Tenoch

Restaurants Mexican North End

Tortas are traditional Mexican pressed sandwich made with telera bread (like a thick French roll). Tenoch does an excellent version. The meat or veggie base is topped with beans, Oaxaca cheese, chipotle mayo, onions, avocado and tomato. Go for the Campechana. The chorizo and carnitas are full of flavor, balanced out by the toppings.

Clover chickpea fritter
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Amanda R.

4. CloverHFI

Restaurants Vegetarian Central Sq

With locations all over the city, Clover is a vegetarian’s (and vegan’s) delight. Non-meat options abound, from the fried mushroom oyster sandwich to the Impossible Burger meatball sandwich. But vegetarians and omnivores alike can’t get enough of the chickpea fritter sandwich. Crispy falafel, hummus made with organic chickpeas from Connecticut, pickled veggies, tahini and fresh tomato cucumber salad are stuffed inside a fresh-baked pita.

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Chacarero
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/A F.

5. Chacarero

Restaurants Chilean Downtown

If you haven't tried a Chilean sandwich, you're missing out. This Downtown Crossing spot is known for its namesake sandwich—homemade bread stuffed with grilled meat (beef or chicken) or veggies, then topped with muenster cheese, green beans and tomato. The limited menu includes empanadas, oven fried potatoes and a few desserts. It's counter service, fast and always fresh, so you'll be in and out with a filling sandwich in a jiffy.

Banh Mi
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/ Salinda N.

6. Banh Mi Ba Le

Restaurants Vietnamese Dorchester

The banh mi at this Vietnamese spot in Dorchester packs a punch in a small—and very inexpensive—package. House-made French bread is crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, a delicious cradle for flavorful Vietnamese ingredients. Whether you choose grilled beef or pork marinated in lemongrass, you’ll be happy. Topped with fresh cucumber, spinach and a secret sauce, this is one exceptionally flavorful sandwich.

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Photograph: Courtesy Michael’s Deli

7. Michael’s Deli

Restaurants Delis

No need to trek to New York for quality pastrami and corned beef. Michael’s Deli, otherwise known as "the Corned Beef King," has been dishing up New York style deli meats for nearly 40 years. Signature sandwiches like the Thanksgiving Feast (turkey breast with homemade stuffing) and the Big Lebowski (turkey and pastrami with sauerkraut) have locals squeezing into the narrow, no-frills delicatessen. Even the late and great Anthony Bourdain paid a visit to Michael’s and chowed down on the Howie Carr (corned beef and beef brisket) while filming an episode of No Reservations–as if there wasn’t already enough reason to pay this Coolidge Corner deli a visit. 

Our Fathers The Maude
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Kyle S.

8. Our Fathers

Restaurants Delis Allston/Brighton

A modern take on the Jewish delicatessen, Our Fathers is a stylish spot for deli classics near Harvard Square. The overstuffed sandwiches satisfy with fresh ingredients. The Maude may be on the less traditional side, but it’s a standout (and lighter than the no-less-tasty, hand-cut pastrami), with roast turkey, tomato, sprouts, avocado and basil aioli on wheat.

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Rosebud American Kitchen
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Dani L.

9. Rosebud American Kitchen

Restaurants Diners Somerville

This Davis Square institution is fancier than it used to be, but you’ll feel right at home with the satisfying Texas Rachel in a Skirt. This variation on the classic Rachel features smoked brisket (Rosebud has quite a few notable bbq options), BBQ onions, horseradish sauce, slaw and a cheese “skirt” on rye bread. It’s creamy, tangy, cheesy, and meaty…sure to hit the spot.

Mike & Patty's Fancy
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Aaron T.

10. Mike & Patty’s

Restaurants American Bay Village

Over in Bay Village, Mike & Patty’s has made a name for itself with in-demand breakfast sandwiches. You can’t go wrong with the classic egg, cheese and ham on an english muffin, but the one not to miss is the Fancy. Hop in line for this morning cure-all featuring two fried eggs, bacon, cheddar, avocado, red onion and house-made mayo on Iggy’s multigrain bread.

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Parish Café, Bars, Boston
© Bing

11. Parish Café

Restaurants American Back Bay

What's better than cramming the city's most celebrated chefs into a single kitchen? Giving them room to think, so they can contribute from afar to a single menu composed of gourmet sandwiches instead. Besides signature faves from Barbara Lynch, Ming Tsai, Michael Schlow and others, there's always something new to sample; local bartenders get equally creative on the cocktail list. What never changes is the kinetic energy both inside the snug, multicolored café and out on the mega-popular patio.

Moody's The Katz
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Alee L.

12. Moody’s Delicatessen & Provisions

Restaurants American

Locally-made charcuterie is the highlight at this classic deli in Back Bay. While all the signature sandwiches—from the Cuban to the Steak Bomb—are delicious and made with locally-sourced ingredients, The Katz is the one to try. This pastrami sandwich features “Mama Lil’s” pickle mustard and Swiss on rye. Add a side of truffle chips and you’ve got a killer lunch.

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Roxy's Grilled Cheese Green Muenster
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Jess G.

13. Roxy's Grilled Cheese

Restaurants Sandwich shops Allston/Brighton

A simple grilled cheese sandwich is an easy, cheesy treat that always hits the spot. Get creative with grilled cheese and you’ve got something special. Roxy’s does just that, with a wide range of cheeses (vegan too!), organic bread and high-quality additions. The Green Muenster is a must, a perfect combo of flavors and textures: muenster, house made guac and thick bacon, all between perfectly crunchy grilled bread.

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