The 7 Most Decadent Sandwiches in San Francisco
Lobster and caviar and truffle oil and wagyu beef, oh yeah
A sandwich is synonymous with lunch — or at least it should be.
But sometimes a sandwich alone just ain’t enough. There’s a reason more of us aren’t making reservations for a PB&J prix-fixe. Life/work/relationships are hard — sometimes you want something extravagant, and sandwiches are rarely extravagant.
That is! Unless you consult this bucket list of the city’s most decadent sandwiches. We’re talking lobster and caviar and truffle oil and wagyu beef. (Not all at once, though we’re sure that’s in the pipeline.) Happy eating.
The Trout Skin Sandwich: Birdsong
The trout skin sandwich at Birdsong is sufficiently exclusive that it can only be ordered as part of the two prix-fixe menus: Journey (13 courses) and Discovery (10 courses — and note this option is only available through the end of March.) We’ve been a fan of chef Chris Bleidorn’s deluxe take on the flora and fauna of the Pacific Northwest since it opened in 2018; the open-face trout skin sandwich, served with horseradish and roe, is both crackly and delish.
1085 Mission St., (415) 369-9161
The Butcher Burger: The Butcher Shop
The city’s pricey-beef fanatics recalibrated their expectations after the $180 Wagyumafia burger from ultimately failed to show up in town. We didn’t need them anyway, since we have the delectable Butcher Burger, with patties made half from domestic Imperial Wagyu, half Japanese A5 Wagyu, plus Kewpie mayonnaise and pickles. They’re to-go only, lunch-only, and just available ’til they run out.
57 Division St., (415) 829-2306
Cast-Iron Grilled Cheese: Outerlands
If you grew up eating grilled cheese sandwiches with Wonderbread and Land ‘o’ Lakes cheese, this version — which maxes out on both with super-unctuous cheese and hearty bread brushed with garlic oil — will set you straight. If you’d prefer to pair it with soup, order a bowl of the bean and kale, with green garlic and olive oil.
4001 Judah St., (415) 661-6140
Grilled Cheese V2.0: Cockscomb
We couldn’t choose between the Outerlands grilled cheese and this version at Cockscomb. Maybe let your geography decide. Otherwise, luxe-minded minimalists should head for the Outer Sunset — luxe-minded hedonists, meanwhile, should come here, for the grilled cheese with taleggio and gruyère cheese, duck egg, and truffle honey.
564 4th St., (415) 974-0700
Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich: 4505
If by “decadence” we mean “explosion of taste in the mouth,” it’s going to be hard to beat the pulled-pork barbecue sandwich from our preferred BBQ-purveyor, 4505. The add-ons are utilitarian — sauce, slaw, pickles — but get it with an order of garlic fries and your taste buds will be sated for days.
705 Divisadero St., (415) 231-6993
French Dip: Verjus
This restaurant — little-sister to Quince, holder of three Michélin stars — opened with San Francisco’s — nay, the West Coast’s — best French dip sandwich. Expect a filling combination of roast beef with sautéed peppers and onion on an oversized baguette, served au jus.
528 Washington St., (415) 944-4600
Lobster Roll: Leo’s
Sometimes a sandwich isn’t a sandwich — it’s a roll, as in Leo’s lobster roll. Maine lobster takes its pride of place alongside coleslaw and roasted piquillo pepper aioli, with kettle chips on the side. It’s market-price; Leo’s fabulous design (for our money, the best in the city) comes included. If you’re feeling peckish in a particularly decadent way, add caviar service with Golden Osetra caviar.
568 Sacramento St., (415) 872-9982