Where To Get The Best Sandwiches in Los Angeles

Alexia Wulff

The sandwich, a classic American phenomenon, has made its way back into the spotlight, popping up on menus in every corner of LA. Once a simple construction of bread on the outside and austere filling on the inside, the sandwich has now become a foodie’s dream – piled high with layers of meats and cheeses, elegantly wedged between two pieces of artisan bread. With creative combinations making the menu of nearly every restaurant in LA, this list reveals those that rise above the rest.

Brisket Bahn Mi

1. Gjelina Take Away, Venice

Restaurant, American

Plan Check
© Courtesy Dylan + Jeni
Head on down to a Venice favorite, Gjelina Take Away, or ‘GTA,’ a small space dishing out wood-fired pizzas, creative sandwiches and salads inspired by its sister restaurant, Gjelina, located next door. Try the blackened fish sandwich – Russian dressing and crunchy coleslaw on top of a warm brioche bun, or get your heat on with the brisket bahn mi – a gourmet take on a Vietnamese classic, topped with pickled vegetables, jalapeño vinegar, aioli and served on a crispy baguette. Take it to go and head around the corner to find the Venice locals crowding around milk crates and chowing down on the delicious fare.

2. Plan Check, Downtown

Bar, Diner, Gastropub, Restaurant, American

Bäco Mercat
© Courtesy Dylan + Jeni
Plan Check Bar + Kitchen brings the feel of an old school diner to an upscale setting with industrial décor, southern-style comfort food, and dishes based on a ‘small-plate format.’ Typically the go to spot for a burger, Plan Check comes out of left field with the unsurpassable southern fry – Jidori chicken battered and fried to perfection, melted Swiss, pickles and a slice of duck ham, all stacked and slathered with spicy pimento cheese. Pair it with the S&L old fashioned on tap or a craft beer for an epic combination.

3. Philippe’s, China Town

Sandwich Shop, American, French

Whether you’ve heard the buzz or seen the neon sign glowing out front, Philippe’s is known for their ‘French dipped sandwiches.’ The interior stays true to its original 1950s décor, keeping it casual with communal tables and a deli counter with hungry patrons lined out the door. The menu is short but sweet; choose from one of the five roasted meats and watch in awe as a freshly baked French roll is dipped in au jus, a gravy made from the roast drippings. Don’t forget to add a slice of cheese and a side of their famous coleslaw.

4. Bay Cities Italian Deli, Santa Monica

Deli, Bakery, Italian, Vegetarian

At Bay Cities Italian Deli, a Santa Monica staple since 1925, you will find an array of imported and domestic goods from various regions in the Mediterranean. This gourmet market specializes in pre-made pastas, but the deli counter – packed with cured meats and aged cheeses – is where it’s at. Their most popular sandwich, the Godmother, is a meat lover’s dream – genoa salami, mortadella, ham, prosciutto, provolone, all piled high on a freshly baked Italian roll. Or opt for a vegetarian, melt-in-your-mouth combo, with layers of creamy Burrata cheese, juicy tomatoes and fresh basil, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

5. Langer’s Pastrami, Westlake

Deli, Bar, Restaurant, American

Langers No. 19
© T.Tseng / Flickr
Langer’s Delicatessen, founded in 1947, has kept its legacy alive as the best pastrami in Los Angeles. The inside appears as though it hasn’t changed much in the last half-decade or so, with overstuffed leather booths and swivel bar stools that line the counter. The vibe is casual, and feels almost like home, as any family owned spot should. Start with the house made cream soda and make sure to get the infamous #19: cured and smoked pastrami, melted Swiss cheese, coleslaw and Russian dressing served warm on toasted rye bread. Simple but perfectly mastered, this one is bound to send any sandwich lover straight to pastrami heaven.

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