The 20 Best Sandwich Shops In San Francisco

San Francisco is home to a melting pot of top-rated restaurants, with foods and dishes inspired by many multicultural influences. There is no denying that the food alone is reason enough to visit this beautiful city. With that being said, sometimes you're not in the mood for anything fancy or extravagant.

Whether you're pinched for time or are just looking for something reliable, a deli sandwich is always the answer. Nothing beats a tasty sub from a mom-and-pop shop, a gorgeous sunny day, and a picnic in the park. And what better place for a picnic than San Francisco, with sprawling parks on every block and great weather year-round?

It can be hard to know where to eat in a city with so many options. But, as a local, we've been fortunate to try more than a handful of sandwich shops across the city. So, we tapped into that personal experience with dining in the Bay Area scene to find 20 favorites for a definitive guide to the best sandwich eating in San Francisco. You'll find a sandwich for just about every occasion and craving from this collection of well-known and under-the-radar businesses.

Devil's Teeth Baking Co.

Start the day off right with a breakfast sandwich from Devil's Teeth Baking Co., one of the best in the city. While its menu includes a variety of sandwiches, Devil's Teeth's special breakfast sandwich is a must-order. There's no going wrong with the combination of scrambled eggs, avocado, and a house lemon-garlic aioli. The best part is the bakery's famous buttery biscuits that are known to melt in your mouth.

Located on a residential street just off Ocean Beach, this spot is perfect for a grab-and-go to the beach for a scenic view with an even better meal. We can't think of a better weekend activity. The notoriously long line for this hotspot on weekends is important to mention, but don't let it scare you away — it is definitely worth the wait.


For sandwiches served on the freshest sourdough bread, head to Jane, a staple San Franciscan bakery with locations scattered across the city. While the entire menu is filled with solid options for both breakfast and lunch, the main attraction is the sandwich menu, featuring Jane's homemade sourdough and fresh baguettes.

The mango chicken salad sandwich served on the house baguette is worth highlighting. Jane's unique twist on a classic chicken salad includes a deliciously curried mix paired with mango chutney and pepper jam. It's almost a guarantee that you've never tried a sandwich like this one. Dessert is also a must at this spot, with a menu dedicated to the bakery's freshly made cookies. These baked goodies come in a variety of flavors, but Jane's Crazy Cookie (chocolate chip, marshmallow, cornflakes) takes the cake. 

Lucca's Delicatessen

A little spot with a big reputation, Lucca's Deli is one of San Francisco's oldest delis, opened in 1929. Located in the Marina, Lucca's has been serving customers delicious Italian classics for multiple generations and is currently owned by a brother-sister duo. This spot is known for massive sandwiches stuffed with the best ingredients.

Since opening, Lucca's has been committed to using locally sourced ingredients to accompany top-notch service. One can't help but notice the salami logs hanging from the ceiling of this tightly-packed space. Rows of fresh cheese and deli meats are also on display for customers to see exactly what they're getting.

Customers build their sandwiches from a variety of meats and cheeses, all sliced fresh as they're ordered. Many sandwiches are topped with Lucca's secret special ingredient: its famous pepper spread. The extensive menu makes it impossible to choose, but crowd favorites include the Italian combo, the Caprese, and a classic meatball with pomodoro sauce.

Saigon Sandwich

There is no shortage of bahn-mi shops in San Francisco, but none can beat the world-famous version from Saigon Sandwich. This popular spot is known for serving a stellar version of the classic Vietnamese sandwich at ridiculously affordable prices.

A traditional banh mi is made with fresh veggies, including carrots, cucumbers, and a fresh green chili pepper. The fillings also include your choice of meat (usually chicken), mayonnaise, and a sauce made with just a few simple ingredients. At Saigon, customers can choose from various proteins and toppings.

Locals rave about these sizable sandwiches, which might be one of the only ones of its kind in San Francisco at the staggering price of $5. Saigon only accepts cash, so come with a fiver in hand and plenty of room in your stomach.

Bite Me Sandwich

There's nothing fancy about Bite Me Sandwiches, a local spot in the Haight that makes traditional sandwiches perfect for on-the-go. This place is a great pit stop before a picnic, located near San Francisco's famous Golden Gate Park. Its menu has options for just about everyone, from traditional combos with a twist and vegetarian options to Bite Me's specialty sandwiches.

Some honorable mentions include the San Fran Sandwich, which is stuffed with grilled chicken breast, bacon, avocado, cheese, and nacho cheese chips, which give the sandwich a crunchy edge. The Godfather is this spot's take on a meat lovers mix-up (roast beef, pastrami, pepperoni, and provolone cheese). If you feel inclined, the menu also offers an array of tasty sides of coleslaw, potato salad, or macaroni salad.

Blue Barn

Locals know and love Blue Barn for its sandwiches and salads made from local, farm-fresh produce. They also know it to be on the pricey side — but food of this quality comes with a cost. This trendy restaurant is worth stretching the wallet for, with a reputation for some of the tastiest bites in the city.

If you love a hearty sandwich, Blue Barn is the place to go. The sandwiches are stacked with grilled meats, creamy cheeses, seasonal vegetables, and house-made aiolis in a variety of flavors. All of the bread is baked daily by Acme Bread, a local bakery, ensuring that every element of the sandwich is as fresh as can be. Any sandwich can be made into a combo meal with one of the seemingly bottomless salads from a menu of delicious options. The choice paralysis is real.

La Torta Gorda

Visiting La Torta Gorda is a non-negotiable for those looking to taste some of the most authentic Mexican food in San Francisco. If you're wondering how sandwiches fit into the cuisine, let us introduce you to a unique sandwich, the Mexican torta. A true torta uses traditional bread, either the bolillo or the telera. La Torta Gorda is a torta expert, putting itself on the map as home to one of the best sandwiches in the nation, including the famed Pierna Enchilada, made with succulent pulled pork. 

All of La Torta Gorda's tortas include refried beans, avocado, cheese, onions, mayo and jalapeños. Think of all the best burrito fillings sandwiched between two pieces of soft bread. A torta isn't complete without meat, so choose from a variety, including chorizo, al pastor, or carne asada. Customers recommend loading up on the sides to elevate the sandwich, so don't forget to ask for extra salsa and jalapenos.

Deli Board

A self-proclaimed "East Coast deli with West Coast vibes," Deli Board is a true food-lover dream. This hot spot serves up sandwiches that are filled with an impressive stack of fresh deli meats and other delicious fillings. Think corned beef, perfectly sliced turkey breast, and fresh albacore tuna salad. Located in the SOMA, where street parking is notoriously slim, you'll want to avoid the drive (if you can).

With a menu like this, it's impossible to know where to start. A popular choice is the Romanian pastrami, stuffed with corned beef, two types of cheeses, a house coleslaw, and Thousand Island Dressing. The Ron is another (roast beef, jalapeño, and special sauce on a garlic roll). The true secret sauce is how the shop manages to get all the ingredients to fit in between the bread. There are some grievances with sandwiches costing around $22 each, but you certainly are getting your money's worth. Come with an empty stomach, and be prepared for a food coma like no other after one of these intense sandwiches.

B on the Go

For a friendly neighborhood dining experience, stop by B on the Go. "On the go" may be in its name, but this cafe is a welcome stop for customers to sit and enjoy their meal.

Many locals rave about the breakfast sandwiches (served on weekends only). The fried chicken and braised pork belly sandwiches are strong contenders for fan favorite and are both a great start to the day. The lunch menu has a unique selection of sandwiches, including a porchetta sandwich and a roasted cauliflower banh mi. B on the Go knows how to make you eat your vegetables — sandwiched between their fresh ciabatta rolls, accompanied by sauce and other delicious disguises.

Arguello Market

Inside a small neighborhood market is a deli that is home to San Francisco's "World Famous Turkey Sandwich." Arguello Market may not be flashy, but the turkey sandwich has earned its notoriety. Owner Sal Qaqundah has worked in the grocery store business for well over 20 years but found untapped potential in Arguello Market's untouched deli counter when he bought it in 1984.

Today, this popular market has to order 12 whole turkeys just for the lunch rush, each heated under the warm light of a rotisserie oven and sliced fresh for customers. Needless to say, this isn't your average cold cut. Stacked with pickles, sweet Italian onions, lettuce, and fresh tomatoes, this sandwich is as simple as it gets. If we can give you any advice, order it on the Dutch Crunch roll.

The Bird

For a more indulgent sandwich, head to The Bird, where the ultimate fried chicken experience awaits. This establishment stands firm on its belief that high-quality food doesn't have to break the bank, keeping sandwiches priced at just 10 bucks. For a sandwich that is often praised as the best fried chicken sandwich in the entire city, that price almost seems too good to be true.

The Bird's signature fried chicken is served on buns made by a local baker, along with a house apple slaw (also made fresh daily). Something about this clucks at you to go all in, so don't hold back when ordering. It goes without saying that the fried chicken sandwich is a must-order, but a side of curly fries or loaded tots won't hurt either. 

Luccinda's Deli & More

Tucked away near Alamo Square Park (think: the Painted Ladies) is Luccinda's Deli & More, a shop known for bold sandwiches. There's nothing more satisfying than a carefully crafted sandwich, and Luccinda's has mastered that with tightly packed meals, each with distinct layers of fresh meat, cheese, and other tasty fillings.

The flavor combinations at this shop are out of this world, pushing the limits of the classic deli sandwich. The prosciutto sandwich is paired with pepper jam, pink lady apples, and pistachio aioli. A roast beef sammy comes with blue cheese mayo and onion jam, along with a Thai BBQ sauce for the ultimate twist on a traditional sub. If this hasn't piqued your curiosity already, the rest of the menu is sure to blow you away. 

Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen

Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen is San Francisco's go-to spot for a reliable, fresh bagel sandwich. It serves traditional Jewish comfort food, using classic recipes made with California's freshest ingredients. The bagels are made patiently, with plenty of time for fermentation and proofing — both critical stages in the bagel-making process.

Wise Son's menu features classic sandwiches with pastrami and corned beef that are brined and smoked in-house. Served on Jewish rye, it doesn't get any more authentic than this. Don't forget a staple smoked salmon bagel filled with whipped shmear in various flavors. If you don't have a chance to stop by any of the locations located around San Francisco, Wise Sons bagels are also sold in many local grocery stores for locals to enjoy at home. 

Ike's Love and Sandwiches

Bay Area locals will recognize Ike's Love and Sandwiches by name and for the iconic sandwich menu. This well-known and loved establishment has locations across the U.S. but started as a small sandwich shop in San Francisco. The brand has made a name for itself with some of the most creative combinations in the sandwich game.

You'll find that every location has sandwiches named after local icons and references. At Ike's in San Fransisco, sandwich titles include the Silicon Valley, Madison Bumgarner (famous San Francisco Giants pitcher), and other entertaining names. As for the contents, these rich sandwiches are packed with delicious meats, some fresh and some fried, oozing cheeses and tasty veggies. Served on a famous Dutch Crunch roll with some of Ike's "Dirty Sauce," there is nothing quite like one of these warm subs.

Submarine Center

When you're in need of a simple, straightforward sub, head to Submarine Center for a gourmet sandwich. Regulars have been lining up for these subs for decades, flocking to the neighborhood of West Portal. Located near the popular Stonestown Mall, this spot is a perfect stop before shopping. 

It should go without saying that the ingredients are always fresh, from the bread to the standard onions, lettuce, and tomatoes. The menu includes a variety of classic sandwiches, with a few staples that keep fans coming back. One such sandwich is "The Atomic," which is Submarine Center's hot pastrami sandwich, layered with turkey, cheese, and corned beef.

For a different take on a sandwich, this place also offers pizza subs — an open-faced creation with all the classic pizza toppings served on a fresh French roll. Whether you try something new or stick to what you know, Submarine Center will not disappoint.

Rhea's Deli

Located on the corner of Valencia in the Mission, a quick walk away from the locally loved Dolores Park is Rhea's Deli. This small, family-owned deli has won the lottery with its great location. However, the delicious sandwiches are not so much a matter of luck as they are skill.

With an extensive menu of specialty sandwiches, such as a Korean steak sandwich, this spot pushes the limits with its creativity. Make sure to keep your eye on Instagram for rotating specials, as they're known to go fast. Otherwise, the staple menu has plenty of other delicious options to choose from, such as the Korean steak sandwich (marinated ribeye, pickled onion, chili sauce. Wait times are known to be on the longer side with this popular location, but we think that the sandwiches make up for it in total.

Bi-Rite Market

Although Bi-Rite Market may not technically qualify as a sandwich shop first, this local grocer sells sandwiches that deserve to be in the top ranks. Selling locally sourced, socially responsible food is what this store is known for. It serves as a staple for many locals and is also a great pit stop for a tasty lunch.

Available for in-store ordering or for order-ahead online, sandwiches from Bi-Rite are made from all of the same fresh produce that customers can find on the shelves in- store. Our recommendations have been heavy on the meat-forward subs, but at this spot, the Vegan Hippy Sandwich is the way to go. On fresh multiseed bread, this sandwich includes crispy sweet potatoes, avocado, and a tasty vegan aioli that is a game-changer.

The Sentinel

A true hole-in-the-wall, known for fast service and delicious sandwiches, The Sentinel is an independent sandwich shop that has captured the hearts of San Franciscans. The menu is compact, with a couple of options from the cold and hot sandwiches. It should make ordering simple, but we still have a hard time picking a favorite.

The star of the show on this menu is the lamb and eggplant sandwich if points are being given for originality. Priced on average at $11 (per time of publishing), there isn't much grievance about the cost in return for the quality of these gourmet sandwiches. Only open on weekdays, The Sentinel is a big hit during the lunch rush with its downtown location. Regulars swear by the reliable service, despite a crowd consistently gathering in this treasured spot.

Blue Fog Market

Blue Fog is your classic, friendly neighborhood market — truly a one-stop shop for those busy city days. Located in the neighborhood of Pacific Heights, this market has both an espresso bar and a deli for delicious coffee, artisan sandwiches, and fresh pastries. It's a perfect stop for a caffeine boost, a quick lunch, or a mid-day sweet treat.

Build your own sandwich, or choose from a menu of gourmet options. For a taste of the holidays at any time of year, the Thanksgiving sandwich is a great go-to. Otherwise, kill two birds with one stone, and try one of the sandwiches served on one of this spot's locally-made croissants. If you find yourself at this spot around breakfast time, the breakfast burrito is another great option for a quick meal to take with you on the go.

The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen

The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen is pushing the boundaries of how people think of grilled cheese sandwiches. Owners Nate Pollack and Heidi Gibson are on a mission to bring smiles to peoples' faces with the magic of grilled cheese, setting out to create a restaurant dedicated to this homey sandwich. Gibson herself is a multi-instance grilled cheese champion.

If you're thinking that there isn't much that goes into a grilled sandwich, we implore you to check out this place's menu. From something as simple as a three-cheese sandwich to a grilled cheese filled with smoked ham and caramelized apple spread, American Grilled Cheese Kitchen has every option under the sun. The Mac n Cheese grilled cheese, a staple on the menu, has gained a huge amount of press across local (and national) publications. Imagine pillowy mac oozing from garlic-butter sourdough. We can't think of anything better than a combination of two of the best comfort foods known by everyone.