The reach of Birmingham’s food scene is far and wide, spanning from Southern meat-and-threes to James Beard-nominated cuisine to a growing roster of delicious food trucks. But lately, we’ve been honing in on the mouthwatering combinations that Birmingham restaurants are serving up between two slices of bread! We know we’ve barely scratched the surface of delicious local sandwich offerings, but seriously, get a load of these insanely good-lookin’ sammies!
15 of Birmingham’s Most Epic Deli Sandwiches
“The Ruiz” at SAW’s Soul Kitchen
The Ruiz is piled high with smoked bologna, melty pimento cheese, pickles, Fritos, and BBQ mustard. In Birmingham, it’s served up at SAW’s Soul Kitchen in Avondale, but the combination originated at Atlanta’s Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q and was named in memory of Carl Ruiz, a beloved team member. SAW’s Soul Kitchen rotates this sandwich into the lineup regularly, always crediting Fox Bros. as their inspiration, with a reminder that imitation is the highest form of flattery!
“The Brooklyn” at New York Butcher Shoppe
New York Butcher Shoppe has locations in Cahaba Heights and Greystone, offering up prime cuts of meat, a variety of 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, capacolla, Genoa salami, provolone cheese, and a choice of toppings.
The “Turkey Club” at Brick & Tin
At Brick & Tin in Mountain Brook, you can find this monster of a turkey club layered up with bacon, melted white cheddar cheese, mayo, crisp lettuce, and plenty of thinly sliced smoked turkey — all between two toasted slices of honey wheat bread, baked in-house. Served up with a cup of soup, it doesn’t get much better than that.
“The Fritz” at The Garage
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, and pastrami, plus 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!
The “Smoked Bologna” at 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 a 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” at Mr. P’s Deli
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!
The “Pastrami” at Smiley Brothers
Hubba, hubba. For pastrami lovers, this is it. 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.
“Fanciest Meatball Sandwich” at The Essential
A deliciously gussied-up spin on a classic meatball sub, this sandwich from The Essential features house-made meatballs smothered in tomato sauce sitting pretty between two slices of soft white bread from Bandit Pâtisserie. The whole thing is topped with mornay sauce and a sprinkling of fresh herbs. Definitely not your grandma’s meatball sub! The menu at The Essential rotates frequently, so keep an eye out for this special.
The “GH Cuban” at GreenHouse
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” Hoagie from T-Bone’s Cheesesteaks and Hoagies
T-Bone’s is known for its authentic Philly-style sandwiches, so when you’re craving a little protein, it’s a prime spot. 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” from Diplomat Deli
Diplomat Deli in Vestavia Hills has an extensive menu of sandwich options, but one quintessential Southern favorite we can’t go without is the Muffulettas. 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” from Son of a Butcher
Son of a Butcher is a family-owned butcher shop that opened at Pepper Place earlier this year. They offer best-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, McClure’s Bread & Butter Pickles, all on a Bandit baguette. Each week, they make a limited number of Saturday Sammies and announce the week’s ingredients on social media!
The “Club” at Otey’s Tavern
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?
“The SPAM Banh Mi” at Ampersandwich
Ampersandwich in Avondale 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 SPAM Banh Mi, pictured here. It’s a spin on a traditional Vietnamese sandwich, but with a twist on the protein. It’s still served up on a sandwich roll with plenty of carrots, greens, pickled onions, radish, and jalapeños. So much flavor, so little time!
“The White Grilled Cheese” at Melt
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 an epic cheese sandwich, visit their Avondale location and ask for The White Grilled Cheese. It’s made with mozzarella and Monterey Jack cheeses, grilled to melty perfection on Birmingham Breadworks sourdough.
Happy noshing, Birmingham!
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