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San Francisco Sandwiches

The Best of SF

After an unusually wet winter season, it’s time to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. Whether you’re picnic table noshing or wolfing down a meal between surf sessions at Ocean Beach, San Francisco is a virtual minefield of sandwiches, packing everything from Italian subs to Vietnamese bahn mi. Whatever you’re on the lookout for between two slices of bread, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a list of our top picks for sandwich takeout in SF.

The Everything You Could Possibly Want and More Sandwich
Ike's Place, 3506 16th Street
Ike's Place is atypical for a sandwich shop, as you'll probably want to order your meal about 20 minutes ahead. Each of Ike's sandwiches are specially made, meaning that they bake their bread post order, instead of earlier that morning, which makes their sandwiches unusually fresh. But Ike's is worth the wait. With three long menus boasting the finest in meat, veggie and vegan sandwiches — each one dripping with Ike's trademark Dirty Sauce — Ike's sandwiches come out hot and messy.

The I Can't Believe You're Only Charging Me $5 For This Sandwich
The Sandwich Shop, 635 18th Street
At the simply named Sandwich Shop in Dogpatch, it's tough to waste your wallet away on superfluous lunch food. Each deli sandwich goes for about $5 and comes piled high with meats, cheeses and all the fresh California avocado you could ever want. With its friendly staff, ridiculously affordable prices, and no-frills, yet highly satisfying sandwiches, the Sandwich Shop is great for a workday lunch or even a late-afternoon pick me up.

The Vietnamese Sandwich
Saigon Sandwich, 560 Larkin Street
Vietnamese banh mi are mightily underrated in the greater sandwich universe. Not only are the ingredients a tad out of the ordinary (we're talking pickled carrots here), but each sandwich is packed with meat, veggies and butter, all loaded onto a baguette that's crunchy yet mysteriously soft. That said, Civic Center's Saigon Sandwich is likely to fulfill all of your Vietnamese sandwich needs. With its wallet-friendly pricing (each sandwich falls between the $3-$4 range), Saigon Sandwich is an excellent place for the on-the-go-and-frugal customer. Vegetarians are welcome at Saigon Sandwich (they've got tofu), but carnivores will definitely appreciate Saigon's roasted/steamed pork or chicken sandwiches. Be advised, the line to order often stretches down the street.

The Healthy Sandwich
Estela's Fresh Sandwiches, 250 Fillmore Street
Located down in the Lower Haight, Estela's Fresh Sandwiches has health on the brain without forgoing the traditional sandwich coma-inducing deliciousness. Known for fresh, healthy toppings and numerous veggie options, a visit to Estela's won't break the bank. Each sandwich clocks in at $5 to $7, with half sandwiches going for $4. Frequent visitors to Estela's are most fond of the Big Sherm sandwich, a stack of roasted turkey, roast beef, smoked gouda, pepperoncini, red onion, avocado, and pea sprouts.

The Best Place to Meet a Soprano Sandwich
Molinari Delicatessen, 373 Columbus Avenue
Vegetarians, beware: You probably won't be welcome at Molinari's. True to their Italian name, Molinari's has a long history — proudly displayed on their website — complete with a picture of a kid handing the Pope a sandwich. They mean business! Molinari's is the place to go in SF for a hearty, meat-packed, cheese-filled, prosciutto-wrapped, mouth-watering Italian delight. Located in North Beach, most residents are taken with Molinari's locally made salami selection, affordable prices and, oh yes, they've got wine.

Sandwich On the Go
The Sentinel, 37 New Montgomery Street
SOMA's Sentinel may look innocent on the outside, but this shop is living proof that good things come in small — and delicious — packages. Located just around the corner from the Academy of Art, be prepared for a line that's constantly around the block at peak hours. Sentinal usually welcomes a combination of students and professionals, many of whom are crazy about the corned beef and rueben sandwiches. It is a take-out only spot, making it an ideal spot for on-the-go customers visitors looking to have a picnic lunch. The Sentinel's menu doesn't stop at sandwiches — we hear their pear muffins are out of this world.

The "Where Everybody Knows Your Name" Sandwich
Ted's Market,1530 Howard Street.
Ted's Market is one of those San Francisco standbys that has barely changed since it opened in 1967. Located in the grittier portion of SOMA, Ted's carries a dependable list of affordable yet promising NYC-inspired deli sandwiches. Ted's offers a fine selection of vegan salami and bocca burgers to match a menu of pastrami, ham, chicken, and roast beef. Ted's is also a full-service convenience store, perfect for picking up some blueberry coffee cake, and Greek salad.

Where is your favorite SF sandwich spot? Email a short description to food @ sfstation dot com, and we will publish a selection of the best responses.