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The best sandwich shops in NYC

From grilled-cheese havens to daffy lunch-meat temples, these are NYC's headquarters of sink-your-teeth-in sandwiches

Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Mommy Dearest sandwich at Drive In Sandwiches

Hero, hoagie, grinder, sub—whatever you call ’em, New Yorkers love a good sandwich, whether it’s a piled-high pastrami sandwich on rye to a gooey patty melt at one of the best diners in NYC. And the latest incarnations are the best thing since sliced bread, what with lively new sandwich shops in NYC dedicated to breaking the meat-cheese-and-bun mold, from stacked-high Dagwoods to jaw-testing Italian combos.

Sandwich shops in NYC

Alidoro

The cultish Italian sandwich spot was already a Soho legend, thanks to the masterfully dressed, painstakingly made subs coming out of its Sullivan Street flagship—marked with a cheeky list of rules detailing what they will and will not serve you (yay to huge, prosciutto-crammed heroes; nay to avocado wraps and silverware). At this spacious midtown offshoot, the rules have slackened slightly—along with combos like the speck-and-smoked-mozz Evangelist or the capicola-and-mushroom-paste Antoinette, there are breakfast sandwiches, coffee and salads like a classic Caprese.

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Soho

Boomwich

After making his oddball mark on pizza at Crown Heights slice slinger PeteZaaz, Peter Entner and turned his attentions to another beloved comfort foodstuff: sandwiches. At this subway-tiled Boerum Hill haunt, Entner and chef Michael Kogan serve off-the-wall numbers like General Tso’s shrimp with tempura and roasted carrot ($10), coconut-crusted tofu with pea shoots and lychee muchim ($9), and Dr. Pepper–roasted pork butt with provolone and pickles ($9).

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Boerum Hill

Drive In Sandwiches

Ever wanted to take a bite out of Annie Hall? (We don’t blame you—Diane Keaton is downright delicious.) The closest you’ll get is the pastrami-Swiss-and-slaw baguette ($9.75) named after the iconic Woody Allen heroine at this Williamsburg sandwich parlor. Inspired by drive-in movie theaters, husband-and-wife team Michael and Naz Medici turn out film-themed sammies like the Hangover (beef hot dog, pickled jalapeños and cheddar on sourdough; $7.95) and the Rocky IV (roast beef, mashed potatoes, provolone and gravy on a baguette; $9.95) beneath a ceiling painted to look like the night sky.

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Williamsburg
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Early

One word: Zappie. That’s the must-order at this diminutive, subway-tiled Greenpoint eatery, a riff on Poland’s open-faced zapiekanka sandwich, which chef Peter Chrostowski crams with caramelized onions, mushrooms, fontina and garlic before giving it a spritz of truffle oil ($8). Vegetarians have plenty to choose from, like green apple and Brie with pesto on a baguette ($9), but carne lovers can get their fangs into meaty options like chipotle chicken thigh with fontina and cilantro-lime mayo ($10).

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Greenpoint

Lord Hamm's

Until last year, Corey Cova’s goofball cooking was on display at gonzo uptown grubberies Dough Loco, ABV and Earl’s Beer & Cheese. Now the dude who gave us tartare pizza and foie gras Fluffernutters brings that whimsy downtown with this brick-walled East Village takeout shop, offering curiosities like mozzarella, miso mayo, and potato chips wedged into an English muffin’s nooks and crannies ($7), and a monster muffuletta boasting thick strata of meat (salami, prosciutto, smoked ham), cheese (Swiss, mozz, provolone) and a three-olive salad ($11 for half loaf, $18 for full).

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East Village

Meat Hook Sandwich Shop

No classic sandwich is safe from reimagining at this irreverent, brick-walled Williamsburg sando shop from the brawny Meat Hook butchers—a gyro turned into a yogurt-slathered lamb hot dog, a Cubano crammed with lard-poached carnitas. Beneath a neon sign spelling out the word “SANDWICH,” the team breaks down whole hogs and sides of beef for sammies like the Roast Pork layered with tuna mayo, escarole and spicy raisins, or the Roast Beef loaded with cheddar, fried onion and hash browns.

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Williamsburg
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Mile End Delicatessen

The new-world delicatessen moves the new-Jewish compass well beyond the tarted-up, appetizing standards that made owners Noah and Rae Bernamoff into food-scene superstars. Here there are North African flavors (smoky lamb sausage layered with harissa) and nods to regional foodstuffs (a reverent rendition of Buffalo, New York’s beef on weck). And while malty rye is the coin of the realm at most classic delis, the Bernamoffs also boldly pile their fillings between halves of onion-speckled rolls, fluffy pitas, and challah bread so cottony and ethereal it may be the greatest thing since…well, you know.

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Downtown

Morris Sandwich Shop

Sandwich-loving hearts broke when Michael Jacober flipped his wood-fired sammy canteen Glady’s into a Caribbean concept last spring, but the sandos at the brick-and-mortar offshoot of his beloved Morris Grilled Cheese Truck can turn those frowns upside down. Conveniently located next door to Glady’s, the counter-service spot offers a pair of grilled cheeses (cheddary Landaff for $5, Raclette with brown butter and pickled pumpkin for $8), along with more involved concoctions like the Mona (cauliflower puree, soft-boiled egg and roasted beets on focaccia; $8), or the Big Trouble in Little China, layering Szechuan braised pork with pickled cabbage and hoisin on a flatbread bun ($7.50).

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Crown Heights

Num Pang Sandwich Shop

The rotating varieties of num pang (Cambodia's answer to the banh mi) at Ben Daitz and Ratha Chaupoly's popular Southeast Asian–style sandwich shop include pulled duroc pork with spiced honey, peppercorn catfish and hoisin veal meatballs, all stuffed into crusty baguettes. 

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Greenwich Village
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Sergimmo Salumeria

Imported and house-made salumi, including sopressata and cacciatore, are the specialties of this Italian deli and café. Mozzarella, ricotta and the dried mozzarella scamorza are also made fresh daily, and the spot stocks pedigreed provisions, like Delverde pasta and San Marzano tomatoes. Hell's Kitchen lunchers can snag one of the Carrera-marble tables for a quick salad, pasta or panino on Pain d'Avignon bread. Look for the VIP (Very Italian Panini), which layers prosciutto di Parma, fresh mozzarella, olive oil, fig spread and arugula on ciabatta.

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Hell's Kitchen

Comments

3 comments
Michele O
Michele O

For me Alidoro is good but a little bit too much on them. Best Panini in NYC is the Sopressata at Zibetto Espresso Bar

Chuck D
Chuck D

Some of these sandwich shops look great! Personally, my favorite NYC Sandwich is the Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Biscuit Sandwich at Uncle Jack's Steakhouse. It is made with Buttermilk fried boneless chicken, aged smoked Vermont cheddar, house made sweet and spicy pickles, scratch made biscuit, and chipolte sauce. Believe me, it tastes as good as it sounds! It will leave your mouth watering!