The Most Unique Sandwiches in New York City

Just like the most unique sandwiches of New York City, there are some eccentricities about NYC that can leave you in both awe and bewilderment. The complex maze of platforms and tunnels at Fulton St Station. The energizer bunny speed of pedestrians. The ability of city residents to identify dog and human poo in an instant. Do these exist anywhere else in the world in such a way? I think not.

 

But as the great poet M. Monroe once said “it’s better to be ridiculous than absolutely boring”, so the chefs that create sandwiches outside of those standard ham, cheese and mayo monstrosities we all grew up on are owed our gratitude, or at the very least our attention. With that in mind, here are nine of the most unique sandwiches in New York City for you to attend.

 

 

Pho #1 – Sunny & Annies Deli

Have you ever looked at a steaming hot bowl of pho and thought to yourself “Geez I wish this was a sandwich”? No? You’re not alone, as most sane humans also missed this wild gastronomic fusion. Fortunately for us Sunny & Annie’s Deli – the delightful little East Village bodega – didn’t miss this and so in turn created the outrageously good Pho #1, putting a Vietnamese soup inside bread.

 

Now truth be told, there is no broth inside this sandwich – of course not, how would that even work? But close your eyes and smell the sandwich when you unveil it from its butcher’s paper prison and you’ll be convinced you have a bowl of the good stuff in front of you. Instead of soup, you’ll find the rare roast beef, bean sprouts, red onion, cilantro, hoisin sauce, sriracha sauce and Thai basil from your pho intermingled with avocado, tomato, and lettuce from the  sandwich world. Throw it all inside a spinach wrap to level up and it’s suddenly a sunny day inside a breaded world.

 

 

Broccoli Reuben – Court Street Grocers

Depending on who you ask the reuben sandwich was born in one of two places – New York or Nebraska. Smarter men than us can figure out the true birthplace of this famous sandwich (definitely Nebraska), but those brainwaves should be saved for a higher purpose. Because you can’t spell unique without IQ, and a lot of that has already gone into turning the broccoli reuben into one of the most unique sandwiches in New York City that even the most ferocious carnivores will enjoy.

 

Here, Court Street Grocers set aside the traditional corned beef in a reuben for a roasted broccoli that retains its crunch inside this otherwise wonderfully moist sandwich. The tangy sauerkraut and rich swiss cheese are both responsible in some part for this moisture, but it’s the comeback sauce that really shines here. Eat it the once and you’ll understand the name. Luckily CSC toasts the rye bread to keep it all together despite the moisture. Smart.

 

 

Scallion Pancake Burrito – Forsyth Fire Escape

During that hazy memory known as Covid, some of us decided the only thing to do was drink ourselves up a new belt hole. Others of us (aka Forsyth Fire Escape) thought they’d be more productive and invent one of the most unique sandwiches in New York – a scallion pancake burrito. Admittedly, given how f*cking delicious the burrito is, eating them definitely contributed to that belt buckle increase, but no one is complaining here.

 

The burrito is just what you imagine, and more. A wonderfully oily scallion pancake that is warm, soft and aromatic all at the same time. The slow cooked pork doesn’t require teeth to eat it as it falls apart in your mouth, while fried queso blanco, guacamole and lemongrass chili crisp harmonizes the entire sandwich. They’ve also been collabing with Taqueria Ramirez, Café Panna and (our favorite from the best burgers in New York list) 7th Street burger, so get those notifications on to discover their next great NYC unique sandwich.

 

 

Flammin’ Hot Cheetohs Burger – Fatimah Grill

To coat your burger in flamin hot cheetohs dust you have to be a ‘flamin galah’ (ask your Australian friend what that means, folks). But Fatma’s Grill has had the last mad laugh as their hot cheetohs burger, and wild range of middle eastern fusion food, led them to open eight locations from coast-to-coast on the back of these unique sandwiches.

It’s hard to take your eyes off the burger when it lands at your table, mostly because of the lava-esqe coloring of the cheetah dust. But under the orange coat is a burger that hits all the right notes. Two thick patties of juicy beef surrounded by classic ingredients of onion, lettuce and pickles as well as less classic hot cheetah chips and nacho cheese. Brioche buns are the sweet to the cheetohs dust spicy, and ultimately you’re the mad one if you don’t eat it.

 

 

Clucking Waffle – Namkeen

Bert and Ernie. Peanut butter and Jelly. Romeo and Juliet. There have been some iconic duos over the years, but arguably the tastiest of them all is chicken and waffles. Objectively it doesn’t make sense – sweet waffles contrasted by savory fried chicken. Throw in a condiment as well and you should have a recipe for disaster. That is until your tastebuds take over from your brain and you realize how good of a combo it is, and how Namkeen may have just perfected it with their Clucking Waffle sandwich.

 

Wrapping your hands around the two cheddar Belgian waffles surrounding one of the most unique sandwiches in New York is no joke. Inside the crunchy cheesy goodness you’ll find thick spicy chunks of fried chicken with creamy coleslaw and tangy pickles to help soothe the heat in your mouth. A chipotle mayo also raises and cools the heat in waves, but by the time you’re done with this dish you’ll be sweating no matter what you try and do. Embrace it.

 

 

Eggplant Milanese Torta – Guevera’s Cuban Café

If Taste The Rainbow wasn’t already taken, then it would be the perfect slogan for one of the most unique sandwiches in New York City – the eggplant Milanese torta from Guevera’s Cuban Café. This spectacular vegan sandwich can be found inside the Williamsburg location of Mekelburg’s, where you can also drink plenty of craft beers if eating vegan is an intimidating prospect for you. You’ll certainly need a couple just to calm down at the size of the sandwich when it arrives, but as they say, You’re Not You When You’re Hungry, so at least you’ll be yourself at the end of this sandwich.

 

The rainbow begins with the effervescent coloring from purple cabbage slaw, red heirloom tomatoes, pickled peppers, green avocado and cilantro. It’s a feast for the eyes and the tongue, and this alone is a combination of flavors that simply Makes Mouths Happy. An eggplant cutlet that is crispy on the outside and soft in the middle is surrounded by refried beans and a vegan mole mayo whilst a Kaiser roll ensures the whole thing stays together so that is Melts In Your Mouth, Not In Your Hand.

 

 

Kangaroo cheesesteak – Foxface

Just to make a few things about Australia clear. No Australian has ever eaten, let alone heard of, a bloomin’ onion. We don’t put shrimp on a barbie. Fosters sucks so hard that even Aussie drunks won’t touch it. And we don’t ride a kangaroo to school. We do eat them though. Sorry to break it to you, America. Which is why the Kangroo Philly Cheesesteak (aka the ‘New South Philly’) at Foxface was such an enticing sandwich when it was available.

 

As far as most unique sandwiches in New York City goes, the list could have just been Foxface’s menu copied and pasted. From the La Gaucha (venison cutlet and smoked duck fat potatos) to the Strawberry Field (smoked tomato, strawberries and ricotta), to the GOAT (slow braised goat neck) to the New South Philly and more, each one was more unique than the next. As for the New South Philly, with its tender hunks of kangaroo meat (and no, that’s not a reference to the Thunder From Down Under crew), sweet and tangy caramalized onion and generous drizzle of melted fontina cheese, this dish was a brilliant twist of a classic Philladephia sandwich. Now all we need to do is put the pressure on Sivan to reopen the most unqiue sandwich shop in the city…

 

 

Chicken tikka naan taco – Taco Mahal

Across the globe there are certain drunk foods that just hit after a few “mummy daddy juices” on a night out. In NYC it’s a slice. For the Brits, a curry. And in many other parts of the globe it’s a dirty kebab. Somehow though Taco Mahal has managed to see the first through the trees and combined the best elements of all three into one spectacular sandwich – a chicken tikka naan taco.

 

A puffy white cheesy garlic naan is cooked fresh in store and then laid down like a pillowy cloud inviting angels to rest on. Those angels come in the form of rich and creamy chicken tikka with that glowing orange tomato sauce poured all over the cheesy naan. To give the façade of healthiness, arugula, cilantro, purple cabbage and chutney are sprinkled onto the sandwich, but if you’ve already had 10 beers before devouring this then health isn’t really a concern for you is it. The beers will also help you care less about how messy you’re about to become trying to eat it. Its the same result even if you skipped the beers to be honest, so just go for it.

 

 

Clobster Roll – The Crabby Shack

There’s something satisfying about cracking a lobster or crab leg on a summer’s afternoon. Working your way through the laborious task of de-shelling that deep water crustacean, just to get out small morsels of sweet ocean meat. The effort makes it taste so good. However, there is also a lot of satisfaction with someone else doing all the work for you, taking away the need to choose between lobster and crab, and putting both meats inside of a buttery roll. That someone is The Crabby Shack who did it with their ‘Clobster Roll’.

 

The Clobster Roll is a deceptively complex sandwich. What appears to be just three ingredients – lobster, crab and potato roll – all come served with the inperceivable techniques of care and experience. Owners FiFi and Gwen cook their steamed crab meat in warm garlic butter, while the lobster meat are cookied in house special lobster sauce. The only problem with this entrant into the most unique sandwiches in New York list is deciding which end to start eating from.

 

Duration
2 hours
Group Size
At least 1

New York Sandwich Tour

Join your fellow sandwich lovers on this fun, delicious, and thought-provoking food tour as we feast on amazing sandwiches in New York City.

Together we will visit foodie destinations that only NYC locals know about as we debate the question "what is a sandwich?", and answer it by eating different types of delicious sandwiches.

In addition to the delicious sandwiches, you will also hear stories about the history of the sandwich, and the people who make them. We'll also discover street art and learn about the history of New York too.

Come with an open mind, and leave with a FULL stomach (and an answer to whether or not a hotdog, a burger or a taco is a sandwich).

*Vegetarian options available, but not vegan or gluten-free (sorry!)

**Private tours are available for corporate teams. As experienced by Amazon, Google, Audible and more. 

***Don't see a day/time that suits you? Ask us for a new time and we can try to accommodate.

Duration
2 hours
Group Size
At least 1

America Josh x New York Sandwich Tour

G'day America Josh-ers (yeah we made that up). We have one question for you all - is a hotdog a sandwich?

If you want the answer, then join your fellow Aussies, sandwich lovers and NYC fans on this fun, delicious, and thought-provoking food tour as we feast on amazing sandwiches in the East Village.

Together we will visit foodie destinations that only NYC locals know about as we debate the question "what is a sandwich?", and answer it by eating different types of delicious sandwiches.

In addition to the sandwiches, you will also hear stories about the history of the sandwich, the people who make them and learn about the history of New York too. Plus we'll finish up at a great bar so we can continue the discussion after the tour is done.

So come with an open mind and leave with a FULL stomach (and an answer to whether or not a hotdog, a burger or a taco is a sandwich).

*Vegetarian options available, but not vegan or gluten-free (sorry!)

*Don't forget to use the America Josh promo code for a 10% discount on these 2 special tours.

Duration
1 hour
Group Size
At least 10

A Sandwich Masterclass - Virtual Cooking Class

Welcome to the only cooking class  that answers the question “Is a hotdog a sandwich?”!

In this virtual cooking class - perfect for team-building events and corporate groups - we will create a delicious New York-style sandwich together across a fun & interactive one-hour Zoom call.

During the Masterclass, we will learn tips and tricks to make your sandwiches taste as amazing as the 'inspo' on @a_man_and_his_sandwich (IG).

We'll chat about our favorite sandwiches, learn about the history of ingredients between bread, and debate whether a hotdog, burger or taco can be considered a sandwich – prepare yourself for the lively debate!

Duration
2 hours
Group Size
At least 1

The Beers, Burgers and Buns Experience

Can’t decide between a bar crawl and a food tour whilst you’re in New York? Then why not join an experience that does both!

On the Beers, Burgers, and Buns experience we will do just what the title suggests - drink cold beer (or wine), eat delicious burgers, and bite into some (chicken) buns – as we walk through the fascinating neighborhood of the East Village.

Along the way, we’ll visit three unique bars and two dining spots, plus we’ll learn about the fascinating history of New York City – from the prohibition era to today – and hear the stories of the people behind the food and drink you will be enjoying. What more could you ask for?

This experience is only for those 21 years & older. EVERYONE must bring a valid ID.

Great for solo travelers, corporate groups, and private parties alike.

*Sadly this is not available for vegan and gluten-free diets. Sorry!

Duration
2 hours
Group Size
At least 1

Brooklyn Sandwich Tour

New York sandwiches are not confined to just New York City. Brooklyn also offers an amazing range of sandwiches to enjoy too!

In this experience, we will answer the question "what is a sandwich?" as we eat three different interpretations of the sandwich in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Together we'll visit destinations that you will not find in a typical tourist guidebook as we eat our way through the history and evolution of the sandwich.

Along the way, we'll hear stories about the venues we are eating at and the people who are making our food. We'll discover street art and we'll also learn how the people of Williamsburg have influenced the sandwich game in New York.

**Vegetarian options available, but not vegan or gluten-free (sorry!)**