HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >

where in the heck can you get a good sandwich in sf?

rhubarb Apr 27, 2008 06:09 PM

Nothing ethnic or too fancy. Straight forward, fresh deli-style with interesting toppings and specials.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. jpancake RE: rhubarb Apr 27, 2008 06:44 PM

    In this thread:


    1. n
      Nancy Berry RE: rhubarb Apr 27, 2008 07:33 PM

      Sorrento Deli on Mission (near Russia) in the Excelsior makes really good sandwiches -- lots of specials on the blackboard. They use excellent ingredients and breads.

      Mollie Stone's Tower Market near Twin Peaks also makes excellent sandwiches with really good ingredients and breads.

      We take sandwiches from both of these places to Giants games often. They both offer really nice side dishes, too.

      Mollie Stone Tower Market
      635 Portola Dr, San Francisco, CA 94127

      Sorrento Delicatessen
      4763 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94112

      1. p
        paternite RE: rhubarb Apr 27, 2008 08:46 PM

        Try Tom Colicchio's Wichcraft. I had an excellent chicken salad sandwich there a few weeks ago. Fast, friendly and considering the celebrity pedigree, not all that expensive.

        868 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94103

        1. k
          keg RE: rhubarb Apr 28, 2008 05:33 AM

          Non-ethnic? That would be peanut butter and jelly right, or maybe grilled cheese.

          Molinari makes a true to form Italian deli sandwich, as does Genova in Oakland.

          1. Xiao Yang RE: rhubarb Apr 28, 2008 06:10 AM

            Not exactly central, but AK Subs at 8th and Harrison is OK by this AK.

            1. x
              xanadude RE: rhubarb Apr 28, 2008 08:33 AM

              Ike's Place (Castro),
              Guerrero Market & Deli ($5, 19th and Guerrero, ideal for Delores Park),
              Bi-rite's decent,
              M&L (hours aren't great)

              1. a
                AthleticsRock16 RE: rhubarb Apr 28, 2008 07:56 PM

                I've never had a better sandwich than the one at Roxie Delicatessen right off of Balboa Park on San Jose. No specials really, just a great meatball sub (make sure you get Dutch Crunch bread and provolone)

                2 Replies
                1. re: AthleticsRock16
                  Nancy Berry RE: AthleticsRock16 Apr 28, 2008 08:10 PM

                  Here's a link to Roxie, another favorite of ours, and a link to their other store on Kirkham:

                  Roxie Food Center
                  1901 San Jose Ave, San Francisco, CA 94112

                  Roxie's Market & Deli
                  500 Kirkham St, San Francisco, CA

                  1. re: Nancy Berry
                    osho RE: Nancy Berry Apr 29, 2008 07:12 AM

                    Any perceived differences between the two locations?

                    We've been to the one on San Jose Ave. and it is absolutely our best place for a sandwich - so far.

                2. d
                  Doodleboomer RE: rhubarb Apr 29, 2008 12:48 AM

                  The Sub Center in West Portal makes the best sub sandwiches, which are truly the only sandwiches I crave!

                  1. babyfork RE: rhubarb Apr 29, 2008 01:03 AM

                    I was just talking about this topic the other day with my husband. My favorite place in SF to get an awesome sandwich is in my old hood, the lower Haight, at Estela's Fresh Sandwiches (formerly Big Sherm's). It's a tiny little place on Fillmore at Haight. Their sandwiches are truly kick ass. They could definitely open more locations, I'm sure it would be popular, but I guess they just like being mellow. It's a mom-and-pop operation for sure. My faves are the brie sandwich and my recent discovery, their Tuna #2 an albacore tune with fresh herbs, artichoke spread, pepperoncini, feta cheese, tomato, red onion & pea sprouts on telera bread. It sounds like an odd combo, but man is it delicious! My ol' man digs their Smokey Sherm - smoked turkey, smoked gouda, bbq sauce, lettuce, tomato, red onion & pickles on telera. Check out their menu at http://www.menukarma.com/menus/menu-f.... Oh and I always forget this, but they are closed on Sundays.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: babyfork
                      rworange RE: babyfork Apr 30, 2008 10:17 AM

                      Thanks for the tip on Estela's.

                      One place I want to try but haven't made it to yet is Danilo's Bakery in North Beach. I hear they added pannin's and the tuna is supposed to be really good. Stopped by Monday ... the one day it is closed ... sigh.

                      Estela's Fresh Sandwichs
                      250 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94117

                      1. re: rworange
                        sugartoof RE: rworange May 2, 2008 08:32 PM

                        Danilo's is strange. A guy from Italy bought the bakery, and slowly stopped carrying all the cookies left over from the old ladies who used to work there, replacing them with regional specialties from Liguria. He has cookies, but they're not the focus anymore. Actually I'm not sure what the focus is. He was making these really great panini type sandwiches with homemade bread, and he'd put this stuff in the window to see if it sold, but there wasn't a panini press or anything. Sometimes he was selling them in wedges from a larger pie. I get the feeling he gets bored, and makes whatever he feels like making, and much of it is unlike anything else sold in the area. It also looked like he was going to try and turn it into a wine bar and even changed some of his signage.

                    2. PiuPerFavore RE: rhubarb Apr 30, 2008 12:58 PM

                      Mr. Pickle's on Van Ness and 20th puts pesto on everything, if you're into that. They have fairly straightforward sandwiches, along with a heart attack called The Bear: BBQ beef with cheddar cheese. I think they put pesto on that, too, unless you tell them otherwise. I've enjoyed their plain turkey and swiss, mostly (with pesto:-)).

                      Tortas El Primo on 22nd between Mission and Bartlett is great for sopes and traditional tortas, but they also do a very tasty cold sliced turkey. The bread is sweet and delicious and the sandwich includes avocado. You'll probably want to have them leave the jalapenos off if you want it to taste more deli-like.

                      Tortas El Primo Deli & Market
                      3242 22nd St, San Francisco, CA

                      Mr Pickles Sandwich Shop
                      3380 20th St, San Francisco, CA

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: PiuPerFavore
                        Eat_Nopal RE: PiuPerFavore May 2, 2008 11:20 PM

                        Do you know if Tortas El Primo makes any cold tortas with sliced head cheese, beef tongue or chicken en escabeche?

                        1. re: Eat_Nopal
                          PiuPerFavore RE: Eat_Nopal May 4, 2008 08:28 PM

                          I'm not sure - I've only had the chicken milanesa and the aforementioned cold turkey. Next time I walk by I'll take a look at the menu.

                          Perhaps traditional wasn't exactly the right word to describe their torta fillings. And, now that I'm looking back at my previous post, I think it's huaraches that they have on the menu, not sopes.

                          1. re: PiuPerFavore
                            Eat_Nopal RE: PiuPerFavore May 4, 2008 08:52 PM

                            I ask because Cold Cut Tortas rarely make it north of the border.... there is an intriguing combo I have never tried called a Fiambre which is the three mentioned... dressed in a vinaigrette with olives etc., There are some wacky regional variations (like in San Luis Potosi & Guanajuato) where the combination includes fruits & roasted vegetables etc.,

                      2. shellshock24 RE: rhubarb Apr 30, 2008 04:56 PM

                        I'm a fan of Miller's East CoastDeli on Polk

                        Miller's East Coast Deli
                        1725 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: shellshock24
                          rworange RE: shellshock24 May 1, 2008 09:37 AM

                          What do you recommend? I had a highly underwhelming pastrami sandwich there.

                          1. re: rworange
                            shellshock24 RE: rworange May 1, 2008 02:44 PM

                            I assume you maybe a New Yorker, because I had the pastrami on rye and loved it. i figure Miller's will never be as good as a corner deli in Manhattan, but its the closest I've found in SF.

                            1. re: shellshock24
                              Robert Lauriston RE: shellshock24 May 1, 2008 02:49 PM

                              Couple of recent reports on Miller's pastrami:


                              1. re: shellshock24
                                virtualguthrie RE: shellshock24 May 1, 2008 02:53 PM

                                If you haven't had the pastrami @ Miller's in a while it might be worth trying again. I had one several years ago and it was really boring, nothing special at all. Recently, I tried it again and it was very good, not as good as the marquis spots in NYC but flavorful and fatty which for me equaled, very nice.

                                BTW, it's getting harder and harder to find good pastrami even in NYC. Only a few places really deliver the goods.

                                1. re: virtualguthrie
                                  rworange RE: virtualguthrie May 1, 2008 04:21 PM

                                  I had Miller's in the last two months. It was tasteless and not fatty. It was not even good in terms of supermarket pastrami. Saul's, for all its faults, is still the best pastrami I've tried in the Bay Area.

                                  There are still a few more places I want to try in the area though.

                                  1. re: rworange
                                    virtualguthrie RE: rworange May 1, 2008 04:50 PM

                                    Hey rworange, I keep noticing we're always posting about the same things, it seems we have similar taste. Anyways, I guess we disagree about MIller's, maybe you got a lean cut, maybe I was there on a good day...

                                    Have you every tried the Memphis Minnie's Pastrami (Wed. only), it's not traditional but it's pretty good. You might also want to check out Tommy's if you've never tried.

                                    edit: Just saw your post on another thread about it not being an off day thing, seems Miller's pastrami just ain't your thing.

                                2. re: shellshock24
                                  sugartoof RE: shellshock24 May 2, 2008 08:06 PM

                                  Well, actually Miller's East West DOES taste a lot like the corner delis in Manhattan.... because most all of them serve Boars Head product. People make a special trip for good pastrami, even in NY. Anyway, I just had East West's version this past week, and wished I had gone to Max's instead....and Max's hasn't been good for a while.

                            2. c
                              cheesecakeking RE: rhubarb May 1, 2008 06:21 PM

                              Good review of Ike's Place, today's 96 Hours in Chronicle:

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: cheesecakeking
                                ziccarda RE: cheesecakeking Jun 9, 2008 03:36 PM

                                I too like Ike's. Had the "Hot Date for Hire" sandwich - steak, jalepeno poppers, and jack cheese.

                                Ike's Place
                                3489 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94114

                              2. p
                                pininex RE: rhubarb May 1, 2008 10:50 PM

                                Gotta go with Giordano Brothers in North Beach. How can you say no to a sandwich that uses various types of Molinari meats topped with melted provolone, oil and vinegar slaw, french fries, and if you are in the mood, a fried egg. Truly a unique and amazing place to have a sando.

                                Giordano Bros
                                303 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

                                1. m
                                  mrsricho RE: rhubarb May 2, 2008 01:37 PM

                                  Blue Barn on Chestnut has a ton of great sandwiches with interesting toppings.
                                  For straight forward Lucca's on Chestnut makes a great classic sandwich. We swear by the Ham and Cheese with Everything on a soft roll.
                                  We eat sandwiches A LOT and these are consistently are favorites. In a pinch we also like AG Ferraris and Blue Fog Market.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: mrsricho
                                    sugartoof RE: mrsricho May 2, 2008 07:57 PM

                                    Molinaris (I like the North Beach special more then their standard sandwiches)
                                    AG Ferraris, or Rosi Market in the Castro.
                                    Bi Rite
                                    Delissio Market
                                    Plutos (skirt skate, or fresh turkey)
                                    SubCenter in West Portal (hot subs, let them put dressing on the lettuce)

                                    Molly Stone's, and Adronico's can be okay for a straight ahead sandwich.
                                    Lucca Raviola (they'll hand you mustard, mayo packets, and it's still good)
                                    Lucca Delicatessen

                                    There are also a lot of corner markets making great sandwiches to order, on good bread, with top notch fixings. Arguello, Le Beau Nob Hill, M & L

                                    SF is a great city for sandwiches.

                                    1. re: sugartoof
                                      chipman RE: sugartoof May 2, 2008 09:45 PM

                                      This whole thread and no mention of Ted's Deli? Everybody has to stay after class and clean the erasers!

                                  2. p
                                    poulet_roti RE: rhubarb May 4, 2008 08:46 PM

                                    This is really the type of question that begs another question such as "define a good sandwich?" Frankly, I find huge thick sub sandwiches dripping with various toppings and condiments rather disgusting. I think they make a great sandwich at many places - so long as they do exactly what I ask them to do. For instance, Bi-Rite makes an excellent mortadella and swiss on baguette with a small drizzle of olive oil. Ask them to slice the mortadella very thin. Lucca Ravioli makes an excellent sandwich as well, although they may use too much meat. Bottom line is both of these places slice their meats to order rather than having pre-cut product. For me, this is all going to be reflective of the quality and preparation of the ingredients. Salami, for instance, can begin to take on a different smell if cut too long in advance.

                                    Another pet peeve would be sandwich shops that do not thoroughly clean their knives between cutting sandwiches. I don't take mustard or mayo on my sandwiches, so really put off when I find minor amount of mustard or avocado that came from the knife of cutting another sandwich.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: poulet_roti
                                      Melanie Wong RE: poulet_roti May 5, 2008 10:32 AM

                                      Bingo! That's why I'm not a fan of Molinari at lunch time as the meats are presliced for the mid-day rush.

                                      1. re: poulet_roti
                                        kresge86 RE: poulet_roti Jul 15, 2008 12:57 PM

                                        Yup. It's all about finding a place where they make the sandwich to your specifications. I really wish I could just walk behind the counter and make my own (I used to work in delis). Having said that, one of my favorite places in SF for a sandwich is Say Cheese in Cole Valley. I love the ciabatta roll they use, and the roast beef is consistently good (unlike Whole Foods where the roast beef is perfectly roasted one day, and then overcooked the next).

                                        Say Cheese
                                        856 Cole St, San Francisco, CA

                                      2. JulesSF RE: rhubarb Jul 14, 2008 04:34 PM

                                        A bit off the beaten track, but defintely worth the detour is my newest find for great sandwiches - along with a latte for lunch or a nice glass of wine for a casual dinner stop along the Divisadero corridor:

                                        Apollo Coffee in NoPa ... some great panini options - all made to order with fresh, mostly organic ingredients, crispy crust Ciabatta or Foccaccia breads and some yummy combos including pesto, sun dired tomatoes, tapenade ...

                                        Apollo Coffee
                                        1064 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: JulesSF
                                          artemis RE: JulesSF Jul 15, 2008 04:33 PM

                                          i go there for coffee often but never tried the panini. i will be sure to do so next time! manaf (sp? the owner) couldn't be nicer and doesn't mind if i stay for a few hours with my bar books. i hope his new business continues to grow, as the coffee is way, way better than cafe abir.

                                        2. Civil Bear RE: rhubarb Jul 15, 2008 09:35 AM

                                          For interesting toppings and specials, I really like The Sandwich Shop on the east side of Mission just south of 16th. The name and facade suggest something very generic, but the place is owned and run by a creative gentleman who is obviously passionate about his work. Very good soups made from scratch too...

                                          1. m
                                            ML8000 RE: rhubarb Jul 15, 2008 10:07 AM

                                            I had an excellent torta al pastor from the El Toyanese taco truck in front of Best Buy. The roll complimented the al pastor, grilled onions and salsa nicely. I would have never ordered it except I didn't want a taco or burrito that day. It had qualities of many sandwiches...the sauce from the al pastor soaked into the bread like a meatball sub but the chopped nature of the meat brought something different, as did the onions and salsa.

                                            1. baron45 RE: rhubarb Jul 15, 2008 12:50 PM

                                              I like the Italian combo (2 salame and 2 hams + cheese) at Freddie's Sandwiches on Francisco @ Stockton. You can get a large for $6.50 and it will easily feed 2. And don't forget to ask for the free garlic spread.

                                              1. pavlov RE: rhubarb Jul 15, 2008 02:12 PM

                                                Roxie Deli on Judah and 9th in the inner sunset.

                                                I have eaten sandwiches all over the bay area. That wins, hands down.

                                                Sausalito wins with a couple spots... Venice Gourmet for one.

                                                1. w
                                                  whiner RE: rhubarb Jul 15, 2008 04:57 PM

                                                  The best sandiwches I've gotten in SF have come, almost exclusively, from Blue Barn Gourmet in the Marina: http://www.bluebarngourmet.com/ (Just click on the picture for the menu... or click here: http://www.bluebarngourmet.com/menu/i... )

                                                  Show Hidden Posts