Bargain sandwich hunters should never relegate themselves to only a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich from their local bodega. New Yorkers love any meal stuffed between two slices of bread and we have the variety to prove it. Whether you’re hankering for a melty grilled cheese or a gut-busting chicken parm from one of the city’s best Italian sandwich shops, we found them all at prices that still leave room for a bottle of suds from a beer store. These are the best cheap sandwiches in New York.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to cheap eats in NYC
Best cheap sandwiches
This Union Square sandwich shop enlisted Josh Sharkey, the chef from dearly departed Park Slope high-quality counter Bark Hot Dogs and a bona fide OG of the fast-casual craze. At this newbie, try the spicy Pork & Pickles, which tops chili-marinated pork belly with Korean cukes ($10) or a spin on the old chicken salad Chicken & Slaw, a mix of apple-date slaw, cold-charred bird and roasted garlic rémoulade wedged between slices of ciabatta ($10).
After test-driving the concept at Berg’n and Threes Brewing, brothers Max and Eli Sussman launched their first brick-and-mortar Mediterranean gem last October. The Williamsburg storefront functions as a hybrid specialty grocery and restaurant delivering elevated, homemade dishes. Inhale the chicken shawarma ($10), served with daily-baked pita, or create a plate with rice and salad for just a few dollars extra. And for a twist on an old favorite, give the za’atar wings with a labna ranch sauce (six for $10) a whirl.
Celebrity chef April Bloomfield has put her trust in a duo of kick-ass female butchers, Erika Nakamura and Jocelyn Guest, who are making a meaty mark on the Upper West Side. Although dinner can be pricey, come by for breakfast or lunch, when the ginormous bacon, egg and cheese ($8), the spicy jalapeño-and-pickle Chopped Cheese ($11), the roast beef sammie with pickled red onions, red-wine butter and horseradish ($9) and the kimchi-and-mayo-topped hot dog ($7) are yours for less than a movie ticket.
Moving from Alphabet City to the Meatpacking District, the folks from cocktail haven the Wayland opened this new all-day healthy(ish) restaurant—think buckwheatpancakesandgrainbowls.Kick- start your day with a Good Morning Sunshine, piled high with braised bacon, a sunny-side– up egg and avocado on brioche ($10). For those uninterested in all-day eggs, choose one of the slow-roasted sandwiches: the pulled chicken accompanied by pickles and apples or the Pernil Romero with pork cooked in fennel and rosemary (both $12).
At this beloved Astoria sandwich shop—which also opened an outpost in the West Village)—the wacky panini are more than the sum of their parts. Take the prosciutto version ($10) for example: rather than pairing with a traditional mozzarella, the sandwich here is stuffed with gorgonzola dolce and tangy fig spread, making for a perfect storm of salty and sweet.
These Cambodian-inflected sandwich shops are popular with everyone from the NYU set to Wall Street titans. While all the meats here are lip-smackingly seasoned and tender, order the Hoisin Meatball ($9.95) for something funkier than a plain-Jane chicken. An Asian take on the classic sub preparation, it’s topped with jasmine rice, basil and stewed tomatoes, and served on a semolina bun.
The eponymous roll at this homegrown mini chain breaks the bank at $17, but the sleeper hit may be the shrimp roll ($9), which is stuffed with a quarter pound of the sustainably caught wild crustacean. Housed in a traditional split-top New England bun swiped with mayo, the whole creation is finished off with lemon butter and Luke’s ultra-secret, ultra-delicious seasoning.
Single-handedly responsible for making red sauce hip again, Parm is the most approachable of options from cool-kid restaurateurs Major Food Group. Of course, the pro-order at any of the outposts is the chicken parm ($10), the city’s best at any price. It’s served on a sweet semolina roll and oozing with gooey, creamy mozzarella, crispy breaded chicken and tangy-sweet tomato sauce.
Not everyone knows that this standout cheese shop also has a grilled-cheese counter tucked into the front corner. While all seven of the melts are under $10, the best in the bunch is the classic Murray’s Melt ($5.99), made with a secret blend of oozing cheeses about which the staff remains extremely tight-lipped. You can, however, add anything from an egg to kimchi to create your own bespoke version.
This popular Roman chain opened its first American outpost this February and sandwich-philes have been flocking to the Lower East Side ever since. A trapizzino is a bread pocket stuffed with any number of savory comestibles, but the winner here is the maiale: heritage pork braised with white wine and finished with wild fennel pollen and sage. And, at only $6, we won’t blame you if you go back for seconds. Or thirds.
Serving modern takes on traditional Montreal deli food, this beloved Boerum Hill spot (with two other locations in Manhattan) specializes in towering, smoky meat sandwiches. One particularly Canadian item on the menu is the Ruth Wilensky ($9), named after Wilensky’s Light Lunch in the Jewish Quarter of Montreal. In an ode to the original preparation, it features fried salami with mustard on a pressed onion roll.