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The roast beef at Lucinda’s Deli
Patricia Chang

18 Fundamental San Francisco Sandwich Spots

There’s sandwich genius on every San Francisco corner

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The roast beef at Lucinda’s Deli
| Patricia Chang

San Francisco is home to some of the best sandwiches in the world. That assertion shouldn’t surprise you: We’re ground zero for amazing bread. We’ve got a remarkable bounty of locally-cultivated produce, dairy, meat, and condiments. And our chefs are ballers, creative, playful perfectionists unafraid of genre mixing, challenging combinations, and envelopes pushed beyond all reason. There is genius to be found on every corner, and a delight to be found in every shop with a “sandwiches sold here” sign in the window.

No guide can list them all, and this map probably leaves off one of your favorites. We’ve made our peace with this — and hope you can too, and will think of these 18 fantastic San Francisco sandwich spots as a starting-off point for an adventure in sandwich exploration. And if you’re seeking sandwiches on the other side of the Bay, these 14 iconic East Bay sandwiches will be waiting for you. — Eve Batey

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Lucca's Delicatessen

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2120 Chestnut St
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 921-7873
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If you’re only going to try one sandwich at Lucca's Deli, make it the Americano, with its house-roasted turkey, cranberry, mayo, iceberg lettuce, and black pepper on Acme focaccia, which makes it easy to bite into, but not too mushy. But, really, you can’t go wrong at this spot, which has been serving sandwich fans since 1929.

2. Molinari Delicatessen

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373 Columbus Ave
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 421-2337
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Pilgrims to this legendary North Beach Delicatessen (est. 1896) are greeted by a well-stocked deli counter overhung with the Molinari’s famous cured salami. once you were allowed to grab your own piece of bread from a bin, bring it up to the counter, and order your combination, but these days they do it all for you. Great choices include the North Beach special, Luciano Special, and the classic Italian Combo, but one standout for its simplicity and excellence is the Renzo special, generously stuffed prosciutto, coppa (hot or mild) fresh mozzarella, and sun-dried tomatoes.

3. Marina Submarine

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2299 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 921-3990

Marina Subs has mastered the art of the submarine sandwich. The turkey is a guaranteed winner, but truthfully, you can't go wrong with any of the combinations, all of which are served on a toasted roll with mustard, mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion, and, last but definitely most important: the secret sauce. Add avocado and be sure to watch as Q, the owner, slices it. His technique is a thing of beauty.

4. Saigon Sandwich

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560 Larkin St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 474-5698
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Saigon Sandwich has long been one of San Francisco's most excellent and affordable destinations, offering an unbeatable deal — $4 — on banh mi sandwiches stuffed with roast pork, chicken and paté.

5. Deli Board

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1058 Folsom St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 552-7687
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Some point between when Adam Mesnick launched deli Board as a small catering operation in 2009 and now, the SoMa spot has become a San Francisco institution, with loyal fans who proclaim its offerings the best the city has to offer. With a regularly-rotating menu, no delivery, and walk-up orders only, that means that these days, only those who really, really love the abundant list of classics and more ambitious combos will be feasting on them these days. Somehow, we suspect that that’s how Mesnick likes it.

6. 4505 Burgers & BBQ

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705 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 231-6993
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4505 knows its barbecue, as evidenced in the flavorful pulled pork sandwich topped with coleslaw (with a kick), sauce, and pickles on a buttery brioche bun with just the right texture to support the ingredients and ensure every bite is perfect.

7. Arguello Market

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782 Arguello Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 751-5121

Calling your turkey sandwich the "World's best turkey sandwich" is quite a claim, but one thing's for sure: Arguello’s is one of the best in SF. Thick slices of moist meat off of a freshly roasted turkey are topped with lettuce, onion, tomato, and pickles. And obviously you're getting it on Dutch Crunch. Add pepper jack and avocado to finish it off and if you're feeling crazy, ask them to throw some cranberry sauce on there as well.

8. RT Rotisserie

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101 Oak St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 829-7086
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Rich Table's quick-service spinoff does any number of things right, but diners can't go wrong with their succulent rotisserie chicken sandwich. It's served with mixed greens and herbs, pickled onions, and garlic aioli on a soft ciabatta roll to mop it all up. Salty: Yes. Napkins: Necessary.

9. Lucinda's Deli & More

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535 Scott St
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 720-1724
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This subterranean bodega on the border of Alamo Square offers some of the city’s best sandwiches, with an oft-changing menu of meat-stuffed monsters like a mortadella with a haunting hot pepper chili relish and a tissue-thin-sliced soppressata with artichoke cream cheese. Lines get long at peak times, so order pickup online or stop by at off hours for a socially-distanced experience.

The Roast Beef from Lucinda Deli
Patricia Chang

10. Say Cheese

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856 Cole St
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 665-5020
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Pretty much every sandwich at Cole Valley's Say Cheese is worth ordering, especially if you get it on Dutch crunch, but the Jamón Serrano with manchego, romesco sauce, and arugula is the perfect combination of Spanish ingredients, textures, and flavors. While you're there, get some cheese to take home for later.

11. Giordano Bros.

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3108 16th St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 437-2767
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Giordano Bros. has no problem admitting they borrowed the idea for their sandwiches with coleslaw and fries on the inside from the Primanti Bros. chain out of Pittsburgh. Just be glad they did because the Hot Capicola is one of the tastiest and most filling sandwiches you'll get in SF. It's a delicious, spicy dry-cured pork topped with melted provolone, freshly cut fries, oil and vinegary coleslaw all between two slices of Italian bread and served on waxed paper.

12. Irving Subs

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1298 12th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94122
(415) 566-3155
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People have been known to cross various bridges to visit Irving Subs, an Innse Sunset sandwich shop that’s been feeding folks since 2014. Everything is good, from the Beat L.A. (turkey, roast beef, cheddar) to the generous menu of vegetarian combinations. Their house-made garlicky mayo is not to be missed.

13. Turner's Kitchen

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3505 17th St B
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 621-3505
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If Zuni Cafe’s Judy Rodgers had opened a sandwich shop, it might have looked a little like Turner’s Kitchen. Instead, Turner’s is the passion project of Ken Turner, a former Zuni chef and Rodgers acolyte. His low-key, high-quality shop opened in 2015 in the former Clare’s deli — after owner Clare Hulme taught him to make her “locally famous french dip sandwich.” All of Ken’s sandwiches deserve local fame, but even meat eaters go nuts for his vegan sandwich option (with avocado, hummus, tomato, cucumber, onions, pepperoncinis, roasted peppers, and oil and vinegar on a ciabatta roll).

14. Palm City Wines

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4055 Irving St
San Francisco, CA 94122

Palm City, the Outer Sunset restaurant and wine shop, didn’t mean to become a sandwich destination, but diners (and influencers) went wild for their hoagies, which are made on special-ordered loaves from Pacifica’s Roselyn Bakery. Everybody loves the Italian-American, but the roasted veggie is also a necessity, with spicy sauce and parm crisps that keep you from minding that you’ve ruined your shirt, soaked through your napkin, and left hoagie-induced handprints everywhere in your vicinity.

Palm City’s Italian American hoagie
Patricia Chang

15. Rhea's Market & Deli

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800 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 282-5255

Perfect for grabbing and going when you're spending the afternoon in Dolores Park, Rhea's menu is filled with wonders, but their Korean Steak sandwich might be the most remarkable, a medley of flavors that all somehow make sense once you bite into them. Marinated rib eye steak, cheddar cheese, red onions, house pickled red onions & jalapenos, shredded lettuce, chili sauce, garlic aioli are all piled on an Acme sweet roll. Perhaps most importantly, they're generous with the meat. Ask for it spicy, if you can handle it.

16. La Torta Gorda

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2833 24th St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 642-9600
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The pierna enchilada (pulled pork) torta is the perennial favorite at this bright, family-run Mexican sandwich spot in the deep Mission. It comes with a mound of pulled pork topped with plenty of beans, avocado, and jalapenos and stuffed inside a crisp-soft torta roll. But all the sandwiches are good here — and huge, so no need to order the large unless you've got an espeically hefty appetite or a hellish hangover.

17. Submarine Center

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820 Ulloa St
San Francisco, CA 94127
(415) 564-1455
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No one in West Portal wants Sub Center to make this list because the lines are already lengthy. But, like all good sub sandwiches, the wait is well worth it. The Atomic Submarine has three meats (hot pastrami, roasted turkey breast, and corned beef brisket), layered in with cheese, hot peppers, mustard, mayonnaise, onions, shredded lettuce, tomato, and, like any good sub shop, a secret sauce that ties it all together. You'll be tempted to get the super, but the center is usually enough.

18. Roxie Food Center

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1901 San Jose Ave
San Francisco, CA 94112
(415) 587-2345

Adjacent to Balboa Park in Mission Terrance, Roxie's is a slice of living San Francisco sandwich history. It's a local favorite corner store operated by the Tannous brothers, a trio of siblings from a Greek Orthodox Palestinian family. But moreover, it's a community corner stone, where everyone goes for their old-school cold cuts sandwich fix. Order anything on Dutch Crunch, consider the Roxie Special (mortadella, ham, salami, American and Swiss cheeses, and fixings), but don’t sleep on the hot veggie, which even at the “junior” size is enough to feed the hungriest omnivore on a meatless Monday.

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1. Lucca's Delicatessen

2120 Chestnut St, San Francisco, CA 94123

If you’re only going to try one sandwich at Lucca's Deli, make it the Americano, with its house-roasted turkey, cranberry, mayo, iceberg lettuce, and black pepper on Acme focaccia, which makes it easy to bite into, but not too mushy. But, really, you can’t go wrong at this spot, which has been serving sandwich fans since 1929.

2120 Chestnut St
San Francisco, CA 94123

2. Molinari Delicatessen

373 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

Pilgrims to this legendary North Beach Delicatessen (est. 1896) are greeted by a well-stocked deli counter overhung with the Molinari’s famous cured salami. once you were allowed to grab your own piece of bread from a bin, bring it up to the counter, and order your combination, but these days they do it all for you. Great choices include the North Beach special, Luciano Special, and the classic Italian Combo, but one standout for its simplicity and excellence is the Renzo special, generously stuffed prosciutto, coppa (hot or mild) fresh mozzarella, and sun-dried tomatoes.

373 Columbus Ave
San Francisco, CA 94133

3. Marina Submarine

2299 Union St, San Francisco, CA 94123

Marina Subs has mastered the art of the submarine sandwich. The turkey is a guaranteed winner, but truthfully, you can't go wrong with any of the combinations, all of which are served on a toasted roll with mustard, mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion, and, last but definitely most important: the secret sauce. Add avocado and be sure to watch as Q, the owner, slices it. His technique is a thing of beauty.

2299 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94123

4. Saigon Sandwich

560 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Saigon Sandwich has long been one of San Francisco's most excellent and affordable destinations, offering an unbeatable deal — $4 — on banh mi sandwiches stuffed with roast pork, chicken and paté.

560 Larkin St
San Francisco, CA 94102

5. Deli Board

1058 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Some point between when Adam Mesnick launched deli Board as a small catering operation in 2009 and now, the SoMa spot has become a San Francisco institution, with loyal fans who proclaim its offerings the best the city has to offer. With a regularly-rotating menu, no delivery, and walk-up orders only, that means that these days, only those who really, really love the abundant list of classics and more ambitious combos will be feasting on them these days. Somehow, we suspect that that’s how Mesnick likes it.

1058 Folsom St
San Francisco, CA 94103

6. 4505 Burgers & BBQ

705 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

4505 knows its barbecue, as evidenced in the flavorful pulled pork sandwich topped with coleslaw (with a kick), sauce, and pickles on a buttery brioche bun with just the right texture to support the ingredients and ensure every bite is perfect.

705 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA 94117

7. Arguello Market

782 Arguello Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118

Calling your turkey sandwich the "World's best turkey sandwich" is quite a claim, but one thing's for sure: Arguello’s is one of the best in SF. Thick slices of moist meat off of a freshly roasted turkey are topped with lettuce, onion, tomato, and pickles. And obviously you're getting it on Dutch Crunch. Add pepper jack and avocado to finish it off and if you're feeling crazy, ask them to throw some cranberry sauce on there as well.

782 Arguello Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94118

8. RT Rotisserie

101 Oak St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Rich Table's quick-service spinoff does any number of things right, but diners can't go wrong with their succulent rotisserie chicken sandwich. It's served with mixed greens and herbs, pickled onions, and garlic aioli on a soft ciabatta roll to mop it all up. Salty: Yes. Napkins: Necessary.

101 Oak St
San Francisco, CA 94102

9. Lucinda's Deli & More

535 Scott St, San Francisco, CA 94117
The Roast Beef from Lucinda Deli
Patricia Chang

This subterranean bodega on the border of Alamo Square offers some of the city’s best sandwiches, with an oft-changing menu of meat-stuffed monsters like a mortadella with a haunting hot pepper chili relish and a tissue-thin-sliced soppressata with artichoke cream cheese. Lines get long at peak times, so order pickup online or stop by at off hours for a socially-distanced experience.

535 Scott St
San Francisco, CA 94117

10. Say Cheese

856 Cole St, San Francisco, CA 94117

Pretty much every sandwich at Cole Valley's Say Cheese is worth ordering, especially if you get it on Dutch crunch, but the Jamón Serrano with manchego, romesco sauce, and arugula is the perfect combination of Spanish ingredients, textures, and flavors. While you're there, get some cheese to take home for later.

856 Cole St
San Francisco, CA 94117

11. Giordano Bros.

3108 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Giordano Bros. has no problem admitting they borrowed the idea for their sandwiches with coleslaw and fries on the inside from the Primanti Bros. chain out of Pittsburgh. Just be glad they did because the Hot Capicola is one of the tastiest and most filling sandwiches you'll get in SF. It's a delicious, spicy dry-cured pork topped with melted provolone, freshly cut fries, oil and vinegary coleslaw all between two slices of Italian bread and served on waxed paper.

3108 16th St
San Francisco, CA 94103

12. Irving Subs

1298 12th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122

People have been known to cross various bridges to visit Irving Subs, an Innse Sunset sandwich shop that’s been feeding folks since 2014. Everything is good, from the Beat L.A. (turkey, roast beef, cheddar) to the generous menu of vegetarian combinations. Their house-made garlicky mayo is not to be missed.

1298 12th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94122

13. Turner's Kitchen

3505 17th St B, San Francisco, CA 94110

If Zuni Cafe’s Judy Rodgers had opened a sandwich shop, it might have looked a little like Turner’s Kitchen. Instead, Turner’s is the passion project of Ken Turner, a former Zuni chef and Rodgers acolyte. His low-key, high-quality shop opened in 2015 in the former Clare’s deli — after owner Clare Hulme taught him to make her “locally famous french dip sandwich.” All of Ken’s sandwiches deserve local fame, but even meat eaters go nuts for his vegan sandwich option (with avocado, hummus, tomato, cucumber, onions, pepperoncinis, roasted peppers, and oil and vinegar on a ciabatta roll).

3505 17th St B
San Francisco, CA 94110

14. Palm City Wines

4055 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122
Palm City’s Italian American hoagie
Patricia Chang

Palm City, the Outer Sunset restaurant and wine shop, didn’t mean to become a sandwich destination, but diners (and influencers) went wild for their hoagies, which are made on special-ordered loaves from Pacifica’s Roselyn Bakery. Everybody loves the Italian-American, but the roasted veggie is also a necessity, with spicy sauce and parm crisps that keep you from minding that you’ve ruined your shirt, soaked through your napkin, and left hoagie-induced handprints everywhere in your vicinity.

4055 Irving St
San Francisco, CA 94122

15. Rhea's Market & Deli

800 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Perfect for grabbing and going when you're spending the afternoon in Dolores Park, Rhea's menu is filled with wonders, but their Korean Steak sandwich might be the most remarkable, a medley of flavors that all somehow make sense once you bite into them. Marinated rib eye steak, cheddar cheese, red onions, house pickled red onions & jalapenos, shredded lettuce, chili sauce, garlic aioli are all piled on an Acme sweet roll. Perhaps most importantly, they're generous with the meat. Ask for it spicy, if you can handle it.

800 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110

Related Maps

16. La Torta Gorda

2833 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

The pierna enchilada (pulled pork) torta is the perennial favorite at this bright, family-run Mexican sandwich spot in the deep Mission. It comes with a mound of pulled pork topped with plenty of beans, avocado, and jalapenos and stuffed inside a crisp-soft torta roll. But all the sandwiches are good here — and huge, so no need to order the large unless you've got an espeically hefty appetite or a hellish hangover.

2833 24th St
San Francisco, CA 94110

17. Submarine Center

820 Ulloa St, San Francisco, CA 94127

No one in West Portal wants Sub Center to make this list because the lines are already lengthy. But, like all good sub sandwiches, the wait is well worth it. The Atomic Submarine has three meats (hot pastrami, roasted turkey breast, and corned beef brisket), layered in with cheese, hot peppers, mustard, mayonnaise, onions, shredded lettuce, tomato, and, like any good sub shop, a secret sauce that ties it all together. You'll be tempted to get the super, but the center is usually enough.

820 Ulloa St
San Francisco, CA 94127

18. Roxie Food Center

1901 San Jose Ave, San Francisco, CA 94112

Adjacent to Balboa Park in Mission Terrance, Roxie's is a slice of living San Francisco sandwich history. It's a local favorite corner store operated by the Tannous brothers, a trio of siblings from a Greek Orthodox Palestinian family. But moreover, it's a community corner stone, where everyone goes for their old-school cold cuts sandwich fix. Order anything on Dutch Crunch, consider the Roxie Special (mortadella, ham, salami, American and Swiss cheeses, and fixings), but don’t sleep on the hot veggie, which even at the “junior” size is enough to feed the hungriest omnivore on a meatless Monday.

1901 San Jose Ave
San Francisco, CA 94112

Related Maps