The Best Sandwich in San Francisco

oldnavyoctober1We’re continuing our local research for ‘best of’ in San Francisco with a search for the tastiest sandwich in the city (last month it was the best chocolate ice cream). And of course, what to wear while you’re doing the research, featuring Old Navy sweaters this month.

oldnavyoctober5Growing up in New York, nothing beat the Boars Head turkey sandwich at our local deli for lunch, and everywhere I’ve lived since I’ve been on the hunt for the best sandwich (in Salt Lake my favorites were the classic pulled turkey from Kneaders and the tasty turkey from Einsteins). San Francisco with its foodie culture has its own fair share of amazing eateries so I was excited to make my casual hunt for the best sandwich a more serious undertaking.

After doing a lot of research we came up with 7 finalists, and then narrowed that down to 4, and then pulled our hair out trying to pick a favorite (we might need your help in the final verdict!)

oldnavyoctober2Featuring items from Old Navy: Brown crew sweater, Rockstar coated jeans, Crewneck sweatshirt sweater, Polka dot scarf, Zip tote, Animal print flats.

Also, Military Jacket from Urban Outfitters, Navy wrap around dress a few seasons old from Banana Republic, Plaid dress shirt a few seasons old from J.Crew, combat boots are from a consignment store (but lots of the on etsy here), and wool Indie hat from Ambiance boutique.

Keep reading to see the 7 sandwich finalists, and more pictures…

Photography and styling by Liz Stanley. Assisted by Isabelle Ambler. Modeling by Lauren Bennett

-1This post was sponsored by Old Navy. Check out Old Navy’s latest fashion lineup in store or online at


oldnavyoctober3Here are the contenders:

1. Menage A Trois (on dutch crunch) at Ike’s Place, $11.11 (pictured below)
(bbq, cheddar, halal chicken, honey mustard, pepper jack, real honey, swiss)
2. Split-Top Maine Lobster Roll at Woodhouse Fish Company, $18 (pictured above)
3. Beef Brisket at Il Cane Rosso, $10
(Brandt Ranch roast beef, pickled pepper giardiniera, mustard aioli) 
4. Corned Beef Sandwich at The Sentinel, $9
(corned beef, cabbage, russian dressing, swiss cheese)
5. Korean Steak at Rhea’s Deli, $9.45
(rhea’s famous marinated rib eye steak, cheddar cheese, red onions, house pickled red onions & jalapenos, lettuce, chili sauce, garlic aioli, on acme organic sweet roll)
6. Veggie sandwich at Lou’s Cafe $6.49
(alfalfa sprouts, roasted peppers, avocado, cucumber, pepperoncinis, swiss cheese, lou’s special sauce, on 9-grain bread)
7.  Roasted turkey on dutch crunch from Arguello Market $9.22
(fresh roasted turkey, lettuce, tomato, mayo)
A couple others to mention: Porchetta Sandwich from Roli Roti, Crispy chicken from Cafe Bunn Mi, Roast Beef from Il Cane Rosso.
See some opinions on our favorites after the images below…

oldnavyoctober9Sweaters this season are all about layering. At the Woodhouse Fish Company where we tried the lobster roll, we paired the classic crewneck sweatshirt sweater with my favorite coated jeans, combat boots, and a military jacket. Isn’t the polka dot scarf so cute too? Cozy and cool for fall incorporating some big trends. oldnavyoct14

oldnavyoctober6At Ike’s Place where we tried the famous menage a trois sandwich we went for a more preppy look with gingham, navy dress, leather tote, but still incorporated layering with this comfy crewneck sweatshirt sweater (they have embellished versions as well). An Indie hat is super on trend right now (do you own one? I love this one).

oldnavyoctober7So, here’s what our picks are for the best sandwiches: We had a hard time picking one. Really really hard. They were all so different and all super delicious. And honestly, at some spots we got the sandwiches ‘to-go’ and others were eat in and you know it makes a major difference when that sandwich is fresh so it was really hard to really give it a fair shot. I had to rely on my memory if the sandwich wasn’t quite as good as it was another time I had ordered it.

But anyhow, I’m a red meat lover so I’m torn between the beef brisket from Il Cane Rosso and the corned beef from The Sentinel to take first place. Both AMAZING, you must try both.

However, between the three of us (myself, my assistant Isabelle, and our model Lauren) we all kind of agreed the menage a trois was a top favorite. And Ike’s Place is a classic San Francisco institution not to be missed with some other amazing sandwich options as well! But the lobster roll?!?! Oh man, I have to go back and have that one again too.

oldnavyoctober8Okay okay, so if I were forced at gunpoint to choose a best sandwich (which is totally possible with the food culture being as serious as it is here) I’d go with the beef brisket from Il Cane Rosso. Isabelle and Lauren would go with the menage a trois from Ike’s Place. But man, hardest decision ever!

What do you think? Did we miss any big hitters?

PS next month we’re trying to find the best chocolate chip cookie in the city… stayed tuned!


2 Sydneysiders who feel in love with SF this time last year and the Petit Deli on Columbus St with its beautiful owner and terrific egg salad or roast beef sandwiches, still trying to any place as good here

Roxy’s! You must get a Roxy’s special on Dutch Crunch. As in, go there now. Two locations, but we love the one on 1911 San Jose Avenue. Total corner dive store, but it just may change your life.

Ikes is my favorite !!! We walk from Dolores to Ikes and back again to eat since they scram people off the neighbors steps all the time, lol.

Oh sweetie, you needed a better local food guide when you lived in salt lake!! I mean, i’m not hating, i’ll eat turkey on a bagel at einstein’s every once in a while, and kneaders is a better option than, say, fast food. But best sandwiches in slc? No way. Did you really miss Caputo’s? Any sandwich there is absolutely out of this world, especially compared to kneaders or einsteins. Better yet? The house smoked ham at the dodo, oh man my mouth is watering just thinking about it, topped with swiss and a dreamy honey mustard on a perfect roll. Oh and you can’t forget the patty melt at hire’s, if you’ll count that as a sandwich, not a burger (it is on bread, not a bun, so it counts in my book). And last but not least, red butte cafe, either the grilled portabello mushroom sandwich with house made aioli or the steak sandwich on olive oil focaccia with caramelized onions and crumbled blue cheese. . .!!! Yeah, those turkey sandwiches are crying in the corner when compared to the rest of these beauties. Oh man, i’m going to have to go out for a sandwich this weekend. But yeah, next time you’re in slc, try something off of this list! You’ll be so happy! Well, either that or sad about what you missed out on while living here. 🙂

Haa, I’m sure you’re right! My focus for the post is on non-restaurant sandwiches (easy!) plus I was in SLC there with a newborn so easy and drive through was the way to go for me. I still crave those sandwiches and make sure I have them every time I go back but sounds like I have lots of others to try, thanks for the suggestions!

The “kfc” style chicken sando from Namu Gaji is probably my fav sandwich in SF. But anything from Ike’s is probably second! Ordered online to avoid the line of course. Haha.

this post does not have enough sandwich photos 🙂
that menage a trois looks amazing. will have to try it this weekend!

You had me at “Best Sandwich.” I could eat sandwiches for every meal for the rest of my life, and seriously, I’d be completely happy.

Oh man this us making me hungry, and love the sweatshirt paired with the dress. So cute!

I love the military jacket. I forget about Urban Outfitters sometimes because it reminds me of college (I’m way past college age), but they do still have great pieces for a 30-something:)

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