One of our favorite foods for any time of the day is the always-reliable, always-tasty sandwich. Whether you’re a Bay Area local looking to expand your sandwich palate or a tourist eager to try San Francisco’s best, we have a recommendation for you! With so many sandwiches and so little time, we know how important it is that you know about the best sandwich shops in the city.
From classic deli sandwiches to out-of-the-box breakfast sandwiches, this guide has something to make every type of sandwich enthusiast smile. We’ve done all the hard (and delicious) work to put together this guide to the best sandwiches in San Francisco, and we know you’re going to love it just as much as we do. Happy eating!
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16. The Bird
There’s no need to settle for mediocre fried chicken sandwiches when you can go to The Bird. The Bird is reinvigorating the trendy spicy fried chicken sandwich, and we can’t get enough! This beauty of a sandwich features one of the juiciest pieces of chicken you’ll ever have coated in a spicy glaze and topped with pickle chips. Our favorite part of this sandwich is the housemade coleslaw, which includes onions, cabbage, celery, and apples. It provides a perfectly sweetened bite to balance the spicy flavors of the chicken. Their lightly toasted buns are sturdy and keep this bulky sandwich together. The Bird has great indoor and outdoor seating areas that are great for solo or group dining. Make sure to grab an order of their apple fritter donut bites to pair with one of the best sandwiches in San Francisco!
$ Chicken Shop, Sandwiches
115 New Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94105
15. Saigon Sandwich
Eating out in San Francisco can get expensive, but at Saigon Sandwich, they are making some quality options that won’t break the bank. Known for their delicious banh mi, Saigon Sandwich has become a staple of the SF sandwich scene. Our go-to here is the special combination banh mi that is stuffed with steamed and roasted pork, pate, carrots, and jalapeños on a fresh french roll. Be forewarned this sandwich can get pretty spicy, so forgo the jalapeños if you’re sensitive to spice. We love how seamlessly all the flavors of this sandwich blend together giving an authentic Vietnamese dining experience. Saigon Sandwich is cash only so make sure to plan accordingly before trying one of the best sandwiches in San Francisco.
$ Vietnamese, Sandwiches
560 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102
14. Schlok’s Bagels
When it comes to bagels in the Bay Area, options are slim. Luckily, Schlok’s Bagels recently opened up in NOPA and their breakfast bagels are more than qualified to be on our guide to the best sandwiches in San Francisco. The bagels at Schlok’s are New York inspired with a California twist, which manifests as a fluffy core and classic crust. Get the breakfast sandwich with a salt bagel. It is made with a fried egg, cheddar cheese, and a sweet pepper butter that gives all the simple flavors a little pop. The flakes of sea salt on the crust of the bagel pair beautifully with all the ingredients inside this breakfast sandwich. Another great option at Schlok’s is the lox sandwich on a plain bagel, made with lox that melts in your mouth, a ripe tomato, onion sprouts, and the real star of this sandwich: the caper cream cheese. This cream cheese alone will have you looking forward to your next visit! Make sure to ask for your bagel to be toasted as their default is untoasted. The lines can get pretty long here and there’s no sitting area so we recommend ordering ahead and taking it back home, or walking around the corner to find a picnic bench.
$$ Bagels, Coffee & Tea, Sandwiches
13. Lucca Delicatessen
Since 1929, Lucca Delicatessen has been a long-standing establishment in San Francisco’s Marina neighborhood. Inside their tiny but mighty delicatessen, there are cases of fresh meats, side dishes, and pastas. All their sandwiches are delicious but we recommend getting the #1 Italian combo. This sandwich comes with an all-star lineup of meats with a generous portion of salami, ham, and mortadella. Additionally, they add provolone cheese which adds a subtle touch to this bold sandwich. Toppings include lettuce, tomatoes, a fantastic blend of mild Italian peppers, and mustard. There is no dining area here, so we recommend taking your sandwiches and other goodies from Lucca’s and having a picnic at the nearby Fort Mason grass area.
$$ Delis, Sandwiches, Cheese Shops
2120 Chestnut St, San Francisco, CA 94123
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There are a lot of food trends that have been cultivated in the San Francisco Bay Area, one of the most notable being Sourdough bread. Alone or accompanied with toppings, sourdough bread is delicious, especially when freshly baked. Boudin’s is one of the originators of the sourdough craft and has been providing some of the best sandwiches in San Francisco since 1849. Our favorite sandwich here is their classic French dip. This sandwich is pretty simple with a pile of thinly sliced roast beef, and a mild horseradish spread in between their signature sourdough roll. The thick, yet soft bread absorbs the au jus perfectly without making the sandwich soggy. Their main San Francisco location is near the water along the iconic Fisherman’s Wharf. Make sure to explore their store which highlights the origins of the beloved sourdough recipe.
$$ Bakeries, Sandwiches, Salad
160 Jefferson Street, Lower Level San Francisco, CA 94133
11. Deli Board
Deli Board is producing some of the best sandwiches you can find in San Francisco. Deli Board is very unique as they have a standard menu plus an additional daily rotating menu. Their standard menu has all the classics from pastrami to tuna and much more. However, their daily menu is full of unique combos, like their Instagram-worthy meatball sub. Deli Board does not publicize their daily menu until the morning of, so make sure to check it out before stopping by. Our go-to here is the Armando. Loaded with turkey, bacon, avocado, sprouts, pepperoncini, and cheddar cheese, this sandwich is an elevated everyday classic. The Armando also includes their Board Sauce and mayo all on top of a soft, garlicky, french bread roll. The turkey is seasoned to perfection and blends beautifully with all the other bold flavors. We also love getting a side of waffle fries with their housemade Mick Sauce which is Deli Board’s version of the sauce that’s on a Big Mac (think Thousand Island dressing). It’s fantastic!
$$ Delis, Sandwiches
1058 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94103
10. La Torta Gorda
Featured on the Food Network and known for their long list of awards, we can confirm La Torta Gorda lives up to the hype and is a must-try on your hunt for the best sandwiches in San Francisco. Their walls are decorated with their awards, photos of celebrities who have eaten there, and unique artwork. It can get pretty loud as the kitchen is visible from the main dining area but there is also an outdoor patio, which we love. The beloved Pierna Enchilada torta stuffed with refried beans, avocado, queso fresco, onions, mayo, jalapeños, and pulled pork is simply to die for. The pork is full of spices and melts in your mouth with each bite. You’ll love the addition of avocado, which helps cut some of the heat from the jalapeños. Add their housemade sauces on top to amplify all the flavors. Our favorite is the chipotle option which adds a nice smokey flavor. With two sizes of sandwiches to choose from, we recommend getting the regular because go big or go home, right?
La Torta Gorda
2833 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
9. Flour and Water Pasta Shop
Step up your lunch game with a visit to Flour and Water’s pasta shop located in the Mission District. This elevated, casual dining spot is the perfect place to catch up with friends, enjoy a day date or have some quiet time on your work lunch break while eating one of the best sandwiches in San Francisco. Their amazing menu makes it hard to choose, but our go-to here is the meatball sandwich. Picture housemade, marinara-braised meatballs piled onto a fresh bread roll. Are you drooling yet? It gets even better. Melted on top of the meatballs is a cheesy blend of ricotta and provolone. And finally, layered on top of it all, is a bed of basil that adds a distinct flavor burst with each bite. Flour and Water does a great job of adding the perfect amount of sauce to this sandwich without overpowering the toppings or making the bread soggy. We love that everything on this sandwich is made in-house or locally sourced from nearby vendors (we love small businesses!). Pro tip: sandwiches are only included on their lunch menu that is served until 3 p.m.!
Flour and Water Pasta Shop
$$ Wine Bars, Pasta Shops, Sandwiches
3000 20th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
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8. Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen
Started in the iconic Mission District, Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen is providing San Francisco with a classic Jewish deli with a California twist. With locations around the Bay Area and beyond, their bagels and breads are made in-house daily. We very highly recommend the OG Reuben that’s prepared with their freshly baked rye bread. This sandwich is loaded with a generous portion of pastrami that is out of this world! The pastrami is brined in a blend of spices before being smoked for seven hours over hickory wood, and yes, you can taste all the love that is put into it. The burnt ends from smoking the meat stand out on this sandwich. Paired alongside the pastrami is a combo of melted swiss cheese, Russian dressing, and (our favorite) crunchy sauerkraut. Also be sure to check out their incredible made-in-house bagels. Wise Sons absolutely delivers some of the best sandwiches in San Francisco.
Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen
$$ Coffee & Tea, Sandwiches, Bagels
537 Octavia St, San Francisco, CA 94102
7. Arguello Market
If you’re looking for a no-frills sandwich, Arguello Market’s “world famous” turkey sandwich is essential to your hunt for the best sandwiches in San Francisco. Located in the Richmond District, Arguello Market has an abundance of options when it comes to sandwiches and deli items. This game-changing roasted turkey sandwich is simply made with their delicious, carved, roasted Turkey, thick-cut red onions, tomatoes, pickle chips, mayo, and dijon mustard. Our favorite part of this sandwich is fresh dutch crunch bread, which has a soft core and crunchy top layer. Grab a bag of your favorite chips from inside the market and enjoy at their cute outdoor dining area our front.
$$ Grocery, Delis, Sandwiches
782 Arguello Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118
6. Crazy Crab’z (Oracle Park)
Headed to Oracle Park to cheer on the San Francisco Giants? Although we love watching the Giants play, this one-of-a-kind sandwich is the main attraction for us, and an absolute must-have if you’re searching for the best sandwiches in San Francisco. This simple but outstanding sandwich is prepared with two toasted pieces of garlic sourdough bread, a delectable creamy crab mixture, and a ripe tomato slice. Each sandwich comes with a lemon wedge, and we highly suggest drizzling it on top for an extra pop of flavor. Head over to the Crazy Crab’z stand behind the outfield to enjoy this tasty sandwich.
Crazy Crab’z (Oracle Park)
$$ Seafood, Food Stands
5. Devil’s Teeth Baking Company
Known for their phenomenal baked good, Devil’s Teeth Baking Company makes one of the best breakfast sandwiches in San Francisco. With two locations both in the Sunset District, it is easier than ever to get your hands on one of their breakfast sammies. You’ll want to order the special breakfast sandwich which is made with their fresh, housemade buttermilk biscuits, two scrambled eggs, bacon, avocado, melted pepper jack cheese, and lemon-garlic aioli. Their aioli is so good, that we wish they bottled it for us to take home! Lines can get pretty long here, especially on the weekends, so we suggest arriving close to opening or closing time. They have a decent-sized outdoor eating area but keep in mind it can get pretty cold outside in the Sunset district. Oh, and don’t forget to browse their pastry case and get some sweet treats for later!
Devil’s Teeth Baking Company
$ Bakeries, Breakfast & Brunch
3619 Balboa St, San Francisco, CA 94121
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4. Molinari Delicatessen
North Beach has no shortage of authentic Italian dining, however, Molinari’s Deli is a clear standout, and is serving up one of the best sandwiches in San Francisco. Make sure to grab a number when you walk in and wait for your turn. Regardless of what time you visit Molinari’s, you are most likely going to have to wait, but time will fly as you stroll around their shop. From their gallery of meats and cheeses to their plethora of canned goods and wine selection, Molinari’s has it all. Once it’s your turn to order, we recommend getting the Luciano Special. This sandwich has some serious weight to it with a hefty helping of meats and cheese packed into it. The other ingredients included are white onions, lettuce, and sun-dried tomatoes which add a nice sweetness to the salty mountain of meats. For the Luciano Special, Molinari’s uses fresh focaccia bread which they press, giving the sandwich a panini-like aesthetic. Seating is limited so we suggest taking your sandwiches home or to a nearby park.
373 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133
3. Lucinda’s Deli
This isn’t your grandma’s tuna sandwich! At Lucinda’s Deli in the NOPA neighborhood, they are putting their own spin on a classic tuna sandwich. Lucinda’s describes this sandwich as “bold, spicy, fresh, and delicious” and we couldn’t agree more. Stuffed inside this bold sandwich are onions, cheddar cheese, arugula, tomatoes, sriracha mayo, and the real show stopper: pickled jalapeños. This sandwich comes toasted which helps marinate all the flavors together. We recommended taking your tasty tuna sandwich to the nearby Alamo Square Park, home to the iconic Painted Ladies houses, and having a picnic!
$$ Delis, Coffee & Tea, Sandwiches
It is no doubt that cheese and bread are an unmatched combo. And at Outerland’s they are proving this true yet again with their incredible grilled cheese sandwich. Outerland’s makes a fresh, housemade, pan loaf sourdough bread that truly changes the grilled cheese experience. Their cheese mixture is out of this world with a gooey blend of provolone, cheddar, and gruyere cheese. Our favorite part (and soon to be yours, too) is the chunky sea salt sprinkled on top, and the garlic oil it was toasted in. The only thing that would make this better is a big bowl of tomato soup, which they often offer (make sure to check their daily soup options)! Outerland’s is a great spot to go with the family or catch up with friends. Don’t forget to add Outerland’s to your list when exploring the best sandwiches in San Francisco.
$$ Breakfast & Brunch, American (Traditional), Cocktail Bars
4001 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122
1. Cafe Okawari
Cafe Okawari is an amazing hole-in-the-wall restaurant that offers the very best sandwiches in San Francisco. Located a few blocks from Oracle Park, Cafe Okawari is a true hidden gem! We can’t recommend their chicken katsu sandwich enough—every single component of this sandwich works so magically together. From the fluffy milk bread to the perfectly cooked panko fried chicken, this sandwich will become a recurring craving. It’s incredible on its own but you must get a side of their Japanese curry to dip your sandwich in. The richness of this curry takes this sandwich to next level in the best way. Cafe Okawari is only open on the weekdays but we encourage you to run, not walk, to get your hands on this sandwich!
$$ Japanese, Cafes
236 Townsend St, San Francisco, CA 94107