Book of Sandwich, Vol. VIII: Italian Subs

NYC’s 7 best heroes. None of them wear capes.

January 26, 2018 9:00 am

The classic Italian hero is defined by two very important traits:

Heft, and “take your number and get outta the way” service.

Both of which we intrepidly endured to find the city’s seven best Italian sammies, from a Red Hook gem established in 1922 to a very large something called “The Bomb.”

We recommend trying them all. You won’t soon fugghedaboudit.

Park Italian Gourmet
Midtown West
The place is littered with suits and hard hats alike, so you know they’re onto something. The something we’re onto is the Chicken Parm Hero. The perfectly non-pretentious and piled-high cold cut Italian sub will do you right too. Sometimes a sandwich is six bucks, the next time 10. Just depends on whether they like you. Pro tip: if you want sausage and peppers, get there before 1 PM.

60 West 45th Street (map)

DEFONTE (3 images)

Red Hook
A legit American-Italian family-run experience at your service since 1922. Everything is fresh in-house, down to the mozzarella and sliced to order. Lines form and the joint is, for the most part, grab ‘n’ go. On the weekends, be warned that they’ll run out of the hot stuff — like our fav, The Vinny D (grilled Italian sausage, broccoli rabe, grated parmesan and ricotta) — on the early side. But the real MVP has always been the cold Nicky Special: ham, capicola, salami, provolone, fried eggplant, hot salad, marinated mushrooms, lettuce, tomato and a serious vinegar punch.

379 Columbia Street, Brooklyn (map)

ALI (4 images)

In terms of Italian sammies, you might find this one to be on the more precious side — as in lighter on the load and more damaging on the wallet. That being said, it’s f*cking delicious. You can’t go wrong with the Porchetta if you’re a spice lover, but the Fellini (soppressata, fresh mozzarella, hot peppers and arugula) is our huckleberry.

105 Sullivan Street (map)

FAIC (3 images)

Faicco’s Italian Specialties
West Village
Overwhelming in the best possible way. The Italian is seriously loaded with meat and fresh mozz, draped in peppers and doused in oil. It’ll run a fella $15, but easily feeds two.

260 Bleecker Street (map)

Salumeria Biellese
The Italian Combo is the harmonious balance of crunchy and squishy, salty and savory. It also happens to be located close enough to Penn Station that it makes a convenient grab ‘n’ go train meal. Go with the Sopressata (with fresh mozzarella, pickles, oil, vinegar, hot peppers, lettuce and tomato). Additional toppings are extra, so don’t gripe when you get there. And bring cash.

378 8th Avenue (map)

SAL (4 images)

Sal, Kris & Charlie’s Deli
Nothing compares to The Bomb. The sandwich itself has a cult following, and with good reason. It’s all the Italian meats, American meats, lettuce, tomato, hot and sweet peppers, mustard, mayo, oil and more. Think of it as an Italian Dagwood.

33-12 23rd Ave, Astoria (map)

PAN (2 images)

Paneantico Bakery and Cafe
Bay Ridge
The list of Italian subs on the wall is as long as the jaunt to get to the joint itself, from the simple B1 (prosciutto and mozzarella) to the N93 (fried chicken cutlet, mozz and roasted peppers). But we’d hike to the ends of the Earth for the B8: Prosciutto, smoked mozz, fried eggplant and roasted peppers on a hard or soft hero. Expect euphoria, but don’t count on getting your coffee refilled.

9124 3rd Ave, Brooklyn (map)


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