Culture | May 23, 2016 9:00 am

The SF Book of Sandwich, Vol. III

The five best sandwiches you’ll find in North Beach

There’s no more perfect meal than the sandwich.

Forget its English roots: the sandwich is as American as apple pie, baseball and gerrymandering.

Best enjoyed outside (fingers crossed) with a tall, cool beverage of your choosing.

And so we present the expertly curated, highly subjective InsideHook SF Book of Sandwich, Vol. 3, cataloguing all the best sandwiches in one local neighborhood.

Today: North Beach.

Little Vine

We’re more likely to stop by this épicerie for a bottle of wine and a round of cheese but the daily sandwich selection, however limited, is top rate, whether the meat or veg option. It’s the latter we usually go for — ideally as it involves the unbeatable pairing of Cowgirl Creamery’s Mt. Tam, an organic triple-cream, and figs.


Come for the sandwich, stay for the gelato (and cannoli, and might as well get a latte, too.) The packed Italian sandwiches come closest to approximating Northeast-style hoagies than anything else we’ve found in town. Our choice: the Speciale, your standard Italian (mozz, prosciutto, etc.) with some non-standard olive tapenade.

Freddie’s Sandwiches

Another exemplary take on the West Coast hoagie. The bread options are particularly notable: Instead of standard Italian bread, opt for the sourdough or Dutch crunch. Quite possibly the best cheap meal in town, at a nickel under seven bucks.

Naked Lunch

The inventive sandwich lunch menu at this Broadway joint changes daily; get there on a weekend afternoon in time to grab a patio seat, contemplate the standard-bearer fried chicken sandwich or the foie gras. We’re just as happy, though, with the less famous revolving options, like a grilled asparagus, slow-cooked salmon with green garlic aioli, or the bacon and egg, with manchego and oven-dried tomatoes.

Petite Deli

Neighborhood critics were on guard following the retirement last October of longtime owner Young Choi, who left the biz to volunteer more with her church. So far, her choice — S.F. natives Brendan and Dylan David, who also run Dylan’s Tours — has earned cautious approbation. They’ll box up your choice and send you off with a picnic — or just pick up our selection, the Cali-Reuben, with pastrami, Swiss, Thousand Island and sauerkraut.