28 February, 2020, 01:54

51 stellar sandwiches to try (to-go staple, no prep required)

From bagel sandwiches to tortas, we have you covered.

Sure you can make a sandwich at home, but are you going to bake your own bread every time you get a craving? If you do, good for you — for the rest of us, it’s worth the money for someone else to make the sandwiches. They’re cheap anyway.

Complicated sandwiches are filled with many layered components that require care, but they are oh so worth it.

Here’s our list of stellar sandwiches in Tucson to put on your radar and take with when hitting the trails.

Cali.L.T. at 4th Avenue Delicatessen

425 N. Fourth Ave.
Cali.L.T. at 4th Avenue Delicatessen (Credit: Melissa Stihl)

Cali.L.T. at 4th Avenue Delicatessen (Credit: Melissa Stihl)

4th Ave Deli takes a properly executed BLT and adds a California spin with cucumbers and avocado slices. You won’t miss the iceberg.

Keep up with 4th Avenue Delicatessen on Facebook.

Smoked Beet Sandwich at 5 Points Market & Restaurant

756 S. Stone Ave.
Smoked Beet Sandwich at 5 Points Market & Restaurant (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Smoked Beet Sandwich at 5 Points Market & Restaurant (Credit: Jackie Tran)

The Smoked Beet Sandwich features a generous pile of sliced smoked beets with local pecan cheese, jalapeño cabbage slaw, and house-made organic ciabatta for a remarkable vegan sandwich.

For more information, call (520) 623-3888 or visit 5pointstucson.com.

New Jersey Joe at August Rhodes Market

3073 N. Campbell Ave.
New Jersey Joe Sandwich at August Rhodes Market

New Jersey Joe Sandwich at August Rhodes Market (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Even though August Rhodes isn’t a barbecue restaurant, their brisket is easily some of the juiciest in town. Enjoy it on their special pillowy house-baked Japanese milk bread with Russian dressing and coleslaw.

For more information, visit augustrhodesmarket.com.

Arizona Strong Man at the Bagel Joint

7315 N. Oracle Rd. Ste. 105

For a hefty protein-heavy breakfast, order the Arizona Strong Man. The combination of eggs, bacon, sausage, and cheese on the fresh house-made bagel will keep your belly full for hours.

Keep up with the Bagel Joint on Facebook.

Unforgettable at Baggin’s Gourmet Sandwiches

Various locations
Unforgettable from Baggin's Gourmet Sandwiches

Unforgettable from Baggin’s Gourmet Sandwiches (Photo courtesy of Baggin’s Gourmet Sandwiches)

The combination of turkey breast, cream cheese, mayo, bacon, sprouts, tomato, and avocado on 12-grain bread is more than memorable.

Pro tip: ask for it with horseradish.

For more information, visit bagginsgourmet.com/menus.

Jon Hamm & Cheese at Batch Cafe & Bar

118 E. Congress St.
Jon Hamm & Cheese sandwich at Batch Cafe & Bar (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Jon Hamm & Cheese sandwich at Batch Cafe & Bar (Credit: Jackie Tran)

The Jon Hamm & Cheese features provolone, Black Forest ham, and house-made bourbon mustard on sourdough. You just have to pair it with an old fashioned if you want to go full Don Draper.

For more information, visit batchtucson.com.

Max’s Muffalotta at Beyond Bread

421 W. Ina Rd. • 3026 N. Campbell Ave. • 6260 E. Speedway Blvd.

Max’s Muffalotta lives up to its name with alotta filling: capicola, ham, pepperoni, provolone, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, olive paste, tomato, red onion, and vinaigrette on Beyond Bread’s freshly baked ciabatta.

For more information, visit beyondbread.com.

Grinder Sub at Bison Witches

326 N. Fourth Ave.

We appreciated this grinder enough that we made a spinning video of it.

For more information, visit bisonwitches.com.

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Parmesan Crusted Turkey Croissant at Cafe a la C’Art

150 N. Main Ave.

This sandwich features a Panko and Parmesan-crusted croissant with turkey, provolone, roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, and Dijon mustard.

For more information, visit cafealacarttucson.com.

Focaccia Sandwich at CERES

77 W. Washington St.
Sandwich at CERES

Sandwiches at CERES (Credit: Jackie Tran)

From our editor, Kate Severino:

“The Presidio newcomer transports you out of the desert and straight to Europe. Imagine bustling Italian streets with patrons popping into tiny shops for bagged sandwiches, fresh twirls of pasta, and delightful baked treats. Yes, you’ve arrived. Expect to fork simply dressed, house-made pasta into your mouth between bites from a freshly made focaccia sandwich. The sandwich filling—light pesto; chunks of mozzarella; succulent, juicy slices of tomato; arugula; salami; and wisps of prosciutto—was heavenly.”

Keep up with CERES on Instagram. For more information, visit cerestucson.com.

The Del Rey French Dip at Charro Del Rey

178 E. Broadway Blvd.

While Charro Del Rey is best known for their seafood, they also feature special grass-fed prime rib. In their Prime Rib Dip, enjoy it shaved on Barrio Bread with green chile horseradish, ancho chile jus, and mashed potatoes.

For more information, visit charrodelrey.com.

Roast Beef Pho Sandwich at Chef Chic

1104 S. Wilmot Rd.

This Vietnamese sandwich isn’t banh mi. Instead, it combines the American roast beef sandwich and adds herb hoisin vinaigrette with fancy jalapeño mousse and sprouts for an elegant, creative creation.

For more information, visit chefchicaz.com.

Tucson Dip at Cup Cafe at Hotel Congress

311 E. Congress St.
Tucson Dip at Cup Cafe sandwich

Tucson Dip sandwich at Cup Cafe (Photo courtesy of Hotel Congress)

Dining in a historic building in the heart of downtown Tucson is enough to lure you in. If you can make it past the rotating cake display to your table without ordering a slice, get the Tucson Dip. The quirky take on a sando—featuring local chile-marinated smoked tri-tip, cheddar, creamy horseradish, and crisp onions on a soft bakery roll—comes with a side of green chile jus… for dipping, of course. Get the napkins ready for the flavor explosion and drips escaping down your chinny chin chin.

For more information, visit hotelcongress.com/family/the-cup.

Tri-Tip Sandwich at Dickman’s Meat & Deli

7955 E. Broadway Blvd. • 6472 N. Oracle Rd.

Anything from Dickman’s will be great on a sandwich; especially the ugly steak. Whether you get a tri-tip sandwich or Italian sub, know that they get the ratio of ingredients and bread just right.

Dickman’s Meat & Deli at 7955 E. Broadway Blvd. can be reached at (520) 885-8020. The location at 6472 N. Oracle Rd. can be reached at (520) 229-9777. Keep up with Dickman’s on Facebook.

Flying Buffalo Chicken Sandwich at Divine Bovine

1021 N. Wilmot Rd.
Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich at Divine Bovine (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich at Divine Bovine (Credit: Jackie Tran)

While chicken isn’t in the name at Divine Bovine, they still know their chicken. The Flying Buffalo features Swiss cheese, buffalo sauce, ranch, hot pickles, lettuce, tomato, and onion. You can order any of their sandwiches with the buttermilk-fried chicken breast, FYI.

For more information, visit divinebovineburgers.com.

B.L.A.C.T. Out at The Drunken Chicken

429 N. Fourth Ave.

BLT + avocado + chicken = B.L.A.C.T. Out

Grilled or fried, it’s a delight.

For more information, visit thedrunkenchickenaz.com.

Chicken Parmesan Sub at East Coast Super Subs

187 N. Park Ave.

For a heavy but oh-so-satisfying sandwich, get the Chicken Parmesan Sub. If you want to take it to the next level with garlic bread, order the Greasy Italian Sub. You’ll need your stretchy pants for this one.

Keep up with East Coast Super Subs on Facebook.

Cemita at El Antojo Poblano

1114 W. St. Mary’s Rd.
Cemita at El Antojo Poblano (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Cemita at El Antojo Poblano (Credit: Jackie Tran)

A food truck on St. Mary’s just west of the I-10, El Antojo Poblano focuses on the cuisine of Puebla. Try the glorious cemita, a style of torta with a breaded fried beef cutlet, salty ham, stringy queso Oaxaca, cilantro-like papalo herb, caramelized onion, smoky chipotle peppers, cool avocado, and olive oil.

Keep up with El Antojo Poblano on Facebook.

Monday Special at Ermanos Craft Beer & Wine Bar

220 N. Fourth Ave.

Adventurous sandwich eaters should visit Ermanos every Monday, as each Monday features an original sandwich. Their house-made pickles also make every sandwich special.

For more information, visit ermanosbrew.com.

Grilled Cheese at Feast

3719 E. Speedway Blvd.

Feast’s Grilled Cheese is one of the few things that don’t change with each menu change. The iconic sandwich features a combination of seared halloumi, honey-roasted eggplant, red onion, and tomato on a French roll.

For more information, visit eatatfeast.com.

Le Bifteck at Ghini’s French Caffe

1803 E. Prince Rd.
La Bifteck at Ghini's French Caffe (Photo courtesy of Ghini's French Caffe)

La Bifteck at Ghini’s French Caffe (Photo courtesy of Ghini’s French Caffe)

For a French person’s take on the French Dip, order Le Bifteck. A baguette is stuffed with prime roast beef, sautéed onions, and garlic served with a side of jus.

For more information, visit ghiniscafe.com.

Cobb Grilled Cheese at Harvest Restaurant

10355 N. La Cañada Dr.

The Cobb Grilled Cheese is a sandwich spin on the popular salad without so much of the lettuce. Instead enjoy grilled chicken, applewood bacon, local organic tomatoes, avocado smear, hard-boiled egg, aged sharp white cheddar, and Gorgonzola aioli on local multigrain bread.

For more information, visit harvestov.com.

Chicken Katsu Sando at HeeMee Coffee + Bakery

20 E. Congress St., Ste. 110

While HeeMee opened with mostly sweets, they’ve expanded their savory options with delights such as the Chicken Katsu Sando on the house brioche bun.

For more information, visit heemeebakery.com.

Ice Cream Sandwich at HUB Ice Cream Factory

245 E. Congress St.
Ice cream sandwiches at HUB Ice Cream Factory (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Ice cream sandwiches at HUB Ice Cream Factory (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Ice Cream Sandwiches count as sandwiches. 😉 Choose two fresh-baked cookies with a scoop of ice cream at HUB Ice Cream Factory. Cookie flavors and ice cream flavors rotate.

For more information, visit hubicecream.com.

Johnny Cubano at Johnny Gibson’s Downtown Market

11 S. Sixth Ave.
Johnny Cubano and Gunslinger Burger at Johnny Gibson's Downtown Market (Credit: Chelsey Wade)

Johnny Cubano and Gunslinger Burger at Johnny Gibson’s Downtown Market (Credit: Chelsey Wade)

The Johnny Cubano features ham, shredded pork shoulder, pickles, roasted jalapeños, spicy dijonnaise, and Swiss cheese. Enjoy it with their sweet potato fries.

For more information, visit gibsonsmarket.com.

BBQ Chicken (V) at Lovin’ Spoonfuls

2990 N. Campbell Ave., Ste. 120
Vegan Fried Chicken Sandwich at Lovin' Spoonfuls

Vegan Fried Chicken Sandwich at Lovin’ Spoonfuls (Photo courtesy of Lovin’ Spoonfuls)

The BBQ Chicken Sandwich features vegan fried chicken tossed in a spicy and tangy buffalo sauce, topped with lettuce, tomato, and pickles on a locally baked bun. Add the house-made vegan blue cheese.

For more information, visit lovinspoonfuls.com.

Italian Beef with Everything at Luke’s Italian Beef

1615 S. Alvernon Way

Italian Beef with everything is the way to go. The beef is juicy and fragrant with oregano, topped with a zingy giardiniera. The bread is saturated with beef jus creating a messy, sinfully enjoyable eating experience.

For more information, visit Luke’s Sandwiches on Yelp.

Carnitas Torta at Maico Restaurant Mexican Food

835 E. 22nd St.

For some reason, tortas haven’t really caught on in Tucson yet. But don’t miss out. At Maico, enjoy the Mexican sandwich with crispy, succulent carnitas.

Keep up with Maico on Facebook.

Curry Chicken Salad Sandwich at Maynards Market & Kitchen

400 N. Toole Ave.

Maynards takes the classic chicken salad sandwich and jazzes it up with organic chicken, currants, apples, pistachio, and lettuce on a toasted croissant.

For more information, visit hotelcongress.com/family/maynards.

Banh Mi Dac Biet at Nhu Lan Vietnamese Food Truck

238 N. Fourth Ave.
Banh Mi Dac Biet from Nhu Lan Vietnamese Food Truck (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Banh Mi Dac Biet from Nhu Lan Vietnamese Food Truck (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Thanks to French colonization in Vietnam, the world now has the gift of the Vietnamese sandwich.

The cool, crisp cucumber and cilantro help balance the sharp grassy heat of raw jalapeño slices. The sweet-and-sour daikon and carrot pickles add moist crunch and balance the saltiness of the proteins. The spread of lightly sweet, buttery Vietnamese mayo and a dash of soy sauce brings it all together with the house-made cold cuts.

Keep up with Nhu Lan Vietnamese Food Truck on Facebook.

Po-Boy at The Parish

6453 N. Oracle Rd.
Oyster Po-Boy at the Parish (Photo courtesy of the Parish)

Oyster Po-Boy at the Parish (Photo by Jackie Tran)

Choose between cornmeal-crusted oysters, shrimp, catfish, or andouille sausage for the Po-Boy, topped with lettuce, tomato, and a generous amount of tartar sauce on a baguette. Add a dash of the exceptional house-made fermented pepper hot sauce, too.

For more information, visit theparishtucson.com.

Grilled Cheese at Peppersauce Kitchen

35406 S. Mt. Lemmon Rd. Oracle, AZ 85623
Grilled Cheese at Peppersauce Kitchen

Grilled Cheese at Peppersauce Kitchen (Credit: Jackie Tran)

After an intense ziplining session, Peppersauce Kitchen hits the spot with their Grilled Cheese, augmented with bacon and onion.

Read our November 2019 article Zipline & dine: Arizona Zipline Tours’ Peppersauce Kitchen cooks homemade goodness.

For more information, visit ziparizona.com.

Chicken Sandwich at Pops Hot Chicken

Food Truck • 1439 S. Fourth Ave.

From our Instagram queen, Melissa Stihl:

“A new food truck, Pop’s Hot Chicken, is serving up some seriously delicious Nashville hot chicken sandwiches on Fourth Avenue. I am a big fan of chicken sandwiches, and in my opinion, it really comes down to the chicken. The chicken from Pops’ food truck is a fried chicken thigh — essential to the makings of a delicious chicken sandwich. It’s lightly breaded, fried, and super crispy. Everything else on the sandwich just adds to the equation here — the avocado slaw, the brioche bun, pickles, and the hot sauce — it all just works. Pops Hot Chicken’s menu is simple with only a few items, but they are doing them right. This is the ideal post-drinking meal.”

Read our January 2020 article Pops Hot Chicken, Monster Sonoran Hot Dogs, Mariscos El Bochas join American Eat Co.

Keep up with Pops Hot Chicken on Instagram.

Everything Croissant Sammie at Prep & Pastry

2660 N. Campbell Ave. • 6450 E. Grant Rd., Ste. 160

Say bye to the everything bagel and hello to the everything croissant filled with prosciutto, pistachio pesto, muenster, American cheese, arugula, and scrambled egg.

For more information, visit prepandpastry.com.

Sonoran Cheesesteak at Raptor Canyon Cafe

75 E. Pennington St.
Sonoran Cheesesteak at Raptor Canyon Cafe

Sonoran Cheesesteak at Raptor Canyon Cafe (Credit: Jackie Tran)

The Sonoran Cheesesteak is almost a carne asada torta, but that’s not a complaint. The steak and cheese mingle with avocado and pico de gallo for a meal that won’t leave you feeling as heavy as a conventional cheesesteak.

Keep up with Raptor Canyon Cafe on Facebook.

The Tailored Tony at Renee’s Organic Oven

7065 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
Tailored Tony at Renee's Organic Oven (Credit: Jackie Tran)

The Tailored Tony at Renee’s Organic Oven (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Renee dresses up the sloppy Joe into The Tailored Tony, using local organic San Rafael Valley grass-fed beef, marinara, roasted red peppers, basil, and provolone on their organic focaccia. It’s served with your choice of a Tossed or Caesar Salad.

Fun fact — it was one of two dishes Guy Fieri ate when he visited.

Read our January 2020 article Renee’s Organic Oven expands to new location with bar, patio & menu updates.

For more information, call (520) 886-0484 or visit reneesorganicoven.com.

Lox & Beets Sandwich at Rincon Market

2513 E. Sixth St.
Lox & Beet Sandwich at Rincon Market (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Lox & Beets Sandwich at Rincon Market (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Cured salmon and beets aren’t for everyone but if you enjoy them both, then don’t miss out on the Lox & Beets. It features jalapeño schmear, cucumber, dill, capers, and red onion sandwiched in an everything bagel.

For more information, visit rinconmarket.xyz.

Picosa Torta at Rollies Mexican Patio

4573 S. 12th Ave.
Picoso Torta at Rollies Mexican Patio (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Picoso Torta at Rollies Mexican Patio (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Nashville hot chicken meets Tucson with the Picoso Torta at Rollies. Fried chicken tossed with a Sonoran chili rub and topped with habanero coleslaw and pickled onions.

For more information, visit rolliestucson.com.

The Ultimate Roma at Roma Imports

627 S. Vine Ave.
Ultimate Roma sandwich at Roma Imports (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Ultimate Roma sandwich at Roma Imports (Credit: Jackie Tran)

The Ultimate Roma features a blend of capocolla, Genoa salami, mortadella, provolone, giardiniera, roasted red peppers, lettuce, tomato, and balsamic vinaigrette.

But that’s not even its final form — Matt’s Special features all of the above with the addition of fresh mozzarella and prosciutto.

For more information, visit romaimports.com.

‘The Famous’ Italian Grinder at Sausage Deli

754 E. Grant Rd.

The Omar gets all the love, but don’t miss out on the ‘The Famous’ Italian Grinder with Genoa salami, pastrami, provolone, lettuce, tomato, bell pepper, onions, pepperoncini peppers, oregano, and Italian dressing.

For more information, visit sausagedeli.com.

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Whatever floats your boat at Sausage Shop Meat Market and Deli

1015 W. Prince Rd. Ste. 141
Pastrami & Swiss at The Sausage Shop (Credit: Adam Lehrman)

Pastrami & Swiss at The Sausage Shop (Credit: Adam Lehrman)

With house-made sausages and cured meats, it’s hard to go wrong with any of the Sausage Shop’s dozens of sandwiches. Just choose the one with the most appealing meat for you.

They’re also one of the best places to shop for meats to make your own sandwich.

Keep up with Sausage Shop Meat Market and Deli.

Cochinita Pibil Torta at Seis Kitchen

130 S. Avenida del Convento Ste. 100 • 1765 E. River Rd. Ste. 131

Cochinita Pibil — a slow-roasted pork dish marinated in citrus and vibrant red achiote — tops the torta with pickled red onion, cilantro, smashed black beans, avocado, Roma tomato, queso Oaxaca, and Seis-Style chipotle crema.

For more information, visit seiskitchen.com.

The Cubano at Sentinel Peak Brewing Company

4746 E. Grant Rd. • 9155 E. Tanque Verde Rd. Ste. 177
The Cubano at Sentinel Peak Brewing Company (Credit: Sentinel Peak Brewing Company)

The Cubano at Sentinel Peak Brewing Company (Credit: Sentinel Peak Brewing Company)

Pair a pint of Dew Point Dunkel with The Cubano at Sentinel Peak. The medium-bodied beer complements the slow-roasted shredded pork, ham and provolone, while the bubbles help contrast the richness with the pickles and stone-ground mustard.

For more information, visit sentinelpeakbrewing.com.

Pulled Pork Sandwich at Smokey Mo

2650 N. First Ave.

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Smokey Mo’s star is the Pulled Pork Sandwich, featuring a spicy house barbecue sauce and a jicama citrus slaw on a sesame bun.

For more information, visit smokeymo.com.

Kickin’ Chicken Sando at Ten55 Brewing Company

110 E. Congress St.
Kickin' Chicken Sando at Ten55 Brewing Company (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Kickin’ Chicken Sando at Ten55 Brewing Company (Credit: Jackie Tran)

The Kickin’ Chicken Sando brings the heat with its spicy buttermilk fried chicken, pickles, and mayo on a sesame seed bun.

For more information, visit 1055brewing.com.

Caprese Sandwich at Time Market

444 E. University Blvd.
Caprese Sandwich at Time Market (Credit: Kate Severino)

Caprese Sandwich at Time Market (Credit: Kate Severino)

If you appreciate artisanal crusty bread, Time Market is easily one of the best options. The humble Caprese Sandwich features the outstanding house-baked baguette, arugula pesto, tomato, house-made mozzarella, extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic, and basil.

In addition, their Fried Chicken Sandwich features exceptionally juicy chicken breast—order it “Tucson HOT” style for a quarter extra.

For more information, visit timemarket.xyz.

Crispy Chicken Torta at Tito & Pep

4122 E. Speedway Blvd.
Crispy Chicken Torta at Tito & Pep (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Crispy Chicken Torta at Tito & Pep (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Available on the brunch and lunch menu, Tito & Pep’s Crispy Chicken Torta features pickled fried chicken, onions, tomato, and smoky morita-lime mayo. Get it for brunch if you’re into breakfast potatoes.

For more information, visit titoandpep.com.

Pastrami Reuben or Randy at Union Public House

4340 N. Campbell Ave.
House cured Pastrami Sandwich at Union Public House

House cured Pastrami Sandwich at Union Public House (Credit: Adam Lehrman)

House-cured pastrami shines alongside Swiss cheese, Thousand Island dressing, and sauerkraut or coleslaw on rye bread. Yum!

For more information, visit uniontucson.com.

Banh Mi Dac Biet at Vina Vietnamese Street Food

4230 N. Oracle Rd.

Vina’s Banh Mi Dac Biet features chicken pate, steamed red pork, Vietnamese ham, head cheese, cilantro, carrots, daikon, and jalapeños.

Keep up with Vina Vietnamese Street Food on Facebook.

Bumblebee at Welcome Diner

902 E. Broadway Blvd.

Welcome Diner features three chicken and biscuit sandwiches on the menu, but our favorite keeps it simple. The Bumblebee features a fried chicken breast with local honey, house mustard, bread and butter pickles, and house-baked biscuits.

For more information, visit welcomediner.net.

Tuscan Panini at Zona 78

7301 E. Tanque Verde Rd.

Zona 78 highlights roasted chicken, fontina cheese, caramelized onion, green bell pepper, and chipotle mayo on a ciabatta roll for their Tuscan Panini.

For more information, visit zona78.com.

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Do you know about any other stellar sandwiches we should try? Let us know in the comments.

Jackie is a food writer and photographer native to Tucson. He loves corgis and still thinks rickrolling is funny. If you'd like to stalk him, visit jackietran.com and his Instagram @jackie_tran_.

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