Whether pressed to perfection, served on a soft bun, or layered in a sesame seed roll good sandwiches are as versatile as they are delicious. And when it comes to meals between bread, Chicago is best known for its hot dogs and Italian beef, but the city has so much more to offer in the way delicious sandwiches. Here are the best.
This family owned neighborhood spot has a small but mighty menu that draws on both its Cuban and Mexican heritage. Start with a sweet, iced café con leche or house made hibiscus lemonade. El Cubanito is an all-day egg sandwich with cheese, black beans, and sweet plantains. The layers of textures and flavors are spot on.
543 N Noble St, Chicago, IL 60642
In a large space with chipped black paint all over the brick walls and small globe lights emitting a warm summer barbecue vibe, you’ll find this counter service restaurant serving up smoked meats of different shapes and sizes. The pulled pork sandwich features juicy pork and coleslaw smashed inside a soft white bun. Make sure to slather it with spicy vinegar sauce and enjoy.
112 N Green St, Chicago, IL 60607
‘This little piggy went to china’ is a knife and fork sandwich served all day at Stephanie Izard’s Little Goat Diner in the West Loop. It’s amazing - hands down one of our favorite sandwiches in the city. Szechuan style pork sausage and sunny side up eggs are served on a fresh sesame cheddar biscuit and surrounded by a pool of spicy chili garlic chive sauce. Each aspect of this sandwich offers its own texture and unique flavor, combining into a fun take on a typical breakfast sandwich.
820 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607
Located in Lincoln Square, Nhu Lan Bakery is the place for the best banh mi in the city. They’re making crusty French bread in-house that flakes with each bite and stuffing the single serving rolls full of fresh ingredients at a price that can’t be beat. You can get just about anything from vegan ginger tofu to Chinese roast pork, even sardines in tomato sauce – if that’s your thing. There are only a few tables and the atmosphere is definitely ‘no-frills’, but that doesn’t matter much when you’re focused on the vibrant banh mi sandwiches.
2612 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
Equal parts butcher-deli, market, bakery and café, Publican Quality Meats in Fulton Market is mastering them all. Each sandwich is totally different from the last and all are worth a try. ‘Return of the Gyro’ combines braised pork belly, raita, escalivada (Spanish smoky grilled vegetables), and pea shoots, with a calabrian chili vinaigrette and is served on a warm griddled flatbread. The saucy ‘Parm #2’ combines a breaded chicken cutlet, basil tomato sauce, fried sage and a melted slab of fresh mozzarella on a buttery toasted brioche roll. Both come highly-recommended, but no sandwich will do you wrong here.
825 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607
This funky cocktail lounge and restaurant is bringing Cajun-inspired eats and an array of creative cocktails to Logan Square. Fried chicken sandwiches are popping up on menus everywhere – and Analogue puts out a worthy one. Crisp buttermilk fried chicken, perfectly dressed slaw, a couple dashes of LA hot sauce, and house pickles are piled between two buttery-toasted, mayo-smeared slices of bread. If you’re fried-chickened-out (is that even possible?), try the oyster po’ boy or vegetarian mushroom debris po’ boy stuffed with French fries, mushrooms and a savory mushroom gravy.
2523 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Related: Best Pizza in Chicago
This tiny counter-service spot is making masterful Italian sandwiches, both hot and cold. The meatball sub is the ultimate combination of saucy, cheesy, and satisfying with tangy house marinara, crusty baguette and the vinegary bite of Giardiniera. The space is cute, so taking your sandwich to go isn’t necessary. With a small menu, it’s great to get a group together, order a couple of sandwiches and split them for lunch, because a few bites of four sandwiches might just be better than one.
925 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607
This family-owned spot makes the sesame seed rolls in-house for its eponymous Mexican sandwiches daily and layers in avocado, creamy Oaxacan cheese, house chipotle sauce and meat of your choice. The atomica is an awe-inspiring, pork-packed cemita featuring both grilled and breaded pork loin, and ham. If you’re not feeling porky, the carne asada is a delicious substitute.
With two brick and mortar locations in the Loop and a roving food truck, Eastman Egg Company is a small chain making awesome sandwiches. Meats and eggs are sourced from a local farm and fresh breads arrive daily from La Farine Bakery in Logan Square. The Captain is a favorite – egg, pork sausage and melted pepper jack cheese served hot in a tender pretzel roll. For a smaller breakfast snack, go for the scratch biscuit slider – egg, house sausage, and white cheddar on, you guessed it, a scratch made biscuit.