I love sandwiches almost as much as I love beer and videogames. In a perfect world, I’d have the most cheesy, protein-filled (meat or tempeh), bready sandwich; a hoppy craft beer filled to the brim with IBUs and a game that transfixes me to the point of making me forget almost everything else in life. The only thing that could make the scenario more perfect would be if I could share that experience with Yaicha. So, before my first cake day on Reddit, I asked a simple question to other Portland Redditors: What are Portland’s best sandwich restaurants?
People weren’t shy in responding and it was great hearing from other sandwich lovers in the community to find out what they like in a sandwich. After taking a poll in which I tallied each person’s recommendation in the 100+ comments, these are the top five places to get a sandwich in Portland, Oregon.
I’m sorry to say it, but this place is closed. I know … sad violin. I’ve heard good things about this place, but when I finally made the effort to go there, I found out they shut up shop. Whether you’re a meat lover looking for the Argento Arrabiata — a spicy italian sub featuring salami, ham, provolone, pepperoncini, mayo and lettuce on a french roll — or a veggie lover searching for The People’s Sandwich — pan-fried ota tofu covered in pesto, sweet and spicy peppadew peppers and filberts on a french roll — you could find a sandwich here. Their last Facebook post stated, “Thanks for three and a half years Portland. We’ll let you know of the next step, when that foot falls.” Maybe we’ll see something from them again soon? One can only hope.
Lardo is what makes Portland great. What started out as a food cart, turned into a restaurant on the southeast side of Portland and then another popped up shortly after on the west end of downtown Portland. On my first visit, I had the smoked coppa cubano with ham, dijon, pickles, Lardo sauce, Valentina and provolone, which was just as rich and condiment heavy as I like in a sandwich. The double burger with its cascade natural beef, cheddar, porkstrami, and Lardo sauce is what made me love burgers again. It’s so good. This place is fabulous and is also a great place to grab a good beer.
3. TIE — Bunk Sandwiches
I’ve only gotten a few different kinds of sandwiches at Bunk, each of them have been fulfilling upon the initial consumption of the meal, but they always had strange after-effects. My favorite is the Italian cured meats with Bunk marinated hot peppers and provolone piccante, but it always leaves me a little more oily than I like and I feel like I have to wash my hands and mouth after eating it. The meatball parmigiano hero was a fantastic sandwich that I had at the 2013 Malt Ball, but it gave me some seriously wicked burps. The roast beef was the sandwich I remember the least, but what I remember about all of the sandwiches from Bunk — and what most Redditors remember — are the price of the sandwiches compared to the size. If price doesn’t matter to you and you’re looking for a quality sandwich that isn’t huge, you might like this place.
2. TIE — Eastside Deli
This is the only other place I haven’t eaten at on this list. From all of the comments, this deli is one of those places where you can get your money’s worth in the size and quality of the sandwich. Sandwiches come in a Portland French 6-inch sub, 12-inch sub, or on Dave’s Killer Bread and have Boar’s Head meats as well as a whole vegan and kids menu. Despite their name, they’re located in three places: SE Hawthorne, North Lombard, and in downtown Portland. I must get here soon.
A large majority of people said that this was the place to get a sandwich and they weren’t kidding. Ryan and I went there one Saturday morning for a sandwich brunch to find a standing room full of people who knew the secret before I did: these sandwiches are awesome. The Italian Grinder — made with mortadella, genoa salami, copocollo, sopressatta, proscuitto, pepper ham meats, provolone, asiago, parmesan cheeses, olive pepper, roasted bell peppers, relish, lettuce, tomato and olive oil — is probably the best sandwich I’ve ever had in Portland. It’s crazy to think that all of those ingredients can even fit on a sub, but here it is in all its glory.
So, if you’ve heard of all of these places, you now have another opinion for or against them. If you haven’t and you love sandwiches, I recommend checking out the places that are still open. Special shout-out to Kenny & Zuke’s deli and Meat Cheese Bread — both of those places are great as well. There were many more recommendations, but I’d love to hear yours in the comments. If you’re in another city and these places remind you of a favorite there, I’d love to hear of those too. EAT UP!