(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)
Where to find the best Italian sub sandwiches in L.A.
Is there anything finer than a rainbow of cured meat clapped between two halves of a good roll overflowing with vegetables and Italian dressing? The Italian sub is the queen of sandwiches, and there’s no shortage of excellent versions in Los Angeles. Nearly every deli makes an Italian sub, hoagie, grinder (insert your favorite term for this masterpiece here).
For the purposes of this list, I’m narrowing it down to sandwiches that come on some form of roll, rather than sliced bread. This will render some crowd favorites, like the Stepmother from Cosa Buona, ineligible. When I first wrote about the sandwich in 2020, it was served on a ciabatta roll. Now, the meats are piled onto sliced focaccia. It’s still an excellent sandwich, just not on this list.
Lorenzo California, home to some of the most excellent Italian sandwiches on the planet, is also not on this list.
And that place everyone loves that slides a third slice of bread into the middle of the sandwich? It eats like a Big Mac sub. It’s not for me.
The following is a guide to my favorite Italian subs, in alphabetical order. Don’t make me pick a single favorite. And if yours isn’t on here, I’m sure you’ll let me know.
All About the Bread
Angelo’s Italian Deli
Bay Cities Italian Deli and Bakery
Claro's Italian Market
More than half the people waiting are there for the Great Grandpa Joe. The sandwich consists of capicola, dry salami, mortadella and provolone with all the regular fixings, but the soft roll is dressed with an olive oil-and-vinegar mixture that’s heavy on the red wine vinegar and pepper. It turns into a paste on the sandwich so that some bites have actual clumps of piquant dressing. These, it turns out, are always the best bites.
Corsica Italian Delicatessen
Cricca's Italian Deli
What makes this sub special is the thicker cut on the hard salami, Genoa salami, capicola, mortadella and provolone. And the way they’re all stacked in a sort of zigzag pattern that allows for equal distribution.
Dan's Super Subs
This is a place where most of the clientele are regulars and you can count on a few school uniforms and AYSO soccer jerseys in the small dining room. The 2011 KTLA award for the “top alternative deli” is proudly displayed on a wall. Dan’s Super Subs deserves an accolade for 2023, too.
Eastside Italian Market Deli
Foggia Italian Market & Deli
Ghost Sando Shop
Santoro's Submarine Sandwiches
The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills
“Would you like a sip of wine while you wait?” asked a man behind the counter.
This place is so much more than a deli, providing cheese and other specialty ingredients to some of the best restaurants in town. It also happens to be a great place to get an Italian sub.
Uncle Paulie's Deli
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