Where to Get the Tastiest Sandwiches in SF Right Now

Here are San Francisco's best offerings between two slices

June 18, 2024 6:43 am
The Y'at at Mercato di Che Fico
The Y'at at Mercato di Che Fico
Eric Wolfinger

It’s truly a golden age for sandwiches in San Francisco. There are more high-quality shops and delis laying their roots deeper into the community these days than ever before — sometimes even in an unexpected location. From distinctive spins on Italian subs, French dips, breakfast sandos and more, check these eight spots out in and around SF right now for the best offerings between two slices. 

Turner's "Barack Obama sandwich," including roast beef, garlic mayo, melted provolone, a touch of giardiniera, arugula and a cup of au jus
Turner’s “Barack Obama” sandwich, including roast beef, garlic mayo, melted provolone, giardiniera, arugula and a cup of au jus
Adrian Spinelli

Turner’s Kitchen

Nothing illustrates the aforementioned golden age of sandwiches in the city quite like alums of decorated restaurant kitchens opening up their own shops — there are multiple on this list. Enter Ken Turner of Turner’s Kitchen, who was once a chef de cuisine at SF institution Zuni Cafe. On Turner’s rotating menu, you’ll always find a spin on a classic Chicago-style French dip. The Barack Obama comes with bold thin-cut house roasted beef, garlic mayo that melds into melted provolone, a soft touch of giardiniera for acid and spice, earthy arugula and a generous cup of au jus. Turner’s merits multiple visits to uncover all the gems on the menu, and at around $15, it’s a reasonable sticker price for what is by all accounts a high-end sandwich.

3505 17th St B

Outta Sight

While this two-year-old pizza shop is already in the conversation for best slice in the city, their sandwiches are not to be slept on. There’s an Italian combo hoagie leading the charge, however it’s “The Queen” that stands in a category of its own. Highlighted by a thick slice of house-made fresh mozzarella, it’s also loaded with thin cut mortadella and soppressata — or not, if you go vegetarian. That’s because it also has a divine combination of honey, balsamic and calabrian chile oil that blend together marvelously on the sesame seed Rize Up Bakery roll, a healthy dose of arugula and basil, oregano, olive oil and razor-thin pickles and onion. It can be a messy experience of a sandwich, but some sandwiches are just better that way. 

422 Larkin St 

Fort Point's "Grilled Halibut Sandwich," stacked with slaw, pickles and remoulade on a toasted bun
Fort Point’s “Grilled Halibut Sandwich,” stacked with slaw, pickles and remoulade on a toasted bun
Sarah Chorey

Fort Point Valencia

If you want to get Fort Point Beer Company’s brews on tap as fresh as possible, the Mission District taproom is your jam. But you can’t sleep on the food here either, like the Swan Style Crudo of seasonal raw fish and especially the Grilled Halibut Sandwich. It’s a simple-yet-remarkable construction, stacked with slaw, pickles and a savory remoulade on a toasty bun. Make sure to ask for the house-made fermented Fresno chili hot sauce to go with it, and listen up for the David Attenborough Planet Earth audio that’s whimsically pumped into the bathroom stalls. 

742 Valencia St

Lucinda's "Soppressata" with arugula, red onion, pickled cucumber, balsamic reduction, pepperoncini, tomato and  artichoke cream cheese
Lucinda’s “Soppressata” with arugula, red onion, pickled cucumber, balsamic reduction, pepperoncini, tomato and artichoke cream cheese
Adrian Spinelli


In the basement level of a Victorian building, Lucinda’s is an unassuming deli right off of Alamo Square Park. The Spicy Tuna sandwich has been called “the best tuna sandwich in the Bay Area,” and all of the menu offerings are generously piled on with luxury meats and veggies that taste like they were picked at farmer’s market earlier that morning. Try the Soppressata with arugula, red onion, pickled cucumber, balsamic reduction, pepperoncini, tomato and a versatile artichoke cream cheese that adds stability and umami. There’s also a full selection of park-ready cans of wine and beer from local producers, plus the cheeky Third Wheel Coffee counter by the front window making top-notch espresso drinks and more.

535 Scott St

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Il Mercato di Che Fico

Venture a bit outside of San Francisco and into Menlo Park where SF’s ultimate Italian food establishment, Che Fico, has opened both a sister restaurant (Che Fico Parco Menlo) and the takeaway and fine foods-centric market, Mercato di Che Fico. At the latter, a sandwich counter features focaccia sandos sold by the pound (a ¾ lb cut is good for most people). and it’s a multi-sensory experience. Take the La Mortazza, with mortadella, fresh mozzarella, pesto, demi sec tomato, basil leaves, olive oil, salt and pepper. As soon as the large sheet of focaccia gets sliced behind the counter, the scent of fresh basil reaches your nose as it’s being wrapped up. Take a bite, and the creaminess of the pesto colliding with the mozzarella hits your taste buds hard. Like everything Chef David Nayfeld does, the sandwiches at Mercato push the envelope of what’s expected, and it always works out in your favor. 

1700 El Camino Real Suite A, (Menlo Park)


Takeaway cafes seem to be a fixture near hospitals, and Newkirk’s, across the street from SF General Hospital, is serious about providing an excellent breakfast sandwich to more than just people in scrubs. The BEC with bacon, fried egg and American cheese on a poppy seed kaiser roll is the go-to here, I although their Hash Brown Sandwich is perhaps the most textured breakfast sandwich I’ve ever had. A crispy hash brown with a soft inside crunches down onto thick Applewood smoked bacon, gooey American cheese, briny and spicy cherry peppers, two fried eggs and a smear of ketchup on a toasted chewy French roll. Both the green and red house-fermented hot sauces are a must, and hearing a D’Angelo-heavy playlist when dining inside is a lovely touch.

1002 Potrero Ave

Submarine Center's "Hot Pastrami Sandwich" works masterfully alone or paired with turkey, provolone, pickles and pickled jalapenos
Submarine Center’s hot pastrami sandwich
Adrian Spinelli

Submarine Center

“Sub Center” in the West Portal neighborhood is as classic as they come in this town. A neighborhood favorite since 1981, it has fed generations of SFers. And to everyone’s delight, things haven’t changed much over the years: Prices are still low — a small (mini) sandwich is around $10, a big one (center) is $12, a super is $15 — the Niners and Giants swag is still all over the walls of the modest shop, and teenagers still line up after getting off from the many nearby schools because they know what’s up at Sub Center. The hot pastrami sandwich on a very memorable house roll with a crispy crust is a tasty, skilled, no-frills wonder that also works masterfully in a more balanced variant with turkey, provolone, pickles and pickled jalapenos. 

820 Ulloa St


What started as a pop-up in New Orleans native Peterson Harter’s Haight-Ashbury district apartment during the pandemic is now a thriving small storefront on the heart of the Haight District dishing out NOLA-style muffulettas. But these muffs don’t adhere to any of the predetermined rules from Harter’s native NOLA purists: Sandy’s classic muffuletta (served in sizes ranging from ⅛ to a whole wheel) has mortadella, prosciutto, salami, provolone, an unreal spicy olive spread and Duke’s mayo, in a downright sublime combination of tastes. There’s a roasted mushroom and scallion muff for the veg-minded and a pimento cheese “sandy” with pickled okra that means business. Harter, an alum of respected local fine-dining establishments like The Progress and Benu, has settled into the type of gregarious and approachable shop owner who’s happy to ask if you “have time for us to toast it for you?” when you pop in to pick up a to-go order. Because even if Sandy’s doesn’t subscribe to rules, they still know there’s a right way to do it. 

1457 Haight St


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