Sandwiches are dishes of deceptive simplicity. They seem so simple to make, but their quality depends on many factors. Sure, anyone can stuff some tasty ingredients between two pieces of bread, but not everyone can produce reliably flavorful sandwiches with a proper balance of textures and tastes.
The quality of the bread, from its flavor to its density, has a huge impact on the quality of the sandwich. While you can use sliced, fluffy store-bought bread with some success in a grilled cheese, that same bread would disintegrate when loaded with juicy tomatoes or fresh pickles.
Beyond the outer edges of the sandwich, the fillings are also critical to quality. No matter how much you love onion or pickles, there is too much of a good thing when building a sandwich. The best sandwiches have the perfect ratio of fillings, balanced against the size and texture of the bread and one another.
Without further adieu, here are our picks for some of the best delis in San Diego serving up amazing sandwiches!
Location: 3819 Mission Blvd. (map)
Hours: Seven days a week from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Looking for the perfect lunch location in Mission Beach? Rubicon Deli has one of its three San Diego locations right on Mission Blvd. They also have shops in Mission Hills and La Jolla. This deli partners with local farmers and a ranch to ensure you enjoy fresh, locally grown foods when you dine here.
Put on your (most dapper) thinking caps — our newest sandwich needs a name, and we’re offering a $100 gift card and a photo op to the winner! — THE CHALLENGE: Name that sandwich! — THE INGREDIENTS: Roast Beef, Swiss, Horseradish Crème, Caramelized Onions, Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade, and Arugula — THE RULES: 1) Post a comment with your best sandwich name. Remember, the more creative and unique, the better! 2) All comment submissions must include our hashtag: #NameThatRubi 3) You must comment your idea/name BEFORE 11:59pm PST, this Sunday Jan. 14, 2018 to be eligible. — Good luck! We’re so excited to hear everyone’s ideas!
Do you dream of the perfect French dip sub? You may find it at Rubicon Deli. They build this sandwich with slow roasted prime rib, Swiss cheese, horseradish sauce and crispy onion haystacks. The Dapper Dipper, as they call it, comes with au jus for dipping, ensuring a delectable, if messy, meal.
Other well-known and popular sandwiches here include the Rubicon Special, featuring house roasted turkey, roasted red pepper tapenade, pesto mayo, lettuce and smoked Gouda. Their Rubi Club is a great spin on a classic, with buffalo turkey, bacon, Monterey Jack cheese, lettuce, pickle, onion, tomato and ranch.
You can enjoy a cup of soup made from scratch. They offer a tomato and basil bisque, as well as a classic chicken noodle. If you’re looking for something a little cooler to go with your sandwich, they also have craft beer on tap to enjoy.
Location: 4919 Convoy Street (map)
Hours: Monday-Thursday: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday: 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Located inside Mes Liquor, Knockout Deli can offer you quick quality food. This place isn’t messing around when it comes to sandwiches. You can order either 8-inch or 12-inch sandwiches, and then you have the chance to upgrade them. You can order your sandwich New York style with extra meat and cheese or K.O. style, with twice the meat and cheese of the NY style.
There are more bread options for the 8-inch size, including white, wheat, rye, sourdough, squaw and rolls. There are only white and wheat breads available for 12-inch sandwiches. Especially if you order K.O. Style, you may find that an 8-inch is enough, even if you usually eat a 12-inch sandwich at major chain eateries.
There are over a dozen great gourmet sandwiches on the menu here. There’s the California Club, made with turkey, bacon, avocado and cheddar cheese, as well as their San Diegan Club, which has turkey breast, pastrami and Swiss cheese. Other sandwiches are named for neighborhoods and local teams (The Charger and Padres Clubs).
WARM GOOEY SANDWICH: I needed this on this cold and windy day. Oh my goodness @knock_out_deli where have you been all my life!!! Amazing #nxpt trainer @nxptmade brought me here to celebrate my last day at NBC. This was the best sammy I've had in forever. Sammy from Hanni 😂 #sandwich #kearnymesa #convoy #foodie #cheese #delicious #lunch #sd #lunch #lunchspot #deli #bomb
Friends with a vegetarian or vegan? You’re in luck! There’s an impressive veggie club with two kinds of cheese, avocados, olives and more. Their Ultimate Vegan features hummus, avocados and a host of veggies.
Location: 3065 Beyer Blvd., Suite A105 (map)
Hours: Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Closed Saturday and Sunday
The Beyer Deli is so old-school, they don’t even have a web page for their restaurant. However, it remains incredibly popular with locals for lunch. They even serve breakfast sandwiches for early customers, including a breakfast torta with eggs, cheese, mayonnaise and your choice of meat. There are similar options with English muffins and croissants.
21) Philly Steak -n- Cheese: Grilled Roast Beef with bell peppers, onions topped with melted provolone cheese, lettuce tomato, mayo served on a grilled 8" french roll. Bread usually key in any version of a philly 😎, sort of beyond the point of you swap. It's pretty much been business as usual, altho lately we've been dippin' out early. Don't deny, you've all done this from work 😏. Okay, no, really tho, on going family thing, if we slow down we gotta handle business. Apologies if anyone got caught in that grey area lately. Be safe everyone, and welcome back the usual San Diego weather. ☺ #beyerdeli
Their lunchtime deli sandwiches come on sourdough, wheat, rye, French roll or torta bread. If you want something simple, they have basic options, such as roast beef, ham, turkey, pastrami, tuna and chicken salad. They also make triple deckers with three slices of bread, such as their California, a turkey sandwich filled with avocado, bacon, fresh sprouts, lettuce, tomato and cheddar cheese.
Their specialty sandwich menu, however, is where fanatics are born. Their Man Handler is a popular option. They smother pastrami and bacon with provolone cheese, coleslaw and thousand island dressing. They also make a veggie Rueben, complete with grilled spinach and mushrooms.
Want something warm? They will happily cook you a grilled cheese or ham and cheese sandwich. Alternatively, you could enjoy a quesadilla. They offer side salads, soup, chili and deli salads like potato and pasta salads. There is something here for every taste, and you definitely won’t leave hungry!
Location: 9085 Judicial Drive, Suite 100 (map)
Hours: Monday-Friday: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Closed Sunday
Looking for a fun lunch option in University City? Hit up Crossroads Deli. They serve the popular Boar’s Head Brand deli meats, and they have a host of unique and fun sandwiches. They have daily specials throughout the week, from Meatball Mondays to Test Kitchen Thursday, when you can try a fun and unique new sandwich at a discounted price.
Their specialty sandwiches hold their own, although you can also choose to build your own or order the sliced deli meat by the pound to bring home. Their Al’s Famous Club features turkey breast, Swiss cheese, sliced avocados, bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo and Italian dressing. Their Rachel is a hot pastrami served on rye bread and topped with coleslaw.
Other options include a chicken bacon ranch sandwich, a tuna salad offering and a classic Reuben. If you’re looking for something a little more healthy, they offer several salads, including a Cobb Salad, a Greek Salad with kalamata olives and feta cheese and the classic chicken Caesar salad.
You can enjoy fresh soup with your salad or sandwich. They have beef and bean chili and chicken noodle daily, as well as rotating daily soups. They serve breakfast until 10:30 a.m., if you skip breakfast on the way to work.