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The Best Sandwiches In Los Angeles

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It's always the simplest things that bring us the most joy. Case in point: the sandwich. These handheld lunchtime staples have a certain nostalgia attached to them, being packed in many American lunch boxes. Many chefs have upped the ante on their sandwich game, bringing the ingredients to new levels. Here are some of our favorites around the city. As always, leave your own favorites in the comments.

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Paninoteca's sandwiches (Photo by Krista Simmons/LAist)
Chicken Parmesan at Paninoteca

Chef Freddy Vargas has been Scott Conant's go-to guy at Scarpetta for several years now, and recently he opened up the sprawling kitchen during lunch hours to start slinging gorgeous 8-inch hero style subs to the Beverly Hills crowd. While it's easy to focus on the generous, high-quality meats inside all of their sandwiches, the real show stopper is the bread said meats come on. Just like the noteworthy bread baskets served before a meal at Scarpetta, their filone is perfection. When stuffed with a breaded and lightly fried chicken cutlet, burrata and smoked tomatoes, it's the closest to New York's Parm you'll find here in L.A.

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Paninoteca is located at 225 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, (310) 860-7970

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Ink Sack's cold fried chicken sandwich (Photo via Nastassia Johnson/LAist)
Cold Fried Chicken at Ink Sack

To us, fried chicken and pizza just taste better cold. Michael Voltaggio's incredibly tender sous vide fried chicken is a prime example, especially when it's stuffed between a chiabatta roll alongside pickles, lettuce, and ranch cheese. Don't forget to pick up an order of crab chips as a side. If you're really jonesing for some spicy, savory deliciousness, stuff a few inside your sammy for an extra crunch.

Ink Sack is located at 8360 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, (323) 655-7225

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Pastrami at Wexler's

We've strapped on our protective gear, because we know there'll be plenty of hate in the comments for putting Wexler's on the list instead of the classic Langers, but we have to give props where it's due. Michah Wexler's pastrami is cured and smoked slow and low on site, rendering it juicy and tender with just the right amount of spice. Thick slices are stacked between the ideal earthy, slightly sour rye bread. It's a deceivingly simple, beautiful sandwich that will impress the pickiest New Yorkers.

Wexler's is located at 317 S Broadway, Los Angeles, (213) 624-2378

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Muffaletta at Del Ray Deli (Photo by Krista Simmons/LAist)
Muffaletta at Del Rey Deli

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This classic deli stop has a fantastic New Orleans-style picnic with one of the best muffalettas we've had since visiting Central Grocery in NoLa. Their version is similarly served on a round Sicilian sesame bread and stack high with Italian deli meats, provolone cheese, and a fantastic chopped olive tapenade with just the slightest twinge of heat. It's the ultimate picnic fare.

Del Rey Deli is located at 8501 Pershing Dr, Playa Del Rey, (310) 439-2256

Sky's Gourmet Tacos

The tortas over at Sky's Gourmet Tacos aren't your average Mexican sandwiches. This Mid-City joint melds Cajun and Mexican flavors together. They have a bevy of meats to choose from for the filling—from chicken to steak and shrimp. (There's even a veggie option.) It's layered with melted cheese, sour cream, and lettuce and tomato. But it's their soft, cayenne pepper-covered Mexican telera bread that adds an extra oomph to their torta. They also slather on their Sky's sassy sauce which is a red and spicy hot sauce. It's a messy one for sure and well worth it. Pro-tip: add guacamole. —Jean Trinh

Sky's Gourmet Tacos is located at 5408 W Pico Blvd., Mid-City, (323) 932-6253

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Italian sausage sub at Mario's (Photo by Krista Simmons/LAist)
Italian Meatball and Sausage Subs at Mario's

This old school Italian deli has been in Glendale for 45 years, and serves up some of the best meatball and sausage subs in town. The meats are all ground in-house, and served on a soft roll with melty provolone cheese. It's nothing fancy, but the food is affordable. There are plenty of Italian foodstuffs to peruse while you wait for your number to be called at the counter, but what you really want to splurge on is a cannoli. Take one home for dessert and you won't regret it.

Mario's Italian Deli & Market is located at 740 E Broadway, Glendale, (818) 242-4114

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Gjusta's roast beef sandwich (Photo by Krista Simmons/LAist)
Butcher's Sandwich at Gjusta

The team behind Gjusta—who also did Gjelina and Gjelina Take Away—know how to bake. And we're not just talking pastries; their crackly on the outside, chewy on the inside baguettes are arguably some of the best in town, making them the perfect vessel for the house smoked and cured meats behind the deli counter at the new Venice bakery. There are plenty of sandwiches to choose from, including falafel, pastrami, and chicken parm, but if you've got carnivorous inclinations then you'd be silly not to sample their daily butcher's special, especially if it's the tender, juicy roast beef with salsa verde.

Gjusta is located at Gjusta, 320 Sunset Ave., Venice, 310-314-0320

Grilled Cheese at Joan's on Third

There's certainly no shortage of creamy cheddar or butter on Joan's indulgent grilled cheese, which is served with a side of her famous pickles to cut through the heaviness. It's definitely one of the closest to what your mom gave you back in the day.

Joan's on Third is located at 8350 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, (323) 655-2285

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Jambon buerre at Republique (Photo by Krista Simmons/LAist)
Jambon Buerre at Republique

Noshing on the jambon buerre sandwich while sipping a coffee and reading the paper at a corner table at Republique's stunning, sun-soaked bistro area might make you feel like you're spending an afternoon in France. And it should. The sandwich is made with house cured ham, cornichons, and a slathering of French butter on a beautiful baguette alongside a lightly dressed market greens salad. It's a classic, simple combo that proves that just a few ingredients done right make all the difference.

Republique is located at 624 South La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, 310.362.6115

Banh Mi at Saigon's Sandwich and Bakery

You can tell a Vietnamese sandwich shop is good when you can smell the aroma of freshly baked bread all the way from the parking lot. Follow your nose inside and you'll find two different types of baguettes to choose from: skinny and oblong-shaped. Go with the latter, and opt for the flavorful grilled pork filling. Added bonus: if you want to take one for the road, they'll pack up the bread and accouterments separate for you so they don't get soggy on your ride back from the SGV.

Saigon’s Sandwich & Bakery is located at 718 East Valley Boulevard in San Gabriel, (626) 288-6475

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Oyster po boy at Little Jewel (Photo by Jean Trinh/LAist)
Fried Oyster Po' Boy at Little Jewel of New Orleans

Chinatown's got a gem of a New Orleans deli that opened up over the summer. What we love about this casual spot (that seriously makes you feel like you're being transported to a sleepy, Southern town) is their fried oyster po' boys. They don't skimp on their fillings in their massive 10-inch sandwich, and you'll most likely need a bib to get through their messy po' boy. The batter on the oysters is light and crispy, and the seafood is fresh. It's layered with slices of pickles, tomatoes and cabbage with a generous slather of New Orleans' creamy Blue Plate mayo. Everything feels like it's coming straight from the Bayou, including the soft and pillowy French bread, which is imported from New Orleans. Pair it with a bag of Zapp's chips, and wash it down with a bottle of vanilla cream soda. —Jean Trinh

Little Jewel of New Orleans is located at 207 Ord St. in Chinatown, (213) 620-0461