The ideal road trip food should be fast, easy to hold, not too messy, filling, and delicious: Basically, the best in-transit food is some form of sandwich. In honor of Eater’s first-ever Road Trip Week, here is a guide to some tried and tested New York foods to bring along your next summer road trip.
Most of these places open early so you can hit them up before hitting the road, while others will hold up if you buy them the night before. All that’s left to do is plan your road trip destination. (We have ideas there, too.)
Sandwiches from Parisi Bakery
This family-run bakery opens daily at 7:30 a.m. making it an easy stop before escaping the city for a trip. And since half the menu is cold sandwiches, you could even pick one up the day before if your plans have you leaving before the crack of dawn. The star of the menu however is The Dennis, a hot hero sandwich that’s a collection of chicken cutlet, prosciutto, mozzarella, and tomato. It’s a behemoth, and ideal for sharing with your road-trip buddies. While at Parisi, don’t forget to stock up on Wise chips for the road. Nolita, 198 Mott Street
Banh mi from Bánh Mì Saigon
This Vietnamese sandwich shop in the heart of Little Italy cranks out a menu of sandwiches, salads, and noodles for well under $10. The item to get is the shop’s namesake, a banh mi served with barbecue pork and all the usual fixings. The sandwich will set you back $5.25 and can easily be shared for two. Or, have one half (they cut it for you) on the road, and save the second half for when you arrive at your destination. The small shop also sells a variety of packaged sweets like slices of pandan cake and mooncake biscuits. Of note, Banh Mi Saigon is cash only, and opens at 8:00 a.m. Little Italy, 198 Grand Street
Bagel sandwich (or any sandwich) from Ess-a-Bagel
Sure, you can easily grab a bagel sandwich from your local bodega, but why not stop by OG bagel shop Ess-a-Bagel before skipping town? The shop’s Third Avenue location opens at 6:00 a.m. daily, so stopping by before your trip should be easy. Easy orders are a bagel sandwich (stick to plain of scallion cream cheese) or any of the egg sandwiches; they even serve peanut butter and jelly. If you have a long trip ahead of you, pick up a bagel sandwich for dinner and a chicken salad sandwich for lunch. Pretzels, popcorn, and an array of potato chip brands are available, too. Midtown East, 831 Third Avenue
Tunisian sandwich from Breads
Last spring, Eater’s Ryan Sutton discovered the Tunisian Sandwich at New York’s famed Breads Bakery. Its components: dark tuna, hard-boiled eggs, boiled potatoes, black olives, sliced tomatoes, and confit lemon sit between two slices of soft focaccia, turning an often overlooked sandwich option into a star menu item. Sutton explains it best: “Essentially, you have the components of a Nicoise salad mixed together with a few North African flourishes. The citrus and spice play key roles here, the former subduing the tuna's maritime tang with its bright fragrance, the latter imparting a lingering, warming finish.” He adds: “But the real key to the Tunisian is temperature. The masterful creation, even though it's prepared ahead of time, isn't stored in a refrigerator.” Union Square, 18 East 16 Street
Hero or roll from Parm
All Parm locations offer a few varieties of what is apparently one of Aziz Ansari’s favorite sandwiches. There are hot options like chicken, meatball, and eggplant parm which all travel very nicely, but choices like the Italian combo are a clear winner. Ham, mortadella, and soppressata are layered with lettuce and tomato on a sesame-studded hero for a sandwich that is surprisingly not heavy. At Parm, sandwiches come either on a semolina roll or that sesame hero, though the hero is the clear choice. Multiple locations include Nolita, UWS, Battery Park
What’s you go-to food to bring along? Let us know in the comments.