Seattle's 48 Best Sandwiches: The Classics

When you’re craving something familiar, these are the sandwiches you just can’t do without
| Updated: November 27, 2018

The Classics
French Dip
Rizzo’s French Dip
If you’re going to do only one thing, do it well. At Rizzo’s, where the roast beef sandwiches ($7.75) come with cheese (Swiss or American) and are dipped in house-made jus, they do one thing very well—and serve it with a side of Grandma Dinah’s macaroni salad. Total comfort food in a foil wrapper. 

Tuna Melt
Grand Central Baking Co.
Pioneer Square
This one takes the after-school favorite and turns it into a weekday treat for even the most discerning palate. Albacore tuna salad is brightened with the tart tang of capers and lemon, a brunoise of crunchy celery, and an ingenious combo of extra-virgin olive oil and mayonnaise before being topped with Beecher’s cheddar and pressed on lightly grilled sourdough ($6.75).

Luna Park Café
West Seattle
Luna Park’s triple-decker club sandwich—with smoky bacon, a hefty stack of sliced turkey, lettuce, tomatoes and mayo on toasted sourdough—reminds us of every great diner sandwich we’ve loved. Simple, familiar, totally satisfying ($9.95).

Three Girls Bakery
Pike Place Market
The old-fashioned refrigerator classic at this iconic Pike Place bakery showcases a thick slice—a whoppin’ one-third of a pound—of house-made meatloaf ($7.70). Our preference: just a smear of mustard, mayo and whisper-thin slices of raw onion. But Three Girls will add lettuce, tomatoes and anything else you want.
Monte Cristo
Kiss Café And Wine Bar
We searched long and hard for Monte Cristo perfection, and here it is: griddled, egg-batter-dipped bread with ham, turkey and cheese inside, and strawberry jam for slathering on top (or dainty dipping, $10.50).

Cheese Steak
Tat’s Delicatessen
Pioneer Square
This cheese steak ($8) comes close to a true taste of Philly, with thinly sliced beef or chicken and your choice of sweet, hot or mixed peppers, caramelized onions and any of seven cheeses (including the oh-so-traditional Cheez Whiz) crammed into a crusty Italian roll.

Grilled Cheese
Elliott Bay Café
Pioneer Square
Heaven is diving into Zephyr Paquette's grilled three-cheese sandwich. Fontina, herbed goat cheese and sharp cheddar are kicked up with Mama Lil’s sweet-hot peppers and homemade tomato jam, all on Macrina Bakery semolina bread ($7.50 whole, $4.95 half). Amen.

The Swinery
West Seattle
Rogue chef Gabriel Claycamp’s penchant for bending the rules carries over to his sandwiches. He reinvents the BLT ($7) with nine slices of house-cured bacon, peppery leaves of arugula, thick slabs of heirloom tomatoes and a smear of chicken liver pate.

Thanksgiving Turkey
For a Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich ($5) any time of the year, head to Bakeman’s Restaurant, where all you need to do is answer these questions: “White meat, dark or mixed?” “White bread or wheat?” “Mayo or cran?” Thirty seconds later you’ll be grubbin’ on one of the tastiest lunchtime staples of the downtown 9-to-5 crowd.


I Love New York Deli
University District, Pike Place Market
Some say a New York–worthy Reuben remains elusive in Seattle; we say try this one. The high-rise sandwich ($10.95) nearly collapses under the weighty combination of tangy sauerkraut, Russian dressing, horseradish, melted Swiss and thinly sliced corned beef.

Originally published in August 2010