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best panini sandwiches?

My boyfriend adores panini and we're looking for the best in Cambridge/Somerville (anywhere along the Red Line). Any ideas?

Thanks hounds! :)

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  1. I'm surprised no one's answered this but I can't think of that many places. I assume you mean grilled and pressed but panini is just a sandwich in some places. Mixed reviews on Pressed Sandwiches downtown on Oliver St. Domenic's in Waltham maybe?

    1. Chez Henri between Porter and Harvard Square serves a fabulous pressed cuban sandwich in their bar. Here's a link to a recent thread.


      Otherwise, I know there is a place on Mass Ave in Central Square (I think it's called Pressed Sandwiches also) but I've never been.

      I too love pressed sandwiches so please do report back on what you find!

      1. The Pressed Sandwich downtown is still opn, but the one in Central Square closed a few months ago.

        1. My favorites are actually from Caffe Fiorentino II in Brookline Village, tho I'm guessing the one in Coolidge Corner does a similar job...They do a mozz, basil and tomato on foccaccia that's superb. I'm sure you could request any combo of the Italian cold cuts they carry to be pressed on their lovely, salt-sprinkled foccacia.
          Not a huge variety, but a stellar version.

          edited to add; Didn't read caerfully enuff; I'm off the redline!

          1. Cafe Kiraz on Hampshire St. in Cambridge offers some really great pressed sandwiches. We use them a lot for catering at work and I'm addicted to a few of the sandwiches. Just had one last week - pressed - with cheese, tomato, proscuitto...can't remember what else. GREAT! I tend to steer clear of anything with portabello mushrooms on it (do I think it must be MEAT to be good?) but their sandwiches prepared with them are awesome.

            Not grilled, but they do a veggie sandwich with beets, greens, goat cheese, etc. on focaccia that is fab, too.

            1. Panificio on Charles Street near Charles/MGH. Not exactly a classic grilled sandwich either, but the "Roma" (chicken, mozzarella, tomato, foccacia bread, spiced mayo) is one of my fave comfort food sandwiches.



              1. I have always liked the panini at Artu, but they are served on an italian roll and not pressed. But nicely drizzled with olive oil. I like the pork and lamb.

                In Cambridge itself, I the options I know of are La Luna Caffe and Dimio Pizza. La Luna changed its focaccia for the worse a while back and is not really that notable for the fillings. Dimio seems more promising, but I have only had the pizza. There are some other places that serve sandwiches on focaccia (Campo de Fiori closed, but I recall Formaggio a long while ago used to use focaccia but changed. The market inside Marino had some tasty sandwiches, but I don't know the status of that given recent turnings). Plenty of high end sandwiches: cardullos, formaggio, hi-rise, oxford... and Chez Henri as mentioned. I think Iggy's also has sandwiches and the ones they served when they were in Watertown were tasty.

                Somerville has a lot of sub-based offerings with excellent fillings, which you can find by searching a recent post. Someone a while back advocated a italian caffe (not rossini) for sandwiches. And on the higher end you have Dave's and True Grounds. The toscanini's used to be called Panini, but I think their sandwiches have gone downhill.

                Its far off the red line, but if you get the chance to try out Dominic's in Waltham it is worth the wait in line.

                1. I can't give True Grounds enough praise. This week I had a grilled turkey sandwich at two places: All Star Sandwich (where I got a turkey and gruyere melt) and True Grounds (where I got the Pearson sandwich). The former was acceptable; the latter superb, superior in every way--quality of bread, quality and amount of turkey, condiments (a nice, real-tasting pesto), cheese (decent fresh mozzarella), grill flavor. Not to mention the lower price (below $7).

                  1. I second Panificio- I don't think that you can get them grilled- possibly?? but their panini are sooo good!! Plus they just opened another location in the backbay. They have classics- like tom mozz and basil....as well as others

                    1. I had a pretty good pressed sandwich at the All-Star on Friday, but as I was heading back to Central Square passed by a spot I might've fared slightly better: the City Girl Caffe. Not my pick for ambience, but they do make some mean panini! (Here's the menu: http://www.citygirlcafe.com/cafemenu....) It's in Inman Square (a quick walk up Prospect Street from Central Square) on Hampshire Street. Give it a go sometime.

                      1. South End Formaggio, not a restaurant, it is actually a store filled with high end products, some imported and mostly handcrafted gourmet foods. They have an impressive selection of cheeses, and daily fresh baked bread. No seating available, they have pre-made (daily) sandwiches that you can choose from and they will press and grill them for you to perfection. The selection is very interesting, from a cubano sandwich to olive mortadella sandwiches, all of them made with fresh high quality ingredients... only downfall is that they sometimes run out after lunch.

                        1. Darwin's, just off Harvard Square (I haven't tried the other one on Cambridge St.) has great sandwiches in general, and they had the best cubano I've ever tasted. Apparently, they don't always have every sandwich, so you may want to call ahead. If you mean the explicitly more Italian style, with thick slices of hard crust/chewy inside Italian bread, complete with dark grill marks, then I haven't had a good one in Cambridge/Somerville yet (perhaps you might try the ones mentioned above). I've eaten Bertucci's and Starbuck's panini several times, and each time I wonder why. DiMio was acceptable, but I certainly wouldn't go out of my way.

                          1. Athan's Cafe in Brighton Centre also has decent panini.

                            1. I know it's not on the red line but there is a little store/Italian deli place on the corner of Spring Streets and Central Ave in Medford- the name escapes me right now. They have the absolute best panini's ever....

                              5 Replies
                                1. re: itaunas

                                  I drove by Il Sogno the other day and was wondering if it was worth checking out. Do they have any seats or stools in there, or is it strictly takeout?

                                  1. re: hiddenboston

                                    Hiddenboston, I went to Il Sogno and had their arancini and an Italian sub. I have never had their panini. So I can comment on them. The arancini were fair at best. The Italian sub was okay but nothing special. There may be a table to sit down at but I don't remember. It's mostly a take-out place.

                                    1. re: buffet king

                                      They used to have more seating but now I think there's just one table. I'm partial to the calzones. Worth checking out if you're in the area. The arancini have gone downhill since they got the warmer thingy.

                                      1. re: Aromatherapy

                                        I have never tried their calzones are they good? The arancini were mushy and small. I found better arancini at the Meridian Food Market on Meridian Street in East Boston. They were very good just like Galleria Umberto's.

                              1. Just saw this old post and had to update the reference to Dave's - Dave's Fresh Pasta in Davis Square. He expanded into the space next door (maybe last year?) and has added an amazing panini menu, as well as wines and all kinds of cool food products, many locally made (one example would beTaza Chocolate made in Somerville - delicious). Highly recommended - and that's before you load up with ravioli, gnocchi and pasta made there.