Epic Los Angeles Sandwiches to Eat Before You Die

Los Angeles has its fair share of great sandwiches, and even takes credit for inventing one: the French dip. Since the “accident” of the French dip in the early 20th century, L.A.’s sandwich pantheon has added many standard-bearing types, such as the pastrami, corned beef, Italian submarine, Cuban, Greek and even Vietnamese sandwiches, a claim to its diversity from Westside to Eastside. In addition to decades-old favorites, there are some new-school sandwiches that have become instant classics. Here presented, 22 epic LA sandwiches to eat before you die.

1 Godmother at Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery

Arguably the most iconic sandwich in Los Angeles, the Godmother is a classic Italian deli sandwich filled with Boar’s Head deli meats, cheese, mustard, and veggies, all contained in a house-baked bread roll that’s probably the best part of the sandwich. There are probably better sandwiches at Bay Cities, especially the hot sandwiches, but the Godmother is what everyone talks about, and a must try at some point in every Angeleno’s life.

1517 Lincoln Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(424) 268-8242

2 #19 at Langer’s Delicatessen-Restaurant

An easy choice for the most popular pastrami sandwich at this historic deli in Westlake, just west of Downtown. This near-perfect Jewish deli sandwich features house-baked rye bread, russian dressing, cheese, coleslaw and freshly sliced slivers of the most achingly perfect, smoked pastrami on earth. There is simply no equal when it comes to this pastrami.

704 S Alvarado St
Los Angeles, CA 90057
(213) 483-8050
Deli / Bodega

3 Torta Cubana at Super Tortas D.F.

The rare “everything under the sun” combination that works, the Cubana at Super Tortas D.F. is an unwieldy yet perfect mix of meats, cheeses, condiments, and griddle technique. Hours are limited to Thursday to Sunday in the evenings.

1253 Vine St
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 469-8912
Sandwich Place

4 Butcher’s Sandwich At Gjusta

This rotating sandwich option at Gjusta is always a hit, especially when it arrives with either the in-house smoked fish or the thinly-sliced roast beef. Either way you’re getting the bakery’s impossibly perfected baguette to enjoy.

320 Sunset Ave
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 314-0320

5 Chicken Parmesan at Paninoteca

Freddy Vargas knew immediately that he was on to something with Paninoteca, his permanent sandwich pop-up inside Scarpetta. The chicken parm sandwiches he turns out are at once East Coast classic and West Coast original, thanks to top-notch ingredients and a slightly more upscale approach. But make no mistake: this thing is a messy, delicious beast.

225 N Canon Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 860-5832
Sandwich Place

6 The Farmer at The Daily Dose

A staple since the cafe opened in the Arts District years ago, the gigantic Farmer is a seasonal mix that usually includes tomato, burrata, roasted squash, ancho chile jam and more.

1820 Industrial St
Los Angeles, CA 90021
(213) 281-8300

7 Pastrami Sandwich at Wexler’s Deli

Consider this the 2.0 version of your favorite Jewish Deli. Better than the classics? Maybe, and certainly more cool. Micah Wexler’s housemade pastrami is a flavorful as the next guy’s, and he’s doing it inside Grand Central Market, maybe the hippest food spot in the city.

317 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 624-2378
Deli / Bodega

8 Fried Chicken Sandwich at Free Range LA

Bulky, crunchy, and sometimes hard to grab with one hand, Free Range’s now-legendary fried chicken sandwich is the sort of powerful midday meal that will have you begging for an afternoon nap — or a clean shirt and a few more napkins.

Los Angeles, CA
Food Truck

9 Bacon Egg & Cheese at Eggslut

Eggslut’s take on a classic, and the sandwich that made them famous. There’s a simple, satisfying, and seriously eggy reason you always see a line at their Grand Central Market stall.

317 S Broadway

Los Angeles, CA 90013
Breakfast Spot

10 Jamon Beurre at République

This simple French classic gets the elevated treatment at Walter Manzke’s Republique. A lunchtime option that can really be enjoyed any time, the mix of quality ham and French cultured butter (plus Marge’s on-site baguettes) make this easy sandwich a lesson in high-class ingredients.

624 S LA Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(310) 362-6115
French Restaurant

11 Fried Oysters At Little Jewel of New Orleans

This newish Chinatown favorite is doing possibly the city’s best po’ boys, though none are quite as satisfying as the fried oyster option. A true ode to New Orleans Gulf cuisine, this meaty, massive meal makes for a great stop Downtown.

207 Ord St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Cajun / Creole Restaurant

12 Pastrami Reuben at Brent’s Deli

Probably the only real competitor in L.A. for a great Jewish deli sandwich to Langers’ hegemony, Brent’s Black Forest Pastrami Reuben is stacked high and then loaded with sauerkraut and cheese before getting the treatment on a flattop griddle. Worth a drive out to the Valley for deli fiends.

19565 Parthenia St
Northridge, CA 91324
(818) 886-5679
Deli / Bodega

13 Sopressata at Sopressata

The former Sopressata at Black Hogg lunch pop-up is now all sandwich, all the time, with their namesake sopressata, provolone, and olive oil option leading the all-day charge.

2852 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Sandwich Place

14 Beef Double-Dip at The Original Philippe

The purported inventor of the French dip over a century ago, Philippe the Original makes everything feel like the time hasn’t passed, with sawdust floors, old time servers who prepare sandwiches to order, and coffee that’s payable in pennies. The beef double-dip is what the aficionados get, with a heavy dose of salty jus, and tender slices of roast beef with a few dabs of the famous spicy mustard to round it out. Others opt for a similar version with sliced lamb, another treat.

1001 N Alameda St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 617-3781

15 Short Rib Melt At Joan’s on Third

Perhaps the most popular sandwich at this long-running gourmet market and eatery on West Third, the short rib sandwich is famous that it once graced the cover of Bon Appetit magazine. Cheese oozes out of the grilled bread while the meat, stuffed inside and tender to the bite. Caramelized onions finish off the sandwich.

8350 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 655-2285

16 Meatball & Sausage at Eastside Market Italian Deli

An old-time Angeleno favorite, and a popular pick before Dodgers games, Eastside Market sports a variety of classic Italian subs. The Meatball & Sausage is probably the most popular, loaded with a hearty Italian sausauge, bell peppers, and meatballs for a satisfying meal.

1013 Alpine St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 250-2464
Deli / Bodega

17 Banh Mi at Banh Mi My Tho

There are plenty of good bakeries in San Gabriel that make banh mi, but Banh Mi My Tho has been making them for almost two decades. The cold cut and pork barbecue sandwiches are the most popular, made with fresh bread and pickled vegetables.

304 W Valley Blvd
Alhambra, CA 91803
(626) 289-4160
Vietnamese Restaurant

18 Lamb French Dip at Cole’s

Though the sandwiches got a remake over the past few years at this old saloon from the early 1900s, the lamb French dip remains a favorite, served with tender slices of lamb on thick bread that soaks up the side of jus.

118 E 6th St
Los Angeles, CA 90014
(213) 622-4090

19 Medianoche at Café Tropical

This Silver Lake fixture since 1975 serves very good Medianoche that sports roasted pork, ham and swiss cheese on simple, sweet bread that somehow manages to fill the stomach despite its small size.

2900 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(323) 661-8391

20 Pork Belly Banh Mi at Mendocino Farms

Known for making a great selection of seasonal sandwiches, Mendocino’s Pork Belly banh mi probably doesn’t resemble the Vietnamese sandwich very much, but makes up for it with large pieces of kurobuta pork, housemade pickles, and smear of spicy aioli placed in grilled ciabatta bread. You’ll soon forget about authenticity after a bite or two.

4724 Admiralty Way
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
(310) 822-2300
American Restaurant

21 Pastrami Sandwich at Johnnie’s Pastrami

The ideal fast-food pastrami sandwich, this Westside icon has been serving since 1952. A family favorite in this part of town, the salty, super heavy pastrami sandwich goes nicely with a side of chili-cheese fries.

4017 Sepulveda Blvd
Culver City, CA 90230
(310) 397-6654
Sandwich Place

22 Pulled Pork Sandwich at The Oinkster

While the fast-food style burgers at this Eagle Rock (and Hollywood) restaurant are terrific, the pastrami and pulled pork sandwiches are equally good draws. The pulled pork, which is perfect when doused with the vinegary sauce, is a comforting handful of tender pork and plush bread. Oh, and don’t skip the ube shake.

2005 Colorado Blvd
Eagle Rock, CA 90041
(323) 255-6465
American Restaurant
Source: LA Eater