Guide to the BEST Sandwich in San Francisco

Best Sandwich in San Francisco

People who love sandwiches are always on the hunt for the very best, and for the best sandwich San Francisco the competition is high. Several SF sandwich shops are making must-have sandwiches that are for the local market and are sure to please. With everything from specialty bread made in house to locally produced cured meat. From unique spreads and condiments to local cheeses. From the creative to the classic. You can find a sandwich for any taste and farm to table sandwiches that bring the freshest ingredients and a taste of the city. The combinations and culinary influences span from all over the world. You can find everything here from classic banh mi, the turkey sub,  the pastrami sandwich to unique combinations of ingredients that go beyond your imagination. San Francisco is also known for catering to many different types of lifestyles and diets that make finding a sandwich easy. This makes it a breeze to find a good sandwich even for those in your group that are gluten free, vegan or vegetarian, or simply deliberate about what they choose to eat. This is the ultimate guide to the best sandwiches across San Francisco. 

baguette with slices of prosciutto on brown table. Sandwich in San Francisco

Finding the Best Sandwich San Francisco

Word of Mouth

When searching for the perfect sandwich people can resort to some interesting tactics. Asking friends and family for reviews and where their favorite sandwich San Francisco is, can be a great way to find the right sandwich shop for you. Working your way through those recommendations is the only way to truly know if one of them is just right for your tastes. A web search can also be a productive way to find a great sandwich and the search parameters of local sandwiches near me can also locate amazing sandwich places that are in your area and connect you to the reviews about them and show you proximity to your location.

Social Media

Instagram is a tool that many people use for their social media following. The images and photos that are a part of a businesses profile are often indicative of the food that they make or the product they provide. Scrolling through the local sandwich shops are sure to point out those that are a must try, famous sandwich shop San Francisco, and others that are not your preferred choices. Select one that has local ingredients for the freshest flavors, that provides sandwiches that fit your needs including any gluten free or vegan friendly choices, and that look appetizing. 

Online Reviews

With all of the local sandwich shops, sandwich spots, delis, and food trucks, you may not be able to try them all, so start with those that interest you the most. Local suppliers will be happy to share where they send their fresh produce, local reviewers and social media users enjoy sharing their recommendations, and online reviews are full of positive experiences. 

However, we think the easiest way to find the best sandwich San Francisco is by asking a local. We hope that this locals guide to the best sandwich spots in SF will give you a good feel for what SF has to offer. But first, let’s take a look at the types of bread you can expect to see and which bread we recommend for all your sandwiches!

Best Bread Types for Sandwiches

Bread is one of the most important factors when ordering a sandwich. Dare we say it is one of the most important choices you can make. When bread and toppings match up, it is truly an otherworldly experience. Making a sandwich is an art form.  If the place where you are getting a sandwich is letting you build a custom sandwich, make sure to choose your bread carefully. We have some of our favorite bread choices below and what type of fillings work best for each type of bread. 


Sourdough, a San Francisco staple. If you have yet to try the world famous sourdough that can be found in the streets of San Francisco, there’s no better way than to try it with a sandwich. The famous crunchy outside and the soft inside with a savory tang. The tanginess of the bread is a perfect balancing ingredient and adds just the right amount of flavor to a turkey or roast beef sandwich without overpowering the whole sandwich. That’s not to say that other types of sandwich fillings won’t work well with sourdough but you want to make sure that you can still taste the bread and it doesn’t alter the flavor of the fillings. Sourdough also works well with things like smoked salmon and cream cheese or even a smoked ham and cheese sandwich. Sourdough is also a great bread to eat on its own. Make sure you find a way one way or another to try this iconic bread while you’re in San Francisco.

Dutch crunch

There is something so craveable about dutch crunch bread. Its versatility as a sandwich bread is undeniable. Known for its slightly sweet but the broken magical crumb and crinkle on top can make anyone a convert of this delicious dough. That unique crackle is a product of a special rice flour paste that cracks when it’s baked. We love this bread for any veggie sandwich or even a bbq based sando. It really can hold up to almost anything. This is one bread where you really can not go wrong with the fillings!


Ciabatta is an oily Italian bread that is perfect for any type of Italian inspired sandwich.Or any type of sandwich worldwide With its savory and crisp outside and melt in your mouth fluffy and airy inside, it is a specialty. The crispy outside makes it so you can hold a number of different fillings inside a ciabatta bread sandwich. 


Rye bread has a flavor of caraway seeds and is incredibly distinctive. While it is most famous for being the bread for reuben sandwiches, it goes well with a variety of different fillings. One of the things that is unique about rye is the denseness of the bread. The flavor is earthy and savory and herbal that coupled with its dense texture makes it a perfect match for bright and fresh ingredients. However, because it is a heavier, denser bread it can also hold a lot more fillings than some other choices. Honey and ricotta are beautiful filling ingredients for a rye bread sandwich. Any sort of goat cheese added to rye bread helps lift some of that denseness. The savory and herbal nature of rye bread makes it a perfect vessel for both savory and sweet filling. Explore to your heart’s content!

French Baguette 

Everyone loves a french baguette. In fact, the baguette just got inducted into UNESCO cultural world heritage list this past November. And there’s a reason, they are delicious and work well for so many different things. From sandwiches to Baguettes work well for multiple different kinds of sandwiches. Something to keep in mind when filling you baguette breaded sandwich is that softer ingredients sometimes don’t work as well with this type of bread. The hard crust of a baguette forces the softer ingredients to either pop out the other end or get completely lost by the texture. We recommend sticking to sliced meat like ham or turkey and sliced cheeses. Adding some sort of oily condiment also works nicely, things like butter or a vinaigrette will soak into the bread and give the sandwich more flavor overall. 

Best Sandwich Spots in San Francisco

When you’re looking for submarine sandwiches San Francisco does not disappoint.

Little Red Window

Little Red Window offers a variety of sandwiches that are sure to appeal to even the most specific of tastes. Especially those who love fried chicken. They have a classic “Cluck it” which offers sandwich goes a classic fried chicken sandwich. The “Cluck it like it’s Hot” offers those who like a little more spice. They also offer a “Cluckless” for those who don’t eat meat. Order up some chicken wings to go along with your order and maybe that extra order of fries as well. 

The Sentinel

The Sentinel is the Sandwich spot SF  for everyone, with breakfast options, cold sandwiches, and hot sandwiches. Currently offering a limited menu with a full relaunch coming soon, this chef has moved from fine dining to the top sandwiches in the city. It is easy to order online and pick up your meal when it is ready or stop by to see what is on the menu for the day. Try the hot lamb and eggplant sandwich if you’re in the mood for Mediterranean food. If you’re looking for a cold sandwich, go for the deviled egg salad sandwich, trust us you won’t regret it!

Say Cheese

Located in Cole Valley, Say Cheese offers a focus on the top cheeses with a wide assortment available for your perfect sandwich. With the addition of wine and cheese for takeout, you can plan two meals at once and get your fill of bold flavors and wonderful fresh ingredients. Looking for something spicy make sure to order the Jamon Serrano sandwich, it has the perfect amount of spice. 

Irving Subs

If you are a vegetarian looking for a space with an expanded vegetarian menu, Irving Subs is a must try. It’s been in business since 2014 and still thriving, with a generous menu, a large selection of toppings, and a vegetarian menu that is hard to beat. Everyone is welcome and no one leaves disappointed. Try the loaded veggie with avocado, cucumber and roasted peppers. Or try the Yummy Hummy that features a hummus spread with artichoke hearts, tomatoes, onions, roasted red peppers, pickles, pepperoncini and spring mix. This is a great option for any vegan. 

Palm City Wines

Another local business that has morphed into a top sandwich spot in SF is Palm City Wines. With special order bread from a local bakery, strong vegetarian choices, and special sauces paired with Parmesan crisps, they are a destination stop for hoagies. Make sure to try their roasted cauliflower hoagie, (side note: these hoagies are huge!) plus this veg option is just as flavorful as any meat sandwich you might have!  Visit the wine shop but grab a sandwich to curb that hunger on your way out. This spot was curated by the former wine director at Nopa. Because of this, you know that the beverages to go along with your hoagie are going to be killer. 

Chuck’s Takeaway

If the pandemic has left you wanting to try something new, Chuck’s Takeaway is ready for you. During the pandemic he spent hours perfecting his new baguette and his version of a banh mi. He presents some additional options such as his wild Spanish Mackerel featuring wild caught fish. Another offering, his Veggie Wurster Hall that is the perfect option for any vegetarian.  With something for everyone, and bread they make fresh for each sandwich recipe, you won’t be disappointed with your takeaway. 

Best San Francisco Deli

The very best delis offer the best sandwiches in San Francisco. The Italian delis feature delectable cured meats like pepperoni or prosciutto. You may also find sandwiches with mortadella or meatballs. San Francisco is also home to 

Lucca’s Delicatessen

You’ll be blown away by Lucca’s Delicatessen, it  is one of the best sandwich spots in SF. By piling fresh ingredients high they ensure that anyone will enjoy their meal. Imported Italian goods are sold alongside their sandwich masterpieces that are available for takeout. This iconic sf sandwich shop was opened in 1929. It is still family owned and operated today by the third generation. Much like the Simmons Family and Fog Harbor Fish House. 

Molinari Delicatessen

Take a step back in time at the Molinari Delicatessen. This deli was established in 1896 and create your own ideal combination from their plethora of choices. Some even say that this is the best Italian deli in San Francisco.  You used to have the ability to choose your own bread from the bin. However, now their team does all the food handling. They still provide the freedom to create your own masterpiece. This ensures that everyone who orders one of their sandwiches will get exactly what they wanted. They pride themselves on sticking with tradition and its reputation for quality proceeds it. 

Mark ‘n’ Mikes NY Style Deli

Mark ‘n’ Mikes NY Style Deli has also expanded their offerings. They transformed from a pandemic pop up to a constant presence with their matzo ball soup and smoked brisket sandwiches. Anyone who is looking for a large serving of meat on their sandwich will find themselves at home here. A vegetable selection is available for those who prefer their sandwich without. They truly have something for everyone.

Lucinda’s Deli and More

Lucinda’s Deli and More has a great pick up system with online ordering. If you’re waiting in line make sure to chat with some of the regulars. The sandwiches are a specialty and can result in long lines. You’ll be glad you took the time when you get your masterpiece sandwich. Their roast beef and sopressata sandwiches top the list as some of the local favorites. However, if you’re feeling adventurous try their spicy tuna melt sandwich or their Avo Smash that features a cashew romesco. 

Rhea’s Deli and Market

find yourself in Dolores Park and in need of a top up for your day? Rhea’s Deli and Market might have just the thing. In this shop you will find the menu taped to the counter at the deli. Your sandwich is made just for you when you order. They also let you taste the meats at the deli, and everything is fresh cut for your meal. 

Visit PIER 39

a look at the Fog Harbor Fish House restaurant. Home to the best sandwich in San Francisco

While we may be biased, if you find yourself near Fisherman’s wharf and PIER 39 and are looking for the best San Francisco restaurants with a view AND the best sandwiches, Fog Harbor has some of the best sandwiches in the area. A crowd favorite is the Salmon BLT. We serve it on a toasted french roll with pesto aioli, and has the added benefit of being sustainable. Everything we do here at Fog Harbor is in the spirit of taking care of our oceans or fisheries. You can feel good about ordering anything off the menu. The lobster roll is another delightful sandwich that we offer here at Fog Harbor fish house. We serve this classic sandwich with simple ingredients. We toss Lobster with butter and then served on a buttered brioche roll. If you can’t tell, butter makes this dish.  Fog Harbor is undeniably one of the best San Francisco restaurants on the water, incredibly beautiful and it is made even better with a great sandwich to go with it. You don’t have to take our word for it, Travel Lemming gives us a shout out in their most recent guide to San Francisco. We hope to see you here for some killer sandwiches that will blow you away. 

Anyone who is looking for the best sandwich San Francisco has to offer, you have a large task ahead. With so many wonderful options and great local places to try you might stay busy. Regardless of where you eat, we know you’ll discover the magic that this city has to offer. Try as many sandwich spots as  possible and then let us know your favorites!