We’re hungry. We like sandwiches. Since your 2016 New Year’s resolution has been broken and Valentine’s Day has come and gone, you can eat bread again. Sandwiches are made from bread. We’d like to eat these 16 sandwiches right now.
- 440 K St NW
What costs $3.50 anymore in D.C.? NOTHING (is the sad answer). But for $3.50 you can get a little (yet perfectly satisfying and incredibly delicious) slice of breakfast sandwich heaven at the Baked Joint, and even more so, get it ANY TIME OF THE DAY OR EVENING. On paper it sounds simple enough: a buttermilk biscuit, meat and egg. The key to success here is that ingredients like ham, cheddar, rosemary and bacon are baked INTO the biscuit (just think about that) and then the egg / tomato and/or goat cheese is added in. Meats vary depending on when you get there, but spicy sausage is our favorite. -Svetlana Legetic
- 6783 Wilson Blvd, Falls Church, VA
Listen, I know. Falls Church is a hike. Trust me, I get it. But even when you factor in the cost of the gas it takes to get there and the hassle of heading a ways out of D.C., the $4 banh mi sandwiches at Banh Ta deli in Eden Center are a ridiculous deal. Most of the banh mi in D.C. are kind of meh. These are the opposite. A perfect baguette (light and crisp, but not dry and airy like some of the cheaper, lower-quality options in D.C. proper) wraps up pickled carrot and daikon, thinly-sliced jalapenos and cucumbers, a bundle of fresh cilantro, and a swipe of mustardy mayonnaise with your choice of protein. I’m partial to the #5 (because it’s the best): banh mi pate cha, which combines the bouncy springiness of sliced pork roll with the cool, creamy umami of pork pate. That said, there’s seven options, each as good as the next. The first time I went to Banh Ta, I laughed to myself at the “buy five, get one free” deal on the blackboard. The next time I went to Banh Ta, I immediately ordered one of each sandwich. -Logan Hollers
- 800 22nd St NW
When Beefsteak (Jose Andres’ local vegetarian fast casual chain) first opened, its beefsteak tomato “burger” created quite the stir because it was a big ass slab of tomato sandwiched between buns, sans traditional meat patty/meat substitute. Beefsteak tomatoes now being out of season, the restaurant has updated their menu and a “Beet Steak” burger now resides where the tomato once did. Personally, big ass slabs of tomato don’t have much appeal, so I was totally in favor of the seasonal switch. Beets and bears being best and whatnot. The new Beetsteak burger comes with pickled red onions, sprouts, and spicy chipotle mayo, and sits prettily between olive oil brioche buns. It comes with a bag of chips and is a good option for a light lunch. Also, it’s hella tasty, bruh. The sweetness of the pickled beet is cut by the spice of the chipotle mayo and onion, and it’s really just a perfect combination of flavors. I like beets, but at first glance was still a little worried about exactly how much beet is involved in this sandwich. Turns out it’s an ideal ratio. My only issue with the sandwich is the olive oil bun is quite oily. Napkins aren’t much help. Otherwise, as far as vegetarian sandwiches go, it can’t be beet. Ha. Ha ha. -Melissa Groth
- 1718 Connecticut Ave NW
The bacon-egg-and-cheese is at once ubiquitous, and yet so easily botched. If the eggs are over-cooked, the sandwich turns dry. If the cheese isn’t put onto the bread immediately after toasting, it becomes rubbery. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this sandwich completely ruined by just tossing two strips of bacon over the eggs and cheese, with the ends of the bacon hanging over the sides of the sandwich. I wanted the bacon to be part of the fucking sandwich, not be an outlier fringe section of the congress. Bacon is too good to be relegated to Tea Party status in the glorious breakfast sandwich. Luckily, in my 27 years of eating there, Bethesda Bagels hasn’t screwed up a single sandwich. The eggs are either fluffily scrambled, or fried to medium, the cheese melts perfectly, and the three strips of bacon are folded neatly into a disc, which fits beautifully between two halves of an everything bagel. They’re sliced in half, and wrapped in tin foil, and served (if you like) with a side of house-made pickles. This is the only bagel sandwich I’ll eat outside of New York. -Jonny Grave
- 414 H St NE
Say you find yourself a bit tipsy some night on H St. NE. Say also that you want to snag some food. Lucky for you, one of the best sandwiches in DC can be had at Boundary Road…and you can only get it after 11:00 pm. Boom. Boundary’s commitment to simple, carefully prepared meals highlighting local ingredients naturally extends to its late-night menu. Just because you’ve had a few drinks doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still be able to eat great, right? The best item on that late-night menu: the charcuterie sandwich. See, Boundary’s chef, Luke Feltz, has this thing with using whole animals; naturally, that leads to a pretty dope list of charcuterie (the cheese menu is also outstanding, fyi). $12 gets you an enormous sandwich; grilled bread (that char tho) stuffed with mortadella, prosciutto, and provolone (try to sweet-talk your way into some other cheeses if you like…subbing in taleggio is amazing). Add in your choice of either a dressed side salad or ridiculously thin and crispy fries, and you’re looking at one hell of a nightcap. Beer and wine and cocktail list is great, sure, but it’s that sandwich that keeps me coming back. -Logan Hollers
- 3126 12th Street NE
I could eat this sandwich everyday for the rest of my life. I would probably die. I can very much see this decision killing me. I wouldn’t even care. That might make it better. Packed with apple wood smoked bacon (you’re probably noticing a theme), roma tomatoes, dijon aioli (my achilles heel), brioche bread, and to finish it all off, crispy fries. The first time I had it I had been drinking a little bit (those draft manhattans will really ruin a girl), so it was obviously delicious, but the beauty of this sandwich is that it’s equally good when stone cold sober. A true sandwich for all seasons. -Kaylee Dugan
- 1815 M St NW
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the amazing roast pork sandwich at Bub & Pop’s on M St. NW. I eat a lot of sandwiches. This is still my favorite sandwich in the city. Even though Philadelphia gets mad love for its cheesesteak game, the roast pork arguably has a better claim to being Philly’s signature dish. I was in Philadelphia this New Year’s Eve and had a great one the next day. It 1.) staved off an absolutely brutal hangover, and 2.) kicked off what’s shaping up to be an outstanding 2016. Even with that said, I like Bub & Pop’s version better. Slow roasted, shaved porchetta; sliced provolone; and a walnut gremolata. Pony up the extra $2 and throw some broccoli rabe on there, too – it makes a perfect sandwich…more perfect, I guess? Whatever, this sandwich rules. -Logan Hollers
- 2201 14th St NW
This far north, it’s far more likely that a Cuban sandwich will be a miss rather than a hit – DC’s Latino community is more of the pupusa variety, anyways – but few places have been able to pay homage to the South Florida staple as well as G by Mike Isabella.
This is not a sandwich that requires too much by way of ingredients, and Mike Isabella’s sandwich shop (which sources its ingredients from the same suppliers as sister restaurant Kapnos) gets it right: perfectly toasted fresh Cuban bread, a hunking slab of slow roasted pork collar, melted swiss cheese, deliciously salted prosciutto cotto, all topped off by yellow mustard and sliced pickles. Where so many have failed, G succeeds. My mouth is watering (and my arteries are clogging) as we speak. -Jose Lopez-Sanchez
- 1317 Pennsylvania Ave SE
DC doesn’t really have a ton of “classic” spots. You know what I mean; they’re hard to describe, but, like Justice Potter Stewart and porn, you know it when you see it (Google it). Mangialardo and Sons, an Italian deli in SE Capitol Hill, is one of these spots. It’s been around since 1953; the original owners’ grandson now runs the place; they’re cash-only and carryout-only and lunch-only and probably some other -only’s that you don’t even know about until you’re a regular. Best of all, they have one of the best sandwiches in D.C.: The G-Man. The platonic ideal of a classic Italian hero, the sandwich is loaded with sliced ham, salami, mortadella, and pepperoni; provolone and fontina cheese; sliced tomato and shredded lettuce; and a tart, vinegary Italian dressing. I guess you *could* order it on a hard roll if you wanted to, but why would you? The soft roll (from H&S Bakery in Baltimore) is one of the best parts of this loaded sandwich, remaining soft enough to bite through but durable enough to contain the bounty of meats and cheeses within. I’ll put it this way: I work down in Crystal City (awful, I know). I have, more than once, taken the Blue Line all the way to the Potomac Ave. metro in the middle of the workday simply to get this sandwich. Oh, and you’re a fool if you don’t add their house-pickled hot giardiniera to your sandwich. -Logan Hollers
- 1901 L St NW
I call this one the Canadian surprise because of the word Maple and not because the Bacon is Canadian Bacon (great movie RIP John Candy) though it might be. You may think “Why on Earth do I need to buy a grilled cheese sandwich, that’s the easiest sandwich to make.” You’re right but in this instance you’re wrong. These sandwiches were delivered to our office one day out of the kindness of the Meltshop’s hearts and I’ve NEVER TASTED A MORE DELICIOUS GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. I still think of it to this day but for whatever reason have yet to go back. It’s become the stuff of myths for me “Remember that grilled cheese sandwich? Did I make it up?” And as if this isn’t convincing enough for you, that damn sandwich tasted as delicious at our office as it probably did when it left their store. How many sandwiches can you think of have that kind of travel stamina? This is your gold rush my little ’49ers except this gold is cheese. -Jenn Tisdale
It’s time to settle a decades long debate. Vegetarian “burgers” are not burgers. They’re sandwiches. Delicious, wonderful, lovely sandwiches, but sandwiches nonetheless. Let’s get one thing straight, if there isn’t ground meat between your buns, then you are not a burger. That being said, I love Shake Shack’s ‘Shroom sandwich. It’s hands down the best thing they offer (although take this with a grain of salt, I haven’t had their fried chicken sandwich yet). What could be better than a fried portobello mushroom injected with a stupid, heart attack inducing amount of cheese? I didn’t even understand the appeal of Shake Shack until I tried their one vegetarian option, but now it all makes sense to me. Just don’t call it a burger. -Kaylee Dugan
- 10003 Fields Rd, Gaithersburg, MD
I try not to share sandwich recommendations. Sure, there are other, more communal foods into which I’d want to indoctrinate friends (and that’s really what it’s about, getting to share in the experience of something new and great with someone I like.) Additionally, suggestions of restaurants as a whole never bother me because who has the time to walk someone through a whole menu for their edification; you want this type of food and you’re in that neighborhood, go there, a bi gezunt. But sandwiches are finite; a sandwich you get is a sandwich -at least theoretically- I’m not going to have a chance to eat, even if they can make another on another day. A busy enough day, given the average window of lunch available, all it’d take would be five to ten people eating the sandwich I want to eat to keep me from getting it any given day. It’s the tragedy of the common lunch spots, people!
But as my editor effectively twisted my arm last night, I will part with the following recommendation (largely because this type of sandwich is slowly working its way into DC and not everyone’s going to make it to Gaithersburg.) Within a little gas station around the corner from Rio just past where I-370 becomes Sam Eig Highway (yes, all the way up there) there stands a taco bar, aptly named Taco Bar. Everything they make is delicious (their pozole especially, which I’m still waiting to become as ubiquitous as pho.) But what I love, truly love about the place is the torta especial. Four large parkerhouse rolls still stuck together sliced in half, toasted on a griddle. One side covered in cheese that gets melty and then crusty, the other side slathered with mayo as a hydrophobic barrier on which beans, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and avocado slices get stacked. In between: a pile of warm shaved ham, a whole milanesa of chicken or beef, and a hot dog sliced lengthwise into eight or so strips, caramelized on the grill top. When you get it, take it over to their small but respectable condiment table and throw on some spicy salsa, pickled onions, and fresh jalapenos, at least, that’s what I try to do. It’s a massive sandwich- other toppings are more of a suggestion. It’s so massive they sell them by the half sandwich and it’s still a challenge to eat. But oh baby, it ticks every box you want when thinking about a sandwich. Sure, I’d love to get one daily, instead of only when I have to drive out to reset my parents’ router. But few places in DC even serve the damn thing, let alone one this good. Point is, if you see me in there, let me cut in front of you in line. C’mon, I told you about the damn sandwich, you can do me a solid right? Right? Just this once? -Jeb Gavin
When I was on the dating apps way back in the summer of 2015, I found myself answering one particular question with some frequency: If I could eat one item of food and have it count as zero calories, what would it be? Now, honestly, this is not a scenario I had given much thought to over the entirety of my life (because it is a dumb), but after having to ponder it for a fifth time, I realized that my answer is Brussels sprouts. And then I realized that this might be weird – usually because my electronic friend would tell me so. But, fuck it, there is nothing better in life than crispy Brussels sprouts. Except maybe a thinly sliced Brussels sprouts salad. Or possibly Brussels sprouts roasted with some bacon. Whatever, the point of the story is that I’ve never seen Brussels sprouts on a restaurant menu and not ordered it, and that is not hyperbole.
So, when I saw Taylor Gourmet unveil its seasonal offerings in January, I instantly knew I would be gaining 15 pounds this winter, because it included a Brussels sprouts sandwich and I live in a world where Brussels sprouts sandwiches have caloric properties (ie, reality). But, oh lord, are those calories worth it. The Fairhill is a glorious train wreck of flavor: Piles of warm and charred miniature cabbages, pickled daikon and carrots, toasted cashews, mint, cilantro, and the unholy union of Bang Bang sauce and green onion aioli. Truthfully, I wish the sauce wasn’t so decadent sometimes. Other times, I’m hungover. In any situation, I would not recommend eating it in front of people, because this thing oozes sauce and you will often be funneling multiple Brussels sprouts into your mouth at one time. Also, while I’m doling out advice, don’t wait too long to it, because it’s only so hot and the Italian bread only so uncompromised for so long.
Rest assured, I will be eating this messy, sort of Asian-inspired thing once a week until Taylor Gourmet takes it away from me. -Phil Runco
- 1226 36th Street NW
The elusive pulled pork sandwich at The Tombs in Georgetown only appears in the shadows of a seasonal menu and may not even be available right now. That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth trying to find it. This sandwich is everything right about meat– the sweet pulled pork is plenty and doused in a kick-less barbecue sauce, which works so well I can’t even tell you without tearing up. Making up for the kick is a slice of pepper jack, topped with crispy fried onions. It comes with coleslaw and tater tots, but if you don’t intend to put that coleslaw straight on the sandwich, don’t even bother coming here. I’m serious. Oh, and did I mention it all comes on a perfectly toasted sweet potato bun? If you go to the Tombs looking for this sandwich, and it isn’t offered at the time, weep silently and then order the Tombs Burger, which is also a fantastic option. -Tam Sackman
- 4855 Massachusetts Ave NW
- 4330-A Rear 48th St. NW
- 3201 New Mexico Avenue
It’s important to note that this is unlike any Cuban you’ve ever eaten. There’s no ham, no cheese, no mustard, and not even a single pickle. I know, I know, for Cuban purists this feels shocking and possible illegal, but trust me, it is delicious. It’s simple and fresh and it doesn’t feel like you’re bogging yourself down with too much food. This is the kind of sandwich you could eat and then happily run a marathon (I’ve never run a day in my life so do not quote me on this). Wagshal’s is basically sandwich heaven, it’s impossible to make a bad choice, but if you want to make the best possible choice, this is what you want to go with. Trust me. -Kaylee Dugan
- 1440 Wisconsin Ave NW
I’ve obsessed about this sandwich before on BYT, but if you still haven’t had an opportunity to try it then this is your final wakeup call. It is everything you want in the world after a long day’s work, when all you want to do is drink beer recklessly and pig out on a sandwich that’s more bacon and mayo than anything else. According to the menu, there’s also grilled chicken breast (healthy???), sweet peppers, onions, garlic, cayenne pepper, lettuce, tomatoes, and provolone cheese, but we all know what this sandwich is really about. Sure, you might feel kind of gross after eating it all, but the best food always does that. -Kaylee Dugan