San Diego's 9 Best Sandwiches

By Darlene Horn  |  March 31, 2014
Credit: Darlene Horn

In a town that seems to run on fish tacos and burritos, the all-American sandwich still holds an important place in many a San Diegan's heart. We canvassed as many delis, diners and restaurant sandwich boards as we could stomach to bring you the nine most awesome sandwiches San Diego has to offer. Read on for meat-filled rolls, vegetarian options and one with an entire avocado on a torpedo roll.

  • Credit: Darlene Horn

    Dapper Dipper at Rubicon Deli

    Rubicon Deli has tons of options but when it comes to the “Dapper Dipper,” there's no contest. A half a pound of thinly sliced prime rib is layered onto the bread of your choice - choose the garlic cheese bread - and slathered with enough horseradish for a nose-clearing bite. The accompanying au jus is so good, you may be tempted to take a few sips.

    Price: $7.99 half; $12.99 whole
    Insider Tip: The deli's original location is in Reno, Nevada.

    3819 Mission Blvd.; 858-488-3354
    3715 India St.; 858-488-3354

  • Credit: Darlene Horn

    Aphrodite at SuperNatural Sandwiches

    Aphrodite is an appropriate name for this grilled cheese sandwich - one bite and you’ll be smitten. A combination of plump shrimp, chopped Applewood-smoked bacon and four types of cheese (pecorino, mozzarella, cheddar and goat) is melted in between two thick slices of bread from Bread & Cie. To keep things interesting, the rich sandwich is served with freshly made shrimp chips, seasoned with spicy togarashi.

    Price: $10
    Insider Tip: SuperNatural has a new brick-and-mortar location but it's still keeping its commitment at the Hillcrest Farmers Market every Sunday from 9 AM-2 PM.

    7094 Miramar Rd. #105

  • Credit: Lefty's Chicago Pizzeria

    C.B.G.B. at Lefty’s Chicago Pizzeria

    Pizza gets all the attention at this Chicago-centric eatery, with locations in Mission Hills and North Park. But the C.B.G.B. - cheesy beef on garlic bread - deserves equal attention. A split-top bun is topped with provolone cheese and Italian beef. Garlic pieces and a ladle of au jus and peppers complete the sandwich.

    Price: $9.75
    Insider Tip: The sandwich doesn’t hold well as take out; eat it as soon as possible.

    3448 30th St.; 619-295-1720
    4030 Goldfinch St.; 619-299-4030

  • Credit: Darlene Horn

    Chicken Tawook at Alforon

    The bracket for this stunning flatbread sandwich is made from wheat-flour dough, stretched thin and topped with marinated chicken before baking. It's finished with garlic paste and slivers of pickle and we suggest you add cheese and jalapenos to complete the flavor adventure.

    Price: $6.95 + $0.95 each for cheese and jalapenos
    Insider Tip: Order the sandwich to go and they'll roll it up for you.

    5965 El Cajon Blvd.; 619-269-9904

  • Credit: Flickr/looey

    Grilled Pork Bahn Mi at K Sandwiches

    Everything is delicious at K Sandwiches - from freshly made croissants to sweetened coffee with boba - but the lunchtime crowds know the grilled pork banh mi is the main attraction. In between the freshly house-baked baguette, there is marinated pork, refreshing pickled carrots, daikon, mayo, cilantro and jalapeno slices. 

    Price: $2.85
    Insider Tip: Need more meat? Request double meat for $1 more.

    7604 Linda Vista Rd., 858-278-8961

  • Credit: Darlene Horn

    Lamb Shawarma/Doner at The Kebab Shop

    Depending on your carb preference, a lamb shawarma or doner is where the goods are at in this popular deli with a Middle Eastern bent. Choose a shawarma and slivers of lamb and beef, lettuce, tomato and a tangy garlic yogurt are enveloped into fluffy buns. Equally as good is the doner, encompassing all the ingredients but rolled up in flatbread. You can't go wrong.

    Price: $6.99
    Insider Tip: Prefer not to have garlic breath? Request that the garlic yogurt sauce be replaced with dill dressing instead.

    630 Ninth Ave.; 619-525-0055
    9450 Mira Mesa Blvd.; 858-586-0499
    127 N. El Camino Real #127-E; 760-634-9822
    303 W. Beech St.; 619-550-5481
    1570 Camino De La Reina; 619-491-0279
    11980 Bernardo Plaza Dr.; 858-451-1434

  • Credit: Darlene Horn

    Avocado Highway at Big Front Door

    Protein won’t be missed in this avocado-laden creation. The basic avocado, lettuce, tomato sandwich is flipped on its head at this deli when a thick Parmesan crisp is added into the mix for an added layer of crunch and interest. A generous dousing of olive oil and vinegar adds up to bracing deliciousness on a torpedo roll.

    Price: $9
    Insider Tip: Add bacon or salmon for $2 extra.

    4135 Park Blvd.; 619-255-4100

  • Credit: Carnitas Snack Shack

    Triple Threat at Carnitas Snack Shack

    Chef Hanis Cavin was on to something when he took a tiny walkup storefront and transformed it into a haven for all things pork. And one of the pinnacles of his dedication to porcine pleasure is the “Triple Threat Sandwich.” Pork loin schnitzel, pulled pork and bacon are an undisputed recipe for drool.

    Price: $9
    Insider Tip: Lines for lunch and dinner start forming early.

    2632 University Ave.; 619-294-7675

  • Credit: D.Z. Akins

    Reuben Sandwich at D.Z. Akins

    D.Z. Akins is known for its mile-high sandwiches - piled almost until they topple over with freshly sliced meat from the in-house deli. Enter: the Reuben. Your choice of pastrami, corned beef or smoked turkey is sliced thin onto rye bread. Complete the meal with french fries and coleslaw. It's large enough to serve two.

    Price: $13.95
    Insider Tip: There’s lots to look at inside the restaurant, including autographed photos of local and national celebrities who have passed through.

    6930 Alvarado Rd.; 619-265-0218