HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >


Meatball Subs?

Anyone know where I might find a great meatball sandwich in LA (anywhere from Santa Monica to downtown). Thank you!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I love the one at Bay Cities, ask for extra cheese!

    Also the one from Al Gelato is good, but it's more a fork and knife affair. Meatball with really yummy good bread! :)


    4 Replies
    1. re: Dommy

      I should also add, that I really enjoyed the meatball sandwich at Jar Moz Monday... but I like the one at Bay Cities better! :)


      1. re: Dommy

        Love Bay Cities' Meatball Sub!

        Also try their Meatloaf lunch special...with tomato sauce...similar vibe and they give ya the bread too!

        1. re: Dommy

          I've got to say, I don't understand the Bay Cities hooplah... I had their meatball sandwich about a year ago and was not really impressed. The bread was fine but the meatballs were soft and mealy and the flavor of the sauce was too twangy or something... I should say that I'm from New Jersey where a great meatball sub is not hard to find and the harmony of flavors is mythical in the way that one element does not overpower another (i.e. too-twangy sauce). A great meatball packs in the flavor and is not too soft nor too dense. I have yet to find a great one here, though I have never checked out Eastside Deli.

          Mr Taster

          1. re: Mr Taster

            If you are ever in San Pedro, check out the meatball subs at Big Nick's on Gaffey or Busy Bee market. San Pedro has a lot of old Italian seafaring families and they don't mess around with their subs. Great stuff!

        2. Eastside Deli just East of Chinatown is pretty good but Bay Cities does a better version.

          1 Reply
          1. re: New Trial

            Agree. Info on Eastside Deli is here: http://www.esmdeli.com . (I like the number three hot sandwich, with meatballs, Italian sausage, peppers and cheese.)

          2. i gotta say the meatball hero at mullberry pizza on s beverly drive in bh is tasty...large meaty meatballs not a mess of breadcrumbs and salty grey stuff like others (im not above eating a meatball at el gelato but thats the sort im talking about).

            1. Palermo's on Vermont and Franklin.

              1. Hoboken (the spin-off from Matteo's) on Westwood Boulevard.

                I also like the meatball sandwich at Andre's in the shopping center at Third and Fairfax.

                1. Never had one but I have heard the meatball sandwich (served lunch-only) at...gasp...The Rainbow on Sunset is great.

                  1. It's a bit further away than downtown to Santa Monica but, if you're truly serious about finding SoCal's best meatball sandwich, then your quest will take you south to the 562 area to the quiet, suburban bedroom community of Lakewood, home to FOGGIA ITALIAN MARKET AND DELI. The Quarto family are natives of Providence, Rhode Island, a community with a sizable Italian American populace known for its "true-school" Italo American cuisine.

                    His sandwich, featuring homemade, well-herbed meatballs, well-spiced marinara and fresh, crunchy Italian bread is the best I've had in the region.

                    Foggia Italian Market and Deli
                    5522 Del Amo Blvd.
                    Lakewood 90713

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Kris P Pata

                      I will check out Foggia Italian Market and Deli the next time I am in the neighborhood. I'm usually only in that area to have the Chicken Fried Steak at Johnny Reb's.


                    2. Guiliano's deli in Torrance. End of story.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: calabasas_trafalgar

                        Yup, that's between Santa Monica and downtown. If we expand the radius, I'd say it's at Milano's in Glendale, but available at lunch only.

                        1. re: calabasas_trafalgar

                          I hope you're kidding. Maybe Giuliano's in Gardena on a good day, but the Torrance location has been turning out dreck for years now...

                        2. If you are near LAX, I will throw in a recommendation for Rinaldi's in El Segundo on Main St. Turkey or beef meatball. Cheese or no cheese. Large (sub roll) or small (round roll). Good, thick sauce.

                          1 Reply
                          1. The Eastside Market on Alpine is actually just West of Chinatown not East, It is on Alpine, refer to the Website above. I think they have the best sandwiches hands down, especially the #7 hot roast beef and pastrami. Bay Cities in Santa Monica on Lincoln Blvd probably has the best Meatball sandwich and the rolls are fantastic.

                            1. BRAVO PIZZARIA on main street santa monica

                              1. In the South Bay, try Valentino's Pizza in Manhattan Beach and El Segundo.

                                1. Thank you all for your suggestions. I have had the Bay Cities meatball sandwich and think it's great. Any recommendations for Hollywood/Fairfax area? My office just moved and I'm having an intense craving for one now........

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: MeowMixx

                                    Lots of people on this board like Damiano's food across from Canters on Fairfax, but I'm not a fan.

                                    1. re: MeowMixx

                                      On Mozzerella Monday's at Jar there is a sublime little meatball sub on a semolina roll with mozzerella, natch.

                                      Alos the previosly mentioned (but not tried) Meatball Sub at the Rainbow.

                                      1. re: Ciao Bob

                                        at jar mondays, how much is the cost of the meatball sub and is it all beef or beef and pork or veal or what? thanks.

                                        1. re: kevin

                                          The sandwich is $12. Im not sure what the Meatballs consist of but I do know it is delicious.

                                          Take Care

                                          - P.

                                      2. re: MeowMixx

                                        In the Fairfax area, I like the meatball sandwich at Andre's in the mall at Third and Fairfax. I mentioned this earlier.

                                        I also like the meatball sandwich at Rocco's Pizza on Wilshire near Crescent Heights.

                                        I like the pasta at Damiano's on Fairfax across from Canter's but the meatball sandwich is not their best item.

                                        1. re: MeowMixx

                                          Southeast corner of 3rd & LaCienega (couple doors east) there's a place that used to be called the "Hoagie Hut" and is now named something else but the meatball sub, though not worth a special trip, is pretty good. I'd rate it higher that Damiano's.

                                        2. Eastside Market sounds terrific and not too far from where I live -- I'm going to try them out this weekend. BTW, they have a website with a menu (and pictures!): http://www.esmdeli.com/

                                          1. Vinny's Pizza on Lincoln and Manchester.

                                            Big tasty meatballs, good sauce and mozzarella melted over the top. He makes the sandwich, then puts it into the pizza oven. What you get is bread that is crusty on the outside and soft on the inside.

                                            I drive all the way from Hollywood for these.

                                            1. I like the meatball parmigian sandwich at The Slice - there are two locations, but the one on Wilshire at 10th Street (SM) is great .. and CHEAP!

                                              1. Mulberry Street Pizza in Beverly Hills has a very tasty and nicely-sized meatball parmesan sandwich, (far better than their decent-but not-great pizza).

                                                1. My Lovely Tasting Assistant (LTA) and I finally made it to East Side Deli in Chinatown. (The weird hours and difficult-to-find location always caused me enough tsuris that all my previous attempts to visit failed miserably).

                                                  Well, I must give first impressions... I love that this place is a historic holdover to the time time when Chinatown used to be LA's Little Italy. When we arrived around 3pm, there were several local people and a few cops eating there. Not too busy, but it was an off time to be there.

                                                  We ordered the hot meatball sandwich. At first sight I was not impressed... they took a soft hoagie roll out of a plastic bag and layered a square slice of cheese on the inside. (A great meatball sub should be toasted in the oven with grated mozzarella meltod over the top). He scooped the bread out of the middle of the bun to make room for the meatballs, which were generously portioned onto the bread along with some sauce and peppers.

                                                  The verdict?

                                                  The meatballs and sauce were fantastic. Well spiced meatballs, tangy sauce (but not too much so). That squared tip of cheese sticking up from under the meatballs taunted me with its non-Italianness as I bit into the meatballs, but it was rather inconsequential. The bread sadly was squishy and not the least bit crunchy. It wouldn't take much to make this a great sub.... just grate some Polly-O mozzarella over the top and pop it in the oven to let the cheese brown a bit and crisp up the edges of the bread, augmented with just a hint of smoky char. Why don't they do this? Who knows.

                                                  Must try some of the other recs here.

                                                  Mr Taster

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                                    Taster, this is the joint on Alpine right, that's on a hill above Chinatown, right? For some reason, i might be mistaking this for another sandwich joint.

                                                  2. You know, it occurred to me that I've been keeping an unlikely secret for far too long.

                                                    Back when I worked in North Hollywood I regularly ordered wonderfully delicious, well spiced, baked-in-the-oven meatball subs from a little Asian-owned takeout place called "Quickies". The place is hardly reeking old-World Italian authenticity but the sandwich was damn good. I think they actually put garlic butter on the bread before filling it with meatballs and cheese, so it's actually like a garlic bread sub.

                                                    I feel like getting one right now!

                                                    Quickies Pizza & Subs (avoid the pizza)
                                                    4362 Laurel Canyon Blvd
                                                    Studio City, CA 91604
                                                    (818) 760-6699

                                                    Mr Taster

                                                    1. hey taster, do you if these meatballs subs are all beef or what?

                                                      at east side deli on alpine and your joint quickies on laurel?

                                                      thansk much.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: kevin

                                                        A recent good place that I found for meatball subs is ROCKET PIZZA LOUNGE in downtown.

                                                        I still have yet to find the time to try their pizzas (which all look good enough), but the subs are quite well prepared and it's a nice place to hang out for lunch.


                                                        1. re: kevin

                                                          I really don't know, although from what I know about Italian cooking, no Italian chef worth her scungili would make meatballs without a combination of pork, beef and veal.

                                                          Mr Taster

                                                        2. The meatball sandwich at Mario's deli in glendale is very good.
                                                          You gotta ask for the bread toasted.

                                                          1. I'm partial to the meatball sub at Dino's in Burbank. It's not a huge sub, but it's very filling. It's best to eat it a few moments after it has come out of their pizza oven, while the cheese is bubbling and the bread is crisp. I'm hungry just thinking about it.

                                                            Dino's Pizza
                                                            3520 W Burbank Blvd
                                                            Burbank, CA 91505
                                                            (818) 841-3311