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Ducali sandwich
Photograph: Courtesy Ducali

The best sandwich shops in Boston

Hot or cold, packed with veggies or a meat lover’s dream, sandwiches around Boston keep hungry hands full.

Edited by
Cheryl Fenton
Written by
Eric Grossman
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While a full-on plated entree is nice, there’s something so satisfying about ordering a grab-and-go sandwich to fill your belly. Whether it’s a simple construct of meat and cheese or a detailed tower of fixings and fillings, there are plenty of places around town that serve up killer sandwiches. 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

Best sandwiches in Boston

  • 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.

  • Restaurants
  • Sandwich shops
  • Downtown
  • price 2 of 4

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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  • Restaurants
  • Vietnamese
  • Dorchester
  • price 1 of 4

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.

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • North End
  • price 1 of 4

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.

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  • Restaurants
  • Chilean
  • Downtown
  • price 1 of 4

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.

  • Restaurants
  • Delis
  • price 2 of 4

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. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • North End

The Porchetta Sandwich at Ducali is legendary, with the main player (roast pork) hailing from Sulmona Meat Market, a North End butcher that specializes in preparations from Sulmona, Italy (Porchetta owner Phillip Frattaroli’s family’s native town). The pork shoulder has a secret blend of spices and is slow roasted over 12 hours, then served on rustic country bread with arugula, caramelized onion, and shaved Parmigiano Reggiano. It’s so delicious, Paul Wahlburg is rumored to stop by frequently to grab one.

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Bay Village
  • price 1 of 4

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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  • Restaurants
  • North End
  • price 3 of 4

If you don’t know Frank DePasquale’s sandwich and pasta shop is there, you might miss it. Just follow the steady stream of those in the know down the alley adjacent to his award-winning restaurant and you’ll discover a tiny spot packed with imported Italian meats and cheeses, olive oils, vinegars and more. The Italian sandwich here is a heaping pile of mortadella, Genoa salami, sopressata, provolone and all the fixings, and the packed Chicken Parmagiano is a shareable feast. Grab house-made breads from the next-door panetteria for DIY sandwich plans.

  • Restaurants
  • Delis
  • Allston/Brighton
  • price 2 of 4

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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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Back Bay
  • price 2 of 4

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.

  • Restaurants
  • Sandwich shops
  • Allston/Brighton
  • price 1 of 4

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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  • Restaurants
  • Vegetarian
  • Central Sq
  • price 1 of 4

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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