While this is a round-up about best sandwiches in town, you need to know that it leans pretty turkey heavy because I grew up eating turkey sandwiches everyday for lunch in middle and high school. They literally just had turkey and mayo on white bread (which is funny when you see how adventurous I eat now!). My proper grandfather would even roast a whole turkey when we’d go visit them in San Antonio growing up for a little lunch sandy. When I lived in New York, I discovered balsamic vinegar as a fantastic dressing option. I ventured to my local deli daily to order turkey— always piled two inches high with the meat, some drizzles of balsamic vinegar, tomato and lettuce on toasted wheat bread every single day for probably 5 years. It’s also where I got my sparkling water kick (aka club soda) as they offered a free canned drink with every sandwich and now there are SO many brands and flavors. Who knew? The way I judge a sandwich is by the amount of turkey (I sometimes add double) and the crunchiness / softness of the bread. I don’t eat bacon, so you won’t find a sandwich with it on this list, gasp! I will say the one that blew me away and surprised me most was the Local Foods Gulf Seafood Sandwich. People complain that there’s not enough sandwiches in town, but lets be real- the tacos are just stealing the sandwiches show, so here’s a list of my favorites!
Best Sandwiches in Austin
Mum Foods Pastrami – Mum Foods is known for their smoked meats, which they serve to eager meat-lovers at the Mueller, Barton Creek, and Lakeline farmers markets. They now have their new deli on Manor Road, which is a spacious, comforting place that feels like a true BBQ joint. It reminds me of Kreuz’s in Lockhart with all the wood detailing in the interiors, and you can get brisket, turkey, pastrami sandwiches, and Matzo Ball Soup at the counter. I have tried their pastrami a few times and am SO glad to see they have graced us with a permanent spot. This is the best pastrami I’ve ever had! I even bought two whole ones for my Hanukkah party in December and really haven’t stopped bragging about them since.
Local Foods Gulf Seafood Sandwich – I liked this sandwich even more than the sliced chicken pretzel bun sandwich (chicken breast, nut-seed crumble, crushed chips, tomatoes, pickles romaine, provolone and buttermilk ranch). The bun was good, but I wasn’t a fan of the thinly sliced chicken + crushed chips combination. You cannot get this Gulf Seafood sandwich anywhere else, and it’s packed with all the good stuff: shrimp, blue crab, and green goddess dressing, all aboard ciabatta. It’s refreshing and very filling. Don’t worry about the sides as the sandwich is the star!
Uncle Nicky’s Turkey – I visited when they first opened in Hyde Park and loved that they were one of the only places with sardines on the menu. A few years later, I went back for dinner and decided they make my favorite turkey sandwich! I honestly thought I’d never choose that large, squishy, soft bun to hold my turkey ingredients but with the pesto aioli, it held it tenderly all together. The sandwich is layered with a generous serving of meat (you don’t even have to order double) and arugula, too. It was the right move for the New York-ish atmosphere that transported me to the city for the evening, especially with the corner bar that overlooks the counter with just a few seats.
Foodheads Chicken & Eggplant Sandwich – This place feels very “Old Austin,” and is just one of those places where everyone is there to have lunch and enjoy. I had a really hard time deciding which sandwich to get (they all look so good), but I landed on the Chicken & Eggplant which was delicious! I love that they have a half sandwich + half soup combo on the menu (I got dairy-free sweet potato soup with my half sandwich). I would maybe even skip the chicken next time on the sandwich. The soup (despite being dairy free) was creamy and perfect for a casual lunch.
Casper Fermentables Focaccia Turkey Sandwich – I found Casper Fermentables at the Mueller Farmer’s Market a few years ago, and I just visited their new brick & mortar in Sunset Valley. They’re known for their sauerkraut, and my fave, the Turmeric Kombucha, but these are just the sidepieces to the focaccia turkey sandwich. I liked the bread with the turkey, but I think I prefer deli style turkey more than real baked turkey now. I can’t believe I’d ever say that…maybe it was just how I was feeling that day. I want to go back to buy bread for dinner parties and to try the rugelach and brownie. They have WiFi, so it’s would be a great place to grab a seat, a sandwich, and work.
Homeslice Turkey Sandwich – I love this sandwich because of how much turkey they put on it and it makes me nostalgic for that New York deli order. The crunchy bread we used to joke about is made with crisco — maybe it is? There aren’t a ton of places to grab lunch on South Congress that are easy and fast, but Homelice is a great place to stop. I’m here to tell you they have more than just pizza and you might want to try their meatball or eggplant sub, too.
Bouldin Creek Cafe Kool Hummus Sandwich– Bouldin Creek Cafe is one of those places that I can’t get over from a hospitality and PR perspective. The line is out the door any day of the week starting at noon until almost 3 sometimes which is a magic feat to crack for a restaurant. A vegetarian causal one at that! I love how it feels like a healthy diner with a no fuss atmosphere, nice covered patio deck, and even bar stools inside for what you can tell are many regulars. It’s like a coffee shop meets Cheers bar but they serve breakfast all day and have many vegan items. I used to order the egg topped sweet potato tamales which they took off the menu, so I was “forced” to try the Cafe Kool Hummus Sandwich as a rec from my friend. WOAH. Never did I think I’d enjoy veggies smashed between two pieces of bread, but the pesto made it so flavorful and the buttery soft bread created a great crunch. The sandwich is filled with house-made hummus, chipotle-pecan pesto, tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, sprouts, carrots and spring mix on grilled ciabatta.