The North Shore is home to an array of delicacies and oddities — fried clams in the former group, Greek pizza in the latter. North Shore-style roast beef sandwiches — messy and lowbrow as they are — fit into both categories.
The essential version — or, the super beef, as it’s known in most shops — consists of an onion Kaiser roll piled high with tender, rosy-pink roast beef shaved impossibly thin and topped with mayonnaise, barbecue sauce, and a slice of white American cheese. It’s known colloquially as a “three-way.” Pro tip: While it’s untraditional and may inspire some side-eyeing, add shredded lettuce. The “four-way” is infinitely better than the “three-way.”
Most beef shops sling a variety of sizes — junior beef, regular beef, and the aforementioned (and also the best) super beef. Junior beefs usually come on unseeded hamburger buns, while regular beefs are often served on a sesame seed bun. Every version is good, and what one orders depends largely on one’s appetite. (Get the super beef.)
Here’s where to get North Shore-style roast beef sandwiches (and a few worthy non-North Shore-style roast beef sandwiches) in and around Boston, but mostly north of the city.
Further reading: Where to Eat Fried Clams in and Around Boston; Boston’s Most Iconic Dishes
This map was originally published October 18, 2017. It is updated periodically, and the date of the most recent update appears above. The most recent update includes the removal of Roast Beast in Boston’s Allston neighborhood (closed in November 2019) and Courtyard in Newburyport (also closed).Read More