Rest of the Best 2014: Houston's Top 10 Sandwiches

Categories: Best of Houston

sandmaxs.jpg
Photo courtesy Max's Wine Dive
This sandwich is trendy thanks to the fried eggs, but it's destined to be a classic.
Our 2013 Best of Houston® winners were announced a while back, but in many cases, picking the best item in any category was no easy task. In order to show off all the culinary greatness Houston has to offer, we're continuing to round up the "rest of the best" in some of our favorite categories. Bon appétit!

Last week, we did a little griping about what we feel the Houston food scene is missing. Among our wishes for this fair city: Moroccan food, more downtown nightlife, great sandwiches from real delis.

Many agreed with us on the whole sandwiches thing. Sure, there are plenty of places in town to get a decent sandwich, but not many of them are true delis, and for a city of more than 2 million, we need more than a handful of killer sammies.

That said, we aren't completely lacking. In fact, I had trouble narrowing this list down to just ten great sandwiches, because the more I thought about it, the more I realized that Houston's cultural diversity also makes for a great diversity in the sandwich realm. From bánh mì to po'boys to Italian hoagies, we've got at least one wonderful spot for each of them.

Best Trendy Sandwich
Max's Wine Dive - Fried Egg Sandwich
Those in the know know Max's Wine Dive is the place to go for brunch on Washington, and the thing to order is the fried egg sandwich. It starts with two slices of sourdough bread, between which is stacked bacon, melted Gruyère cheese, bibb lettuce and sliced tomato. The bread is smeared with earthy black truffle aioli, and holding all of that deliciousness together are three fried eggs. When you press down on the top slice of sourdough, the yolks pop and run down all the other ingredients in a buttery, yellow mess. Sure, fried eggs are super trendy right now. But they're everywhere for a reason.

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Photo by Kaitlin Steinberg
The Garden Sammie at Local Foods is vegetarian, but you won't miss the meat at all.
Best Vegetarian Sandwich
Local Foods - Garden Sammie
Say what you will about Local Foods's truffled egg salad sandwich on a pretzel bun. Yes, it's a favorite, but even better than that is the Garden Sammie, so hearty and packed full of good stuff that you won't miss the meat at all. It starts with a ciabatta roll that's crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, so it soaks up all the veggie juices without getting soggy. Then, from top to bottom, there's a layer of avocado spread, crisp pickled red onions, local purple microgreens, seasoned cauliflower, chopped lettuce, roasted brussels sprouts, roasted tomatoes and a generous smear of homemade hummus.

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Photo courtesy Kenny & Ziggy's
Ah, the Zellagabetsky.
Best Deli Sandwich
Kenny & Ziggy's - The Zellagabetsky
This isn't just a sandwich; It's a SANDWICH. Weighing in at about four pounds, the Zellagabetsky is a monster of a meal. It's six different types of deli meats (corned beef, pastrami, turkey, roast beef, salami and tongue) layered with eight slices of rye bread, Swiss cheese, cole slaw, sweet red pepper and Russian dressing. If one person can finish the entire $55 sandwich alone, he or she will get a free slice of cheesecake. Cause of course, that's exactly what one wants after consuming that much deli meat. The fact that it's a food challenge and a truly massive sandwich isn't what makes it great, though. It's each individual type of meat artfully prepared by the Jewish deli that make this sandwich so fantastic.

Trivia: Shaquille O'Neal actually ate two of these and both slices of cheesecake that came with finishing each sandwich.

This story continues on the next page.


Location Info

The Cajun Stop

2130 Jefferson St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

H-Town StrEATS

, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Pappa Geno's

1801 Ella Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Cafe TH

2108 Pease St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Max's Wine Dive

4720 Washington Ave., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Local Foods

2424 Dunstan Road, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Kenny & Ziggy's Delicatessen Restaurant

2327 Post Oak Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

13 Celsius Wine Bar

3000 Caroline, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Paulie's

1834 Westheimer, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Revival Market

550 Heights Blvd, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
37 comments
Joshua Martin
Joshua Martin

I have to disagree on some of these... The cajun stop??? Seriously?! I've been served frozen shrimp there more then two times at night... Soo many other better po-boys in town, since they changed names and are no longer Calliope's, same owner or not went down the shoot...

mcs8080
mcs8080

The Italian Beef at Chicago Pizza in the Heights.


Ellie Tammami
Ellie Tammami

Why isn't Pot Belly on here Victor Cisneros Boris Galindo ??

mark.t.tran
mark.t.tran

nielsen's deli egg salad sandwich...mmmmmm


Houstess
Houstess

That Ziggy's sandwich reminds me of the King of the Hill episode where Bobby develops gout after eating tons of deli meat.  I can't think of a worse meal than a piles of deli meat sandwich.

Aaron Lyons
Aaron Lyons

Grilled pesto chicken sandwich on pretzel bun @dishsociety

Bruce_Are
Bruce_Are topcommenter

That "Italian Hoagie" looks like an ordinary sandwich made with pre-sliced grocery store meats on panini bread.

jimbo1126
jimbo1126

The best sandwich I've had in Houston is a Chivito at Tango & Malbec.

terra002
terra002

What about Juan Mon's!! 

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

Revival used to have the best BLT, now it's a mediocre shell of it's former self -- that alone and 3 bad experiences there, as well as their censoring complaints online pretty much told me they don't deserve my business.  The rest of this list is spot on, though I'd say the fiddler on the roof of your mouth is a better sandwich at Kenny and Ziggy's and also isn't $55 either.

vandalia
vandalia

Try the Jewish deli at Leibman's sometime, it's better than Spec's. Their International Bounty pairs salami and bleu cheese, and is one of my faves.

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard topcommenter

One I would add is the California Dreamin' sandwich from Spec's Deli.

del.martinis
del.martinis topcommenter

BB's has a really good Bo'Boy this side of New Orleans, I gotta say.

Layne Jones
Layne Jones

Cuban pesto sandwich at Logan Farms in Westchase is one of my favorites

ShitThrowingMonkey
ShitThrowingMonkey

If I may add a chain (gasp!) sammie to the list, I went to Firehouse Subs this weekend on a whim (in the area and needing something quick).  That pulled pork sandwich they have is spectacular.  And I don't throw words around like that lightly.

Temujin Scott
Temujin Scott

I'm gonna try the veggie sandwich you recommended at Local Foods..can't wait.

Ryan Landis
Ryan Landis

Local foods of course!! Best sandwiches in town!!

erichenao
erichenao

Good list! I will say that my only experience at the Bellaire location of Pappa Geno's left me…uh lets just say left me lacking any taste. Is the Ella location any better? Found the place to be very fast food ish which was a huge turn off. Food wasn't much better as it was greasy, but not in a good way.

del.martinis
del.martinis topcommenter

@Bruce_Are I had heard, from the Houston Press, it was one of the best.  So who has the best one?

Bruce_Are
Bruce_Are topcommenter

@ShitThrowingMonkey 

Haven't tried their pulled pork but I've had a few of their other ones and they sucked ace.

neilquan
neilquan

@erichenao Ive only been to the Ella location but I thought the sandwich was really authentic. Ymmv

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

@erichenao Yeah Ella is better, can't put my finger on precisely why but rest assured it is..

Bruce_Are
Bruce_Are topcommenter

@del.martinis 

The closest thing to an Italian Hoagie I've seen in Houston is from Antonini's down in Clear Lake.  You might also try Hoagie Ranch in Kemah.  The ubiquitous Jersey Mike's or Jimmy Johns are OK. At least they attempt to use the correct type of bread.  And they should probably use capicola, not just salami and ham.

terra002
terra002

@kagan34 @terra002 Yes, I took 2 coworkers there for lunch today. They loved it. I live right down the street, so I go pretty frequently. $1 lone star beers dont hurt either! 

del.martinis
del.martinis topcommenter

@Bruce_Are @del.martinis Thanks, and I hardly venture out of the Houston area, but what I've had so far has been really disappointing. I mean, how hard is it to make a decent Italian Hoagie?

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