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A Handy Guide to Seattle's 18 Iconic Sandwiches

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Seattle isn't short on sandwiches. We've got really good ones, in fact. But the city does lack a sandwich inherently "Seattle." Is it charcuterie? The porchetta sandwich at Salumi or the pastrami at Dot's? Do house-cured meats define the local sandwich landscape? Is it seafood? A nice blackened salmon sandwich at Market Grill or the pan-fried catfish at Matt's in the Market? Is locally sourced fish our calling card? Without a Philly cheesesteak or a southern BBQ sandwich dripping with sauce and tradition, we look to the sandwiches that have, for whatever reason, helped shape the culinary real estate in Seattle.

Here is a map, in alphabetical order, to help you navigate the city's iconic sandwiches. These aren't necessarily the best sandwiches, but they're the most representative, with the exception of a few that are on the cusp of becoming legendary — not quite there, but worthy of this list. Have a favorite you think should be infamous? Shout it in the comments.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

74th Street Ale House

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The Red Reuben served at all of The Alehouses (Hilltop, Columbia City, 74th Street) has been a staple on the menu for, well, a long time. The trick to its popularity is not only the housemade red sauerkraut, but the Thousand Island dressing that's fully slather on each slice of rye bread.

[Photo: Photo Credit]

Baguette Box

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The drunken chicken baguette found an immediate spot on the sandwich heat map when Baguette Box first opened in 2004. The battered crispy chicken mingles with sweet tangy sauce, caramelized onions and cilantro and is a steal for under $7.

[Photo: Photo Credit]

Bakeman's

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The turkey sandwiches at this downtown cafeteria are legendary. True to a traditional Thanksgiving leftover lunch, the fresh roasted meat is topped with a dollop of mayo and for an extra few coins can be topped with cranberry sauce, too.

[Photo: Photo Credit]

Dot's Delicatessen

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The monstrous reuben piled high with pastrami is the go-to on Dot's menu. Teetering atop the meat wall is gruyere, sauerkraut and house dressing bundled tightly between rye bread. It's a mouthful, to say the least.

[Photo: Photo Credit]

Grinders Hot Sands

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From the Grinders menu: "Homemade meatballs! No, really. Homemade meatballs. Shut up and listen to what you just read! Meatballs so tender you don’t need your teeth to chew’em. Dem’balls are nestled into an Italian roll topped off with melted mozzarella, caramelized onions, and ournot-from-a-can marinara."

[Photo: Photo Credit]

Hi Spot Cafe

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A tuna melt sounds so pedestrian compared to all of the fancy pants sandwiches Seattle has to offer. This one at the Madrona Hi-Spot cafe is made with albacore, cheddar, tomato and mayo on a grilled herb roll. It's as delightful as it is simple.

[Photo: Photo Credit]

Marination Station

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The torta pushes the traditional definition of a sandwich, but according to those who order it on a regular basis (and that number is growing), the spicy pork torta at Marination has a life of its own. The soft baguette stuffed full of pork is topped with slaw, housemade pickled peppers and onions, guacamole, and Marination’s Nunya Sauce.

[Photo: Photo Credit]

Market Grill

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A lot of tourists pony up to the bar at this tiny slice of Seattle heaven in Pike Place Market for the clam chowder, but insiders know to order the blacked salmon (or halibut depending on season) sandwich. To punch "fresh and local" in the face, the fish is served on French bread from market neighbor Le Panier.

[Photo: Photo Credit]

Matt's in the Market

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The pan-fried catfish sandwich has been on the menu since the restaurant's namesake, Matt Janke, first bought the place. An owner switch later, the sandwich is still a crowd favorite. Pair it with a cup of gumbo and you have sufficiently tasted Pike Place Market.

[Photo: Photo Credit]

The Other Coast Cafe

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The Rajun Cajun is one of just a handful of hot sandwiches on the Other Coast menu and it's by far their most popular. Cajun turkey is topped with pepper jack, tomato, onion, and spicy salsa mayo. If you're a normal human being with only one stomach, get the 6" because these suckers are huge.

[Photo: Photo Credit]

Paseo Caribbean Restaurant

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More often than not, when Paseo is mentioned, the words "Carribean roast sandwich" follow close behind. It's the most praise-worthy sandwich on the menu, with pork shoulder coated in Paseo marinade and slow roasted "'til falling into succulent morsels," so says their menu...and the throngs of people who've devoured it.

[Photo: Photo Credit]

Pecos Pit BBQ

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Seattle isn't really a barbecue haven, but if your idea of a good pulled pork sandwich is damn tasty and messy, you found your mecca.

[Photo: Photo Credit]

Saigon Deli

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There's no lack of banh mi in Seattle. But no matter where you like to get yours, Saigon Deli in the International District has a long-standing reputation as the best.

[Photo: Photo Credit]

Salumi has a lot of sandwiches on their menu worth trying, but the tried-and-true is their porchetta sandwich. While founder Armandino Batali's celeb chef son Mario prefers the braised oxtail sandwich (he says it's the best in the NW), Salumi’s porchetta hot sandwich is the deli's tribute to the glorious pig: butterflied and stuffed with meatballs and spices. Good lord.

[Photo: Photo Credit]

Tat's Delicatessen

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It's so good, it carries the deli's name. "Think pastrami cheesesteak with coleslaw, melted Swiss and Russian dressing," the menu instructs diners ordering the Tat'strami. But that description doesn't do justice to just how epic this sandwich is.

[Photo: Photo Credit]

Three Girls Bakery

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This Pike Place Market institution has an institution of its own: the meatloaf sandwich. Many consider it the best meatloaf sandwich in town — dense, meaty, slathered with barbecue sauce, and served on one of several varieties of bread baked daily.

[Photo: Photo Credit]

Tubs Gourmet Sub Sandwiches

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The Joker's Dip comes with mayo, ham, turkey, roast beef, bacon, and cheddar cheese on a toasted baguette, topped with lettuce and tomato. But what elevates this to icon status is the side of hot BBQ sauce for dipping. It could easily double as the accompanying beverage.

[Photo: Photo Credit]

Where Ya At Matt

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The only food truck to make the iconic sandwich list, the oyster po boy at Where Ya At Matt is inching towards icon status with its loads of pickles, peppers and a peck of lightly fried oysters (if a peck equals 9 or so).

[Photo: Photo Credit]

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74th Street Ale House

The Red Reuben served at all of The Alehouses (Hilltop, Columbia City, 74th Street) has been a staple on the menu for, well, a long time. The trick to its popularity is not only the housemade red sauerkraut, but the Thousand Island dressing that's fully slather on each slice of rye bread.

[Photo: Photo Credit]

Baguette Box

The drunken chicken baguette found an immediate spot on the sandwich heat map when Baguette Box first opened in 2004. The battered crispy chicken mingles with sweet tangy sauce, caramelized onions and cilantro and is a steal for under $7.

[Photo: Photo Credit]

Bakeman's

The turkey sandwiches at this downtown cafeteria are legendary. True to a traditional Thanksgiving leftover lunch, the fresh roasted meat is topped with a dollop of mayo and for an extra few coins can be topped with cranberry sauce, too.

[Photo: Photo Credit]

Dot's Delicatessen

The monstrous reuben piled high with pastrami is the go-to on Dot's menu. Teetering atop the meat wall is gruyere, sauerkraut and house dressing bundled tightly between rye bread. It's a mouthful, to say the least.

[Photo: Photo Credit]

Grinders Hot Sands

From the Grinders menu: "Homemade meatballs! No, really. Homemade meatballs. Shut up and listen to what you just read! Meatballs so tender you don’t need your teeth to chew’em. Dem’balls are nestled into an Italian roll topped off with melted mozzarella, caramelized onions, and ournot-from-a-can marinara."

[Photo: Photo Credit]

Hi Spot Cafe

A tuna melt sounds so pedestrian compared to all of the fancy pants sandwiches Seattle has to offer. This one at the Madrona Hi-Spot cafe is made with albacore, cheddar, tomato and mayo on a grilled herb roll. It's as delightful as it is simple.

[Photo: Photo Credit]

Marination Station

The torta pushes the traditional definition of a sandwich, but according to those who order it on a regular basis (and that number is growing), the spicy pork torta at Marination has a life of its own. The soft baguette stuffed full of pork is topped with slaw, housemade pickled peppers and onions, guacamole, and Marination’s Nunya Sauce.

[Photo: Photo Credit]

Market Grill

A lot of tourists pony up to the bar at this tiny slice of Seattle heaven in Pike Place Market for the clam chowder, but insiders know to order the blacked salmon (or halibut depending on season) sandwich. To punch "fresh and local" in the face, the fish is served on French bread from market neighbor Le Panier.

[Photo: Photo Credit]

Matt's in the Market

The pan-fried catfish sandwich has been on the menu since the restaurant's namesake, Matt Janke, first bought the place. An owner switch later, the sandwich is still a crowd favorite. Pair it with a cup of gumbo and you have sufficiently tasted Pike Place Market.

[Photo: Photo Credit]

The Other Coast Cafe

The Rajun Cajun is one of just a handful of hot sandwiches on the Other Coast menu and it's by far their most popular. Cajun turkey is topped with pepper jack, tomato, onion, and spicy salsa mayo. If you're a normal human being with only one stomach, get the 6" because these suckers are huge.

[Photo: Photo Credit]

Paseo Caribbean Restaurant

More often than not, when Paseo is mentioned, the words "Carribean roast sandwich" follow close behind. It's the most praise-worthy sandwich on the menu, with pork shoulder coated in Paseo marinade and slow roasted "'til falling into succulent morsels," so says their menu...and the throngs of people who've devoured it.

[Photo: Photo Credit]

Pecos Pit BBQ

Seattle isn't really a barbecue haven, but if your idea of a good pulled pork sandwich is damn tasty and messy, you found your mecca.

[Photo: Photo Credit]

Saigon Deli

There's no lack of banh mi in Seattle. But no matter where you like to get yours, Saigon Deli in the International District has a long-standing reputation as the best.

[Photo: Photo Credit]

Salumi