Here’s the thing about making sandwiches at home: Even if you have all the meats, cheeses, toppings, spreads, and breads, there’s a pretty good chance the end result still won’t come close to the sandwich of your dreams. So if you’re tired of turkey, looking to plan a picnic, or just want to grab a couple sandwiches to eat from the comfort of your couch, don’t DIY - order pick-up or delivery from one of these 40 spots instead.
The sandwiches being sold out of the window at Angry Egret in Chinatown are some of the most interesting (don’t call them) tortas being made in LA. The Torta Au Pied De Chicon involves pork shoulder rolled in a deboned pig’s foot, served with habañero mustard - the ground pork patty is salty and tender, with just a bit of gaminess. There’s also a (slightly) more traditional brisket sandwich, with avocado, queso fresco, and horseradish cream. But no matter what you order, be sure to add in a machaca flauta, a heavily spiced beef flauta topped with very spicy red and green salsas. Available for pick-up.
If you’re craving a banh mi, ASAP Phorage is your answer. This Playa del Rey spot is basically just a counter in the back of a convenience store, but it serves several excellent versions of the sandwich, from the traditional (lemongrass-braised pork, pickles, cilantro), to the way-less-traditional (shaking cheesesteak). The ground beef curry nanh mi is also one of our favorites. Available for curbside pick-up or delivery.
Westwood is home to Little Tehran, a tiny neighborhood-within-a-neighborhood that’s home to the best Persian food in LA. If you’re looking for an entry point, go to Attari. The tiny, order-at-the-counter sandwich is most famous for its beef tongue sandwich, and while it’s absolutely worth driving long distances to eat, don’t sleep on the rest of their sandwiches either. The kuku-sabzi (herb frittata), sosees-bandari (Persian sausage), and olivieh-chicken (chicken salad) are all excellent. Available for takeout and delivery.
We probably don’t need to tell you about The Godmother at this point - it’s one of LA’s most famous sandwiches. What we do want to mention is that this historic Italian market in Santa Monica isn’t just some one-sandwich wonder. Whether it’s a caprese, turkey pesto, chicken parm sub, or a build-your-own situation, Bay Cities has excellent sandwiches up and down their menu. Available for takeout and delivery.
LA has no shortage of classic Jewish delis, but few hold the allure of Brent’s in Northridge. With over 650 dishes on its menu (that’s not a typo), ordering can feel like an impossible task to the untrained eye, so let us help - get the black pastrami Reuben, peppered pastrami and sauerkraut sandwiched between two slices of crunchy rye bread. It’s one of LA’s great sandwiches and worth the drive into the deep Valley to get it. Available for takeout - order on their website.
This former prop shop turned sandwich cafe in North Hollywood looks like a real 19th-century general store, with creaky wooden floors, chairs hanging from the ceiling, and homemade soap on the shelves. They also happen to serve some excellent sandwiches. With over 30 different kinds, the menu is a little overwhelming, but our strategy is to stick with anything that has pesto on it. They make it in-house, and it’s incredible. Available for takeout and delivery.
Calabama is a weekend-only pop-up that operates out of an apartment in East Hollywood, where the pick-up system literally involves a bucket dropped from a top-floor fire escape. It’s an experience, but make no mistake, the reason you’re really here is the tremendous breakfast sandwich. Stuffed with fluffy eggs, bacon, and avocado, it’s basically the world’s greatest breakfast grilled cheese - and that’s a superlative that should get absolutely everyone out of bed on a Sunday morning. Also, the chef makes her own excellent hot sauce that’s available by the bottle. Tip: Get some, and then follow their Instagram for all the latest details.
Carla Cafe is a sandwich pop-up operating out of Bootsy Bellows, a well-known nightclub on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. They only make one kind of sandwich each day (which they announce on their Instagram Story), but just know that whether it’s pesto chicken, tuna chop, or garlic aioli chicken, you’re in for an absolutely tremendous lunch. All pre-ordering is done through DMs on Instagram, so give them a follow and stay diligent - time slots fill up fast.
Open since 1959, Cavaretta’s is a classic, family-run Italian deli in Canoga Park and one of our favorite quick lunch spots in the west Valley. You can’t go wrong with their Famous Italian Combo (a sub sandwich filled with mortadella, salami, capicola, provolone, and all the fixings) or the house-made lasagna, but what really sets Cavaretta’s apart are their desserts. Eclairs, New York-style cheesecake, and the best cannolis you’ll find in LA - if you aren’t walking out at Cavaretta’s with at least two boxes full of sweets under your arm, you’ve done it wrong. Available for takeout and delivery.
If you’re in Downtown LA and looking for a spot to grab lunch, but don’t feel like braving Grand Central Market, E Stretto is an excellent bet. It’s a tiny counter in front of Slipper Clutch, serving unique takes on sandwiches - like the killer Ill Papa, served on ciabatta, with everything you’d expect on an Italian, plus chorizo, manchego, and dijonaise. Grab some wine, while you’re at it - they’ve got a great list. Available for takeout or delivery.
With a menu full of messy, red-sauce sandwiches, this 90-year-old Italian deli on the outskirts of Downtown feels closer to Staten Island than Silver Lake, and that’s exactly what makes it so special. The #7 (roast beef, pastrami, and cheese) is probably our favorite, but if you’re feeling ambitious, the D.A. Special (sausage, meatball, roast beef, and pastrami) is worth an order as well. Just make sure you don’t have any strenuous activity planned afterwards. Available for takeout and delivery.
Eleven City Diner
This Mid-Wilshire restaurant is an ode to the American diner/deli, and for that reason alone, you can find just about any kind of sandwich you want here. From smoked brisket to salami to build-your-own grilled cheese, Eleven City is a great place to order from when you’re with people who you know can never make up their mind. Available for takeout and delivery.
Located in Lincoln Heights, Gamboge is a Cambodian deli/cafe/marketplace with excellent food that’s perfect for a quick lunch. While we certainly recommend the chicken salad and the grilled coconut corn, the stars of the show at Gamboge are the num pang. A close cousin to the banh mi, they’re served on crunchy bolillo bread (a variation of a baguette) and filled with everything from poached chicken to grilled oyster mushrooms. Our favorite right now, however, is the spicy pork shoulder, which comes marinated in a lemongrass paste and topped with pate, chili jam, mayo, pickled papaya and carrot slaw, and other garnishes. It’s a fragrant and savory masterpiece, with just a little kick of heat at the end. Available for takeout and delivery.
Operating out of a takeout/delivery hub on Washington Blvd. between Arlington Heights and Pico Union, Ggiata makes traditional, deli-style sandwiches that are so good, you’ll forget they don’t have an actual deli counter. We love The Classic Italian, which is loaded with ham, salami, capicola, and smoked Muenster, but the chicken parm sub and caprese sandwich are both excellent as well. Order here for takeout and delivery.
Another truly essential LA spot, Venice’s Gjusta is an all-day deli with enough sandwiches that we have a different favorite for each day of the week. The two that stand out most, though, are the tomato confit - served on baguette with burrata - and the tuna conserva, with caper aioli and roasted peppers on sourdough. No matter what you order, you can be pretty confident that it’ll be good, because every sandwich comes on some version of Gjusta’s tremendous house-baked bread. Available for pick-up or delivery.
Hotville Chicken is one of the newer hot chicken spots in town, but this order-at-the-counter restaurant in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza is already one of our favorites. Owned by a member of the family behind Nashville’s iconic Prince’s Hot Chicken, it’s impossible to order wrong here, but if you’re looking for a good starting point, both the hot chicken and fried fish sandwiches are among our favorite items on the menu. And so is the mac & cheese - no order is complete without it. Takeout and delivery available.
Hidden on a quiet residential street in Culver City, Jackson Market is a great neighborhood spot that looks just like any other house in the area. The pressed sandwiches here are what you should be after - especially the Melanzane, featuring grilled eggplant, mozzarella, basil, tomatoes, and garlic aioli. Pick-up or delivery available.
Jeff’s Table isn’t the first deli hidden behind a liquor store in Highland Park - they’re not even the first one to occupy the space they’re in - but hidden or not, this is one of our favorite places to pick-up a sandwich in this part of town. If you’re really hungry, get the Jeff’s Special - hot pastrami, sauerkraut, and a big Gruyere crisp on rye - or the Dirty Baby, which is a turkey salad sandwich that also happens to involve housemade chili crisp, two kinds of smoked cheese, and pickled onions. Get a side of Thai peanut mac salad to balance everything out. Order online for pick-up.
If you just got done hiking one of Malibu’s many excellent trails, you won’t find a better refueling spot than John’s Garden. The tiny sandwich shop inside the Malibu Country Mart makes fresh, no-frills sandwiches at reasonable prices (considering the area). We love the tuna salad or Surfer/Princess, with turkey, avocado, lettuce, tomato, and mayo, but we’ve yet to eat a sandwich here we didn’t like. Takeout and delivery available online, or call (310) 456-8377 to place your order.
After a five-year hiatus, the iconic late-night spot in West Adams has reopened with a completely reimagined menu that includes a crispy chicken sandwich, BBQ brisket, and sides that range from tacos to matzo ball soup. But as the giant neon sign out front suggests, Johnny’s is still all about the pastrami. Both the regular sandwich and the French Dip pastrami are excellent. Takeout and delivery available.
JR’s BBQ has been operating in Culver City since 1998, and is one of the few spots in LA where you can get real-deal Memphis-style BBQ. The meat is cooked with a custom dry rub and served with house BBQ sauce. As with most Memphis-style BBQ, pork is the name of the game here, so we recommend starting with either the pulled pork sandwich or the pork ribs. That said, their brisket is not to be missed. Call (310) 837-6838 for takeout or delivery.
Katsu Sando is a tiny sandwich shop in Chinatown that pays homage to Japanese convenience stores like Lawson, which means a menu filled with grab-and-go onigiri (Japanese rice balls), katsu curry plates, and a variety of excellent milk bread sandos. While the pork katsu, egg salad, and honey walnut shrimp are all worth ordering, our current favorite is the menchi katsu. A deep-fried wagyu beef patty topped with frisee, mustard miso ginger slaw, and katsu sauce, it’s a perfectly balanced sandwich and the kind of quick lunch that’ll also keep you full until dinner. Don’t miss the wagyu curry cheese fries, either, which are every bit as incredible as they sound. Available for takeout and delivery.
After shutting down for most of quarantine, Echo Park’s Konbi has reopened for takeout. And they’ve got some brand-new additions. On top of their classic egg and pork katsu sandwiches, they’ve also got sandwiches involving lobster with brown butter mayo and pickled fennel, a Jonah crab omelette, and tuna fish with nori mayo. Available for pick-up.
Located right next to all the major studios in Burbank, Kings Deli has been a go-to lunch spot for industry workers since 2014. It’s a New York-style menu, so that means you can expect everything from Reubens to BLTs to club sandwiches. Order here for takeout and delivery.
Open since 1947, Langer’s is one of the most iconic restaurants in the city, and their #19 sits firmly in the pantheon of all-time great sandwiches. Pastrami that basically melts in your mouth, Swiss cheese, cole slaw, and Russian-dressing - it’s not a complex sandwich by any means, but it’s one you’ll be thinking about for a very long time. Order here for delivery, call (213) 483-8050 for curbside pick-up.
When it comes to sandwiches we actually lose sleep over, Larchmont Wine & Cheese is a main contributor to our insomnia. This tiny counter in the back of an upscale wine store makes simple, straightforward sandwiches where the quality of the ingredients does the talking. The #5 (prosciutto, mozzarella, and arugula) on a crunchy baguette is a classic, but the #3 - topped with soppressata, salami, and manchego - is also a must. Takeout only, call (323) 856-8699 to place your order.
Little Coyote is a neighborhood pizza shop in Long Beach with New York-style pies that are worth getting on the 405 to eat (obvs it’s on our Best New Pizzas of 2020 list). That said, it’s also home to two incredible sandwiches - The Classic Italian and the Meatball. Topped with mortadella, capicola, soppressata, provolone, and the works, The Italian is your traditional deli-style cold cut sub and easily a meal on its own. The Meatball, on the other hand, is made with slightly sweet beef/pork meatballs and will send you into a deep existential state as you try to figure out why more restaurants in this town don’t serve meatball subs. Available for takeout and delivery.
Orleans & York is a local mini-chain serving classic sandwiches from both NYC and New Orleans. The menu at this order-at-the-counter spot covers a lot of ground, so our suggestion is to concentrate mostly on the New Orleans side of things. And in particular, the po’boys. The shrimp is what most people are eating, but for us, the beef hot links with bell peppers and onions is the premier po’boy here. Available for takeout and delivery.
Perry’s Joint is a gourmet sandwich shop in Pasadena that’s been a staple of the neighborhood since opening its doors in 2004. The menu covers a lot of ground, so whether you’re in the mood for a tuna melt, egg salad, or hot roast beef and pastrami, Perry’s has you covered. Available for takeout and delivery.
“Philippe or Cole’s?” is right up there with Clippers vs. Lakers, Bellinger vs. Trout, and Eastside vs. Westside on the list of things that divide Angelenos. We like them both, but Philippe is unlike any other spot in LA. In business since World War I, their French dip sandwich is the reason for their staying power: This creation is layered with super-spicy mustard, beef that melts in your mouth, and thin, flavorful au jus that there’s a 100-percent chance you drink after you’re done with your sandwich. Available for pick-up or delivery.
Located on a quiet side street in Beverly Grove, Potato Chips Deli is one of the most underrated sandwich shops in the entire city. We absolutely love their turkey sandwich, but arguing with friends and neighbors about which sandwich is actually the best is a favorite pastime for regulars here. Moral of the story: There isn’t a bad order. Available for takeout and delivery.
Visiting Roma Market is an LA rite of passage on par with running into your celebrity crush at Trader Joe’s, or finally figuring out the fastest way to get to work without Waze. This Pasadena market doesn’t have a menu, and makes a single sandwich: It’s unnamed, wrapped in pink wax paper, and a study in simplicity - three types of meat (mortadella, salami, and capicola) and some provolone on a house-baked sub roll. That’s it. You’ll think the cashier made a mistake when they ring you up - but it’s really only $5.50, and it’s really as good as everyone says it is. There’s a reason they make 500 of them a day on weekends. Pick-up only.
A parking space-sized Armenian deli in East Hollywood, Sahag’s Basturma specializes in cured meats made in-house. You’ve basically got two options here - soujouk, a dried, spiced beef sausage - and basturma, a bresaola-like cured beef, heavily spiced and packed with flavor. Both come as sandwiches, served on a white sub roll with tomatoes and a side of pickled hot peppers. Pick-up only.
A classic Inglewood spot, The Serving Spoon is a huge restaurant on Centinela with massive portions and excellent diner food. Their breakfasts are great, but if you’re in the mood for a sandwich, get the fried catfish: It’s deep-fried, topped with mayo, and absolutely tremendous. The Brenda Club, a triple-decker turkey and ham club, is also a good bet. Available for takeout.
Simply Wholesome is the ultimate multihyphenate - juice bar, grocery store, health food supplier, and sandwich shop. Stop by this View Park-Windsor Hills spot for their great turkey burger, or the Carribean tofu sandwich loaded with jerk spices, grilled mushrooms, and tomatoes. Get some Jamaican spinach patties while you’re at it. Takeout only.
LA is home to one of the largest Armenian populations in the U.S. - meaning we have excellent Armenian food all over this city. One place to check out immediately is Tarzana Armenian Deli, the family-run Valley institution operating since 1972. They claim to be the originators of the pita wrap, and in the spirit of generosity, we’ll give it to them. Because either way, those lahmajun (spiced minced meat) and soujouk-stuffed masterpieces are delicious. Available for takeout and delivery.
Echo Park’s Trencher is a quiet spot near Dodger Stadium that’s ideal for picking up sandwiches before walking around Echo Park Lake. You’re missing out if you don’t get the fried chicken banh mi or the Lakeshore, a crispy cod sandwich with fried kale, jalapeño slaw, and house tartar sauce. Takeout only.
There’s no shtick at Uncle Paulie’s, a low-key neighborhood deli with locations in Beverly Grove and Downtown. It’s just a casual spot to pick up a deli sandwich during lunch or on a lazy Sunday afternoon after one bottle of wine led to two bottles of wine the night before. Our go-tos include the Italian combo or the artichoke caprese (add hot peppers), but don’t even think about leaving without one of their house-made cookies. Available for takeout and delivery.
You won’t find more inventive sandwiches than the ones at Wax Paper, the excellent Frogtown spot. They operate out of a converted shipping container, selling sandwiches named for NPR personalities - it’s truly impossible to pick a favorite, but contenders would be the Terry Gross (turkey and slaw on focaccia), the Larry Mantle (an Italian sub that’s impossible to eat without a fork), and the Ira Glass (possibly the world’s best vegetarian sandwich). Available for takeout and delivery. Wax Paper also has a second location in Chinatown.
Wexler’s started as a tiny stand in Grand Central Market, and turned into a mini-Southern California empire, with locations in DTLA, Santa Monica, and Palm Springs. It’s for good reason, too, as this Jewish-inspired deli does not f*ck around when it comes to sandwiches. Their creations are relatively straightforward, but their versions of a pastrami sandwich (the Macarthur Park), lox bagel (the Uncle Leo), and the Reuben are all among the best in town. Available for pick-up and delivery.