Food critic Robert Sietsema’s 11 favorite fall sandwiches so far

Over the past year, I have found that I have eaten more sandwiches than I had before. This is due in part to the fact that it has been filled with an entire restaurant meal – with vaccine checks, disinfectant rituals, fear of indoor spaces, QR code menus and, yes, higher prices.

A sandwich bypasses most of this. You can eat it with one hand while walking or working, and you can often get one quickly at modest cost and eat it with pleasure in minutes. In addition, sandwiches are entertaining and effortless.

Lately, I’ve been collecting my favorites every three months or so and ranking them, culminating in the one I liked best. Here is the latest installment.

The previous locations: A tribute to the 11 NYC sandwiches that get us through the pandemic; 11 more NYC sandwiches that get us through the pandemic (and beyond); and 11 more of our favorite sandwiches in NYC right now


11. Fresh turkey sandwich at Champs Gourmet Deli

Every time I walk into a deli in the neighborhood, I scan the sandwich counter to see if there is a fried turkey visible. Sometimes, if you go early in the day, it will still be hot and you can ask for browned skin to be included in your sandwich. This modest Wall Street deli avoids the awful cylindrical turkey rolls in favor of a whole skin-on breast, cut into thick slices and stacked high. Add iceberg and a whiff of mayo or Russian dressing and you have a perfect, compact sandwich ($ 7.50). 30 Broad Street at Exchange Place, Financial District

Two halves of a sandwich held high to show the cut surface with thick slices of turkey and lettuce visible.

Fresh turkey sandwich at Champs Deli.

10. Lamb sandwich at Bedawi

This small, decade-old Jordanian Bedouin restaurant in Windsor Terrace is lavishly decorated, but it works mainly for excellent Middle Eastern delivery. Among several desirable sandwiches that come wrapped in a flat (not pocket) pita, a lamb shank ($ 11) is made from fried meat with a caramelized surface and is layered with lettuce, onions, pickles and mint mayonnaise for a chewy, soft, and completely satisfying sandwich. 266 Prospect Park West, between Prospect Avenue and 17th Street, Windsor Terrace

A hand holds a meat and salad sandwich with a pickle chip sticking out, almost completely wrapped in a flatbread.

Lamb sandwich at Bedawi.

9. Pan baked at Le Fournil

There was a lot of hand twisting when Moishe’s Bake Shop closed in the East Village, but it was quickly replaced by Le Fournil, a Parisian bakery unlike any that the neighborhood had ever seen before. The selection of freshly baked breads, pies and quiches (as well as faithfully recreated cakes from its predecessor, such as rugelach) is impressive, but do not be so dazzled that you forget to examine the ready-made sandwiches in the knee-high case, which may include pan bagnat ($ 8 ). This specialty in Nice, France, uses, among other things, tuna, mayo, avocado, tomato and canned boiled eggs. It’s the best tuna sandwich in the world, and needless to say, the round roll is extraordinarily fresh.. 115 Second Avenue, at Seventh Street, East Village

Two rows of round sandwiches lined up with boiled egg, tuna and tomato visible at the edges.

Pan baked at Le Fournil.

8. Cucumber and cream cheese sandwich at Tea & Sympathy

In England, there are apparently four meals a day, the lightest of which is called tea, offering cakes and airy sandwiches in addition to a tea service. The sandwiches at Tea & Sympathy are often vegetarian, and one of the most seductive piles is peeled and sliced ​​cucumbers on white bread ($ 8.50). White cream cheese keeps things together, but also participates in an interplay of flavors that leaves the tea itself as the strongest flavor on the table. Subtlety can be a good thing. 108 Greenwich Avenue, at Jane Street, West Village

White bread sandwich with sliced ​​cucumbers, both sides smeared with white soft cheese.

Cucumber and cream cheese sandwich at Tea & Sympathy.

7. Lamb and Chicken shawarma laffa at Al Aqsa

This modest Palestinian lunch counter is named after a mosque in Jerusalem and has become famous throughout Brooklyn for the quality and weight of its pita sandwiches, the front of which provides a selection of chicken, lamb or beef shawarma. For a dollar more, you can get the sandwich on a tubular laffa rather than a pocket pita, and why not also choose both meats that rotate at a given time on the vertical spit ($ 9.99). Al Aqsa knows that when you order a shawarma sandwich, it is mainly the meat you are interested in, thus providing an abundance of it, along with the appalling taste of pickle and the ultra-garlic-like mayo called toum. 6917 Fifth Avenue, between Bay Ridge and Ovington Avenue, Bay Ridge

You can see strips of meat inside a flatbread tube dipped in white sauce.

Lamb and chicken shawarma laffa at Al Aqsa.

6. Tunsandwich and Nili

You may have imagined that there was not much room for improvement in the humble tuna salad sandwich, but Nili proves that claim wrong. This business located directly above Carroll Street station on F has a seductive menu of what is basically a coffee shop. It’s tuna sandwich ($ 10), which comes pre-made and nicely wrapped in white butcher paper, incorporates tobiko with wasabi flavor (miniature flying fish roe) and mayo laced with harissa, the Mediterranean chili paste, for an international perspective on the sandwich. And the wholemeal bread with its crispy wheat berries further enhances the formula. 360 Smith Street, on Second Place, Carroll Gardens

A sandwich cut in half on coarse wholemeal bread with dry tuna inside and squeezed lettuce and tomato.

Tunsandwich and Nili.

5. Italian specialty hero by Faicco’s Italian specialties

The menu of subs at Greenwich Village salumeria Faicco’s is confusing in its length and detail, but two sandwiches stand out, a few heroes reflecting the new world and the old in their selection of cold cuts. Skip the American special at the moment, and go for the Italian special hero ($ 11), which features cappy ham, prosciutto and sopressata, along with optional pickled red peppers, dressed in Italian fashion with oil and vinegar. It’s big enough to share with a friend. 260 Bleecker Street, between Morton and Leroy streets, Greenwich Village

Two halves of a completely swollen with three kinds of pink flesh and red peppers.

Italian special hero at Faicco’s.

4. Chilaquile’s cake at Michelada House II

The food in Mexico City turns out to be as playful and hybridized as the one in New York City, a fact that can be easily seen in the beverage snacks at Michelada House II, right on Jackson Heights’ vibrant Roosevelt Avenue. The Chilaquiles Torta ($ 13.95) is a great example, a sandwich on a telera roll served with beans and crema that focuses on a crispy chicken chop, but jokingly adds chilaquiles, a breakfast dish of tortilla chips tossed with salsa, creating a dish that pulls in several directions at once, but is rich in the crunch one desires when drinking alcoholic beverages. 88-19 Roosevelt Avenue, 89th Street, Jackson Heights

A sandwich held up by a pair of hands in which a fried chop and tortilla chips are visible.

Chilaquile’s cake at Michelada House II.

Beef tongue baguette at Sami & Susu

Of course, Jewish delicacies often serve beef tongue, but it is usually gummy. The tongue in this baguette sandwich immediately stood out at the Israeli Lower East Side restaurant Sami & Susu because it is soft and pliable, more like the tongue found in a taco. The flavor is enhanced with herbs and capers, but the number one flavor vector is anchovies, making a wonderfully crazy version of surf and turf that I have returned to eat again and again, $ 13. 190 Orchard Street, between Houston and Stanton streets, Lower East Side

A long baguette with anchovies and meat, topped with green herbs and capers.

Beef tongue baguette at Sami & Susu.

2. Chicken masala sandwich at Meat and Bread

Never fear a sloppy sandwich (that’s what napkins are for). This chicken sandwich ($ 15) is grilled rather than fried, and the breast is first smeared with a sharp masala. The cooked chop is then placed on a bouncing potato roll with a slaw that adds a large dose of turmeric to the usual mayo. The result is a juicy chicken sandwich, and you might not go back to the usual fried cutlet commonly found in chicken sandwiches at this Lower East Side sandwich specialist who uses only halal meat. 201 Allen Street, between the Houston and Stanton streets, Lower East Side

A grilled chicken sandwich with carrot slaw slices hanging over the patty like bangs.

Chicken masala sandwich at Meat and Bread.

1. La Chilanga by Tortas Morelos

Made on a telera roll that is light as a balloon, the torta is one of the best sandwiches in the world. At this wonderful Bay Ridge Mexican place that concentrates on tortas, La Chilanga’s versions are among the best. Each torta is moist without being fungal, rich without being fatty. It is made with layers of cooked ham and main cheese, a very urban combination, along with crumbling fresh cheese, tomato, avocado, roasted beans and pickled jalapenos. You will not get bored of this thing. 271 Bay Ridge Avenue, between Third Avenue and Bay Ridge Place, Bay Ridge

Two halves of a sandwich on a white plate stacked with two types of meat and cheese.

La Chilanga by Tortas Morelos.

115 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

360 Smith Street, Brooklyn, New York 11231

6917 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209
(929) 350-9091

260 Bleecker Street, Manhattan, NY 10014
(212) 243-1974

271 Bay Ridge Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11220
(718) 333-5222

Leave a Comment