Editor’s Note: This post was updated on Feb. 19, 2015.
New York offers pretty much everything you could want, including one of my favorite things: the best sandwiches.
I once lived just outside the city, and then used to go back and visit every year, once or twice a year, after moving to South Florida.
Pastrami Queen was my favorite. Following a recommendation from my friend Jeff Platsky, I made a rare trip to the Upper East Side and bought a corn beef sandwich big as God, with a baked potato knish on the side. I could only eat half of each, and had the rest for dinner.
My other go-to place was a deli in SoHo, although the name and exact location escape me. I just remember that the chicken parmesan sandwich there was probably the best $6 I’ve ever spent.
I haven’t found anything like those places in Medellín, but the city is changing quickly enough that there are a lot of new places catering to the sandwich-loving crowd. I’d be a card-carrying member, if such a club existed.
So what makes a good sandwich? Well, you want it to taste great, and I think we eat them expecting to be full when we’re done. I also like creativity and uniqueness, the latter still very possible in a growing city like this one.
Apparently it’s National Sandwich Month in the United States so let’s honor the occasion by highlighting the places that qualify for the best sandwiches in Medellín.
1. Flip Flop Sandwich Shop
Carrera 36 #8A-103, Poblado
After the advent of buffalo wings, it makes sense that a Buffalo chicken sandwich would follow and Flip Flop Sandwich Shop has the only good one I know of in Medellín.
If I had to pick my favorite kinds of sandwiches, it would go: 1) chicken parmesan (like at that SoHo deli) 2) corned beef (like at Pastrami Queen) and 3) Buffalo chicken.
I can’t find the other two in Medellín, so that means I go to Flip Flop for the Buffalo chicken.
The sauce is spicy, how I like it, and the sandwich is huge. Throw in chips and a soda and you’re paying 15,000 pesos ($8), well worth it.
I already love the wings and the burgers here.
I hear a list of gourmet sandwiches is coming next, and I look forward to it.
Carrera 44 #20-55, Ciudad del Río
Cariñito is the only place I know in Medellín where I can get a real turkey sandwich and a real roast beef sandwich.
Both are divine.
The only thing I have to ask myself when I order is, “Do I feel like white meat or red meat today?”
If you’re gonna spend most the day working there, which I did recently, get the Spanish tortilla for breakfast. And after lunch, have a coffee or hot chocolate, or maybe a pastry too.
Everything here is delicious.
3. Café Revolución
Carrera 73 #4-10, Laureles
Café Revolución, a new establishment, made my list of top cafés as much for the sandwiches as it did for the coffee, something an angry reader would have understood had he read my criteria more carefully.
I’ve loved these toasted flatbread sandwiches since the first time I had them, and at Café Revolución, you have five options: barbecue chicken, barbecue steak, grilled zucchini, ham and cheese, and, my favorite, tuna.
They cost only 8,900 pesos (about $4.75).
If there is another place in the city you love for its paninis, please advise. I’d love to try it.
4. D’André Gourmet
Carrera 37 #10-15, Poblado
There is only one sandwich on the menu at D’André Gourmet, but maybe that’s all it needs.
Like a closer in baseball, if you’re going to do only one thing, make sure you do it well, which makes this place the Mariano Rivera of sandwiches.
There’s a chicken sandwich, with ham, lettuce, tomato, onion and a tarter sauce I actually like. (I usually hate tarter sauce.)
It’s a very generous sandwich that comes with fries, all for 12,900 pesos ($6.70), enough to fill me and fulfill me.
Circular 4 #73-04, Laureles
While I like the sandwiches at Mezcla more, Flora is still my favorite among the health-conscious restaurants, the reason they’re on this list.
They make a good sandwich and you feel good after you’ve eaten it, even though you’re quite full.
I love that there are so many toppings to choose from, everything from zucchini to sun-dried tomatoes. How many you choose affects the price of your sandwich, which can start around 13,000 pesos (about $7).
You can still get meat on your sandwich if you like too, chicken and calamari among the options, but I think next time I’ll go with veggies only. I haven’t had a sandwich like that in forever.
* Mezcla Juice Bar closed and dropped out of the Top 5.
Carmen Restaurant has a special delivery-only lunch menu Tuesday through Friday 12pm-3pm which has some incredible sandwiches on it. The Thai one is soooooooo good.
They don’t advertise it much, but they have flyers you can grab at the restaurant. Seriously, amazing, and the prices are like 15,000 pesos + cost of delivery, and you get either a side salad or homemade chips.
Since discovering it, I’ve ordered from them several times while working at home.
now on my list of things to try, and soon!!
For me, the right bread is critical for a good sandwich I’m not a big fan of the New York Deli style overstuffed with half a pound of meat that often comes with mediocre bread. My general rule of thumb is that the thickness of the filling should be less than or equal to one slice of the bread. Therefore, though I did enjoy the posting (as always), I was a little disappointed that there was not much description of the bread.
You’re missing my favourite on here Ryan! Cafe Zeppelin in Laureles – their sandwiches are heavenly! How they manage to cram so much delicious cured meat and high quality cheese into their sandwiches and sell them for cheaper than the ingredients would cost me in Carulla I don’t know – but the fact that they do makes me happy!