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New York City
Chef de Cuisine at Boilermaker
Being a born and raised NJ guy, I thought I knew sandwiches. Jewish delis with awesome kosher dill pickles and melt-in-your-mouth pastrami, Italian delis where the ham, mortadella and mutz is endless... I've had it, I tried it, I knew all there was to know about sandwiches as much as anyone. That is, until I found out about the Meat Hook Sandwich Shop.
Two year ago I was volunteering with Delaney BBQ at the Big Apple BBQ in June in Manhattan. The day before the event began, a few of us were helping set up the booth for the weekend. As a thank you to the volunteers, Daniel Delaney brought sandwiches for everyone. Upon the first bite, my standards of what a proper sandwich can and should be were changed forever.
I remember it perfectly. The first bite of the sandwich overwhelmed me with textures and flavors so well integrated that I didn't know how to handle it. In the following bites, I experienced amazingly flavorful bread that was just chewy enough to enjoy, crispy lettuce, crunchy fried onions, a horseradish cream that was equal parts spicy, creamy, and sweet. Then there was the roast beef- melt in your mouth tenderness combined with steakhouse levels of flavor. What else would you expect from sandwiches made at the butcher shop where the meat is fabricated?
In other visits to Sandwich Shop on Loirmer, I've had both the Italian sandwich (rivals any I've had in Jersey) and the roast pork and been just as happy as the first sandwich I had those years ago. I look forward to the next time I'll be in that part of Brooklyn as I'll definitely make a stop for a sandwich.
SoCal native, freelance writer
I emailed this to my boyfriend, he will love this :) Awesome post!
about 1 year ago
I got so hungry reading this. I've been on a Brooklyn binge lately so I will find a good excuse to go to this neighborhood and try this!
Travel, food, family
This was fully amazing. Only place on this list I haven't eaten at yet, and thats saying something.
Cheap eats to fine dining and everything in between
My favorite review of yours! Love love love!@
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I love food. I live for food. Endulge.
You could be looking for traditional or you could be looking for new trends. If you eat lunch in NYC every day and are like me; you like a variety of really good places. Num Pang is neither traditional nor super-trendy but I will tell you what they are. A trust-worthy location that has great tasting selections no matter what your mood. When I am unsure of where to go for lunch - I head to Num. Vegetarian selections, hearty food, regional flavors, all well thought out combinations. Solid spot.
Coffee addict and proud
I've heard so many good things about Num Pang that I'm almost embarrassed I haven't tried it yet. Do you have a favorite or a go-to sandwich here?
Freelance food photographer and author
You sold me on it...I will definitely be trying this out!
Midwest girl, love to cook and dine out in NYC!
Awesome writeup of this place, thanks for sharing Greg!
Foodie and proud
I will second this, it's one of my go-to lunch places in the area
Regina Myers Maganzini
Owner/operator of four small establishments in Carroll Gardens Brooklyn. Black Mountain Wine House, Bar San Miguel, Union Grounds and PDQ.
This place is an old dock worker's haunt. If you're not a Brooklyn native, FDNY, or a police officer YOU WILL STAND OUT, just try not to be too annoying. Pick one of the many sandwiches that are written on the signs above the counter. All of them are outstanding. My favorite is the one with ham and eggplant. They put some of the jus from the ham on the bread as the dressing, and the fried eggplant is so thin it's practically mayonnaise. If you want to go really gluttonous, have the chicken parm. You can't go wrong with anything on this menu, but hurry up and get there because they close at 3pm. Yes 3pm. That's how much of the real deal this place is.
I was so bummed when they closed the location on 3rd ave! This is a true new york sandwich, albeit slightly gluttunous.
Lawyer, Brooklyn native, lover of authentic ethnic foods
This is hands down my favorite on the list. You have definitely done them justice in your description!
Executive Chef, Freehold Brooklyn
I've got to second Regina's recommendation of Defonte's as my #1 sandwich joint in NYC. These boys went to high school with my parents at New Utrecht Academy in Brooklyn and you will never have a better Italian sandwich in this city. I rarely order anything but the Nicky Special at Defonte's (ham, capicolla, salami, provolone, fried eggplant, hot salad, marinated mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, oil & vinegar), but literally everything in the shop is fantastic. You can just taste the love that goes into each and every one of their items and still meet the family behind the counter. I can't say enough about these guys- but the fact that they have Manhattan Special, a super sweet, nostalgically delicious espresso soda (made in Brooklyn since 1895), is one of those little touches that really makes me smile.
Executive Chef at Minetta Tavern
What makes a great sandwich? I’ll tell you what – It’s Love. You can’t fake a great sandwich, or cheap out, or slice it wrong. The ingredients are key - they should be top notch. Stoners will tell you this at 1am, Workers at 6am and Bankers at 12 noon.
When you make a sandwich there needs to be Love inside.
The choice of bread, it must be fresh and soft. Mayonnaise or the mustard or whatever goes on, the condiments are key. You get the picture. Everything in the right amount and quality. Even PB&J, we all have our preference. Amazing no?
We can put up with all sorts of discomforts when dining out, including ill prepared food and indifferent service, but sandwiches are at the top of the comfort food chain. We want it just right and know if it’s not.
Dan Ross-Leutwyler makes royal sandwiches. He builds each one with care and passion. The last I had, a Reuben, was a thing of glory, crispy buttered rye bread on the griddle, house made corned beef and sauerkraut. He has the touch with sandwiches. Actually everything he touches benefits greatly from his care. Put one from his restaurant, Fritzl's Lunch Box in Bushwick on your bucket list as soon as possible.
Fritzl's Lunch Box 173 Irving Ave Brooklyn, NY 11237
I can't tell you how hungry that photo made me. I loved your review for this place! Thanks for sharing!
12 months ago
Thank you Morgan!
12 months ago
Sous chef at Buddakan, NY
hands down the best burger I've had. I always thought they don't get enough attention. Thanks for sharing.
12 months ago
Preach! Hit the nail on the head with this one. Great recommendation!
Culinary Director of Fleishers Craft Butchery
Big beautiful space and big beautiful sandwiches. Check out the droopy, roast beef and crispy fried onions? Yes...
Is this new? I knew of the one out in BK but didn't realize there was one in Manhattan.
about 1 year ago
yup recently opened
about 1 year ago
It honestly made my day that they opened up in greenwich village. I'm surprised I didn't hear about this until now!
Pastry chef at Violet's Bake Shoppe
Do they have the classic Italian sandwich there yet? I had that sandwich at their Brooklyn location and it is just amazing. It was worth all the time they bragged on creating it.
Sous Chef at Marea
I must start this by saying that this is not the first time I have written about Cheeky's, nor will it probably be my last. The distinctive southern-vibe melds New Orleans Po Boys, Zapp's Chips, and Cafe du Monde coffee with other southern favorites such as the fried chicken on a biscuit, complete with pickled cabbage and gravy. While most of their offerings are meat and seafood based, they do have a vegetarian option for the more selective eaters. Open somewhat early to somewhat late, it's a great spot anytime of the day!
The fried chicken on a biscuit is bomb. I ate two the last time I was here and could probably have had two more. Glad they are on this list!
Food writer and lover of all things chocolate
This would definitely be my number 1 on this list. I've only had the chicken sandwich though so might be time to try one of those po boys!
Found this place too a few years back. It's so easy to miss and I still need to keep an eye out for it every time I pass down the block!
Independent Wine Consultant
It may sound obvious, but you can never forget the old school. Perfect pastrami, on what admittedly could be better rye bread, with pickles (two kinds!). Go at off hours to avoid the tourists, but this is a place to go at least once a year.
This will always be my number 1. The pastrami is insane. It seems almost like sacrilege to knock any aspect of the sandwiches but I agree with you they could do better on the bread.
Manager at Blue Ribbon Federal Grill
This deli is the number one (if not only) reason I ever go to New Jersey. They make their own mozzarella in house and it's so light it's like a cloud of cheese and on Thursdays and Saturdays (the only days worth going) they roast their own roast beef. You walk in, pull a crunchy, dry Italian style hero out and bring it to the counter. You tell them roast beef, mozz and peppers. Then you tell them to take it for a dip. They add a generous layer of their fresh, delicate roast beef down, lay down a second layer consisting of their incredible mozzarella and then put down some spicy garlic picked red peppers. Then they close the sandwich and walk over to the tray they used to collect all of the drippings from the roast beef and submerge the entire sandwich. This sandwich is in it's own league. It's also close enough to the water that you can walk over to the park and enjoy your sandwich with a clear view of Manhattan.
My friend just moved to Hoboken I will send him here...and of course stop by myself when I'm out to visit!
Life is uncertain, eat dessert first.
This looks like a serious sandwich. Awesome review of this place!
Ruinart Brand Ambassador
Truly the best chicken parm the city has to offer! You can go veg with the eggplant parm, also a seriously delicious option, or do a classic roasted turkey. All while enjoying a house beet negroni! The calamari is super legit or indulge your inner child with the world's greatest Mozzarella sticks!
When life gives you limes, just add tequila
I love everything about Parm. A seriously underrated restaurant!
I'm on a seefood diet. I see food, and I eat it.
What's pictured there, is that the chicken parm? Looks amazing!
Pastry Chef, Entrepenuer, Positivity
Some people might get upset that I'm sharing this but I don't think it's fair for Sunny and Annie's deli on Avenue B in the East Village to not be mentioned on a best sandwich shops list. This is the kind of place the guy who's been living in the East Village for the last 20 years, that you just moved in with straight out of college, takes you to help make you a real East Villager. Everything from their very small sandwich counter is great. This is a no frills deli where you can order all the NYC classics, build your own sandwich, or order one of their signatures but what sets it apart is that they truly take the time and energy to make your sandwich great. They take great care to carry quality ingredients, they build their sandwiches with love and are without a doubt a true East Village institution. I got talking about this place with a local at a bar one night and he confessed that his favorite sandwich here was a Chicken Parm Hero, Extra Cheese, with Pickled Jalapenos and Chicken Salad. We left to the bar to get one because I was intrigued. It was great. We've been friends ever since and that sandwich has become my go to as well.
NYC bartender & specialty cocktail creationist
Props to this place, great to see it on the list. Holds its own against every other place on here!
11 months ago
If you like it then you shoulda put sriracha on it
I love these little hidden gems, there are a ton of them around the East Village. I will definitely be stopping by here for a sammY!
So where to begin about Shorty's. The original location in Hell's Kitchen is still my favorite just for the shear grittiness and people watching, but they now have 4 others in Manhattan. They offer a petty straight forward South Philly menu. It is well known for is fantastic cheese steak (wiz witout for me) and Italian fries. That sandwich will have you wondering why you haven't made cheese whiz a staple of your diet before, so bad but oh so good! The unexpected gem from here though are the "special" style sandwiches which come with garlicky broccoli rabe and sharp provolone cheese, You can choose from steak, chicken or my favorite the roasted pork, top that with some roasted Italian long hot peppers and you have heaven in a bite. The seasoned Italian fries are garlicky goodness. To wash it all down and hopefully hide your breath they offer a large variety of craft beer and bourbons!
Hooray for Shorty's! I love these guys, so glad to see them on RoundTable! Great review for them
I'm pretty excited to check out the cheese steak here, and I know my boyfriend will be too!
I am excited for you both!!!
High-end Caterer using restaurants as my R&D
This is NOT a sandwich shop per se, as they have a very limited menu. However, this is hands down the best Roast Beef Sandwich in all of NY. They've even been featured on Man vs. Food Carnivore Edition. I'm old school and go for the beef, no cheese, dipped...FNK (fork-n-knife) style, tap beer and some fries. The au jus bread and delicate beef literally melts in your mouth! If you're really hungry, you gotta get the Garguilo Burger! It's a cheeseburger topped with roast beef...insanely delicious! When I want a sandwich, this is where I go! (They also serve kid friendly items and a really good pie a la mode).
Cheeseburger with roast beef sounds absolutely sinful. I love it!
Coffee addict and world traveler
The picture looks al ittle funky but otherwise, sounds great! Lol
If you get it DIPPED; outrageous!
Joseph Michael Diaz
I'm born and raised in Brooklyn. I've moved around a lot through out the borough. But if there is anything that I feel passionate for in this borough aside from my taste in pizza; it's the Roast Beef Special at The Original John's Deli. It's a can't miss. It's a hero with warm roast beef, fresh mozzarella, softly cooked onions and brown gravy. The bread is crispy and soft on the inside. The roast beef pairs nice with the fresh mozzarella on top layered with onions and a savory brown gravy.
Mostly locals come here. Others skip over it because L&B Spumoni Gardens (which is one of the best squares in the city.) is a few blocks away on the 25th Avenue D stop. But I implore you to stop in for one of these you won't regret it. I would also recommend the Chicken Parmesan Hero as a side note.
Originally from Shenzhen region of China, living in NYC for 4+ years
Thanks for sharing this I really enjoyed your review! This is what I always want to know are the sandwich shops and pizza places the locals go to out in brooklyn and queens.
Foodie, Travel Lover, Deloitte Consultant
Oh my gerd....that warm roast beef looks incredible. This was great!
Amazing! Are there any other recommended sandwiches besides the roast beef or is that the go to here?
Culinary Manager at The Brooklyn Kitchen
Best bahn mi in the city. Simple, delicious, reliable- all the best things in a sandwich. Can't beat the intensity of the flavor, the crunch of the fresh pickles and herbs or the chew of the toasty bread... also cant beat the price!
Pastry chef at Craft, Craftbar
The Dennis; chicken cutlet on a hero with fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, tomatoes, and balsamic vinegar.
The Parisi family has owned and operated the bakery since 1903. It's a solid, no frills deli that bakes their own bread daily. There is usually a line but its moves fast and is worth the wait.
Wow I walk by here all the time but haven't really tried it. I will definitely be doing The Dennis at some point this week!
If you want a different take from the usual deli pastrami sandwich, check out the one at Harry & Ida's. They do their own unique spin on making pastrami that is very peppery and falls apart in your mouth (hand sliced -- the way I like my pastrami). The sandwich is loaded with dill and buttermilk cucumbers, and the dill may turn some people off. I think this sandwich is good enough that it deserves a chance with the dill-haters. The shop is pretty small but if you're lucky you can score a spot by the window and feel sorry for the people passing by staring at your delicious looking sandwich.
The only downside is that you're paying the same price for a Katz pastrami sandwich ($17) so it really comes down to your own personal preference for pastrami. It's really a "classic traditional" vs "new and original." They do offer a smaller version of the pastrami sandwich for $11, but I leave that decision up to you on what size you would rather commit to.
I also hear their smoked eel sandwich is pretty amazing. Please let me know what you think of it if you get it!
Lawyer, craft beer aficianado
That photo totally blew my mind / made me exceedingly hungry. I'm getting a serious craving!
Despite all the classics on this list Harry & Ida's is my favorite. You did them justice with your review!
Yeah 17 is a bit steep but if it's on par with katz it sounds like one of those things you gotta try at least once!
Agreed, let me know which pastrami you prefer more. I noticed that a lot of sandwich places like Mile End, Harry and Ida's and Katz charge a lot more for their sandwiches since they make their own meats.
Their pastrami sandwich took a new spin on the old fashion, and I haven't been able to look back since. The buttermilk cured cucumber and dill complement their tender yet toothsome pastrami like peanut butter and jelly. They also have smoked eel sandwich with spiced kale and horseradish cream which is a great addition.
Although the sandwiches are great, you might have a hard time finding a seat during rush time since they only have stools by the window.
I love this place and it’s open late night! This is my favorite wrap in the LES and in NYC, they make the dough fresh by order in front of you and the mix of ingredients is unbelievable one of my favorite is the Pink Moon- Grilled shrimps wrapped in a beet & chia seeds dough, bean sprout slaw, charcoal grill asparagus , pickled jalapeño, fried pickles and awesome coconut vanilla sauce, finally healthy and delicious food! One of their well known wrap is the Brothers Grimm with grilled chicken wrapped in chestnut & chili dough freshly made with pickled shiitake mushroom, plantain chips and chipotle aioli - so goooood, vegetarian & carnivores delight- you will be back for more ;-)
Founder and Executive Chef at dineDK Private Dining
The quintessential NYC sandwich was perfected a long time ago at this LES staple. Russ and Daughters has been serving handcrafted sandwiches since 1914 and eating there connects you with the history of a part of NYC that has all but disappeared. Your choice starts with a bagel or a bialy then the mind-blowing world of cured fish and caviar is open to you. Most sandwiches have a base of cream cheese then the fish is piled high. A Classic, a Heebster, a Mensch, or make your own up, you literally can't go wrong or experience better cured fish anywhere else.
Freelance food writer, editor
That photo made me ridiculously hungry. Yum! I haven't been here in a long time but its high time to go back.
Incredible description. Really enjoyed this thank you!
When I get down that wY I always go super hungry, I start early at Russ & Daughter with a smoked sable and goat cream cheese on an everything bagel. I then walk for a bit and do lunch a Katzs it is a truly glutinous day worthy of the calories!
New Jersey Restaurant Association 2013 Restaurateur of the Year, New York native, New York University, Dartmouth College,
If a sandwich is about the simplicity of the ingredients than Arcade bakery is definitely your go to spot. No heavy sauces to make the lacking flavors. Just a few very good ingredients!
Event Coordinator, I research great places to eat for a living
Wow, that sandwich looks legit!
One of the few places on this list I haven't tried yet. The bread looks incredible, and I'm all for sandwiches that keep things simple.
Gramercy tavern's Deal for Sandwich and soup. They serve this for lunch, I used to go there all the time with my friends and order a bunch of dishes to share. They always have a sandwich on their menu. It's quite delicious and they change it up! All their meats are house smoked. Very very delicious! Also I am not sure if they still have nancy silvertons peanut butter semifreddo, but if they do, must must get!
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