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Sandwiches in the East Bay

I've been combing the boards trying to find a suggestion for a place to get sandwiches. I dearly love Genova's in Oakland, but it's far for us to drive sometimes. Any place in Berkeley or Albany that makes awesome sandwiches (meaning NOT pre-made)?


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  1. There's the new banh mi place on Solano, Albany Cafe.

    Tortas at Casa Latina.

    Casa Latina
    1805 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA

    Albany Cafe
    1309 Solano Ave, Albany, CA 94706

    1. Zarri's is an old-style deli that might fit the bill. And on Fourth St, Betty's and the Pasta Shop make great sandwiches.

      Zarri's Delicatessen
      1244 Solano Ave, Albany, CA 94706

      1. Cana's Cubano is made to order.
        Cana Cuban Parlor & Cafe

        2 Replies
        1. re: wolfe

          That's farther than Genova Deli.

          Genova Delicatessen & Ravioli
          5095 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            For the sometimes it's not too far to drive and it's probably the closest good Cubano.

        2. You might try Gregoire in Gourmet Ghetto.

          The torta at Tacubaya is pretty good as well.

          1. Don't know where you are in Berkeley, but I'm loving the sandwiches at Southie on College in Oakland (just at the Berkeley border). Different kind than Genova, but great.

            1 Reply
            1. re: JasmineG

              I had the aji sandwich after a blood donation. Great!

            2. Star Meats in Berkeley, best sandwiches ever!

              1 Reply
              1. re: boghollow7

                no question about it - I don't even bother with the lines and wait at Genova anymore. Although it's a pity how they sell out of bread.

                1. re: wolfe

                  I am trying to imagine where Lee's is. I used to work in Gourmet Ghetto and am trying to guess what the closet cross street is.

                    1. re: achefsbest

                      near the Downtown BART station. it used to be Alohana Hawaiian BBQ.

                      imo, their sandwiches aren't as good as the Lee's in FiDi SF. veggies seem a bit wilty. but they are cheap.

                      two places i like that haven't been mentioned are Brennan's and Saul's

                      Brennan's Restaurant
                      700 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94710

                      Saul's Deli
                      1475 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709

                  1. The sandwiches at Eunice Cafe in Albany (1162 Solano Ave.) are quite good--- also, they sell gelato!

                    1. The famous tri-tip at Brazil Fresh Squeeze Cafe might be the best sandwich in the East Bay. (And you can get it in a more restaurant-like environment at Brazil Cafe.)

                      Brazil Fresh Squeeze Cafe
                      2161 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

                      Brazil Café
                      1983 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: peterme

                        I checked out the replies, and wow, at lot to choose from. I didn't know a lot of these places.

                        I went and checked out the Vietnamese sandwiches at Albany Cafe. I had the the mixed pork sandwich (the #1) and asked for extra jalapenos. The lady was very nice and told me that the jalapenos are iffy. Sometimes they're super hot and sometimes they are very mild, so she told me to check first so I don't end up blowing my head off. Pretty good! I would've liked a little more acid, but it was tasty.

                        I am going to check out all these sandwich places. Thanks everyone!

                      2. Gregoire is hands down the sandwich king of Berkeley for me, and a place I visit every time I'm in the area.

                        1. has anyone tried Porky, the porchetta sandwich cart run by D. Patterson in front of Plum (2214 Broadway, Oakland)?

                          $9 porchetta sandwich. that's it.


                          3 Replies
                          1. re: drewskiSF

                            Yes, I had one on Wednesday and thought it was very good. I liked the touch of fennel in the topping.

                            Not quite as good as the ones from Marin Sun Farms sold at Market Hall (Rockridge) on Saturdays, but good. MSF has that crispy skin that puts it over the top.

                            1. re: 10foot5

                              Will need to try MSF. Roli Roti also puts some crispy skin into their porchetta sandwich.

                              Roli Roti
                              , Hayward, CA

                              1. re: drewskiSF

                                Crispy Skin Alert!!!

                                I had a Porchetta from the Porky cart today and they have started including crispy, crunchy, tasty skin in their sandwich.

                                It is now, officially, fantastic.

                          2. Cafe Intermezzo is a popular sandwich/salad place by campus on Telegraph. Portions are big, and they make solid tofu and chicken salad sandwiches IMO

                            Cafe Intermezzo
                            2442 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: bladderdash

                              This is the saddest post on Chowhound.

                            2. Tom and Tina's Deli in Castro Valley just opened and has great roast Chicken, roast Turkey, tri-tip and meatball sandwiches.

                              1. there's a little deli under the parking garage between Channin & Durant on Telegraph...it's called Cheese n' Stuff. It mostly caters to college kids, so it's super cheap. The guys working there are really nice, and they have been there forever...they remembered me from 10 years ago when I used to work in the neighborhood! They have some yummy little Greek side dishes too. Great little hole-in-the-wall place.

                                1. At the risk of even more people believing i should get my head examined I submit the Cheesecake Factory Cuban. Very meaty, lots of cheese, needed better pickles but large enough that I brought home 1/2 for dinner. Fairly expensive($11.95) but considering the size and scope of the Walnut Creek store understandable.

                                  1. How about Southie? Newish place from Wood Tavern folks.


                                    Wood Tavern
                                    6317 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

                                    6311 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Scott M

                                      Southie is spectacular!

                                      6311 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

                                      1. re: Scott M

                                        just tried southie today. got their pulled pork. came in around 11:15...was the first customer. really nice folks...it sort of borders between a take out and sit down place, which is nice. a couple of people came in and ordered to go, while a few others stayed and ate their sandwich in the restaurant.

                                        i thought the pulled pork was great. not a huge pulled pork fan, but the few i have had (Gregoire, for example) dont compare to Southie's. The slaw may need a little more kick, but i felt it complemented the pork well. I think i'll add them to my rotation!

                                        6311 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

                                      2. Try IB's on Durant. No, I'm not a student but the hoagies are good! It has to be a nice, warmish day as there is really only outside seating. I'm dying to go back and get a meatball or eggplant parm sub.

                                        Genova's isn't as good as it used to be.

                                        1. By ruling out pre-made sandwiches, you are missing out on a few good ones (though not the massive, deli-style ones found at Genova).

                                          La Bedaine often has sandwiches, and they're always pre-made (though not the long-shelf-life, convenience store refrigerator case variety). http://www.labedaine.com/menu.html

                                          Summer Kitchen Bakeshop has nice sandwiches as well, though they are on the spendy side. Some are made to order, though others (like the egg salad) are prepared in advance. http://www.summerkitchenbakeshop.com/...

                                          La Bedaine
                                          1585 Solano Ave, Berkeley, CA 94706

                                          1. My current rotation includes Gregoire, Southie (especially their pulled pork), and if I'm in the mood for roast beef, Star Meats. Gregoire changes their menu at the beginning of each month, which means I'm now looking forward to their scallop and avocado sandwich as well their brisket sandwich for June.

                                            6311 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

                                            1. Decidedly low brow, but I'll recommend Lee's for a good, hefty All-American sandwich.

                                              I'm taking a 2 PM flight to Cleveland in a couple of weeks and have been thinking about what sandwich to bring along for dinner. I'm coming to the conclusion that a turkey/bacon club with cranberry sauce from Lee's will fill the bill. Cheap, filling, tasty with lots of bacon.

                                              In the past I've taken turkey sandwiches from The Juice Bar Collective. Still considering a shortrib sandwich from Slow, but Lee's gives me more sandwich for the buck and will hold me nicely until I get a Chicago Beef at a late Midway stopover.

                                              The Juice Bar Collective
                                              2114 Vine St, Berkeley, CA 94709

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: chocolatetartguy

                                                "Decidedly low brow, but I'll recommend Lee's"
                                                "I Resemble That Remark"

                                              2. nothing really fancy - cafe yesterday on university. pretty laid back cafe...i go there to work. nice, cheap selection of sandwiches....which comes with a good portion of either kettle cooked chips or a nice mixed green salad. free wifi, good coffee.

                                                1. New favorite: able to eat in, easy parking, great sandwiches including Italian hoagie-types and gyros and cheesesteak and Indian: Wrap n' Roll. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/800076

                                                  8 Replies
                                                  1. re: rccola

                                                    Another link at Pure Convenience with menu. I'm sure it will get straightened out.

                                                    1. re: wolfe

                                                      changed its name--could be confusing and lead to less business.. Thanks.

                                                      1. re: rccola

                                                        I believe both signs are visible as you drive by. Anyway it's in the red building in the middle of the block across University from the motel between 7th and 8th.

                                                        1. re: wolfe

                                                          Hell, I don't know. We went there today and all I remember is Wrap 'n' Roll.

                                                          But the people are SO, so nice

                                                          1. re: rccola

                                                            The PureC Yelp page has a name change Announcement

                                                            "Our new name WRAP N' ROLL is open now ! Serving Finger licking Gyros, Wraps, Signature Sandwiches and much more.... "

                                                            One of the reviews says the place's name was "New Deli" (probably met with groans & eye-rolls) changing to "Wrap n Roll" so the owners seem to be a bit indecisive

                                                            1. re: drewskiSF

                                                              I started a new thread under W&R because I felt the place was too difficult to locate if you didn't know Pure Convenience (which I didn't--live in N. Berkeley, eat out all the time). They just seemed deserving of someone making the effort to shout a bit about them and there were virtually no posts about the place.

                                                              "new deli"--that's an awful thought.

                                                              1. re: rccola

                                                                I took my wife and her cousin to the New Delhi that shared the space with Fondue Freds on Telegraph. They expected corned beef, they had tikka masala. With the menu at Wrap n Roll it could work both ways. They do have reubens and kathi rolls.

                                                                1. re: rccola

                                                                  It looks like their current name so no criticism on my part. just saying they can't decide ona ultimate name . . . Which is a bit confusing.

                                                                  Your post made me want to try it out.

                                                    2. I know this is very late to the game- but I'd like to add the fantastic German deli The Junket in Albany. Its in the El Cerrito Plaza next to trader joes, and they make awesome, straight up delicious sandwiches to order. You can also get a properly poured German beer on tap! The little shop in the deli also sells English and German products for expats

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: rabbitblue

                                                        I think you mean in El Cerrito, but yes. I enjoyed their Reuben a month or so ago. It wasn't as amazing at the one from Five Dot Ranch in Napa, but it was pretty good. What are your favorite sandwiches there?

                                                      2. Slow's sandwiches are very yummy. The bagel place down Gilman at Santa Fe/Curtis (1281 Gilman) will make up fresh sandwiches (on bread or bagel) and they're surprisingly cheap (like $3.50 for a plump sandwich) and tasty, vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, too. I like to bring dog down there and sit outside.

                                                        Emeryville is a drive but an easy one and Rotten City's meatball sub brings my husband's buddies up from the Peninsula! 'Tis YUM!

                                                        7 Replies
                                                        1. re: rccola

                                                          Rotten City's meatball sub is first-rate.

                                                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                            Except that it is not really a sub but simply a meatball sandwich with pizza sauce. A real sub has vegetables, cheese, oil and vinegar, etc. I don't know why they call it a sub.

                                                            If you go to a cheesesteak place you can get a cheesesteak sub or hoagie and it will have lettuce, tomato, pepperoncini or cherry peppers (jalapenos around here) oil and vinegar (or mayo for those savages who don't know the way to eat cheesesteaks or hoagies/subs), and oregano sprinkles.

                                                            I do want to try their pork sandwich.

                                                            1. re: rccola

                                                              But the RC sandwich (and the equally excellent versions at Paisan and Lucca) is an archetypal New York area meatball hero. It, and their cousins the eggplant hero and chicken parmesan hero, are no more than the main ingredient in tomato sauce with cheese on a crusty roll. No pepperoncini, no oil and vinegar--and lettuce? Fuggedabahdit.

                                                              1. re: ernie in berkeley

                                                                Ah, a New Yawka like my husband. I am from the REAL capitol of hoagieism: PHILLY!!! Where a chicken parm sandwich was a chicken parm, no last name. But not as good as a veal parm or eggplant parm.

                                                                We used to get the Whizz-bang: a cheesesteak with pepperoni loaded on and then pizza sauce. Hubba-hubba up-all-night indigestion!

                                                                Rotten City's sandwich, whatever we call it, is sublime. Their pizza is not quite as good an item. I still prefer Gioia's, which when it is good is great. Depends on who is working.

                                                              2. re: rccola

                                                                Whatever your regional definition of "sub," I don't think a hot meatball sandwich is supposed to have salad or pickles on it. Cold sliced meatballs, that's a different thing.

                                                                I prefer Rotten City's to Paisan's or Southie's. RC's is big enough that I'd prefer to split one.


                                                                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                  A hot cheesesteak sandwich does. And I've certainly had meatball hoagies--cold? Ewwwwww....

                                                                  1. re: rccola

                                                                    A cold meatball sandwich is essentially a meatloaf sandwich. They can be delicious, though a dish that can easily go wrong.

                                                          2. Genova sandwiches can be great!

                                                            But some of their sandwiches on their specials board are made with pre wrapped and weighed "meat stacks" (To save time I guess?) that can be pretty lame.

                                                            Only order custom sandwiches!