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A glass display counter with three red-uniformed attendants behind and one patron in front with a mask and bermuda shorts.
Defonte’s Sandwich Shop is well worth the 20-minute trek from the F train at Carroll Street.

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11 More of Our Favorite Sandwiches in NYC Right Now

Senior critic Robert Sietsema returns with another round of sandwiches he’s loving across the city

Sandwiches have been our mainstay during the ongoing pandemic. They can be easily ordered and carried out, and even eaten standing up outside if the occasion requires it. They come in a variety of sizes, and can be a relatively inexpensive way of consuming an entire meal. I’ve done two roundups of sandwiches in the last few months, and this is the third and last in the series. The sandwiches are presented in order of increasing excellence, but all are highly recommended.

Here are the previous pieces: A Tribute to the 11 NYC Sandwiches That Are Getting Us Through the Pandemic; and 11 More NYC Sandwiches That Are Getting Us Through the Pandemic (and Beyond).

11. Green Machine at Barnyard Cheese

Tucked away midblock on Avenue B north of Tompkins Square Park, Barnyard started out as a cheese store opened by Beatriz Gutierrez a dozen years ago, but it has turned into the neighborhood’s favorite sandwich shop, rivaled only by Sunny & Annie’s. Many of the sandwiches are invented, others are classics, but a regular special is the Green Machine ($11), a vegetarian assemblage whose ingredients are a sea of green: pesto, artichokes, goat cheese, and spinach, plus cheddar. It tastes like a stroll across a field. 168 Avenue B, between 10th and 11th streets, East Village

A hand holds a sandwich with a mixture of white and green ingredients.
The green machine at Barnyard Cheese.

10. Choripan at Dyckman Dogs

Way down south in Buenos Aires, the choripan ($6.25) — an elision of “chorizo” and “pan” — is the predominant street snack, sold from carts all over the city. The sausage is an Argentine spin on paprika-laced Spanish chorizo, and at this Venezuelan hot dog parlor it’s grilled on a flat top and deposited in a bun with chimichurri and salsa criolla for real South American flavor. 105-A Dyckman Street, between Sherman and Nagle avenues, Inwood

A browned sausage peeking out from a next of a diced tomato and green pepper salsa
Choripan at Dyckman Dogs.

9. Egg salad at Lexington Candy Shop

Sometimes you just want an old-fashioned sandwich without any fussy ingredients. You’ll get your chance at Lexington Candy Shop, founded in 1925 and looking every year of its age, with John Philis as its third-generation owner. The short menu includes a spectacular egg salad sandwich ($12.95), with the egg salad piled thickly on toasted white bread. The filling is extended with minced celery for added crunch. The lettuce is not iceberg, which is a big plus, and shakes of salt and pepper are freshly applied right before it’s served, adding an extra jolt to every bite. 1226 Lexington Avenue, at 83rd Street, Upper East Side

A white bread sandwich browned from the toaster with lettuce and egg salad, in two halves.
Egg salad sandwich at Lexington Candy Shop.

8. Chicken parm hero at Delizia 92

Every day this delightful Upper East Side pizzeria, decorated with a mural of Superman flying over Venice, offers pizza, pasta, and sandwich lunch specials, and a frequent item is the chicken parm hero, a thick cutlet so mired in cheese it’s invisible inside its baguette cave, with a zippy and chunky tomato sauce underneath. In the afternoon, the hero’s only $7.95, but the sandwich is also a great deal at the normal price of $9. 1762 Second Avenue, at 92nd Street, Upper East Side

A sandwich on a hero roll smothered in cheese in a clear plastic container.
Chicken parm hero at Delizia 92.

7. Cubano at Dyckman Bakery

Dominican bakeries like this one often make Cuban sandwiches as a sideline at bargain prices, depositing them on a homemade loaf. The $5 example at longtime Inwood fixture Dyckman Bakery is superb, loaded with garlicky pork roast, a thin slice or two of ham, cheese, and pickle chips, slathered with mayo and also possessing negligible amounts of roughage like lettuce and tomato. And one is a very full meal. 176 Dyckman Street, between Vermilyea and Sherman avenues, Inwood

A sandwich pressed flat with pork, ham, and green pickle chip visible inside.
Cubano at Dyckman Bakery.

6. Tongue sandwich at Bread & Salt

Anyone who has visited the Mercato Centrale in Florence, Italy, knows that the ancient cooking method of boiling meat is still very much alive in Tuscany. At trattorias in the vicinity, pig and cow parts are boiled in chunks and heaped with salsa verde, a cousin of Argentine chimichurri with oily, garlicky, and herbal flavors front and center — and the excitement of this Italian sandwich has been ably recreated with boiled tongue at Bread & Salt in Jersey City Heights ($12). 435 Palisade Avenue, between Griffith and Hutton streets, Jersey City

A sandwich on brown focaccia with meat and green sauce visible inside.
Tongue sandwich at Bread & Salt.

5. Bun choley at Harry’s Sweets & Snacks

This delightful little snack shop on the far eastern border of Queens specializes in Mumbai-style snacks, including chaats, bags of crunchy lentils and extruded chips, milk-bearing sweets freshly made on the premises, and small dishes and sandwiches, all vegetarian. Among the sandwiches is the supremely wonderful bun choley, a bread roll split and slathered with tamarind sauce and loaded with a chickpea, potato, and onion filling — a sweet and savory delight in a small, inexpensive package ($1.99). Two make a meal. 248-6 Union Turnpike, between 248th and 249th streets, Bellerose

A misshapen roll with chickpeas and potatoes tumbling out.
Bun choley at Harry’s.

4. Pork sando at Evil Katsu

A fist-sized pork cutlet, super juicy in the middle, is crumbed and deep fried, then thrust between slices of white bread slathered with thick mayo, with shredded carrots and purple cabbage a makeshift slaw for added texture. Yes, there are two other sandos (Japanese colloquial for sandwich) on the menu, but skip them in favor of this $16 shareable (but only if you dare wield the plastic knife) masterpiece. 435 East Ninth Street, between First Avenue and Avenue A, East Village

Two square slices of white bread with a crumbed cutlet and orange and purple slaw.
Evil Katsu’s pork sando.

3. Chicken shawarma at Operation: Falafel

This international chain from Dubai, founded in 2014, sells what it describes as Arabic food at very reasonable prices, and most of the dishes are already familiar. The chicken shawarma is sliced with a generous hand and deposited in a pair of small pitas for $8.95, in a nifty cardboard box shaped like a wallet. The chicken is a bit crusty from the rotisserie and slathered with toum, the garlic mayonnaise. Apply hot sauce at your own discretion. 232 Seventh Avenue, between 23rd and 24th streets, Chelsea

A hand holds a small pita stuffed with chicken.
Half an order of chicken shawarma pita at Operation: Falafel.

2. Leberkase sandwich at Schaller & Weber

This historic Yorkville butcher and sausage maker dates from the days when the Upper East Side harbored a German neighborhood, and it’s one of the few remaining vestiges. In addition to all the wursts in the display cases, there’s a glass hot box atop the counter that offers a couple of warm meats per day, which can be made into sandwiches. For only $6, this leberkase is sliced thick and planked on a bun, with a good layer of mustard and sliced dill pickles. “That’s not authentic,” I heard a German tourist sniff. But it was delicious, the lebekase like a kind of rubbery warm bologna, but blander, more porky than garlicky — which might be a good thing, depending on your perspective. 1654 Second Avenue, between 85th and 86th streets, Yorkville

A smallish round bun with two thick slices of luncheon meat on it, held by a hand.
Leberkase sandwich at Schaller & Weber.

1. Italian combo at Defonte’s Sandwich Shop

Started by Apulian immigrant Nick Defonte in 1922, this place was one of the cradles of the hero sandwich, a hallmark of Italian-American cuisine. This sandwich, available in third- and half-loaf sizes ($11.95 and $13.95, respectively) features the cold cuts most popular among southern Italian immigrants, including salami, pepperoni, provolone, and “ham cappy,” the nickname of a Calabrian neck-meat ham more properly called capicola, which leaves a burn on the tongue. The sandwich is sweetened with pickled red peppers, and is by turns spicy, sour, and sweet. 379 Columbia Street, at Luquer Street, Red Hook

Two sandwich halves held aloft with cold cuts and cheese visible.
A one-third size Italian combo at DeFonte’s Sandwich Shop.

Harry's Sweets and Snacks

248-06 Union Turnpike, Bellerose, NY 11426 (718) 347-0888 Visit Website

Delizia 92

1762 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10128 (212) 534-1006 Visit Website

Schaller & Weber

1654 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028 (212) 879-3047 Visit Website


168 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009 (212) 674-2276 Visit Website

Bread & Salt

435 Palisade Avenue, , NJ 07307 (201) 500-7338

Lexington Candy Shop Luncheonette

1226 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10028 (212) 288-0057 Visit Website

Dyckman Bakery Dominicano

176 Dyckman St, New York, NY 10040

Dyckman Dogs

105A Dyckman St, New York, NY 10040
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