New York’s Top Five Sandwiches On Instagram
BEC Classic. Photograph by Oleg March
These social media stars literally look good enough to eat.
Sandwiches have come a long way since the fourth Earl of the similarly named civil parish in Kent had a hunk of salt beef put between two slips of bread so he could continue at the cribbage table unhindered by the demands of hunger. Today, they are not merely a food of convenience, they are things of beauty. Long gone are the days of white bread, cheese, pickle and gross dissatisfaction – now the gourmet sandwich is king. Nowhere more so than in New York, the outsized city with outsized tastes, where the best sandwiches take two hands to eat and are as much a masterpiece as anything you’d find in the Met or the Frick.
With that in mind, we asked five of New York’s leading Instagrammers, who dedicate their Instagram feeds to feeding the city’s appetite for the latest food trends, to select their five favourite belt-busting sandwiches that the Big Apple has to offer.
The Pastrami, Katz’s Delicatessen
From left: photograph by @onehungryjew; photograph courtesy of Katz’s Delicatessen
7.9k likesRecommended by @onehungryjew 209k followers
Katz’s on the corner of Ludlow and Houston is Manhattan aristocracy. The kosher deli has been serving sky-high sandwiches to New Yorkers since 1888. Despite it being open seven days a week, visitors are usually greeted with a queue right out the door, says Ms Rayna Greenberg of OneHungryJew. “Getting a sandwich at Katz’s is a whole experience: the smells of meat have seeped into the walls; the floor-to-ceiling pictures of famous guests; the staff, who give you pieces of shaved pastrami to snack on while you wait for your food – it all hits you the second you walk in,” says Ms Greenberg. “The bread is so fresh, the house-smoked pastrami is freshly sliced and perfectly smoky and fatty, and they pile it comically high.” Hungry yet?
The Lobster Roll, Luke’s Lobster
From left: photograph by @devourpower; photograph by Ms Asia Coladner. Courtesy of Luke’s Lobster
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At Luke’s Lobster in the West Village, they take their rolls seriously. Lucky for us, too. They serve them Maine-style, taking a chilled, toasted New England split-top bun, then slathering it with mayo, lemon butter and a whole lot of lobster, before coating it in secret spices. Little wonder Luke’s has outlets from Maine to Chicago, DC to Las Vegas. As Ms Rebecca West of DevourPower says: “I am from the shoreline of Connecticut, so I know seafood. Luke’s is hands-down the best lobster roll you will find in NYC. From the soft rolls to the ample amounts of meaty lobster, it’s literally perfection.” Amen to that.
The Chelsea Lo-Cal, BEC
From left: photograph by @brunchboys; photograph by Mr Oleg March
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Perfectly poised and much photographed, The Chelsea Lo-Cal is the Gigi Hadid of sandwiches. A favourite of hungover downtowners, BEC is dedicated to that holy trinity: bacon, eggs and cheese. The Lo-Cal take, however, consists of turkey bacon, roasted red peppers, broccoli rabe, Greek yoghurt and egg all held in the welcome embrace of toasted multigrain bread. It won’t make you thin, that’s for sure, but it goes easy on the waistline in comparison to some of the other sandwiches on the list. “I’ve had to order this one in on a few rough mornings,” says Mr Jeremy Jacobowitz of the Brunch Boys feed. “They do 11 different versions of the bacon, egg and cheese sandwich at BEC. The Lo-Cal, though, has all my favourite ingredients in one sandwich.”
The Fratelli D’Italia, Alidoro
From left: photograph by @moodyfoodyadventures; photograph by Mr Oleg March
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You know Alidoro in the Bowery Market in NoHo is top-notch because you’ll always find a gaggle of Italian mammas picking up their order. And they do indeed make the finest sandwiches this side of Firenze. The famed Fratelli D’Italia is so tall and broad it is almost architectural. It contains basil pesto, fresh mozzarella, hot spread, sweet roasted peppers and rocket, and some very finely sliced porchetta. Mr Jason Moody of MoodyFoodyAdventures thinks it is the best sandwich in New York – and it’s all down to the bread. “I’m a big believer that bread makes a sandwich,” he says. “They had seven different options at Alidoro. I went with ‘crunchy’, and it was. Crispy just enough to get that crunch when you bite into it, but soft enough to melt in your mouth. The flavours just exploded with every bite.”
The Steak Sandwich, Coco & Cru
From left: photograph by @mollytavoletti; photograph by @iamkidgenius
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Never mind the British, it’s the Aussies who are coming. Australian cafés have been big news in New York for the past couple of years and the best of the bunch is Coco & Cru, which was opened this year at Bleecker and Broadway by the team behind the much-vaunted Sauce on the Lower East Side. Elbow the hipsters out of the way and order the hormone-free grass-fed steak sandwich, which comes topped with romesco sauce, roasted scallion and arugula: you won’t be disappointed. Ms Molly Tavoletti favours it for “its simple, yet refined ingredient list. It is deliciously uncomplicated.”