Barred in DC’s Essential Sandwich Spots

The G-Man at Capitol Hill’s Mangialardo’s, the Best Sandwich in DC (photo by Barred in DC).

I love sandwiches. So do many of you (in fact 42% of y’all would eat them every meal if you could and only 5% aren’t fans of sandwiches). Over the past 13+ years I’ve lived in DC, thanks to the Washingtonian, Washington City Paper (in particular their sandwich critic Caroline Jones), Eater, and Washington Post (Tim Carman the best for this), not to mention word of mouth, I’ve eaten at 100+ sandwich spots in the area.

For your benefit, I’ve compiled a list of spots I feel that are essential, including locations, hours of operation, the signature sandwich (in italics), approximate cost (including tax), and year of opening. There will likely be a few head scratchers for some of you, but all of these have a special place in my heart for whatever reason (I’ve eaten at almost all of these at least twice).

Note that (with a few exceptions) I’ve focused on sandwich shops, not sandwiches. There are tons of awesome legendary sandwiches not at spots listed below. 

Top 3 for Me in DC: Mangialardo’s, Sundevich, Stachowski’s
Outside DC: Banh Mi Sandwich DC, Nhu Lan (I’m a sucker for banh mi’s)
RIP: Fast Gourmet

Generally these are listed from oldest to newest within category

DC Sandwich Shop Hall of Fame

  • Wagshal’s Delicatessen
    • 4855 Massachusetts Ave. NW (AU/Park; N4/N6 Bus or 20 min walk from Tenleytown Metro) (goto the New Mexico Ave in a pinch)
    • M-F 8a-8p; Sat 9a-8p; Sun 9a-7:30p
    • Temporarily: 9-6:30p daily
    • Pickup/Delivery (website/Chownow)
    • More traditional
    • Smoked brisket (Montreal-style). Also very good, cheaper pastrami
    • Brisket ~$14.50; other sandwiches ~$8-$10
    • 1925, current location 1938, current owners 1990
  • Deli City
    • 2200 Bladensburg Rd. NE (near Ivy City, take B2, B8, B9, or H6)
    • M-F 5:30a-5p; closed Sat-Sun
    • Diner-style
    • Hot Pastrami, Corned Beef, or Reuben
    • ~$8 (Cash only)
    • 1950s (current location 1979)
  • Mangialardo’s
    • 1317 Pennsylvania Ave. SE (near Potomac Ave. Metro)
    • M-F 8a-3p; closed Sat-Sun
    • Pickup (call/walk-in/website) or Delivery (Grubhub)
    • Italian-style
    • G-Man
    • ~$10
    • 1953 (late 1960s sandwiches)
  • Market Lunch
    • 225 7th SE (Eastern Market)
    • Tue-Fri 7:30a-2:30p (bfast til 11a); Sat 8a-3p (bfast til 1:30p); Sun 9a-3p (bfast til 1:30p); closed Mon
    • Temporarily: 9a-2p Sat-Sun, Tue-Th; 9a-5p Fri. Curbside call 202-547-8444. Limited menu
    • Diner-style
    • The Brick for Breakfast. Crabcake for lunch
    • ~$6-13
    • 1978
  • Subbs by Carl
    • 2208 Rhode Island Ave NE (Woodridge; G8/G9/83/86 buses or 27 min walk from Brookland Metro)
    • M-Sat 9a-4:55p , closed Sun
    • Italian-style
    • Genoa Salami (#1)
    • ~$8 (cash only)
    • 1987
  • A. Litteri
    • 517 Morse St. NE (near Union Market/NoMa)
    • Tue-Sa 9a-6p, Sun 11a-6p; Closed Mon.
    • Pickup (order online)
    • Italian-style
    • Italian Classic
    • ~$8
    • 1926 (~1988 sandwiches)
  • Jettie’s
    • 5 locations in DC (Chevy Chase, PQ, Foxhall, Macomb, Downtown), 1 in MD.
    • Original location is Foxhall 11a-8p M-F, 9a-4p Sat-Sun; downtown ones have limited hours
    • Temporarily only Chevy Chase, Foxhall, Macomb open
    • Pickup (Chownow), Delivery (Doordash)
    • Variety/Nantucket-inspired
    • Nobadeer (Thanksgiving sandwich)
    • ~$11-14
    • 2003
  • MGM Roast Beef
    • 905 Brentwood Rd. NE (11 min walk from Rhode Island Ave. Metro; D8 bus)
    • M-Th 7a-6p, Fri 7a-5p, Sat 8a-3p, closed Sun.
    • Temporary hours 8a-3p Mon-Sat
    • Pickup (online/Toast Tab), Delivery (UberEats, Grubhub)
    • Hand-carved sandwiches, sort of diner style.
    • Top round or brisket
    • $14 for top round/brisket; $11 for other sandwiches
    • 2008
  • Sundevich
    • Shaw (1314 9th Street NW/behind), Georgetown (3210 Grace St. NW); Capitol Hill coming soon
    • Both open at 11a everyday. Shaw closes at 9p M-Sat, 5p Sun; Gtown closes at 8p M-F, 5p Sat-Sun
    • Temporarily only open 11a-3p (call ahead for pickup 202-319-1086)
    • Variety/Global Inspired
    • Kingston (jerk chicken)
    • ~$12-14
    • 2011
  • Stachowski’s Market
    • 1425 28th St NW (East Village of Georgetown; G2/D1/D2/D6, 15 min walk from Dupont Metro)
    • Mon-Sat 10a-8p; Sun 11a-6p
    • More traditional
    • Hot Pastrami
    • ~$13-17
    • 2012
  • Bub’s and Pop’s
    • 1815 M St. NW (Dupont)
    • M-F 9-4p; Sat 1-4p; closed Sun.
    • Temporarily 11a-8p Tue-Sat (call or check Fbook 4-8p)
    • Pickup (Call ahead or walk-in) or Delivery (UberEats and some scheduled days in NW or outside DC)
    • Hot and cold Philly-style hoagies
    • Bub’s Italian Hoagie is most popular; Pop’s Beef Brisket or The Philly Special are also standouts
    • ~$11-12 for half; ~$21-22 for whole
    • 2013
  • Duke’s Grocery/Corner
    • Dupont (1513 17th St at P); Counter/Woodley Park (3000 Connecticut Ave. NW); Foggy Bottom (2000 Pennsylvania Ave. NW)
    • Kitchen Hours: Dupont (Mon-Tues 11a-10p; Wed-Thurs 11a-1a; Fri 11a-2a; Sat 10a-2a; Sun 10a-10p); Counter/Woodley Park (Mon-Thurs 11a-10p; Fri 11a-Mid; Sat 10a-Mid; Sun 10a-10p); Foggy Bottom (11a-10p everyday)
    • Pickup (Toast Tab) or Delivery (Caviar/DoorDash)
    • Temporarily more limited hours, but open daily
    • Sit-down with bar, variety of sandwiches/global inspired
    • Other than famous Proper Burger (not a sandwich), the banh mi & el trasero
    • ~$14-16
    • 2013

Other Essential DC Sandwich Spots

  • Wisemiller’s Deli/Wisey’s
    • Georgetown (1236 36th NW/1440 Wisconsin Ave. NW; take circulator/30 or G2)
    • Deli (7a-11p everyday); Wisey’s (8a-11p)
    • Traditional
    • Chicken Madness
    • ~$8
    • Before 1949 (current owner 1982)
  • Dupont Market
    • 1807 18th NW (Dupont)
    • Mon-Sat 8a-10p; Sun 8a-9p
    • More traditional
    • #5 Italian or Humberto
    • ~$9-10
    • 1994
  • Breadline
    • 1751 Pennsylvania Ave. NW (near Farragut West)
    • M-F 7a-5:30p, closed Sat-Sun
    • More traditional
    • Any piadine, lamb on Wed.
    • ~$9-11
    • 1997 (current owner 2005)
  • Harvey’s Market
    • Union Market
    • sandwiches 11a-6p
    • traditional (deli meat)
    • The Bronx (pastrami, swiss)
    • ~$13-14
    • 2012 (current version, 1931 traces lineage)
  • Mother Rucker’s
    • 1101 Bladensburg Rd. NE (Carver-Langston northeast of H St Corridor)
    • M-Sat 10:30a-6p, closed Sun.
    • Italian-style
    • Mother-load (get it Mother’s Way)
    • ~$8-9
    • 2013
  • Glen’s Garden Market
    • 2001 S St. NW (Dupont)
    • Deli hours 11:30a-8:30p roughly
    • Traditional
    • BBQ Pork & Foghorn
    • ~$13
    • 2013
  • Carving Room/CR Noma
    • 300 Massachusetts Ave. NW (Mt Vernon Triangle); 140 M ST. NE (NoMa)
    • MVT (11a-10p everyday); NoMa (sandwiches M-F 11a-3p)
    • House-cured Roasted Meats
    • Corned Beef or Pastrami
    • ~$15-17
    • 2013
  • Red Apron Butchery
    • Union Market, Penn Quarter (709 D St SE) (also one in VA)
    • Union Market (M-Th 11a-8p, Fri-Sat 10a-9p, Sun 10a-7p); Penn Quarter (M-F 8:30a-8p; Sat 9a-8p; Sun 9a-5p)
    • Fancier high quality meat spot (there’s a bar)
    • Pork-strami if it’s on the menu
    • ~$14
    • 2013
  • Each Peach Market
    • 3068 Mt. Pleasant NW (close to Columbia Heights Metro)
    • M-F 9a-9p, Sat-Sun- 8a-8p
    • Traditional
    • The Dude
    • ~$10
    • 2013
  • Po Boy Jim DC Bar & Grill
    • H Street (709 H St NW); Shaw (1934 9th St NW, near U)
    • H St (Sun-Th 11a-10p, F-Sat 11a-Noon); Shaw (M-W 3-10:30p, Th 11a-10:30p, F-Sat 11a-3a, Sun 11a-10:30p)
    • Po boys (full bar too)
    • Po Boy Jim (beef, bacon, shrimp)
    • ~$16-20
    • 2013
  • Little Red Fox
    • 5035 Connecticut Ave. NW (at Nebraska Av NW; Chevy Chase/Forest Hills)
    • 7:30-5p Tue-Sun
    • Eclectic
    • Meatloaf Banh mi’s, any breakfast sandwich
    • $8 breakfast, $13 lunch
    • 2013
  • Neopol Savory Smokery
    • Union Market; Georgetown (3210 Grace St. NW); original location Baltimore
    • Union Market (M-W 11a-8p, Th-F 11a-9p, Sat 8a-9p, Sun 8a-7p); Georgetown (M-F 8a-5p; Sat-Sun 9a-5p)
    • Smoked fish sandwiches
    • Smoked Salmon BLT
    • $11
    • 2014 (first DC location)
  • Salumeria 2703
    • 2703 12th NE (Brookland, 10 min walk from Rhode Island Ave. Metro)
    • Wed-Th. 11a-3p, 4-7p; Fri 11a-3p, 4-8p; Sat 11a-8p, Sun 11a-6p
    • Italian
    • Sopressata
    • ~$10-1220
    • 2016
  • Old City Market and Oven
    • 522 K St. NE (near H St Corridor, 12 min walk from NoMA metro or take D4, X2 bus)
    • Kitchen M-Sat 10a-8p, Sun 10-6p
    • Features sandwiches from big stone oven on house made flat bread
    • Hot Lamb Sandwich
    • ~$10-12
    • 2016
  • Capo Delicatessen
    • 715 Florida Ave NW (Shaw)
    • Sun-Thurs 11a-8p, Fri-Sat 11a-3p
    • Italian-style (faux speakasy bar open in back at night)
    • Capo Special (on Italian)
    • ~$11-14
    • 2017
  • Federalist Pig
    • 1654 Columbia Rd. NW (Adams Morgan)
    • W-F 5-9:30p, Sat-Sun Noon-till sold out, closed M-Tue
    • Barbecue (there’s a bar)
    • Texas Ranger
    • ~$11-14
    • 2018
  • Grazie Grazie
    • 85 District Square SW (The Wharf)
    • 11a-11p everyday
    • Philly-style hoagies
    • The Minelli
    • ~$12-13
    • 2019
  • Call Your Mother
    • 3301 Georgia Ave. NW (Park View), Barracks Row, Georgetown
    • 8a-2p everyday
    • Jewish-inspired deli and bagels
    • The Shyne (breakfast); The Greenberg (lunch)
    • ~$10-11 for breakfast sandwiches, ~$14-16 for lunch sandwiches
    • 2018
  • Sorellina
    • 2029 P St. NW (Dupont)
    • M-Sat 7a-9p; Sun 8a-8p
    • Italian-style (there’s a bar)
    • Il Francis
    • ~$11-15
    • 2019
  • Open Crumb
    • 1243 Good Hope Rd SE (Anacostia)
    • M-Tu 11a-6p; W-F 11a-8p; Sat 11a-5p, Sun closed
    • Fried chicken/fish/shrip/crabcake
    • fried chicken
    • $6-11
    • 2019
  • Subbies (inCoconut Club)
    •  540 Penn NE (Union Market area)
    • Wed-Sat 11a-5p (closed Sun-Tues)
    • Pickup/Delivery via Caviar/Doordasah
    • Traditional subs with eclectic
    • Ponza Scheme (Italian)
    • $12-15
    • 2020

Honorable Mention (Can Be Convinced to Promote)

  • So’s Your Mom (Traditional, Adams Morgan, 7a-4p everyday)
  • Atrium Café (hand-carved meats, Federal Center/Chinatown/Downtown/Farragut Area, roughly 6:30a-3:30p everyday)
  • Sandwiches by Phillip (hand-carved meats, Union Station area/NoMa, 6:30a-4p))
  • Bullfrog Bagels (bagel sandwiches, H Street (7a-2p, closed M)/Eastern Market (7a-2p M-F, 8a-2p Sat-Sun)/Brookland (7a-1p Tu-F, 8a-1p Sat-Sun))
  • Booeymonger (traditional, Georgetown (7a-10p MW, 7a-11p Th-F, 8a-11p Sat, 8a-8p Sun/Friendship Heights (7a-10p Sun-M, 7a-Mid Tue-Sat))
  • The Best Sandwich Place (traditional, Downtown with 2 locations on I St NW, roughly 7:30a-4p)
  • Bethesda Bagels (bagel sandwiches, 5 locations including Dupont and Navy Yard, 6:30a-3p)
  • Cornercopia (traditional, Navy Yard, 7:30a-6:30p M-F, closed Sat-Sun)

Haven’t Been Yet Sadly, But Follower Favorites

  • Honey Tree Deli (traditional, West End, 7a-4p M-Th, 7a-3p F, closed Sat-Sun)
  • Loeb’s Deli (NY style, Downtown, 6:30a-4p M-F, closed Sat-Sun)
  • GW Delicatessen (traditional (NY-style BEC), Foggy Bottom, 6:30a-5p M-F, 8a-4p Sat, closed Sun)
  • Buffalo & Bergen (NY style/bagels, Union Market (8a-8p M-W, 8a-10p Th-Sat, 8a-8p Sun) & Capitol Hill (7a-10p M-F, 8a-10p Sat, 8a-3p Sun)
  • MLK Deli (traditional, Congress Heights, 11a-7p M-Sat, closed Sun)
  • Taylor Gourmet (reincarnated version, traditional, Dupont (11a-7p M-F, 11a-3p Sat-Sun/Downtown (11a-7p M-F, closed Sat-Sun)
  • Your Only Friend (in Columbia Room)
    • Blagden Alley (Shaw)
    • Wed-Sat noon-10:30p (Closed Sun-Tues)
    • Pickup/Delivery/Outdoor Patio
    • Mort & Mootz (Italian)
    • ~$15
    • Eclectic
    • 2020

Outside DC Proper Essential Sandwich Spots

I’ve been to all of these.

  • Banh Mi Sandwich DC (Falls Church, 8a-8p everyday)
  • Nhu Lan (banh mi, Falls Church/Eden Center, 10a-8p everyday)
  • Sandwich Republic (traditional, Springfield, M-F 10a-8p, Sat 10a-7p, Sun closed)
  • Earl’s Sandwiches (roasted/hand carved meats, Courthouse, M-F 10:30a-8p, Sat 9a-8p, Sun 9a-4p)
  • The Italian Store (Westover and Lyon Village in Arlington, M-Th 10a-8p, Fri 10a-9p, Sat 10a-8p, Sun 11a-6p)
  • Filippo’s Italian Specialties (Wheaton, M-Sat 9a-7p, Sun 9a-2p)
  • Parkway Deli (NY style, Silver Spring, kitchen hours M-W 8a-8:30p, Th-Fri 8a-9p, Sat 7a-9p, Sun 7a-8:30p)