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Ten Best Sandwich Shops in South Florida

Ten Best Sandwich Shops in South Florida

The sandwich. Where did it come from? How has it evolved? And why is it a staple meal, no matter what country, culture, or ethnicity? There's just something about the endless food combinations you can create and then stuff between two slabs of bread. All the food groups in one easy-to-eat, stuff-your-face vessel.

In observance of National Sandwich Month, let us take a moment to pause and honor the sandwich: that marvelous construction of edibles for the ultimate in convenient food consumption. Bread. Meat. Cheese. Veggie. Whatever you want. More of whatever you want. Condiments. More bread.

It can be as simple or as complicated as you like.

While getting down to the "best" is never easy, here it was especially difficult because a sandwich can be almost anything: In Mexico, it's a torta; in France, it's a croque-monsieur, Brie and ham on a baguette; in Cuba, a pressed panini features ham and pork; in New York City, it's a hoagie, all the Italian meats piled atop one another; even the Vietnamese have the bánh mì, bread stuffed with cold cuts, pâté, hot chilies, and pickled carrots. The options are endless.

Here they are, the best sandwich (and sub) shops in Broward and Palm Beach counties. Ready. Set. Mange!

Ten Best Sandwich Shops in South Florida

10. V&S Italian Deli

There's something about the sandwiches in this Boca Raton deli that people simply go nuts over. A true Italian deli, they serve hot and cold sandwiches with house-made recipes and fresh, top-quality ingredients. What to call it (besides heaven)? Just ask the people who know best: the New Englanders. In Philadelphia, it's called a hoagie; in New York City, a hero; in New Jersey and Connecticut, it's a sub; and throughout New England, grinder is accepted. At V&S, you'll get it all -- and top rate too. It starts with the bread -- sesame-encrusted, it's fresh and flavorful, at once soft and crusty. Second, the meat: specialty, high-quality cuts sliced thin and to order. Third, the owners were born and raised in the sandwich capital of the world: the Northeast. Enough said -- they learned their craft well. Just one word of advice when you go. Whatever you decide to order, ask for an extra slab of their fresh-pulled mozzarella. It will make any sandwich that much better.

Ten Best Sandwich Shops in South Florida

9. LaSpada's

This sandwich shop has been feeding South Florida since 1973, but the story begins in Chester, Pennsylvania, where these hoagies originated. Here, it's all about the proper method of sandwich construction, and LaSpada's has hoagie engineering down to a science, starting with its fresh-baked rolls. Slathered with mayo and mustard (or olive oil and vinegar, for the Italian sandwiches), next comes a generous portion of top-quality deli meat before handfuls of fresh lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and sweet and hot peppers find their way atop. Finally, these mammoth sandwiches are given a layer of cold cuts, carefully tucked in tight along each side of the roll, ensuring the proper ratio of meat-to-bun per bite. It also keeps everything from landing in your lap instead of your mouth. Today, LaSpada's has grown to five South Florida locations -- the newest shop located just off the SE 17th Street Causeway, just a few blocks from the the Culinary Institute and the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale.

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Ten Best Sandwich Shops in South Florida

8. Mr. M's Sandwich Shop

In business for more than 30 years, Mr. M's Sandwich Shop was opened in 1979 by husband-and-wife Dennis and Ginny Maier. Today, they still own and operate their deli, a sandwich-lover's landmark across Dania Beach, Hollywood, and nearby Fort Lauderdale. Here, subs and deli sandwiches are not in short supply -- there are more than 30 selections to choose from, each topped with standard provolone cheese, green peppers, pickles, tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Deli sandwiches come with choice of bread, including a fresh-baked kaiser roll. Our favorite is a sweet and tangy hot sub, the BBQ roast beef.

Ten Best Sandwich Shops in South Florida

7. Bravo! Gourmet Sandwiches

Tucked away in a tiny, nondescript shopping plaza, this restaurant offers sandwiches that are anything but. In fact, this tiny Peruvian sandwich shop in Wilton Manors promises "The Best sandwich you'll ever taste!" While Bravo offers a whole list of delicious entrées, it's the sandwiches that are truly edible miracles. The house favorite is the steak sandwich, but the signature sub is stuffed with some of the juiciest, most flavorful pork you'll ever sample, heavenly country ham, and perfectly sautéed onions, all served on a flaky-fresh bun that somehow manages to soak up the meat juices and house spicy sauce without becoming a saggy, sad mess. On Sundays, get a traditional Peruvian feast of fried pork chunks, sliced sweet potato, spiced onions, and a banana-leaf-wrapped tamale served on one of those amazing buns for a self-assembled sandwich. A bonus: The staff is friendly and helpful, and the owners have given it a family-owned touch while staying true to the Peruvian cuisine. It's also one of the few places you can sit and enjoy an Inca Kola.

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.

 

Ten Best Sandwich Shops in South Florida

6. Seaside Deli

For the past 20 years, Seaside Deli in Boynton Beach has been serving some of the best sandwiches around. Located off A1A near Briny Breezes, directly next to Nomad Surf Shop, the tiny convenience store/deli is stocked to the brim with an amazing selection of food, with more than 35 deli subs and sandwiches, to a good number of sides like the house special pasta salad made with a creamy balsamic dressing that can't be rivaled. As for drinks: The place offers more than 150 import beers by the bottle and more than five cases of specialty sodas and drinks, like the Sprecher fire-brewed root beer (pictured here), which we were stoked to stumble across. There's also a well-provisioned prepared foods case, where many of the deli's sides and specialties are housed in aluminum tins for take-home enjoyment. But it's second-generation owner Richie Podvesker's specialty sandwiches that shine, all 38 of them. Priced beyond fair, many -- including the regulars' favorite #13 -- have enough ingredients to make a four-course meal but are still less than $10 each. We had Podvesker make us his top seller, which features thick-sliced turkey, thin-sliced roast beef, American cheese, chopped bacon, and house-made potato salad and coleslaw. A mouthful, to say the least, and one of the best bargains around for just $8.95.

Ten Best Sandwich Shops in South Florida

5. Tsunami Subs

The first Tsunami Subs and Wraps opened in Boynton Beach several years ago and has been creating a "new wave in submarine sandwiches" ever since. The owners -- New Englanders with more than 30 years of experience in the deli and sandwich-making business -- opened their fresh, new concept offering what they say are some of the best submarine subs, sandwiches, and wraps in the industry. The meat is a variety of brands -- Boar's Head where it works, but others depending on the type of meat -- to ensure the best quality and is sliced fresh to order. The bread is baked fresh daily, in-house, and is perhaps the best part. Large, doughy, and flavorful, it's just the right texture and taste to hold all those ingredients without being too dry. We tried the signature: the Tsunami Club Supreme, a combo of roast beef, Swiss, turkey, lettuce, tomato, and bacon layered perfectly atop that fresh bread with all the fixings, including an ingenious thin-sliced pickle. It's a big-boy sandwich and has enough food to put you in a serious food coma. Eat with caution. A new location opened in Royal Palm Beach a few months ago, and a third is slated for downtown Delray Beach in the coming months.

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.

 

Ten Best Sandwich Shops in South Florida

4. D'Best Sandwich Shop

This family-run establishment has been on the Boca scene for more than five years, but few people know about it thanks to a clandestine location off the less-traversed part of Old Dixie Highway just north of Glades Road. The menu is a bit different than what you'll find at the average sandwich shop -- but that's what makes it special. The sandwiches are offered in cold or hot, small or large, with your choice of wheat or white. We went for one of the signature sandwiches, the D'Pilgrim, what is without a doubt the best Thanksgiving meal between two slices of bread you will ever have. Pillowy-soft stuffing and spice-flecked pulled turkey meat -- dark and white for those who care -- are piled between two slices of thick, crusty bread, one side carrying a hearty helping of cranberry sauce, the other slathered in mayo. And while you may feel comfortably acceptable to eat a full sub from Subway in one sitting, not so here. At first glance of a "small" and you'd think that, just maybe, they got your order wrong -- in a good way, for once. Like, you made me a large by accident but charged me for a small. Nope. You're not lucky. That's just how they come at D'Best. And that alone is a reason to call them among the best in Broward and Palm Beach.

Ten Best Sandwich Shops in South Florida

3. Swifty's Market and Deli

It may seem like you're in the wrong place when you pull up to the aging storefront of this corner-store-style market in north Boca Raton, but inside they're serving up some of the best grilled-to-order subs around. They carry Boars Head meats, always have a hot griddle, and use a soft, doughy bread that is pressed just right to keep the food inside your sandwich. A favorite is the Cajun chicken sub, but they are most famous for their version of the Philly cheese steak hoagie, a melty-hot steak and cheese that comes with your choice of onions and hot peppers. Get the hot peppers. You won't be disappointed.

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.

 

Ten Best Sandwich Shops in South Florida

2. The Pickle Barrel Deli

Pickle Barrel owner Eric Gliner has created one of the best-loved -- and most popular -- delicatessens in South Florida, serving Deerfield Beach since 1974. Officially known as home of the "world's largest sandwich," they certainly are some of the biggest around. The signature here would be the famous corned beef, pastrami, brisket, or roast beef -- or maybe all three together. Although they serve a variety of specialty sandwiches, this is by far the house specialty, starting with melt-in-your pastrami edged in pepper and spices (or the corned beef, which is lean and not too salty) piled four inches high between two slices of thick-cut rye (with or without seeds). Then add just the right amount of cheese, a quick swipe of deli mustard, and your choice of full- or light-dill pickle spears. It's the perfect accouterment to all that meat and cheese. And all you South Broward people, keep an eye out. Gliner has opened a new location in Fort Lauderdale, dubbed the "original" Pickle Barrel. Same great food, new spot.

Ten Best Sandwich Shops in South Florida

1. Rinaldi's Italian Deli

A New Jersey original, Rinaldi's has been serving the Italian deli lovers some of the best subs from its South Florida location for more than five years. The current owners -- a couple hailing from New York and New Jersey -- offer a variety of hot and cold subs using Boar's Head meat and fresh-baked bread. The menu has a great selection of specialty sandwiches -- more than 20 in all -- many of them given Italian Mafia-related names, like the "mobster," "Brando," and "Pauly Special." Ask for the house specialty, however, and everyone will tell you to get the "Godfather," a hot sub combo of chopped steak, bacon, cappicola, salami, pepperoni, and provolone and finished with the standard lettuce, tomato, and mayo. If you go early, try the pork roll egg and cheese. It's as New England as you get, served right at this tiny slice of the Bronx in West Palm Beach.

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.

Follow Nicole Danna on Twitter, @SoFloNicole.




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