Best Sandwiches In Seattle

It's easy to come up with a long, long list of recommended sandwich shops in and around Seattle. Pulled pork, artisan cured meats and pastrami are well represented, as are subs, panini and let's not even start on the burgers. So how to cull the list to just five? The following list of suggestions stays fairly close to downtown Seattle, and focuses on specialty sandwich shops that are highly regarded, but slightly lesser known. While they often make it onto long "best of" lists, they also seem to be passed over for more popular, well-known or trendy spots. None of these places will disappoint you—except perhaps for a long line at lunchtime. Many who've tried them have found a new favorite, even if they have to drive across town to get there. Don't say we didn't warn you.
George's Sausage & Delicatessen
907 Madison St.
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 622-1491

Located on the south side of Madison Street across from the Sorrento Hotel, George's Deli is a tiny, jam-packed shop stocked to the ceiling with European and Polish foods, including pickled vegetables, candy and cookies, breads and crackers and, of course, kielbasa and other sausages. The soups and potato salad are house made. In the sandwich kingdom, George's is best known for generous portions and "build your own" sandwiches. You choose the meat, cheese, bread and "fixin's," including green peppers, roasted peppers and cucumbers in addition to more typical lettuce, tomato, onions and pickles. No special sauce here, just mayo, mustard and horseradish for an extra kick. With speedy and congenial service, it seems like everyone's mom works there. And if the line is out the door during lunch, don't let that dissuade you. Better yet, print out the menu, circle your choices and fax it in. You'll find the menu and fax number on the website.

1904 Pike Place
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 448-4758

Located in Pike Place Market, Michou offers an international array of soups, salads, pizzas, sandwiches and desserts. Everything is made in-house from locally sourced ingredients. Along with a standard menu, Michou features a rotating selection of seasonal choices that reflect available products. Like the rest of the menu, the panini-style sandwiches entice you with an interesting array of ingredients stacked and artfully seasoned between the bread. It's a long list, but start with the Tuscan Chicken or the ABBLT, which adds apple and bleu cheese to bacon, lettuce and tomato. You can't go wrong so get what sounds good to you.

Rain Shadow Meats Squared
404 Occidental Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 467-4854

Rain Shadow Meats Squared is located just south of downtown in Pioneer Square. It's a second location for the full-service butcher shop in Melrose Market on Capitol Hill. Both places offer a lunch menu of salads, charcuterie and sandwiches. The first sandwich to try is the Porchetta — slow roasted pork loin and belly on a French roll with crispy skin and green sauce. The Romesco with beef and a Spanish-style tomato sauce containing, among other things, ground almonds, is another popular choice. If you've tried these (well, even if you haven't), be sure to check the Butcher's Daily Special for the salad and sandwich offering of the day. It's always something equally interesting and delicious.

419 6th Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 682-1267

Head to the International District and skip the lines in the battle for the best banh mi sandwich between Saigon Deli and Seattle Deli. You won't be disappointed at Subsand. Owner Tom Dang hails from Vietnam by way of China. He considers himself an artisan and deftly combines elements from the three cultures that have shaped his life. Meat eaters definitely want to go with the pork, beef, chicken or seafood banh mi. Vegetarians can choose between egg and tofu. The bread is toasted, the house-made pickled vegetables are crispy and everything is slathered with a special house sauce.

Tacos El Asadero
3517 Rainier Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98118
(206) 722-9977

Located 3.5 miles south of downtown Seattle on Rainier Avenue South, this mobile Mexican eatery is reputed to be one of, if not the best, taco buses in Seattle. Tacos El Asadero offers the usual tacos, tamales and quesadillas, along with tortas and mulitas, two sorts of Mexican sandwiches. The former is on a soft wheat roll (like a hamburger bun) and the latter is a cheesy concoction smushed between two corn tortillas. This spot is open until 10 p.m. every night, so it's a good bet anytime you're heading from one side of Seattle to another.


Carole Cancler is a freelance writer covering all things Seattle. Her work can be found on