The venerable sandwich has long been lauded as the ultimate portable meal, and yet the best sandwiches are well worth sitting down for and lingering over. We've eaten our way through umpteen slices of rye, torpedoes of baguettes, and towers of toast (not to mention the meats-and-cheeses situation) to find the very best the Twin Cities has to offer. Here are our top 10 favorites. If we've missed anything totally unmissable, we trust you'll let your fellow Twin Citizens know in the comments.
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10. Jasmine Deli's Grilled Beef Bánh Mì
Twin Cities dwellers are lucky to have an abundance of top-notch Vietnamese fare, and no list of best sandwiches would be complete without a bánh mì. Jasmine Deli's grilled beef bánh mì ($4) comes on a crunchy baguette (heaven forbid a bánh mì might come on anything too soft or pliable; a decided crunch and chew is essential), with pickled carrots, cilantro, and fresh bites of cucumber to counter the smoky grilled beef and kick of jalapeño pepper. At $3.50-$4 a pop, it's always worth grabbing a bánh mì from Jasmine if you're out and about on Eat Street.
(2532 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.870.4700; website)
9. Saffron's Lamb Bacon "BLT"
Sameh Wadi's Lamb Bacon "BLT" ($9) at Saffron in Minneapolis might win the title for most creative sandwich on this list. The lamb bacon is house made from lamb belly seasoned in a rub of sugar, salt, and a blend of spices, including cardamom, paprika, and orange zest. The bacon is served on vanilla egg bread with a generous swipe of saffron-tomato jam and crunchy, peppery arugula, making this a mesmerizing spin on an American classic that everyone should try at least once (though we bet you'll be back for more).
|Sameh Wadi's lamb bacon "BLT" is a mesmerizing spin on an American classic.|
(123 N. Third St., Minneapolis; 612.746.5533; website)
8. Manny's Tortas' Cubana
Are you hungry? You'd better be if you're thinking of attempting the Cubana from Manny's Tortas ($8.45). Crunchy-crusted French bread is stuffed with juicy ham, salty pork loin, Swiss cheese, and creamy avocado. Fresh lettuce, tomato, onion, and jalapeños enhance the crunch factor, and a chipotle mayonnaise leaves a slight tingle on your tongue, perfectly complementing the rest of the sandwich. A huge, messy affair: Come to Manny's hungry and you won't go home disappointed.
|Manny's Tortas: come hungry|
(920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis; 612.870.3930; website)
7. Butcher and the Boar's Lobster Grilled Cheese with an Egg
Butcher and the Boar brings luxury and decadence to the forefront with its lobster grilled cheese ($18, or $20 with a fried organic egg). The simple, downplayed description on the menu belies the extravagance within. Rich and buttery, the lobster and cheese absolutely ooze from between perfectly glistening slices of Texas toast in this indulgent sandwich. Add the fried egg. (You know you want to.)
|Butcher and the Boar's lobster grilled cheese (opt for the egg)|
(1121 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612.238.8888; website)
6. Sun Street Breads' Southern Fried Biscuit Sandwich
The Twin Cities may not be the first place you'd think to come looking for a decent biscuit, but come you should, in order to be wooed by Solveig Tofte's delicately crusted, deeply buttery, tender biscuits. The former head baker at Turtle Bread could bring tears to a Southerner's eyes with her Southern-Fried Biscuit Sandwich ($7.25). As indulgent as the name suggests, you'll be delighted by fried chicken that's crisp on the outside, tender straight through each bite, with thick bacon and a peppery sausage gravy that smothers the whole thing. One of the best, butteriest ways to start your day in the Twin Cities.
|Sun Street Breads makes a mean biscuit.|
(4600 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis; 612.354.3414; website)
2532 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN
123 N. 3rd St., Minneapolis, MN