Operating out of the same storefront since 1947, this James Beard Award-winning Jewish deli always hits the spot thanks to hot, hand-cut pastrami from recipes that’ve been passed down for generations. There are plenty of other deli classics here, too, but at Langer’s it’s all about the pastrami. The #19 is in and of itself a local icon, and is easily one of the most quintessential sandwiches in the city: hot pastrami with Swiss, slaw and Russian-style dressing on rye, stacked and thick and juicy. Plus, the deli itself is a bit of a time warp, only adding to the charm of recipes that haven’t changed in decades.
Whether your tastes run classic or contemporary, there’s a delicious sandwich for you in Los Angeles. After all, it’s not hard to stumble across a decent sandwich at a burger stand, farmers’ market, food truck or grocery store—but what about the truly great between-bread experiences, from the crunchy-soft baguette of a budget-friendly banh mi to the wonders of sliced rye, our preferred vehicle for pastrami delivery?
Though not all of these shops specialize in a traditional, counter-style sandwich shop experience, these standout L.A. sandwiches are all worth a try in their own right. Some menus run large, others small; others are tried-and-true, while others run more artisan new-school than anything else. No matter their specific menu offerings, we’ve compiled a list of L.A.’s very best sandwich shops (excluding the bagel and fried chicken varieties, which deserve lists all of their own)—because the humble sandwich is worth celebrating every day of the year.