clock menu more-arrow no yes
Hands hold two banh mi over pavement
The banh mi from Ba Le just might be the best sandwich in Boston (or anywhere)
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

15 Essential Sandwiches Around Boston

Eat banh mi in Dorchester, Chilean sandwiches downtown, Cuban sandwiches in Jamaica Plain, tortas in Medford, and more

View as Map
The banh mi from Ba Le just might be the best sandwich in Boston (or anywhere)
| Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Boston doesn’t exactly have an iconic type of sandwich, at least not in the same way some cities do — Philly has the cheesesteak, Chicago has the Italian beef, and New York has pastrami on rye, for example. Sure, there’s the lobster roll, but if hot dogs aren’t sandwiches, lobster rolls aren’t sandwiches either.

The dearth of a definitive sandwich type notwithstanding, an Eater can absolutely find a lot of very good sandwiches in and around Boston. These are the 15 best.

Please note that a number of Boston-area restaurants have resumed dine-in service, and the level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: For updated information on coronavirus cases in the area, please visit the Massachusetts coronavirus website.

Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

For all the latest Boston dining intel, subscribe to Eater Boston’s newsletter.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Tenoch Mexican

Copy Link
24 Riverside Ave
Medford, MA 02155
(781) 395-2221
Visit Website

This Medford Square staple first opened its doors in 2012, and has since expanded to include a fleet of food trucks and brick-and-mortar locations in Melrose, the North End, and Somerville. Tenoch serves a variety of Mexican street food — by all means, try one of its many exceptional tacos — but it specializes in and is best known for its tortas. Its torta al pastor is packed with crispy, slightly smoky chunks of pork, which is topped with grassy, citrusy cilantro and a slice of tooth-achingly sweet pineapple. A trip to Medford must include a trip to Tenoch.

Tenoch is open for takeout.

A torta from Tenoch in Medford sits atop a wooden table
A torta from Tenoch
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

2. Pennypacker's

Copy Link
514 Medford St
Somerville, MA 02145
(857) 523-8053
Visit Website

The porchetta sandwich from Pennypacker’s is served on ciabatta, and it’s essential Boston eating. If you’re there, you might as well order some duck fat roasted Brussels sprouts too.

Pennypacker’s is open for takeout.

Closeup on a simple porchetta sandwich with a side salad on a blue plate
The Pennypacker’s porchetta sandwich is exceptional
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

3. Hot Box

Copy Link
1 Bow Market Way
Somerville, MA 02143
(617) 284-9600
Visit Website

The North Shore-style roast beef sandwich is — in all of its sloppy, messy glory — an iconic Massachusetts bite. The classic version (or, the “super beef,” as it’s known in most shops) consists of an onion or seeded roll piled high with 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,” and that’s exactly how Hot Box prepares its version. This Union Square shop’s beef compares favorably to all the best spots north of the city, from Revere Beach to North Beverly.

Hot Box is open for takeout and delivery.

A three-way junior roast beef sandwich on a sesame bun sits on aluminum foil
An honest-to-goodness North Shore-style roast beef sandwich from Hot Box
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

4. MOLTI on Moody

Copy Link
468 Moody St
Waltham, MA 02453
(781) 216-8732
Visit Website

The restaurant formerly known as Moody’s has changed a bit in the past several years, but it’s still offering an excellent pastrami sandwich. Order the Katz (an homage to the quintessential New York deli), which comes with house-made pastrami, pickled peppers, coleslaw, Swiss, and special sauce served on seeded rye.

Molti on Moody is open for takeout.

5. Bricco Salumeria & Pasta Shop

Copy Link
11 Board Alley
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 248-9629
Visit Website

Bricco Panetteria is broadly regarded as one of the best bakeries in Greater Boston, so it’s not surprising that its sibling, Bricco Salumeria, combines that great bread with prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, and olive oil to make a damn fine panino.

Bricco is open for takeout and delivery.

6. Sam LaGrassa's

Copy Link
44 Province St
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 357-6861
Visit Website

It wouldn’t be a Boston sandwich map without Sam LaGrassa’s. The restaurant’s menu is vast — like, 50 sandwiches vast — but the move at LaGrassa’s is the corned beef on pumpernickel with Swiss and spicy brown mustard. The corned beef is salty and tender and a little fatty, which is balanced by the sweet-and-sour dance of the pumpernickel and the sharpness of the mustard. La Grassa’s is a tourist trap, but it is so for a reason.

Sam LaGrassa’s is open for takeout and delivery (call the restaurant directly, or email orders@samlagrassas.net).

7. Chacarero

Copy Link
101 Arch St
Boston, MA 02110
(617) 542-0392
Visit Website

The signature sandwich from Chacarero is unlike any other sandwich in the city. This Chilean sandwich consists of grilled steak or chicken (or both — get both), fresh tomatoes, steamed green beans, a slice of Muenster, avocado spread, salt, and pepper, and it’s all stuffed into a soft, freshly-baked round roll. (Note: Chacarero is closed on weekends.)

Chacarero is open for takeout and delivery.

8. FIYA Chicken

Copy Link
1024 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 208-8659
Visit Website

Boston is teeming with great fried chicken sandwiches, but Fiya Chicken might have the best version. The chicken used in its Korean fried chicken sandwich is brined with buttermilk and kimchi, which gives the final product a slightly fermented taste. Diners can choose from four different glaze options: soy garlic, spicy garlic, Fiya sauce (which is spicy), and cider honey mustard. The soy garlic glaze is the play here — it is sweet and salty, and pairs well with the housemade kimchi and pickles that top the sandwich. It’s all served on a toasted brioche bun.

Fiya is open for indoor dining, and takeout and delivery from its website.

9. Mei Mei

Copy Link
506 Park Dr
Boston, MA 02215
(857) 250-4959
Visit Website

Mei Mei’s Double Awesome is definitely breakfast sandwich adjacent, but it’s not exactly a breakfast sandwich, and it’s too good not to include here. Scallion pancakes replace bread and are folded around pesto, cheddar, over-easy eggs, and an option of bacon, ham or turkey (though diners can certainly opt for a vegetarian version). It is iconic Boston eating at its finest.

Mei Mei is open for takeout and delivery, and the Double Awesome is currently available as a meal kit that diners can make in the comfort of their own kitchens.

Eggs and greens are nestled in two folded scallion pancakes
Mei Mei’s “double awesome”
Mei Mei/Official Site

10. Michael's Deli

Copy Link
256 Harvard St
Brookline, MA 02446
(617) 738-3354
Visit Website

This is a twofer, and diners should feel free to choose their own adventure: either the corned beef Rachel, or the corned beef Reuben. The Rachel comes with coleslaw, the Reuben comes with sauerkraut, they both come with Swiss cheese and Russian dressing, and they’re both served on toasted pumpernickel.

Michael’s is open for takeout and delivery.

11. Cutty's

Copy Link
284 Washington St
Brookline, MA 02445
(617) 505-1844
Visit Website

Virtually every sandwich on this Brookline Village shop’s menu was in the running for this list, but there could only be one, and that one is the Roast Beef 1,000. It’s not a North Shore-style beef, but it doesn’t matter. The roast beef is cooked in-house to a tender rosy pink, and it is topped with Thousand Island dressing, sharp cheddar, and crispy shallots. It’s all served on a black pepper brioche bun, and griddled ever so slightly in a panini press for a bit of textural variety. This sandwich is a miracle.

Cutty’s is open for takeout.

A roast beef sandwich on brioche, topped with crispy shallots, a slide of cheddar, and Thousand Island dressing.
Not North Shore-style, but not bad either
Cutty’s/Official Site

12. Joe's Famous Steak Subs

Copy Link
140 Dudley St
Roxbury, MA 02119
(617) 442-8824
Visit Website

Sub shops in Greater Boston are often measured by the quality of their steak and cheese, and Joe’s version is an exemplar of the genre — the roll is pillowy, the shaved steak is tender, the cheese is abundant and melty, and the peppers and onions add a sweet and zesty zip. This Roxbury shop is not to be missed.

Joe’s is open for takeout.

13. M&M BBQ

Copy Link
1250 Massachusetts Ave
Dorchester, MA 02125
(617) 307-7674
Visit Website

M&M BBQ has been doing its thing since 1982. The Dorchester restaurant has taken on many forms over the past four decades — food truck, catering business, pop-up — but it recently found a permanent home inside the Dorchester Brewing Company. Its ribs are certainly worth your coins, but the Geneva Ave. sandwich — shredded beef brisket topped with pickled onions, BBQ sauce, and smoked cheese sauce — is absolutely the play here. Grab a four-pack of Dorchester Brewing’s Neponset Gold to wash it all down while you’re there.

M&M is open for takeout and delivery.

14. El Oriental De Cuba

Copy Link
416 Centre St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(617) 524-6464
Visit Website

The Cuban sandwich at El Oriental De Cuba in Jamaica Plain is compulsory Boston sandwich eating. The exterior is crispy, and the interior is filled with savory pork and tangy pickles dressed with a gooey amalgamation of Swiss cheese and mustard.

El Oriental De Cuba is open for takeout.

15. Ba Le Restaurant

Copy Link
1052 Dorchester Ave
Boston, MA 02125
(617) 265-7171
Visit Website

Boston has a spectacular banh mi scene, but the best of the best can be found at Ba Le in Dorchester. Its barbecue beef banh mi may just be the best sandwich in the entire city. The bread, which is baked in-house, has a shatteringly crisp exterior and a pillowy interior, and is packed with fresh vegetables and sweet, charred strips of beef. Pick up some Vietnamese pantry staples and a Vietnamese iced coffee while you’re there.

Ba Le is open for takeout.

Hands hold two banh mi over pavement
The perfect sandwich most certainly does exist, and you can find it on Dorchester Avenue
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

1. Tenoch Mexican

24 Riverside Ave, Medford, MA 02155
A torta from Tenoch in Medford sits atop a wooden table
A torta from Tenoch
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

This Medford Square staple first opened its doors in 2012, and has since expanded to include a fleet of food trucks and brick-and-mortar locations in Melrose, the North End, and Somerville. Tenoch serves a variety of Mexican street food — by all means, try one of its many exceptional tacos — but it specializes in and is best known for its tortas. Its torta al pastor is packed with crispy, slightly smoky chunks of pork, which is topped with grassy, citrusy cilantro and a slice of tooth-achingly sweet pineapple. A trip to Medford must include a trip to Tenoch.

Tenoch is open for takeout.

24 Riverside Ave
Medford, MA 02155

2. Pennypacker's

514 Medford St, Somerville, MA 02145
Closeup on a simple porchetta sandwich with a side salad on a blue plate
The Pennypacker’s porchetta sandwich is exceptional
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

The porchetta sandwich from Pennypacker’s is served on ciabatta, and it’s essential Boston eating. If you’re there, you might as well order some duck fat roasted Brussels sprouts too.

Pennypacker’s is open for takeout.

514 Medford St
Somerville, MA 02145

3. Hot Box

1 Bow Market Way, Somerville, MA 02143
A three-way junior roast beef sandwich on a sesame bun sits on aluminum foil
An honest-to-goodness North Shore-style roast beef sandwich from Hot Box
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

The North Shore-style roast beef sandwich is — in all of its sloppy, messy glory — an iconic Massachusetts bite. The classic version (or, the “super beef,” as it’s known in most shops) consists of an onion or seeded roll piled high with 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,” and that’s exactly how Hot Box prepares its version. This Union Square shop’s beef compares favorably to all the best spots north of the city, from Revere Beach to North Beverly.

Hot Box is open for takeout and delivery.

1 Bow Market Way
Somerville, MA 02143

4. MOLTI on Moody

468 Moody St, Waltham, MA 02453

The restaurant formerly known as Moody’s has changed a bit in the past several years, but it’s still offering an excellent pastrami sandwich. Order the Katz (an homage to the quintessential New York deli), which comes with house-made pastrami, pickled peppers, coleslaw, Swiss, and special sauce served on seeded rye.

Molti on Moody is open for takeout.

468 Moody St
Waltham, MA 02453

5. Bricco Salumeria & Pasta Shop

11 Board Alley, Boston, MA 02113

Bricco Panetteria is broadly regarded as one of the best bakeries in Greater Boston, so it’s not surprising that its sibling, Bricco Salumeria, combines that great bread with prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, and olive oil to make a damn fine panino.

Bricco is open for takeout and delivery.

11 Board Alley
Boston, MA 02113

6. Sam LaGrassa's

44 Province St, Boston, MA 02108

It wouldn’t be a Boston sandwich map without Sam LaGrassa’s. The restaurant’s menu is vast — like, 50 sandwiches vast — but the move at LaGrassa’s is the corned beef on pumpernickel with Swiss and spicy brown mustard. The corned beef is salty and tender and a little fatty, which is balanced by the sweet-and-sour dance of the pumpernickel and the sharpness of the mustard. La Grassa’s is a tourist trap, but it is so for a reason.

Sam LaGrassa’s is open for takeout and delivery (call the restaurant directly, or email orders@samlagrassas.net).

44 Province St
Boston, MA 02108

7. Chacarero

101 Arch St, Boston, MA 02110

The signature sandwich from Chacarero is unlike any other sandwich in the city. This Chilean sandwich consists of grilled steak or chicken (or both — get both), fresh tomatoes, steamed green beans, a slice of Muenster, avocado spread, salt, and pepper, and it’s all stuffed into a soft, freshly-baked round roll. (Note: Chacarero is closed on weekends.)

Chacarero is open for takeout and delivery.

101 Arch St
Boston, MA 02110

8. FIYA Chicken

1024 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

Boston is teeming with great fried chicken sandwiches, but Fiya Chicken might have the best version. The chicken used in its Korean fried chicken sandwich is brined with buttermilk and kimchi, which gives the final product a slightly fermented taste. Diners can choose from four different glaze options: soy garlic, spicy garlic, Fiya sauce (which is spicy), and cider honey mustard. The soy garlic glaze is the play here — it is sweet and salty, and pairs well with the housemade kimchi and pickles that top the sandwich. It’s all served on a toasted brioche bun.

Fiya is open for indoor dining, and takeout and delivery from its website.

1024 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

9. Mei Mei

506 Park Dr, Boston, MA 02215
Eggs and greens are nestled in two folded scallion pancakes
Mei Mei’s “double awesome”
Mei Mei/Official Site

Mei Mei’s Double Awesome is definitely breakfast sandwich adjacent, but it’s not exactly a breakfast sandwich, and it’s too good not to include here. Scallion pancakes replace bread and are folded around pesto, cheddar, over-easy eggs, and an option of bacon, ham or turkey (though diners can certainly opt for a vegetarian version). It is iconic Boston eating at its finest.

Mei Mei is open for takeout and delivery, and the Double Awesome is currently available as a meal kit that diners can make in the comfort of their own kitchens.

506 Park Dr
Boston, MA 02215

10. Michael's Deli

256 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446

This is a twofer, and diners should feel free to choose their own adventure: either the corned beef Rachel, or the corned beef Reuben. The Rachel comes with coleslaw, the Reuben comes with sauerkraut, they both come with Swiss cheese and Russian dressing, and they’re both served on toasted pumpernickel.

Michael’s is open for takeout and delivery.

256 Harvard St
Brookline, MA 02446

11. Cutty's

284 Washington St, Brookline, MA 02445
A roast beef sandwich on brioche, topped with crispy shallots, a slide of cheddar, and Thousand Island dressing.
Not North Shore-style, but not bad either
Cutty’s/Official Site

Virtually every sandwich on this Brookline Village shop’s menu was in the running for this list, but there could only be one, and that one is the Roast Beef 1,000. It’s not a North Shore-style beef, but it doesn’t matter. The roast beef is cooked in-house to a tender rosy pink, and it is topped with Thousand Island dressing, sharp cheddar, and crispy shallots. It’s all served on a black pepper brioche bun, and griddled ever so slightly in a panini press for a bit of textural variety. This sandwich is a miracle.

Cutty’s is open for takeout.

284 Washington St
Brookline, MA 02445

12. Joe's Famous Steak Subs

140 Dudley St, Roxbury, MA 02119

Sub shops in Greater Boston are often measured by the quality of their steak and cheese, and Joe’s version is an exemplar of the genre — the roll is pillowy, the shaved steak is tender, the cheese is abundant and melty, and the peppers and onions add a sweet and zesty zip. This Roxbury shop is not to be missed.

Joe’s is open for takeout.

140 Dudley St
Roxbury, MA 02119

13. M&M BBQ

1250 Massachusetts Ave, Dorchester, MA 02125

M&M BBQ has been doing its thing since 1982. The Dorchester restaurant has taken on many forms over the past four decades — food truck, catering business, pop-up — but it recently found a permanent home inside the Dorchester Brewing Company. Its ribs are certainly worth your coins, but the Geneva Ave. sandwich — shredded beef brisket topped with pickled onions, BBQ sauce, and smoked cheese sauce — is absolutely the play here. Grab a four-pack of Dorchester Brewing’s Neponset Gold to wash it all down while you’re there.

M&M is open for takeout and delivery.

1250 Massachusetts Ave
Dorchester, MA 02125

14. El Oriental De Cuba

416 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

The Cuban sandwich at El Oriental De Cuba in Jamaica Plain is compulsory Boston sandwich eating. The exterior is crispy, and the interior is filled with savory pork and tangy pickles dressed with a gooey amalgamation of Swiss cheese and mustard.

El Oriental De Cuba is open for takeout.

416 Centre St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

15. Ba Le Restaurant

1052 Dorchester Ave, Boston, MA 02125
Hands hold two banh mi over pavement
The perfect sandwich most certainly does exist, and you can find it on Dorchester Avenue
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Boston has a spectacular banh mi scene, but the best of the best can be found at Ba Le in Dorchester. Its barbecue beef banh mi may just be the best sandwich in the entire city. The bread, which is baked in-house, has a shatteringly crisp exterior and a pillowy interior, and is packed with fresh vegetables and sweet, charred strips of beef. Pick up some Vietnamese pantry staples and a Vietnamese iced coffee while you’re there.

Ba Le is open for takeout.

1052 Dorchester Ave
Boston, MA 02125

Related Maps