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The 7 Best-Stacked Katsu Sandwiches in San Francisco

Crispy cutlets and pillowy milk bread, but crusts? Never.

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The katsu sandwich obsession swept into San Francisco a couple of years ago, and fans still can’t get enough of crispy cutlets, stacked on pillowy soft milk bread, cut into a perfect square. Most often, our local versions rely on pork or chicken cutlets rolled in crunchy bread crumbs, but there are also croquettes stuffed with baby shrimp or gooey cheese, creamy egg salads, and even sweet custard studded with fresh fruit for dessert. The best Japanese sandwiches can be a contrast of textures, sinking through soft bread to a gnash of cabbage, or they can be a tender experience all the way through — and as small children will attest, there’s nothing wrong with an entirely crustless lunch. Here are the tidiest (and tastiest) katsu sandwiches in San Francisco.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Family Cafe

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Family Cafe is a sweet and exceedingly small family-owned establishment, serving coffee, tea, katsu, and curry. The chicken katsu sandwich comes with housemade sauce, and they also have quite possibly the most beautiful vegan sandwich in San Francisco. Would you look at those vegetable batons?

Veggie katsu sandwich from Family Cafe Family Cafe

The Japanese deli in the Ferry Building boasts a big glass case filled with sushi, salads, and bento boxes. In sandwiches, select from a katsu sandwich with crispy pork, an ebi katsu with a crispy shrimp croquette and egg tartar sauce, or a tamago sandwich with mustardy egg salad. 

Katsu sandwich from Delica Delica

Katsu-ya

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The newest addition to this list, Katsuya opened March 2021, hidden away in a small food court near the Dragon’s Gate entrance to Chinatown. It’s taken off on Instagram, thanks to its chicken katsu, ebi katsu, and cheese katsu, with dramatically gooey cheese pulls. 

Katsu sandwich from Katsuya Katsuya

Bread n' Chu

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Sarah Lin owned a boba shop in South San Francisco, before switching over to her favorite crustless sandwiches in the Richmond. She cuts her fluffy milk bread quite thick, and in addition to pork and chicken, regulars love the Spam and egg, golden truffled egg salad, and striking strawberry choux.

Katsu at Bread N’ Chu Becky Duffett

Volcano Curry

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Volcano is a Japanese curry spot in the Richmond, so diners can either get their katsu sunk into a bowl of lava-like curry sauce, or stacked onto a sandwich. The katsu pork or chicken sandwich is more of a handful, with generous cabbage and sauce. There’s also a mini sandwich available for only $2.75, which is notably not crustless, but more of a bun, and can be stuffed with crispy Spam, fish, or a potato croquette. 

Katsu sandwich from Volcano Curry Postmates

Cafe Okawari

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This small shop in South Beach is only a block from the ballpark, and has a short breakfast and lunch menu, filled with bowls of chirashi or donburi. But it includes one perfect katsu sandwich, in this case chicken, rolled in oversized nama panko.

Stonemill Matcha

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The emerald matcha cafe on Valencia Street showcases the work of pastry chef Mikiko Yui, so expect a sandwich on exceptionally soft milk bread. In addition to the requisite pork katsu, there’s also a miso eggplant veggie version with yuzu mayo and pickled onions.

Katsu sando from Stonemill Matcha Stonemill Matcha

Family Cafe

Veggie katsu sandwich from Family Cafe Family Cafe

Family Cafe is a sweet and exceedingly small family-owned establishment, serving coffee, tea, katsu, and curry. The chicken katsu sandwich comes with housemade sauce, and they also have quite possibly the most beautiful vegan sandwich in San Francisco. Would you look at those vegetable batons?

Veggie katsu sandwich from Family Cafe Family Cafe

Delica

Katsu sandwich from Delica Delica

The Japanese deli in the Ferry Building boasts a big glass case filled with sushi, salads, and bento boxes. In sandwiches, select from a katsu sandwich with crispy pork, an ebi katsu with a crispy shrimp croquette and egg tartar sauce, or a tamago sandwich with mustardy egg salad. 

Katsu sandwich from Delica Delica

Katsu-ya

Katsu sandwich from Katsuya Katsuya

The newest addition to this list, Katsuya opened March 2021, hidden away in a small food court near the Dragon’s Gate entrance to Chinatown. It’s taken off on Instagram, thanks to its chicken katsu, ebi katsu, and cheese katsu, with dramatically gooey cheese pulls. 

Katsu sandwich from Katsuya Katsuya

Bread n' Chu

Katsu at Bread N’ Chu Becky Duffett

Sarah Lin owned a boba shop in South San Francisco, before switching over to her favorite crustless sandwiches in the Richmond. She cuts her fluffy milk bread quite thick, and in addition to pork and chicken, regulars love the Spam and egg, golden truffled egg salad, and striking strawberry choux.

Katsu at Bread N’ Chu Becky Duffett

Volcano Curry

Katsu sandwich from Volcano Curry Postmates

Volcano is a Japanese curry spot in the Richmond, so diners can either get their katsu sunk into a bowl of lava-like curry sauce, or stacked onto a sandwich. The katsu pork or chicken sandwich is more of a handful, with generous cabbage and sauce. There’s also a mini sandwich available for only $2.75, which is notably not crustless, but more of a bun, and can be stuffed with crispy Spam, fish, or a potato croquette. 

Katsu sandwich from Volcano Curry Postmates

Cafe Okawari

This small shop in South Beach is only a block from the ballpark, and has a short breakfast and lunch menu, filled with bowls of chirashi or donburi. But it includes one perfect katsu sandwich, in this case chicken, rolled in oversized nama panko.

Stonemill Matcha

Katsu sando from Stonemill Matcha Stonemill Matcha

The emerald matcha cafe on Valencia Street showcases the work of pastry chef Mikiko Yui, so expect a sandwich on exceptionally soft milk bread. In addition to the requisite pork katsu, there’s also a miso eggplant veggie version with yuzu mayo and pickled onions.

Katsu sando from Stonemill Matcha Stonemill Matcha

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