Austin is a taco town - with a taco truck basically on every corner - but as more places switch to takeout and delivery, we’ve seen an influx of restaurants adding new sandwiches to their menus. So we put this list together of our favorites because we would really hate for you to miss out on a sandwich opportunity (don’t worry, we still love tacos, especially breakfast tacos). As far as new sandwiches go, there’s everything from po’boys to fried chicken sandwiches, to a Vietnamese pho dip and more.
The New Sandwich Spots
It takes a village to make a good sandwich it seems - the Prosciutto Baguette sandwich is a multinational affair, combining a French-inspired baguette, Italian prosciutto, and Spanish manchego cheese. And Easy Tiger knows that they have something special here, going so far as wrapping it in paper and tying it up with string, like it belongs in a picnic basket attached to your bicycle out in the French countryside. “Sacré bleu,” you mutter to yourself as you eat one of the better sandwiches you’ve ever had.
The sandwich: Prosciutto Baguette
To call this sandwich just a “ham sandwich” is a bit of a misnomer, akin to calling a double patty melt on Texas toast simply a “beef sandwich.” It starts from the outside with pan cristal, a.k.a. “glass bread” - a thin, Spanish-style ciabatta with big air bubbles and a thin, crackly crust - that gets topped with a generous spread of boquerone aioli which provides just a hint of anchovy flavor. Then come the staples - whole-grain mustard, lettuce, tomato, red onion, guindilla pepper, and of course, Berkshire ham. The ham sandwich at Kalimotxo is wholly different from what you’re probably making at home and worthy of the journey downtown to meet its greatness.
The sandwich: Ham sandwich
R&B’s focuses on one type of sandwich, and one sandwich only - the cheesesteak. Small, focused menus tend to be some of our favorites, and R&B’s is no exception. Here, your options are the cheesesteak, or the cheesesteak hoagie (it comes with onions, tomatoes, and lettuce). Both sandwiches feature thinly-sliced Texas ribeye on an Amoroso roll with your choice of cheese whiz, provolone, or white American cheese - we’re on Team Whiz, by the way. They also sell loaded french fries - the perfect opportunity to forego all social graces and find yourselves knuckles-deep in a mountain of crinkle-cut potatoes, cheese, steak, and onions.
The sandwich: Cheesesteak
McDonald’s has the Filet-O-Fish, Burger King has the Big Fish, Whataburger has the Whatacatch, and Hold Out Brewing has the “Fish Sandwich.” It may be modestly named, but the sandwich packs an incredible punch, with breaded Texas drum, Cheddar Bay mayo, and a Cajun hot sauce chimichurri - all on sturdy, homemade Texas toast. It’s so good, perhaps they should name it The Fish Sandwich You’ll Like So Much That You’ll Talk About It To Anyone Who Will Listen? Pair it with curly fries and some of their excellent beers.
The sandwich: Fish Sandwich
The Haus Chicken Sandwich 101 by Tea Haus is the type of sandwich that when you finish it, you wish you could have another, so you make a mental note to order two next time (no sharing). It features a very generously-sized, crispy Taiwanese basil fried chicken thigh with a tangy Asian slaw served on a sweet buttered bun. The sandwich has only been around since April 2020, but it’s found a permanent place in the chicken sandwich-sized part of our hearts (and in our regular lunch rotation).
The sandwich: Haus Chicken Sandwich
DipDipDip Tatsu-Ya, from the Ramen Tatsu-ya team, pivoted into a takeout-only pop-up shop serving sandwiches designed to be dipped and dunked, brilliantly mashing up the French dip and shabu-shabu. All of them are great, but our favorite is definitely the beef sandwich, with thinly-sliced Texas Wagyu, wasabi ranch, and a sweet and spicy chow chow. For dipping they recommend the umami jus, made from beef stock, soy sauce, mirin, and sake. While we can’t speak about the likely very broad sandwich situation in the multiverse, this is a sandwich experience that up until recently did not exist in this known universe, and we are very glad it does.
The sandwich: Beef sandwich
Huckleberry highlights ingredients from local farms and the Gulf Coast, and most of the menu consists of dishes like seafood po’boys, sandwiches, and platters. On a recent visit, the standout sandwich was the fried green tomato po’boy, with the tomatoes perfectly crispy. It’s vegetarian, and if you think about it, this po’boy is technically like almost a salad - there are fried green tomatoes, lettuce, and red onion. Well, except that there are also pickles, a lemon-caper remoulade, and there’s the whole bun to contend with, so OK fine, it’s probably a sandwich. Either way, we’d definitely eat it again.
The sandwich: Fried Green Tomato Po’boy
At 20pho7, everything is about pho (and presumably, all the time). Hot bowls of Vietnamese noodle soup, pho tacos, and pho sandwiches make up the bulk of the menu. But what is a pho sandwich? Think thinly-sliced New York strip steak or brisket (or filet mignon for a few dollars more), onions, basil, cilantro, and mung bean sprouts in a French-style baguette with a side of savory pho broth. It’s kind of like a French dip (but a Vietnamese dip?). It’s a pinkies-out situation, but only because we don’t want you to burn your fingers on the steaming hot bowl of broth that your sandwich is practically jumping to bathe in. There’s also chicken, shiitake, and tofu available if you’re not feeling beef-inclined.
The sandwich: Beef dip
The Cochon De Lait po’boy at Vic & Al’s - the Cajun brick and mortar restaurant from the people behind Italian food trailer Patrizi’s - is something to behold. It’s chunks and strands of caramelized pig that’s been slow-roasted for 18 hours in a pizza oven, topped with pickled red onion, herbs, and hot sauce. The sauce on the pork is so rich, it’s almost like a tonkotsu broth. And it’s so good that when we found some leftover sauce in the plastic takeout container, we ended up just drinking it.
The sandwich: Cochon De Lait Po’Boy