As we all know, compiling a list of the 11 best New York Sandwiches of 2022 is no easy feat. Doing it any year is challenging (first world problem, we know), but in 2022 we were finally allowed to spread our wings and travel outside of our immediate neighborhoods after two years of grounding. This just meant that the best New York sandwich game kicked up a notch.
Which probably explains why three of the 11 best New York sandwiches we ate in 2022 are technically found just outside of the city. And by just outside, we of course mean Italy and Australia. Sorry.
So with that said, here are the 8 best New York Sandwiches of 2022 and three other amazing handfuls of bread that you need to pack your passport for right now.
11- The pastrami reuben; S and P Lunch (formerly Eisenberg’s).
Biting into the iconic pastrami reuben at S and P Lunch, 18 months after that sandwich (and its former ownership – Eisenberg’s) was lost to the world, was 2022’s gastronomic equivalent of the Avengers reversing Thanos’ finger snap. So sandwich lovers, assemble!
The fatty goodness of the layers of pastrami in this sandwich are enough to make you come back over and over. But the tangy sauerkraut and rich melted swiss, all intertwined with the taste of nostalgia that run through every morsel, took it to another level. The clutch move of this sandwich though is the toasting of the bread which holds all that moisture together and adds some much needed texture. But I guess you get to know all those moves after 90 years of practice making them.
10- Scallion pancake burrito; Forsyth Fire Escape
The clear and obvious winner of Instagram this year was Forsyth fire escape. Their delicious scallion pancake burrito convinced droves of people to stand underneath a New York fire escape and grab ‘sandwiches’ lowered down to them in a bucket. The first time you ever wanted anything from a New York building dropping down on you.
If you were lucky enough to order one on Instagram before they sold out faster than a new Air Jordan colorway, then a soft fluffy scallion pancake felt warm and welcoming in your hands. Inside that carb delight was pull-apart pernil (slow cooked pork), fried queso blanco, guacamole and lemongrass chili crisp to bring it all home. Thank goodness they now have a permanent home without an old firescape in sight.
9- Big rowdy; Rowdy Rooster
The fried chicken game has never been better. But unlike years gone by when it was big names competing against each other (remember the Chick fil A vs Popeye’s sandwich war of 2021?), in 2022 it is inventive locals changing the rules.
Enter Rowdy Rooster, who realized what we all should have known all along – chicken sandwiches and Indian cuisine are a match made in heaven. Bringing all the skills from their restaurants Adda and Dhamaka, the fried chicken inside the Rowdy is perfectly crunchy on its crust and moist in between. Dollops of mint chutney and scallion yogurt are placed over the chicken in an effort to soothe the fire from the spicy level you choose to coat your chicken, whilst pickled onion adds a tang to the equation. Yum. Just be warned – spicy in, spicy out.
8- The salted chili porchetta; Fabrica Pasta Shop (Sydney, Australia)
Is the salted chili porchetta absolutely delicious? Yes. Is the $2500 airfare to fly from NYC to Sydney worth it to eat at Fabrica? Also, yes. At least that’s what we told ourselves on the 23rd hour of having our knees around our ears somewhere above the Pacific Ocean.
Perfectly cooked porchetta, served warm, is already an incredible ingredient. Adding salt and chili to the mix just makes this even more morish than ever. Thrown together with some creamy slaw to bring moisture in the sandwich, and contained within artisanal bread rolls toasted to just the right amount of crunch, this was one of the best sandwiches of 2022.
7- The Steve Byrne; Mission Sandwich Social
It’s a bold move to bring Dutch Crunch bread to New York. The East Coast doesn’t take well to many things from the west invading our territory. But when you add fries into a sandwich in order to Trojan Horse this foreign bread into one of the best new sandwich openings of 2022, then NYC will come to love it before they know any better.
Almost every single one of the enormous sandwiches at Mission Sandwich could vie for a spot in the 11 best New York Sandwiches of 2022, but the standout has to be the Steve Byrne. Combining an ingredient list longer than a CVS receipt, this sandwich contains Korean BBQ Beef Short Rib, Kimchi, French Fries, Fresh Mozzarella, Ranch, Sesame Rice Wine Vinaigrette, Scallion, Lettuce, Gochugaru. This umami bomb of a sandwich needs to be eaten to be understood. Just go get it. Now.
6- The kangaroo deli; Good Ways Deli (Sydney, Australia)
Yes, America, we do eat kangaroo in Australia. Once our ‘roos get a little worn out from transporting us to school everyday (hmmmm…..), they then become a delicious, lean meat to enjoy. Sorry, it’s true.
The team at Good Ways uses this lean meat as a delicious way to ‘Australianize’ the classic Italian combo by creating Kangaroo mortadella. Combining it with the additional meats of salami cotto and ham, together with provolone, pickles, onion, lettuce and ‘sandwich sauce’, eating this sandwich in Sydney, Australia transports your tastebuds to the streets of NYC in no time.
5- Nashville hot chicken; Hot Chicken Takeover
The order is simple here – pick your meat, pick your heat, choose a side. Brining Nashville hot chicken sandwiches to Queens, Hot chicken takeover gave us a taste of the South here in the big smoke. The orderING of the sandwich though is now a little more challenging given that the NYC location has closed its doors. Oops.
Despite that, the huge serves of crispy chicken that burned the nasal passages in just the right way, and brought tears to the eyes for anyone foolish enough to rub them in disbelief of the sexy sanga in front of them, still have to be included in a list of the best New York sandwiches of 2022.
4- The Italian beef; Bobbi’s Italian Beef
The most recent entrant into the New York sandwich scene, Bobbi’s Italian opened its doors on Smith St just one month ago, bringing classic Chicagoan dishes to the Big Apple. The best of which is undoubtedly the iconic Italian Beef with sweet peppers or hot giardiniera.
Mountains of shredded beef tumble out of the delightfully soaked hoagie (read ‘hero’, New Yorkers) at Bobbi’s. The diced morsels of spicy celery, peppers, carrots and other gorgeous giardiniera elements not only give the sandwich a pop of color, but also a real kick to the palate. Just bring a lot of napkins to the table, otherwise you’ll be more anxious than an episode of The Bear if you try to figure out what to do with your hands after you demolished this sandwich.
3- The Rosetta Bolognese; Mortadelleria (Palermo, Italy)
If The White Lotus hasn’t already convinced you to travel to Sicily, then this hole-in-the-wall Mortadelleria in the Sicilian capital will. Proving that simplicity is best, no sandwich in this haven for mortadella has more than four ingredients, meaning each one of them must be just perfect. And perfect they are.
The Rosetta Bolognese is the centerpiece of the Mortadella renaissance currently underway in the sandwich world. Childish criticisms of this complex meat fall to the wayside as the silky goodness slides along your palate. Bread that is firm to the touch with a hidden soft underbelly is only enhanced by the glorious oils dripping from dried tomatoes. Then, the smoked caciotta adds a dimension to this sandwich that lifts it into the next stratosphere of sandwiches. Oh, and did we mention that this masterpiece only costs $4? You’re welcome.
2- The vegan torta; Guevara’s
Under normal circumstances, the likelihood of us admitting that a vegan dish is one of the best New York sandwiches of 2022 is akin to us cheering on Tom Brady. But then he moved to Tampa, and Tampa Tom just became an awfully likable fella. So here we go…
The vegan torta from Guevara’s (and its sister location Mekelburg’s) is without doubt one of the best dishes we ate in 2022. Not one of the best vegan dishes, one of the best dishes full stop. The eggplant cutlet is thick and juicy, the purple cabbage slaw, avo, cilantro and tomatoes create an edible rainbow for your mouth, while the pickled pepper and mole ‘mayo’ add a kick to this delectable meal. Throw in some refried beans for good measure, cram them inside a kaiser roll almost too big to hold, and you have yourself an amazing sandwich. Gracias, Guevara’s.
1- The single smashburger; 7th Street Burger
A quick history lesson – the genesis of the hamburger hat we know today is the Hamburg sandwich, invented in Hamburg, Germany in the late 1800s. After decades of existence, it was rebranded into the hamburger by white castle, for no other reason than a marketing strategy to separate the dish from some unwanted bad PR at the time. So yes, a burger is actually a sandwich. No debate.
Now that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the best thing we put in our mouths in 2022 – the single smashburger from 7th St burger.
The single begins with a beef patty that is just as juicy in the middle as it is perfectly crispy on the edges – exactly what you want from a smashburger. Gooey American cheese is melted over this beefy miracle diced onions and pickles layered on top to bring that tang into the dish. The piece de resistance though is a homemade secret sauce that must have pixie dust in it – because no human can make something taste that good, although the potato bun dripping with grease gives it a run for its money.
All together, this combination is the perfect balance that any sandwich should aspire to. The fact that you can order the best New York Sandwich of 2022 until 3am every night is the cherry on top of a wonderful year of sandwiches.