An expertly crafted sandwich can be a perfect meal on its own — and it’s tailor-made for takeout if you’re in a hurry. While lots of restaurants offer a great sandwich or two, this map covers some of the best sandwich shops dedicated to the form in its many incarnations, from Philly cheesesteaks to fried catfish sandwiches to a smoked tofu Reuben. Note that there’s also a whole separate guide for banh mi, since the city has so many excellent options; a breakfast sandwich-focused list; and a map dedicated to fried chicken, which includes yet more sandwiches.Read More
Where to Order Some of Seattle’s Most Sensational Sandwiches
Chicago beef-style monstrosities, fried catfish sandwiches, a smoked tofu Reuben, and more hand-held treats
Pinehurst Jewish deli Zylberschtein’s features thick-cut pastrami and corned beef sandwiches on freshly baked rye among its more popular items, while options like whitefish salad and a smoked tofu Reuben provide an alternative to the otherwise meaty menu. You can also sign up for a bagel club with a wide delivery range across Seattle.
In spring 2023, Oregon-based sandwich impresario Melissa McMillan planted a truck outside the Project 9 brewery in Maple Leaf and it demands a pilgrimage from any serious ‘wich worshiper. Sammich specializes in meaty, messy sandwiches like the Italian Beef, which is loaded with peppers and best enjoyed with au jus poured all over everything. Sammich sandwiches pair nicely with beer, but also with an afternoon nap.
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Layers Green Lake
Layers has evolved from a sandwich truck into a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Green Lake, finally providing a permanent home for Avery and Ashley Hardin’s sophisticated sandwich creations, which put the textures and flavors of a high-end restaurant meal between two slices of bread. Standouts include Sebastian’s Sunset, which is crab cake with pickled fennel, arugula, and remoulade, and I’d Date a Jalapeno, a grilled cheese with Deglet Noor dates and jalapenos.
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The sons of the former owner of Seattle sandwich icon Paseo now run Un Bien, with two locations in Ballard — including one in Shilshole along the Burke-Gilman Trail’s western terminus — serving wonderful Caribbean sandwiches, covered in aioli, cilantro, pickled jalapenos, and caramelized onions on toasted baguettes. The Caribbean roast sandwich is the star, with its marinated pork shoulder falling apart at a glance, but all the sides and sandwiches are worth your time.
Making a great Italian-inspired sandwich is easy. All you need is the highest-quality peppers, sundried tomato spreads, and meats; then you put those fixings between two halves of warm Sea Wolf ciabatta, then you add the perfect amount of arugula and olive oil to balance out the cheese and meat. Just be perfect at pretty much everything, and you’ll be this low-key Ballard spot.
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Mean Sandwich, the acclaimed Ballard counter, offers winners such as the shop’s eponymous sandwich (griddled corned beef, pickled red cabbage, yellow mustard, and fresh mint), oyster po’ boys, and the vegetarian Midnight at the Oasis, with falafel, hummus, harissa beets, and Persian pickles — not to mention a mind-blowing burger.
Local Tide is a seafood dream, drawing long lines in particular for its well-crafted Dungeness crab roll with mayo on a griddled split-top bun, currently available just Friday through Sunday. Of course, you might argue a crab roll, like a hot dog, isn’t even a sandwich. If so, the popular Fremont shop has you covered with other stellar sandwiches, from a salmon BLT to a rockfish banh mi to fried dover sole on a brioche bun.
Post Alley Pizza
The problem with Post Alley Pizza is that if you get one of their ballyhooed slices (and you should) you’re probably going to be too full to also order an Italian hoagie, which is surely one of the best lunches in Pike Place Market, if not the entire universe. The finocchiona (a salami variety), provolone, smoked ham, and the dressing hit spicy, sharp, meaty, and creamy notes that add up to a beautiful symphony.
Tat’s Delicatessen, an East Coast-style sandwich shop in Pioneer Square (with a roving food truck and an outpost at the Crocodile), runs the gamut with monster hoagies, grinders, and cheesesteaks. Don’t miss the Tat’strami, a cheesesteak-pastrami mash-up, and the monster meatball sub with beef, pork, and veal.
Jackson’s Catfish Corner
Treasured since its inception in 1985, Jackson’s Catfish Corner has closed and reopened multiple times now, most recently making a triumphant return to the Central District in 2021. While the namesake catfish is great on its own, the crispy fried fish is absolutely delightful on a squishy bun topped with the restaurant’s famed tangy tartar sauce and slices of pickles. Don’t forget the side of hush puppies.
The Original Philly's
Even though it’s a long way to Philadelphia, this no-frills sandwich shop in South Seattle does cheesesteaks right. The Original Philly’s generously stuffs chopped-up beef, mushrooms, and peppers into its sandwiches, and also allows you to work on your arguments for the eternal debate: melted cheese on the bottom or cheese sauce on top? Can’t go wrong either way.
The Swinery, an impressive butcher shop in West Seattle, also serves burgers and sandwiches involving all manner of pork. The Swinery Spectacular in particular is worth unhinging your jaw for, stuffed as it is with pulled pork, ham, pork belly, and Swiss cheese, all dressed in Dijonnaise.
One of many popular Vietnamese spots near Othello Station, the unassuming Tony’s Bakery serves some of the city’s best banh mi on wonderfully flaky bread. While the dac biet banh mi is popular, those in the know order banh mi ca xa ot, with fried catfish and a smear of garlic-chive aioli. It makes for as good a start as any to a wider Seattle banh mi tour.