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a close up of an Italian sandwich with folds of mortadella, salami, provolone, lettuce, tomato, onion, pepper relish and mayo on a hoagie.
The Italian sandwich from Louie’s at Riel
Riel Restaurant/Facebook

17 Top-Notch Sandwich Shops in Houston

Where to find the best banh mi, porchetta, tortas and so much more

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The Italian sandwich from Louie’s at Riel
| Riel Restaurant/Facebook

Houston may not offer the sandwich spoils that New York City or Philadelphia do, but what it lacks in a signature sandwich, it makes up for in variety. There’s a sandwich for everyone in Houston, ranging from sky-high subs to seafood-stuffed rolls, plus local classics like Vietnamese banh mi and Cajun po’ boys.

Looking for the best sandwiches in Houston? These 17 essential shops serve stellar iterations of the classics, ranging from B.L.T.s to a killer grilled cheese, plus tons of the city’s characteristic creativity.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Revival Market

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550 Heights Blvd
Houston, TX 77007
(713) 880-8463
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Shop the market, but stay for a sandwich. This craft butcher in the Heights uses only the finest, locally-sourced ingredients in its sandwiches. Try the Korean chili chicken salad, a twist on the traditional sandwich layered with pickled celery, carrot and cilantro on a brioche bun, or the saucy meatball sub on a toasted hoagie roll and spiced with pickled hot peppers.

2. El Topo

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6119 Edloe St
West University Place, TX 77005
(832) 795-7251
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There is grilled cheese, and there is grilled cheese loaded down with barbacoa. El Topo elevates the irresistible childhood favorite with the addition of a hearty serving of meat layered in between melty cheese and served on thick Texas toast.

3. The Hot Bagel Shop

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2015 S Shepherd Dr #900
Houston, TX 77019
(713) 520-0340
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Hot Bagel Shop’s loaded deli sandwiches are prepared with a bagel and sweet or savory schmear of choice. The smoked salmon sandwich packs a salty bite, built with a generous portion of fish, sliced tomato, onions and capers, or opt to build-your-own with egg, sausage, turkey bacon, cheese and more.

4. Mendocino Farms

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5510 Morningside Dr
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 487-0965
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This California export serves a menu of simple, straightforward dishes like the Mario’s Caprese, a sandwich of fresh mozzarella and peppers with mixed greens and pesto; plus sandwiches with a twist, like the vegan banh mi made with organic baked tofu or the “Not So Fried Chicken” with shaved, roasted chicken breast topped with Mendo’s “krispies” and mustard pickle slaw.

5. Louie’s Sandwiches at Riel

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1927 Fairview St
Houston, TX 77019
(832) 831-9109
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Operating out of the same kitchen that houses chef Ryan LaChaine’s much-lauded Riel, Louie’s takes its inspiration from the chef’s Canadian and Ukranian heritage. Picture-perfect sandwiches await, including a B.L.T. on brioche, a pepper relish-topped Italian hoagie, and a fried fish filet with dill tartar sauce that makes the Filet ‘O Fish look like a chump. 

6. Paulie’s

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1834 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77098

A Montrose fixture for more than 20 years, Paulie’s is known for its comforting bowls of freshly made pasta and shortbread cookies, but it also serves as a reliable destination for Italian sandwiches. Options include the tightly-packed ham and salami hoagie with provolone cheese, a meatless grilled portobello and goat cheese hoagie, and grilled paninis like the Giacomo with salami and roasted tomatoes, and the Principe with Italian sausage and mozzarella.

7. Kenny & Ziggy's New York Delicatessen

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2327 Post Oak Blvd
Houston, TX 77056
(713) 871-8883
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This family-owned New York-style delicatessen is the quintessential place to score traditional diner classics and sandwiches of every variety. Find Brooklyn-style patty melts, bagelwiches, create-your-own grilled cheeses, hot and cold deli sandwiches, and the Texas-sized, eight-decker, meat-filled Zellagabetsky —anyone who can brave this enormous sandwich on their own is rewarded with a complimentary piece of cake.

8. Ragin' Cajun

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4302 Richmond Ave
Houston, TX 77027
(713) 623-6321
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For the finest in Cajun country fare, visit this iconic eatery, which serves 8-inch po-boys on French baguettes. Fillings range from fried or grilled Gulf shrimp and Louisiana fried crawfish tails to boudin and spicy grilled smoked sausage link with BBQ sauce. For Texas-sized appetites, there is the traditional muffoletta — packed with a whole lotta Italian meat, cheese and Mandola’s savory olive mix.

9. Don Cafe

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9300 Bellaire Blvd
Houston, TX 77036
(713) 777-9500
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Banh mi can be found on menus in Vietnamese cafés all over town, but Don Café in Chinatown nails it. The no-nonsense sandwich shop packs in BBQ pork between a buttered baguette, layers on the pickled carrot and crisp greens, and wraps it up tight — all for under $5.

10. Better Luck Tomorrow

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544 Yale St
Houston, TX 77007
(713) 802-0845
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Under the direction of Justin Yu, this buzzy Heights patio bar also boasts an enticing food menu, including some surprising sandwiches. The  “Party Melt” is a beef patty topped with crispy cheese and both caramelized and sliced red onions on toast, and during weekend brunch there is the one-of-a-kind spaghetti sandwich, built like it sounds, with a serving of burrata-topped spaghetti pasta slathered between two pieces of Texas toast.

11. El Rey Taqueria

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910 Shepherd Dr
Houston, TX 77007
(713) 802-9145
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The drive-thru line is often long at this Cuban- and Mexican-inspired fast food joint, and for good reason — the menu is vast and includes a number of tortas prepared on warm, toasted bolillo bread. Try the ropa vieja, a mix of Cuban-style slow cooked beef with avocado and cabbage or the al pastor, lean pork in Mexican sauce topped with pinto beans, cheese and sour cream.

12. Porchetta & Sandwiches at Bravery Chef Hall

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409 Travis St
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 364-5502

Helmed by chef/owner Ben McPherson, BOH Pasta serves as the ghost kitchen for Porchetta & Sandwiches, serving Downtown diners by day. Located inside Bravery Chef Hall, hearty, meat-filled sandwiches like the signature porchetta, the chicken parm, and an Italian muffaletta await during lunch. 

13. Local Foods

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2555 Kirby Dr
Houston, TX 77019
(713) 255-4440
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The crunchy chicken sandwich at Local Foods is an under-the-radar Houston icon. Well-built with nut crumble, fresh tomato, creamy buttermilk ranch, and pickles between a pretzel bun, it’s a perfect lunch.

14. Antone’s

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4520 San Felipe St
Houston, TX 77027

This historic Houston sandwich shop has been serving up po’boys since 1962, hence the name of the “Original Houston Po’boy” a classic cold sandwich made with ham, salami, provolone, and chow-chow relish. Find hot po’boys and gyros too, plus a whole muffuletta with ham, mortadella, and salami on New Orleans-style bread.

15. Paulie's Poboys

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3823 Bellaire Blvd
Houston, TX 77025
(713) 218-8383
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Don’t let the name fool you — the offerings at Paulie’s Po’boys span far beyond po’boy sandwiches. This decades-old, family-owned sandwich shop is home to gyros, falafel, Cuban sandwiches, grilled chicken wraps, and more. Love muffuletta sandwiches? Here, choose between a traditional muff split into triangular quarters or have one served po’boy-style on toasted bread.

16. Common Bond Cafe

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4520 San Felipe St
Houston, TX 77027

The lines form fast and often at Common Bond for fresh baked loaves of bread and baguettes, so it’s no surprise that this all-day café boasts some of the best bready sandwiches in town. The French dip stuffs shaved tri-tip steak, mushrooms and caramelized onions on flaky baguette and is finished off with gruyere cheese, Dijon horseradish cream and a side of au jus. There is also the tarragon chicken salad presented on a large, buttery croissant and the rich and creamy grilled cheese on sprouted sourdough.

17. Ike's Love & Sandwiches

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1051 Heights Blvd #180
Houston, TX 77008
(713) 492-2965
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This famed sandwich shop from San Francisco has quickly garnered a loyal Houston following with its location in the Heights, thanks in part to a well-rounded menu of toasty sandwiches, including plenty of gluten-free, vegan, and halal varieties. Try the Hollywould Houston cheesesteak, a sandwich exclusive to the city, loaded with brisket from Pinkerton’s BBQ.

1. Revival Market

550 Heights Blvd, Houston, TX 77007

Shop the market, but stay for a sandwich. This craft butcher in the Heights uses only the finest, locally-sourced ingredients in its sandwiches. Try the Korean chili chicken salad, a twist on the traditional sandwich layered with pickled celery, carrot and cilantro on a brioche bun, or the saucy meatball sub on a toasted hoagie roll and spiced with pickled hot peppers.

550 Heights Blvd
Houston, TX 77007

2. El Topo

6119 Edloe St, West University Place, TX 77005

There is grilled cheese, and there is grilled cheese loaded down with barbacoa. El Topo elevates the irresistible childhood favorite with the addition of a hearty serving of meat layered in between melty cheese and served on thick Texas toast.

6119 Edloe St
West University Place, TX 77005

3. The Hot Bagel Shop

2015 S Shepherd Dr #900, Houston, TX 77019

Hot Bagel Shop’s loaded deli sandwiches are prepared with a bagel and sweet or savory schmear of choice. The smoked salmon sandwich packs a salty bite, built with a generous portion of fish, sliced tomato, onions and capers, or opt to build-your-own with egg, sausage, turkey bacon, cheese and more.

2015 S Shepherd Dr #900
Houston, TX 77019

4. Mendocino Farms

5510 Morningside Dr, Houston, TX 77005

This California export serves a menu of simple, straightforward dishes like the Mario’s Caprese, a sandwich of fresh mozzarella and peppers with mixed greens and pesto; plus sandwiches with a twist, like the vegan banh mi made with organic baked tofu or the “Not So Fried Chicken” with shaved, roasted chicken breast topped with Mendo’s “krispies” and mustard pickle slaw.

5510 Morningside Dr
Houston, TX 77005

5. Louie’s Sandwiches at Riel

1927 Fairview St, Houston, TX 77019

Operating out of the same kitchen that houses chef Ryan LaChaine’s much-lauded Riel, Louie’s takes its inspiration from the chef’s Canadian and Ukranian heritage. Picture-perfect sandwiches await, including a B.L.T. on brioche, a pepper relish-topped Italian hoagie, and a fried fish filet with dill tartar sauce that makes the Filet ‘O Fish look like a chump. 

1927 Fairview St
Houston, TX 77019

6. Paulie’s

1834 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77098

A Montrose fixture for more than 20 years, Paulie’s is known for its comforting bowls of freshly made pasta and shortbread cookies, but it also serves as a reliable destination for Italian sandwiches. Options include the tightly-packed ham and salami hoagie with provolone cheese, a meatless grilled portobello and goat cheese hoagie, and grilled paninis like the Giacomo with salami and roasted tomatoes, and the Principe with Italian sausage and mozzarella.

1834 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77098

7. Kenny & Ziggy's New York Delicatessen

2327 Post Oak Blvd, Houston, TX 77056

This family-owned New York-style delicatessen is the quintessential place to score traditional diner classics and sandwiches of every variety. Find Brooklyn-style patty melts, bagelwiches, create-your-own grilled cheeses, hot and cold deli sandwiches, and the Texas-sized, eight-decker, meat-filled Zellagabetsky —anyone who can brave this enormous sandwich on their own is rewarded with a complimentary piece of cake.

2327 Post Oak Blvd
Houston, TX 77056

8. Ragin' Cajun

4302 Richmond Ave, Houston, TX 77027

For the finest in Cajun country fare, visit this iconic eatery, which serves 8-inch po-boys on French baguettes. Fillings range from fried or grilled Gulf shrimp and Louisiana fried crawfish tails to boudin and spicy grilled smoked sausage link with BBQ sauce. For Texas-sized appetites, there is the traditional muffoletta — packed with a whole lotta Italian meat, cheese and Mandola’s savory olive mix.

4302 Richmond Ave
Houston, TX 77027

9. Don Cafe

9300 Bellaire Blvd, Houston, TX 77036

Banh mi can be found on menus in Vietnamese cafés all over town, but Don Café in Chinatown nails it. The no-nonsense sandwich shop packs in BBQ pork between a buttered baguette, layers on the pickled carrot and crisp greens, and wraps it up tight — all for under $5.

9300 Bellaire Blvd
Houston, TX 77036

10. Better Luck Tomorrow

544 Yale St, Houston, TX 77007

Under the direction of Justin Yu, this buzzy Heights patio bar also boasts an enticing food menu, including some surprising sandwiches. The  “Party Melt” is a beef patty topped with crispy cheese and both caramelized and sliced red onions on toast, and during weekend brunch there is the one-of-a-kind spaghetti sandwich, built like it sounds, with a serving of burrata-topped spaghetti pasta slathered between two pieces of Texas toast.

544 Yale St
Houston, TX 77007

11. El Rey Taqueria

910 Shepherd Dr, Houston, TX 77007

The drive-thru line is often long at this Cuban- and Mexican-inspired fast food joint, and for good reason — the menu is vast and includes a number of tortas prepared on warm, toasted bolillo bread. Try the ropa vieja, a mix of Cuban-style slow cooked beef with avocado and cabbage or the al pastor, lean pork in Mexican sauce topped with pinto beans, cheese and sour cream.

910 Shepherd Dr
Houston, TX 77007

12. Porchetta & Sandwiches at Bravery Chef Hall

409 Travis St, Houston, TX 77002

Helmed by chef/owner Ben McPherson, BOH Pasta serves as the ghost kitchen for Porchetta & Sandwiches, serving Downtown diners by day. Located inside Bravery Chef Hall, hearty, meat-filled sandwiches like the signature porchetta, the chicken parm, and an Italian muffaletta await during lunch. 

409 Travis St
Houston, TX 77002

13. Local Foods

2555 Kirby Dr, Houston, TX 77019

The crunchy chicken sandwich at Local Foods is an under-the-radar Houston icon. Well-built with nut crumble, fresh tomato, creamy buttermilk ranch, and pickles between a pretzel bun, it’s a perfect lunch.

2555 Kirby Dr
Houston, TX 77019

14. Antone’s

4520 San Felipe St, Houston, TX 77027

This historic Houston sandwich shop has been serving up po’boys since 1962, hence the name of the “Original Houston Po’boy” a classic cold sandwich made with ham, salami, provolone, and chow-chow relish. Find hot po’boys and gyros too, plus a whole muffuletta with ham, mortadella, and salami on New Orleans-style bread.

4520 San Felipe St
Houston, TX 77027

15. Paulie's Poboys

3823 Bellaire Blvd, Houston, TX 77025

Don’t let the name fool you — the offerings at Paulie’s Po’boys span far beyond po’boy sandwiches. This decades-old, family-owned sandwich shop is home to gyros, falafel, Cuban sandwiches, grilled chicken wraps, and more. Love muffuletta sandwiches? Here, choose between a traditional muff split into triangular quarters or have one served po’boy-style on toasted bread.

3823 Bellaire Blvd
Houston, TX 77025

Related Maps

16. Common Bond Cafe

4520 San Felipe St, Houston, TX 77027

The lines form fast and often at Common Bond for fresh baked loaves of bread and baguettes, so it’s no surprise that this all-day café boasts some of the best bready sandwiches in town. The French dip stuffs shaved tri-tip steak, mushrooms and caramelized onions on flaky baguette and is finished off with gruyere cheese, Dijon horseradish cream and a side of au jus. There is also the tarragon chicken salad presented on a large, buttery croissant and the rich and creamy grilled cheese on sprouted sourdough.

4520 San Felipe St
Houston, TX 77027

17. Ike's Love & Sandwiches

1051 Heights Blvd #180, Houston, TX 77008

This famed sandwich shop from San Francisco has quickly garnered a loyal Houston following with its location in the Heights, thanks in part to a well-rounded menu of toasty sandwiches, including plenty of gluten-free, vegan, and halal varieties. Try the Hollywould Houston cheesesteak, a sandwich exclusive to the city, loaded with brisket from Pinkerton’s BBQ.

1051 Heights Blvd #180
Houston, TX 77008

Related Maps