It’s Sandwich Week! – The New York Times

Last week, Becky Hughes took over the newsletter because I was up to my eyeballs in spreadsheets filled with sandwiches. This week, all that beautiful organization came together in the form of our list of “57 Sandwiches That Define New York City,” a grand survey of all five boroughs through the lens of its most inspired dishes between two slices of bread.

When the sandwich project was born, I knew the selections had to reflect a few key factors: the city’s history of immigration and globalism, its most iconic institutions (Jewish and Italian delis, neighborhood mainstays), its ingenious chefs and, most important, all five boroughs.

I came up with a list of about 50 leads, then asked our Food staff to share their adds and to highlight any blind spots. We compiled a list of over 100 sandwiches, and after three weeks of scouting, narrowed the selection to 57 worthy choices. From there, our tireless photo editor Gabriel H. Sanchez commissioned three photographers to photograph every one of them.

Because I have a car, I took on the Bronx and Staten Island. (Shout out to Pamela Silvestri, the food editor at the Staten Island Advance, for taking me out to try sandwiches on a rainy Friday afternoon.) But my favorite sandwich was a little closer to home: I haven’t stopped thinking about the vegan lobster roll at Aunts et Uncles in Brooklyn. It proves that necessity truly is the mother of invention, because I need that “lobster” roll made with hearts of palm in my life.

I thought I’d ask my fellow sandwich hunters about which sandwiches stood out to them the most during our delicious journey across the city.

The Veg-Italian from Court Street Grocers has defined my New York experience for all 11 years that I have lived here. I am not vegetarian but I love vegetarian sandwiches, and it often feels like even great sandwich shops treat vegetarian sandwiches as an afterthought. Not Court Street Grocers. I have eaten this sandwich in airports, on planes, on subways, at work, in between meetings — it is the sandwich of my New York. PRIYA KRISHNA

I love the hot ham sandwich at Hamburger America in part because it’s so modest. Modest in size (it could fit in the palm of your hand), modest in its components (a toasted bun, sliced ham and melted Swiss) and modest in its goal, which is simply to give you a few contented moments before you face the rest of your day. PETE WELLS

My favorite was the focaccia sandwich at Lucia Alimentari: A crucial characteristic of any sandwich is the bread, but at Lucia Alimentari, the fluffy focaccia is what rules. I think about that sandwich every once in a while, and I only hope that when I go back to have it again that it’s not sold out. CHRISTINA MORALES

The Scuttlebutt, which was created in the late aughts by Caroline Fidanza and Rebecca Collerton at Saltie, a beloved shop in Williamsburg. The sandwich survived the closure of that restaurant, so maybe there’s hope for a reincarnation of my all-time favorite sandwich in New York, the Fort Defiance muffuletta, too. SARA BONISTEEL

People talk a lot about Superiority Burger, but I feel like not enough of them are talking about the collard greens sandwich on focaccia. Sitting at the bar and eating this sandwich along with a martini made me feel so … “I HEART NY.” BECKY HUGHES

The prosciutto and butter because of its perfect minimalism. The French onion sandwich for its gooey-sweet complexity. MELISSA CLARK


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