Brooklyn is a borough known for quality eats. It’s home to some of the country’s best pizza, but where can you find the best sandwiches? These are our favorites. By Yvo Sin.
378 Metropolitan Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Sandwiches on the menu with names like “the Captain’s Daughter” (sardines, pickled egg and salsa verde), “Scuttlebutt” (hard boiled egg, cauliflower, pickles, feta, black olives, capers and aioli) and “the Spanish Armada” (potato tortilla, pimenton and aioli) demonstrate that Saltie sets itself apart from other sandwich joints by sheer creativity alone. Add to this that the sandwiches are all in the $8 range (the most expensive ringing up at $9), and you have yourself a clear winner. When you’re done with your sandwich, though, don’t forget one of their desserts – saltie caramel is a must when you’re at Saltie.
2901 Emmons Avenue
While “You can have CHEEZ on anything you PLEEZ” would be enough to entice even the strongest will-powered man into Roll-n-Roaster, there are reasons galore to visit – though most do include said CHEEZ. First and foremost is the wonderful roast beef sandwich; thin slices of beef with a pink center arrive piled high on a soft bun, a sandwich that would put to shame that fast food sandwich chain that claims to make these. Add cheez indeed, but go a step farther and include some grilled onions (free as a topping) to bring your sandwich to transcendental levels of delicious. Wash that all down with a nice tart, cold lemonade – homemade – and you’ve basically got an amazing meal, but if you want to push a bit more, try the cottage fries (thin chips deep fried to crisp perfection) or the corn fritters, golden nuggets filled with creamed corn. You can’t really go wrong at a place whose prices haven’t changed in well over 5 years… so have fun eating your way through the entire menu.
2033 Stillwell Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11223
Walking into John’s Deli is a bit of a throwback – a narrow area to stand on line, signs that say things like “If you’re in a rush, you’re in the wrong place” – and a menu that has plenty of personality to fit right in. The Godfather (pictured) comes loaded with seasoned tomatoes, lots of meats and various cheeses, and clocks in at $7.75. Also popular are the roast beef heroes, which they claim are the best in Brooklyn. Check it out!
7803 15th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11228
If you’re looking for an old school Italian deli that makes amazing sandwiches with housemade mozzarella – look no further. The sandwiches at Lioni are named after various Italian and Italian-American heroes, with Frank Sinatra at the top of the list: salami, fresh mozzarella, and a bit of seasoning (olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano). Have fun eating your way through the extensive hero list, or try your hand at creating your own combination – there’s no wrong way to put together a sandwich. Just remember to give it an Italian name along with a punny subtitle (like the Mike Piazza: catch this one).
Court Street Grocer
485 Court Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231
Court Street Grocers is, yes, a grocer, with a wide range of products offered. However, if you walk to the back of the store, you will find the sandwich counter of your dreams, preparing sandwiches that are so well-balanced that you’d swear they were made by a tightrope walker. Take, for example, the Catskill Roast Pork. Tamarind pork loin and CSG’s own duck sauce frolick on a bed of garlic bread made with ciabatta, and the end result is a sweet, sour, chewy, crunchy, meaty sandwich that delicately juggles all these things, but allows each to shine in its own right.
4222 8th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11232
See Also: NYC’s Best Banh Mi
One of the best parts of summertime is definitely the Vietnamese sandwich, banh mi. Served on classic French baguette with pickled veggies, refreshing cucumber and cilantro, a swipe of Vietnamese mayo, a few fresh jalapeno slices, and some mix of meats, the first bite will send your eyes rolling heavenward. Crunch through the bread, and marvel at the perfect balance of flavors, everything mingling to make the perfect bite with the slightest of heats. Try the grilled pork (pictured) for a flavor bomb, but get extra napkins; it can get quite messy. Summer may be coming to a close, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have a fantastic banh mi.
363 7th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Russo’s is the kind of place you wish you had in your neighborhood, but are secretly glad you don’t – or you’d spend every day and night here, eating your way through the entire menu. From $6 ginormous slices of lasagna to fabulous housemade mozzarella (a must-have on every visit), and rice balls to fantastic sandwiches, there is hardly anything on the menu not worth your time. The perfect sandwich starts with the perfect cheese, and Russo’s mozzarella does an excellent job to that end. The Italian-coppa (pictured) may not have mozzarella on it, but the roasted red peppers zazz up the sandwich with a lot of zip and zing – sure to delight.
Graham Avenue Meats
445 Graham Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211
If you’re looking for a genuine, old school Italian deli – this is it. Complete with countermen with heavy Brooklyn accents making your sandwich painstakingly to perfection, Graham Avenue Meats and Deli will sell you raw meat for your dinner and a sandwich for now while you’re there. Check out the Willie’s Italian Special, a sandwich so ginormous, you’ll have leftovers for a snack later, too, or try the Godfather Special (pictured) – slightly smaller but almost the same as Willie’s – and you’ll go home happy, full, with a new place to call your favorite.
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Yvo Sin is the founder and head writer of The Feisty Foodie.