San Francisco seems to be all about sandwiches these days: sandwich shops are opening and popping up all over the place. Here are three beefy ones for your sandwich radar.
This pop-up sandwich shop is at Laszlo bar in the Mission, right in front of Foreign Cinema. (The popup is just a tryout before the brick and mortar Machine Coffee and Deli opens in early August next to Show Dogs on Market Street at 6th.) The menu has five sandwiches, and I think my favorite of the bunch is the Axle, a French roll stuffed with warm, house-smoked roast beef, broccoli rabe with garlic and chile flakes, and balsamic cippolini. The way the provolone cheese melts into the savory and seasoned roast beef makes it into a fancy cheese-steak.
Peter Temkin, charcutier for Foreign Cinema and Show Dogs, is the mastermind behind the roast beef (and the pastrami, and smoked turkey, too). Open Mon–Fri 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
This new café near McCoppin on Valencia has a variety of breakfast and lunch treats on the menu by chef Daniel Martes, but the sandwich that you should veer toward is the beef cheek sandwich. I can’t think of anyone doing a beef cheek sandwich in this town!
The warm, slow-cooked, and tender beef cheeks are tucked into a sandwich with tomatoes, melted Gruyère cheese, and piquillo peppers on housemade and toasted focaccia bread. It’s a bit sloppy, and decadent, too. The side salad of arugula is a nice break in between bites of the hearty sandwich. Open Mon–Fri 8 a.m.–4 p.m.
During the day, this brand-new sandwich spot/market shares a patio with Central Kitchen, the new restaurant from the flour + water team. The sandwiches here veer more on the “just-right” size—they’re not the big, honking style of these other two spots. The list of sandwiches seems to keep getting tweaked, but when it first opened, I had savory and pink roast beef tucked into a Firebrand pretzel roll (now a Kaiser roll), served with peperonata, mustard, and the final gourmet touch: a creamy fonduta. Open 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Marcia Gagliardi is author of the weekly Tablehopper e-column and book The Tablehopper’s Guide to Dining and Drinking in San Francisco. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, and read more at tablehopper.com.