So many choices, so little time. The Ten is your guide to the best of the best that D.C. has to offer.
Now that spring has finally arrived, it’s the perfect time to start taking advantage of your lunch break. So, grab a sandwich from one of these shops and park yourself on a bench in the sun for as long as you can before your boss wonders if you’ve gone AWOL.
Jeffrey Buben’s gourmet downtown deli has an impressive selection of artfully constructed sandwiches. We’re preferential to the Chick Chick (think of it as a high class Chik-fil-A) and the triple threat grilled cheese sporting Swiss, fontina and white cheddar.
Located in an alleyway just off 9th Street (and just around the corner from Rogue 24), this compact sandwichery offers a menu of globally-inspired options. Our current faves are the Seoul (bulgogi, kimchi, slaw) and the Milan (pancetta, eggs, gorgonzola).
The brothers behind gas-station-turned-takeout-joint Fast Gourmet opened this downtown eatery earlier this year. Lucky for us, they still make a cheffed-up version of their worship worthy chivito sandwich. It’s bursting with filet mignon, mozzarella, pancetta, pickled shitake mushrooms, hard-boiled egg and more.
A stone’s throw from the newly opened Union Market, this old school Italian deli and market turns out some of the best sandwiches in the city. Build your own or go for the meatball sub, which is blanketed with rich ragu and melted provolone.
This growing empire of Philly-style hoagie shops now has locations in DC, Virginia and Maryland. You can never go wrong with Obama’s favorite, the Spruce Street (roasted turkey, prosciutto, roasted peppers, provolone), though the Island Avenue (chicken cutlet, brie, pesto, arugula) is equally worthy of your attention.
Boasting D.C.’s best pastrami, this corner shop in Georgetown from chef-turned-butcher Jamie Stachowski also has a blue ribbon braunschweiger and a monster grinder packed with coppa, mortadella, soppressata and salami.
Bub and Pop’s
Their French Dip-style beef brisket sandwich is already rich with from a slather of apple horseradish cream and a drenching of veal jus, but we recommend adding a sunny side up egg into the mix anyway. If you’re going to be gluttonous anyway, then why hold back?
Bahn Mi DC Sandwich
There are plenty of Vietnamese banh mi shops in Virginia, but this Falls Church institution remains our go-to. Their reasonably-priced, flavor-packed sandwiches come in over two dozen iterations, including some great vegetarian options such as meatless bologna or tofu.
Batter Bowl Bakery
Against the backdrop of H Street’s hustle and bustle, this small bakery-café turns out a charming selection of open-faced sandwiches – including tuna, curried chicken salad and smoked salmon – on fresh slices of springy sourdough.
Mangialardo & Sons
Walk into this legendary Cap Hill deli and ask for the G-man Italian sub with hot peppers. After you eat it, take the time to draft a note thanking us for introducing you to this transcendent sandwich.
Is your favorite missing? Disagree with one (or more) of my choices? Leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter @nevinmartell.