The Best Sandwich Shops San Francisco

New York has the reuben. Chicago, the italian beef. But San Francisco’s most iconic sandwich has a sweet twist. In 1928, George Whitney sandwiched a scoop of vanilla ice cream between two oatmeal cookies and dipped it into dark chocolate. For generations after, fans flocked to his stand to get a taste of the treat—dubbed the It’s-It—and today, this “official food of San Francisco” can be found at grocery stores across the city. If you prefer a more traditional sandwich, the city’s restaurants offer up a slew of savory options.
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Mission: James Beard Award Winner

This French-style bakery is all about the delicious housemade bread that's baked almost every day on a radiant stone hearth. The James Beard Award-winning pastry chefs use the organic breads for their cheesy hot pressed sandwiches, such as the pecorino and almond variety, which was lauded by _Bon Appétit_.

SoMa: Vegetarian Pinole

This meat-free spot is passionate about serving healthful feel-good food. Pinole sandwiches—served on hearth-baked bread—include the "cluck" or eggplant parm, as well as a bánh mì pita with Vietnamese veggies. Everything here can also be made vegan, from nacho fries with black beans and pico de gallo to housemade Twinkies.

Castro: Dirty Secret

Customers line up to get a taste of Ike's Dirty Secret sauce, a housemade herbed mayo that's baked into every piece of bread. A chalkboard menu displays the quirky names of more than 80 sandwiches, including the 4-pound Kryptonite sandwich, profiled on Travel Channel's _Man v. Food_.

Telegraph Hill: Angus Beef Burgers

There are no bells or whistles at this diner, just juicy, corn-fed, 7-ounce Angus beef burgers grilled over volcanic rocks and served on toasted housemade buns. The honest-to-goodness ingredients—and the affordable prices—made it _Frommer's_ "burger of choice" in San Francisco.

Multiple Locations: San Francisco Sourdough

Boudin holds claim to the original recipe for San Francisco's famous sourdough french bread, which it’s been baking since 1849. Today, it uses that same original "wild yeast" starter to craft its specialty loaves, which are the foundation for simple artisan sandwiches such as turkey avocado and pesto roast beef.

SoMa: Sandwiches and Coffee

This deli and cafe serves up dozens of geek-themed sandwiches such as the New School, a Daily Candy favorite filled with thinly sliced pastrami and house garlic sauce. In addition to "lab experiments" (aka daily sandwich specials), the staff also loves its caffeine, so you'll find a variety of brew-to-order coffees.

Multiple Locations: All-in-One Sandwich

Giordano Bros.' signature All-in-One sandwich fits an entire meal between two slices of italian bread—including the sides. In addition to grilled steak, sausage, salami, or capicola and melted provolone, the sandwich is piled high with freshly cut fries and tangy vinegar slaw.

Marina: Surfer-Themed Sandwich Shop

According to regulars, there are a couple things you should do when visiting this island-style spot, including write your name on the Hall of Shame wall outside. The locals also dig sandwich No. 11, aka the Porn Star, stuffed with marinated chicken, barbecue and teriyaki sauces, bomb sauce, and a choice of cheese.

Downtown: Bánh Mì on a Budget

The success of this hole-in-the-wall spot hinged largely on word of mouth. That, and an endorsement from _Travel + Leisure_, which called the bánh mì sandwich "simple, flavorful, and exceptionally inexpensive." The line can get quite long as a result—especially during lunchtime—but a cash-only policy keeps things moving quickly.

Castro: Choose Your Bread First

If you don't follow the "rules" at this busy lunchtime spot, you might get a tongue-lashing from owner Mae, who's drawn comparisons to the _Seinfeld_’s Soup Nazi. Despite the formalities, locals have been flocking to this eatery for more than 30 years for the simple yet delicious hot pastrami sandwich.

Multiple Locations

Wise Sons only opened its first location in 2012, but it's already been named one of the best Jewish delis in the country by _Bon Appétit_. The team makes almost all ingredients in-house, including half-sour pickles, smoked whitefish, and their famous brined pastrami, but celebrity fan Woody Allen sticks to the matzo ball soup.