The Best Sandwich in the Mission?

Today in the park I had a pastrami, bacon and Swiss on wheat from Mr. Pickles, and it was really really good. I’d never thought to put pastrami and bacon together before, but Mr. Pickles did, and it was a capital idea. Their wheat bread is roll-style and flecked with little bits of oats and stuff. Texturally very good.

More important, this got me thinking about what the absolute best sandwich in the neighborhood might be. Any thoughts?

Update (Sunday night): Lots of responses already. A few votes for Lucca, a few for Bi-Rite, a few for some lesser knowns. Check the comments.

Update (Monday morning): Kate and Eve like Ike’s.

37 Responses to “The Best Sandwich in the Mission?”

  1. johnny0 says:

    The sandwiches at Bi-Rite aren’t bad.

    But I have to say Lucca’s are in the running for the best. Utter simplicity — prosciutto, provolone and pesto on sourdough, mmm.

    Pretty much everything in there is good. And don’t get me started on the ravioli, damn. The guys behind the counter are snarky but friendly, a requisite for a good italian deli.

  2. Allan Hough says:

    Oh yeah I love those Lucca “torpedoes” too: like $2.50, meat and cheese and nothing else on a big crusty loaf.

  3. Derek says:

    Mr Pickles by far, try it on Dutch Bread also. Bi-Rite is always good even though they seem to change the menu every time I crave a certain one.

  4. zinzin says:

    does Mission Terrace count? if so, Roxie Food Center on San Jose. Don’t be shy, ask for what you want. Make something up. Grilled chicken, avocado, bacon, swiss, hot peppers….toasted. yum.

    also, outer (outer) Mission, Sorrento’s Deli…Mission & Russia. Kind of like Lucca on Valencia, but better sandwiches my opinion. Cheaper hunks of cheese too. Otherwise, Lucca is better. Rare roast beef & provolone on hard roll with onions & then add roasted peppers from a jar at home. yum.

    really, neither of those are the Mission, but the sandwiches are tops.

    i like BiRite OK, but it depends who’s making the sandwich.

    truth is, there’s no “sandwich culture” in SF like there is in NY or Philly or even LA, so i have always found the experience to be hit & miss myself. lots of folks behind counters in SF didn’t grow up eating sandwiches, at least not like in NY….so they don’t know the proper proportions. snotty comment but true.

    that said, carnitas torta at Torta Gorda on 24th. that, they know the proportions for.

  5. johnny0 says:

    Has Phat Philly opened up yet? 24th near Valencia, where Zain’s was, next to Big Mouth burgers? If so, anyone been there yet?

    Hopefully that will swing some proper sandwich love out our way. Niman ranch beef, etc.

    I think every city gets to be good at one or two food things. The East Coast does sandwiches / pizza like SF does burritos and Vancouver does sushi. The other way round, not so much…

  6. Rhiannon says:

    kind of related, the breakfast sandwiches at The Lawrence Bakery on Mission at 19th are to die for. Who’d have thunk, when you’re eating a customary egg/cheese/bacon sandwich on a croissant, that the addition of lunchtime-sandwich condiments (lettuce, tomato and mayo, in particular) would rock so hard? Plus, it’s like three bucks. Awesome.

  7. Jeff says:

    Bi-Rite for the ingredients, though the breads they use can be too hard to eat on a sandwich. That, and it’s a bit pricey. But it’s buy 10 get one free. Awesome.

    Delessio has the best Cuban in the city.

    Atlas Cafe has pretty awesome, if borderline unhealthy, sandwiches.

    Mr. Pickle’s sign pisses me off. An anthropomorphic pickle with a sombrero and gun belt? BARF.

  8. Ike’s at 16th and Sanchez! IKE IS A SANDWICH SUPER HERO. (While the shop might *technically* be considered a part of the Castro, it’s close enough to Hipster Beach that I think you should consider it, sir.)

  9. Mark says:

    I’m a big fan of the deli at 19th and Guerrero. Their tri-tip sandwich is amazing.

  10. Alicia says:

    The Sandwich Place on Mission between 16th and 17th. The prices are what you’d expect for 16th and Mission but the quality is way up there, tons of fresh ingredients and everything I’ve tried made from scratch. I just wish they’d stay open later since I don’t work in the Mission so I haven’t eaten there for a while.

  11. guero says:

    Johnny0 has it right. Lucca is it. There’s just no comparison really. My family has been going there for generations and I vow to carry on the tradition. The long lines are worth it. The old school guys behind the counter are cool.

  12. drew says:

    The tortas place next to Revolution on 22nd and Bartlett makes a hell of a sandwich. I’m a big fan of the Chicken Milanese.

  13. Christina says:

    I’ve never had a sandwich at Mr.Pickles I didn’t like and they’re just perfect when you’re hung over. The Beet Loaf at Atlas is pretty tasty too.

  14. pde says:

    La Taza on Mission at 21st is my clear favourite. Their smoked salmon on rye has deliciously balanced ingredients and garnishes. In short, a wonder of unpretentious sandwichmaking. Definitely edges out Bi-Rite in my book and is leagues ahead of Monsieur Pickles; for some reason I haven’t tried Lucca yet though…

  15. Loula says:

    Hands down the best sandwiches in the Mission are at Torta Grande on 24th. Do yourself a favor and skip the long line at the Saint Francis for breakfast and walk down a few doors. Try the roasted vegetables on chevre. Sun yourself in the patio or have a nice freshly squeezed and blended fruit drink.

  16. Cleezy Clapback says:

    I’m eating a Roasted Yam Sandwich at Atlas on 20th and Alabama right now, as I type. The shit is off the chain, but it ain’t no Mr. Pickles. I mean, they literally put pesto on every sandwich. Amazing!

  17. Yell says:

    Guerrero Market and Deli on 19th and Guerrero.

    It’s an East-Coast-style deli…and it’s hella cheap.

  18. The Sandwich Place on Mission btw 16th and 17th, hands down the best sandwich for the price. I’ve been going there for years and they have never done me wrong.

  19. Palmariello says:

    interesting discussion

  20. Junky says:

    Mr. Pickles is damn good and the husband agrees. Roxie Food Center ain’t all that, IMO – it’s just another corner store “deli”. Roasted yam sandwich at Atlas is also damn great, but I could do without the attitude behind the counter there.

    If you can’t get behind a pickle with so much self-confidence that it arms itself with condiments, what can you get behind, I ask you.

  21. meli says:

    & coffee bar (with my anchor)

  22. edog says:

    New Star Deli on 14th, between Mission and South Van Ness. The closest thing I’ve had to a northeast-style sub in California. Meats, cheeses, and vegetables are sliced to order. Hummus and baba ganoush are homemade and excellent. They recently added a table and 4 chairs and brewed-by-the-cup coffee, but this place is zero-frills and meant for takeout. Also, it’s no Subway, like I said, toppings cut to order, so be patient.

    Other advice, try it for lunch on a weekday. If you go on the weekends, try to go in the morning/by mid-afternoon on Saturday. They tend to run out of french rolls by Saturday night/Sunday, at which point you’re looking at white or wheat sandwich bread …

  23. johnny0 says:

    Re Phat Philly — just walked by the paper-covered window on 24th by Valencia, no signs of cheesy goodness any time soon.

  24. Crowder says:

    Guerrero Market make a damn good sandwich, as does Mr. Pickles. Lucca has good indgredients, but i’m personally not a fan of the dry style with a few packets of condiments thrown in the bag. I don’t really know enough about tortas to comment.

    the roast beef sandwich at the new George’s BBQ on 24th and Capp is HUGE and really good.

  25. johnny0 says:

    I had a triple-awesome Cecina torta with quesillo the other day at La Oaxaqueña bakery, 18th and Mission.

  26. jtown says:

    I’ve come to realize that Ike’s is actually pretty gross. don’t get me wrong – I love jalapeno poppers on a sandwich, but eat an entire sandwich for lunch and tell me you can somehow still make room for dinner. it’s a total gut bomb.

    i made the mistake of getting it TWICE one weekend and didn’t have dinner either night. it was a strange feeling.

  27. meave says:

    Ike’s is in the Castro, for this survey it doesn’t count. No matter how enormous the vegan menu, no matter how close to Dolores Park.

    The yam sandwich at Atlas is good, however it is very costly, in dollars and in jerkitude.

    I love the vegan pizza sub at Jay’s; when a person is in the mood for a hot sandwich, that is a delicious hot sandwich.

    Never had a sandwich at Lucca, but their fresh focaccia is AMAZING, with tomato sauce and nothing else, oh man. If you have not tried this yet you are missing out.

  28. Clapback. says:

    Ummmm, after this discussion I went to Lucca and had a sandwich consisting of nothing more than bread, salami, and cheese. I ate the whole thing, and it made me really, really sick. Pickles wins. Ike’s is in the Castro, their sandwiches drip with mayo, and they simply pales in comparison.

  29. I pass Mr. Pickles all the time, but have never gone in. Will have to try it out now.

  30. silly says:

    MR PICKLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. Set your own life time easier get the home loans and all you want.

  32. GG says:

    Maaaaaaan, I wrote a long opinionated rant about Mr. Pickle’s and Ike’s being in a different stratosphere than any other Mission sandwich place, Lucca’s not being a valid choice because they have basically zero veg options, and sharing the love for Roxie and Jay’s (best veggie cheesesteak in SF, and I’ve tried them all), and then I realized this was a post from 2008 revived by a spambot comment. Sigh. I guess this is some sort of sign that I should get back to work.

    • Raspberry. But, sometimes, the real comments are so illiterate that they are hard to differentiate from the spam comments — so there is that.

    • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

      Huh. I don’t think much of Jay’s normal cheesesteaks, but I’ve never tried their veggie options. I have to say that I am skeptical, but I’ll give it a shot.

  33. EH says:

    Who looks for a sandwich in the Mission?