*Originally published November 2021, updated September 2023.
The reach of Birmingham’s food scene is wide, spanning from Southern meat-and-threes to James Beard-nominated cuisine to a growing roster of food trucks. But today, we’re highlighting the mouthwatering combinations that Birmingham restaurants are serving up between two slices of bread. Add these 14 epic sandwich orders to your must-try list!
Pastrami | Smiley Brothers
More info: smileybrothersfoods.com
Hubba, hubba. For pastrami lovers, this is it. Worth the short drive to Pelham, the Smiley Brothers pastrami sandwich is made with Wagyu beef pastrami, Swiss cheese, pickles, deli mustard, and marbled rye bread. The one pictured here is made with double meat, one of the many add-ons available for Smiley Brothers sandwiches. Other decadent add-ons include double cheese, bacon, and pimento cheese.
The Brooklyn | New York Butcher Shoppe
Neighborhood: Cahaba Heights
More info: local.nybutcher.com
New York Butcher Shoppe has locations in Cahaba Heights and Greystone, offering up prime cuts of meat, various wines, and prepared foods. But today, we pay homage to their sandwich menu. As you might imagine, their sandwich lineup is a carnivore’s dream. Pictured below is The Brooklyn, stacked with layers of prosciutto, capicola, Genoa salami, provolone cheese, and a choice of toppings.
Brisket Panini | Brick & Tin
Neighborhood: Downtown + Mountain Brook
More info: brickandtin.com
At both Brick & Tin locations — downtown and Mountain Brook — you can find this monster of a brisket sandwich layered with caramelized onions, white barbecue sauce, and, of course, plenty of braised beef brisket, all between two toasted slices pain de mie flatbread. Served with a cup of their seasonal soup selections, it doesn’t get much better.
The Fritz | The Garage
More info: facebook.com/thegaragebham
Served at The Garage, a bar located in an architectural salvage shop courtyard on the southside of Birmingham, this famously HUGE sandwich has a fanbase all its own, and for obvious reasons. Buckle up. The Fritz comes with roast beef, turkey, ham, pastrami, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and more than its fair share of condiments. Its official menu description is “A sandwich with everything but the kitchen sink or marbles” — and that’s about right. So deliciously right. SB TIP: The Garage is cash-only, so come prepared!
Smoked Bologna | Helen
Another bad boy of a sandwich featuring bologna, this one from Helen is a decidedly elevated take on the fried bologna sandwiches of our childhoods. This one is layered up with shaved smoked bologna à la plancha (a cooking method responsible for those beautiful sear marks), American cheese, Duke’s mayo, mustard, pickle, tomato, and lettuce, all married on a fluffy potato roll.
Mr. P’s Homemade Italian Sausage | Mr. P’s Deli
More info: mrpdeli.com
This handsome hoagie, served up at Mr. P’s Deli, features Pilleteri’s homemade Italian sausage, thinly sliced and layered generously, then topped with mozzarella cheese and Pilleteri’s BBQ sauce, all presented on a white hoagie bun. If you find that you’re a fan of Pilleteri’s Italian sausage, you can order it by the pound. You can even order Italian sausage-stuffed pork chops!
Gina’s Melt | I Love Tina & Gina’s
More info: ilovetinasandginas.com
Open in The Pizitz since April 2022, I Love Tina & Gina’s has already solidified a reputation as one of the best sandwich spots in Birmingham. They can cure just about any sandwich craving, but their salad-based sandwiches — both chicken and tuna — have established quite the following. Pictured here is Gina’s Melt, piled high with tuna salad, sharp cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, and red onion on rye bread.
The Cuban | GreenHouse
More info: greenhousebham.com
We love a traditional Cuban sandwich, but we also love a creative twist on a classic. This Cuban sandwich from GreenHouse in Homewood features roasted pork and ham, as expected, but it also comes complete with layers of marinated kale, pickled onions, Swiss cheese, and Dijon mustard, all nestled inside a fresh ciabatta roll.
The John Gotti | T-Bone’s Cheesesteaks and Hoagies
Neighborhood: Bluff Park
More info: tbonescheesesteaks.com
T-Bone’s is known for its authentic Philly-style sandwiches, so it’s a prime spot when you’re craving a little protein. Pictured here is the John Gotti hoagie, topped with copious amounts of honey-roasted turkey, cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onions, basil, oregano, olive oil, salt, pepper, and a layer of pickled peppers. (You’ll notice some other familiar names on the T-Bone’s menu: Vito Corleone, Tony Soprano, and Carlo Gambino, to name a few…)
The Muffuletta | Diplomat Deli
Neighborhood: Vestavia Hills
More info: diplomatdeli.com
Diplomat Deli has an extensive menu of sandwich options, but one quintessential Southern favorite we can’t go without is the Muffuletta. It’s a classic combination of salami, ham, pastrami, Swiss cheese, provolone cheese, mustard, and olive salad on French bread. At Diplomat, you can order a 1/4 Muffuletta, a 1/2 Muffuletta, or a whole Muffuletta to feed a crowd. (We hear their French onion soup, served only on the weekends, is fabulous too!)
“Saturday Sammies” | Son of a Butcher
Neighborhood: Lakeview District
More info: thesonofabutcher.com
Son of a Butcher is a family-owned butcher shop that opened at Pepper Place, offering top-quality meat, seafood, cheese, and pantry items to Birmingham residents all week long. But on Saturdays, they offer up a rotation of “Saturday Sammies.” The one pictured here features Fra’ Mani smoked ham, Sweetgrass Dairy pimento cheese, and McClure’s Bread & Butter Pickles, all on a Bandit baguette. They make a limited number of Saturday Sammies each week and announce the week’s combination on social media!
The Club | Otey’s Tavern
Neighborhood: Mountain Brook
More info: oteystavern.com
Bacon lovers, lean in! This exact order just might be your new go-to. The three-layer club sandwich at Otey’s Tavern is a tried-and-true combination of turkey, ham, bacon, cheddar cheese, mayo, lettuce, and tomato. And if you’re really hungry, ask for an order of Ben’s Cheesy Fries on the side — they’re loaded with melted cheddar, mozzarella, and crumbled bacon, and served with buttermilk ranch for good measure. Drooling yet?
Chicken Bacon | Ampersandwich
More info: eatatampersandwich.com
Ampersandwich serves up a variety of deli sandwiches, both classic and “specialty” — and like Son of a Butcher’s Saturday Sammies, they’re all served on freshly baked bread from Bandit. One such specialty sandwich is the Chicken Bacon, loaded to the gills with deli-sliced chicken, crispy bacon, Swiss and cheddar cheeses, mayo, mustard, giardineria, onion, lettuce, tomato, pickle, oil, salt, and pepper. Quite the mouthful (pun intended).
Mac Melt | MELT
Neighborhood: Mountain Brook + Hoover
More info: ilovemelt.com
While MELT is known around Birmingham for its delicious sandwiches, many of them topped with creatively prepared proteins, we’d be remiss not to mention at least one meat-free option. When you’re in the market for something seriously cheesy, order their Mac Melt. It’s two pieces of Texas toast loaded with house-made macaroni and cheese — one of their original offerings!
Hope you’re hungry, BHAM!
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