19 Best Subs In Los Angeles, Ranked

What makes a great sub sandwich? Is it the bread? The meat? The cheese? Whether you call it a grinder, a hero, a hoagie, or just a plain old sandwich, subs are just about one of the best creations to ever be invented. A bunch of ingredients slapped between bread just can't be beaten. And sure, you could make your own Italian sub sandwich at home, but there's just something about picking one up for lunch that helps get over the mid-week slump — plus it's proven that subs taste better at a deli.

The East Coast gets all the credit for subs, which is understandable, but food lovers in Los Angeles know that this city has plenty of great subs to offer. From Carson to Covina, there is sure to be a great sandwich no matter what neighborhood you are in, even if you don't eat meat. Read on to see our best picks from around the city.

1. The Italian at Santoro's Submarine Sandwiches

Not every great restaurant in LA gets featured in flashy newspaper reviews and relentlessly tagged on social media. Some places are known by word-of-mouth only, but that's usually part of the charm. Located way out near the Burbank IKEA is Santoro's Submarine Sandwiches, a local favorite that's been around since the '50s. The subs come on a soft white roll and everything is topped with diced tomato, pickles, onions, salt, pepper, and dried oregano. It's a favorite of local residents and daytime film production workers alike.

The Italian sub is a fairly simple affair compared to others on this list, and is made with Molinari salami, capicola, and Wisconsin provolone. For a straightforward sub with no "edgy" upgrades, this is the one to get.

2. The Flores at Maciel's Plant-Based Butcher & Deli

Citizens of Los Angeles may love sub sandwiches, but there is something they might like even more: amazing vegan food. Maciel's Plant-Based Butcher & Deli is the first of its kind in this city after opening just last year in Highland Park. The bright and airy shop on a small corner near York Boulevard doesn't just stop at sandwiches. The owner, Maciel, hopes that customers can treat her deli like any other by picking up some sliced faux meats by the pound and grabbing a sandwich at the same time. 

There is a little bit of everything, from turkey to pastrami to crab cakes, all plant-based. The sandwich menu is impressive, with one of the best being "The Flores," a tasty number featuring Mexican ribs (made with jackfruit), pickled red onions, arugula, and mayo on ciabatta.

3. Italian combo at Eagle Rock Italian Bakery & Deli

It might be a bit of a trek out to Eagle Rock depending on what part of the city you live in, but trust us, it's worth it to get one of the tasty subs at Eagle Rock Bakery & Deli. This cool shop is a NELA landmark and has been open since the 1940s. It's take-out only and has a solid selection of imported groceries like dried pasta and jarred tomato sauce that you can add to your order for dinner later.

All the sandwiches are served on a solid bread and come with lettuce and tomato. Our favorite is the Italian combo, which comes loaded with various meats and cheeses. Choose between sizes: a small for $8 or a large for $9.25. Don't be fooled into thinking the small won't hold you over for most of the day, especially when paired with a perfectly crisp cannoli or pignoli cookie.

4. The Padrino at Pizzana

The pizza at Pizzana is understandably the main draw. After all, the tasty pies are made with organic, stone-ground flour that's fermented for 48 hours, and all the toppings are consciously sourced from California wherever possible.

The Padrino sandwich here may just be one of the best in the city, made with a combination of sliced mortadella and spicy soppressata topped with pepperoncini, provolone, a spicy Calabrian slaw, tomato, pickle, mayo, and all on a house-made ciabatta. Keep in mind that this sandwich goes on and off the menu frequently and may show up at different locations at different times. If you see it available, grab one while you can. The $18 price tag can be a bit of shock, but the loaded sandwich is definitely big enough to share or to save half for later.

5. Italian Torpedo at Angelo's Italian Deli

World famous? Possibly. Long Beach famous? Definitely. Angelo's Italian Deli is a Long Beach mainstay, and if you find yourself in the area you should definitely pick up an Italian torpedo. It's the perfect sub for a beach picnic or just a hearty lunch. It comes with three different cold cuts (capicola, mortadella, salami), plus provolone, tomato, lettuce, garlic spread, pesto, and a dash of oil and vinegar for good measure. 

The bread is a crusty, tangy sourdough that will hold up even if you want to save the sandwich to eat a few hours later. The deli also has a solid Italian market if you need to grab a bottle of wine or some bags of pasta for dinner.

6. Milan Salami at All About The Bread

All About The Bread understands one of the most important components of any sandwich: the bread. This restaurant uses a baguette with a bubbly, crunchy crust and new batches roll out of the oven every 20 minutes. Situated on the busy intersection at La Brea and Melrose, this spot has all the main hits a sandwich shop should have, including an assortment of side salads and antipasti.

While the deli does have a killer Italian sub that is well-loved by regulars and casuals alike, the Milan Salami is especially great in its simplicity. It features imported Italian soppressata salami flown straight from Milan, topped with mixed baby greens dressed in extra virgin olive oil and a flavorful sundried tomato spread.

7. Imported Italian Prosciutto at Larchmont Wine and Cheese

When a specialty cheese store has a sandwich menu, you can bet that they're going to feature the best possible quality cold cuts. Over at Larchmont Wine and Cheese, that's precisely what you can expect. This shop claims to have the "best sandwiches in town," and while that may be open to interpretation, we can surely count them among the best.

A solid choice is the Imported Italian Prosciutto, which comes with freshly sliced prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, arugula, extra virgin olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. All the sandwiches at this spot come on your choice of baguette or ciabatta, and you can choose between a whole size or a half size. The little side of cornichons and black olives adds a nice touch of acidity.

8. PSC Sub at Pasadena Sandwich Company

Not all great sandwich places in this city are Instagram-worthy, and we're okay with that. The Pasadena Sandwich Company isn't fancy, just a simple sandwich shop with a focus on quality ingredients served on soft, fresh rolls. The menu is extensive and offers many more choices of bread and sides than most of the other restaurants on this list. The restaurant even has an option to "trust the cook," which is sort of a sandwich Russian roulette.

We like the classic PSC "Sub", made with smoked ham, Italian salami, Swiss cheese, thinly sliced lettuce, tomato, red onion, mustard, mayonnaise, olive oil, and red wine vinegar on a French roll. The roll is just the right consistency to sink your teeth into without losing structural integrity while you eat.

9. Antipasti at Bub and Grandma's

For a city that hates carbs, Los Angeles sure loves Bub & Grandma's bread. Now that they have a restaurant over in Northeast LA, you can enjoy an expanded assortment of baked goodies without having to stand in line at the farmers market. The lunch sandwich menu is particularly great, which features a few classics like tuna and roast beef, as well as some oddballs like a cauliflower cheddar and the "rainbow," a veggie sandwich stuffed with a virtual rainbow of goodies.

One that you won't find anywhere else is the antipasti, which is kind of like if a bangin' antipasti plate was made into a sandwich. It comes with marinated mushrooms, artichokes, pickled fennel, arugula, creamy burrata, dijon mustard, mayo, and a tangy sundried tomato pesto, all on a "bub sub."

10. Yuzu Kosho Chicken at Jeff's Table

Venture into Flask, a liquor store off York, and you will come upon Jeff's Table, the "modern micro-deli" located in the back. The sandwiches here are unlike any others in the city, and most feature ingredients you might not be used to seeing at a deli, like shiso, fried shallot, and miso.

The Yuzu Kosho Chicken is made with Mary's chicken breast that is both slow-cooked and brined in a blend of citrus before being shredded and topped with sliced avocado, spicy wild arugula, and tart-yet-spicy green chili, and citrus aioli. You might consider this the antidote to some of the heavier choices on this list with its bright, punchy flavors. Get it with the Thai peanut mac salad to make it a full meal.

11. Tomato Confit at Gjusta

Gjusta is the part-bakery part-cafe restaurant in Venice that has a little something for everyone. In a place that has a counter dedicated to hand-slicing house-made meats to order, it can be a bold choice to select one of the vegetarian sandwiches as our favorite sub here, but it's just that good. 

The tomato confit sandwich comes with delectably sweet slow-roasted tomatoes on one of the house-baked baguettes. Opt for the add-on of a thick portion of burrata that comes seasoned with flaky salt and pepper. It's the perfect thing to take to the beach for a picnic, and the juice from the tomatoes helps soften the bread as it sits, so don't worry about jumping into the ocean before biting in.

12. The Spicy P at Ggiata

It sounds like something straight out of Hollywood: Childhood friends living in New Jersey grew up and moved to Los Angeles to open a deli with the spirit of home on the West Coast. Ggiata is located in Melrose Hill, which puts it squarely in range for most people in the city. If you're on a tight lunch break, call and order ahead as lines can get long.

Of all the sub choices on the menu, our favorite is the "Spicy P," a signature offering made with crispy chicken cutlet, spicy vodka sauce, fresh mozzarella, grated Romano cheese, basil pesto, fresh basil, all on a charred seeded baguette. While there's a lot of good stuff on this sandwich, it's the sauce that elevates it to the realm of truly essential.

13. Turkey Sub at Potato Chips Deli

Oftentimes, a simple turkey sandwich can get overlooked at a great deli in favor of more exciting choices like Italian and meatball subs. That's why when a truly good turkey sub comes around, we pay attention. The one at Potato Chips Deli comes with natural roasted turkey breast, sliced Havarti, shredded iceberg, juicy tomato, herb aioli, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. The bread is a nice fluffy ciabatta that won't break your teeth trying to bite through. 

Pair it with a bag of potato chips and a cookie for later if you really want to get the full experience. It's a welcome relief to the pretentious offerings of the Erewhon across the street, though we're not above running in for a nice probiotic strawberry soda.

14. Larry Mantle at Wax Paper

Located in a tiny commercial area of Frogtown (plus another location in Chinatown), Wax Paper is one of the best sandwich places in the city. It wins points for creativity and excellent ingredient sourcing, plus all the sandwiches are named after NPR hosts, which we find fun and interesting.

Not surprisingly, everything is great, but one of the best is the Larry Mantle, Wax Paper's take on an Italian sub. It comes with herbed bologna, salami, spicy aioli, pickled & raw red onion, shredded lettuce, oregano vinaigrette, pickled peppers, and grated pecorino cheese on a France Bakery sesame roll. Honestly, it can be a bit hard to eat with all that going on, but what's life without a little hard work?

15. Meatball sub at Little Coyote

If the pizzas alone weren't enough to make you want to head down to Long Beach, then surely you could be tempted by one of Little Coyote's incredible subs. While both are worth a lengthy drive, the meatball sub is one of the better sandwiches in the whole city. The meatballs are made with a 50/50 blend of beef and pork which get topped with a crushed tomato sauce and gooey melted mozzarella.

Not a meatball fan? The restaurant also serves a classic Italian sub full of mortadella, capicola, soppressata, provolone, and all the tasty accouterments you would expect. Both come on a soft Italian roll that's just right — not too hard, not too soft. Enjoy it on the patio or take it to the beach.

16. The Stepmother at Cosa Buona

If you've lived in LA for any amount of time, there is no doubt you have at least driven past Cosa Buona, located at the crossroads of Sunset Boulevard and Alvarado, just blocks from Echo Park. The pizzas are the star of the show, but the rest of the menu shouldn't be overlooked.

Developed in loving homage to Bay Cities' amazing Godmother sub, The Stepmother (which is only available the first hour the restaurant is open) comes with a blend of sliced meats like salami, prosciutto, mortadella, and capicola. The cheese is a super-sharp aged provolone, and it all gets topped with sliced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, mustard, mayo, sliced onions, and giardiniera. The bread is baked in-house using a combi oven, which adds a crunchy crust to the bread.

17. The Sandwich at Roma Market

There's not much to it, but that's what makes it good. "The Sandwich" at Roma Market has just a few slices of meat and cheese, plus a drizzle of good olive oil. When it first hit the menu, it was only $0.59. Today, it's still a steal at $5.50. It's the only sandwich on the menu, and there are only a set number made per day.

Owner and operator Rosario Mazzeo will be behind the counter (he hasn't missed a day in 70 years) talking to customers about various cheeses or meats that he sells. The passion that goes into this business is apparent everywhere, including the sandwich. Even if it's not your favorite, it's an absolutely essential LA sandwich that everyone simply must try.

18. The Paulie at Uncle Paulie's Deli

Uncle Paulie's has a particular style that flows beyond the food and into the very foundation of the company, including the merch cool enough to grace the heads of LA's most paparazzi'd citizens

Coolness will only get you so far, but luckily Uncle Paulie's sandwiches have the flavor and quality to back it up. The menu is huge, with sections for both cold and hot subs as well as some solid breakfast choices. The sandwiches are made with quality ingredients, and the portions don't disappoint. Sliced turkey, fresh mozzarella, roasted red peppers, olive oil, tangy balsamic vinegar — it all comes piled high on The Paulie, our favorite of the bunch. This eponymous sandwich is tasty without loading you down. If you want to make a meal of it, get the lunch box that pairs your sandwich with a side salad, chips, a cookie, and a drink.

19. The Godmother at Bay Cities Deli

We would probably be burned at the stake for not putting Bay Cities at the top of any list of great Los Angeles sub sandwich joints, but that doesn't mean we don't want to. Inevitably, in any argument about West Coast vs. East Coast where the conversation turns towards great Italian delis, we simply point to this place. Conveniently located just minutes from the beach, it's a great excuse to pack a picnic and spend the day in the sun.

While all the sandwiches are inarguably great, The Godmother is the most famous and popular choice. This sandwich is the only one in town to have five different meats: prosciutto, ham, capicola, mortadella, and salami. The cheese is a classic provolone and you can get it with "the works," a blend of onions, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, Italian dressing, and your choice of mild or hot peppers.