Folks here in the Valley might not experience a true winter chill, but that doesn't mean we don't like to snuggle up with a hearty sandwich and a comforting bowl of soup when we need that extra bit of warmth in our souls.
Here are 10 of our favorites places to get both. Stop by one and curl up with some satisfying eats.
Essence Bakery Cafe This low-key Tempe eatery may be best known for Eugenia Theodosopoulos' luscious French macaróns, but its chef/owner boasts a top-notch sandwich and soup menu as well. Don't miss daily combo specials like a chicken, cornichons, and grain mustard sandwich with smokey ham and split pea soup or a tuna melt with cheddar cheese and cucumber served with a cup of organic yam with a touch of cream.
Postino Winecafe Sure, the casual-cool Postino's (with three Valley locations) is good to go for vino and bruschetta, but it does a fine job with sandwiches and soup-of-the-moment offerings, too. Don't miss the Select Two special ($9.75), in which half a panini sandwich (think a veggie with white bean hummus or The Nine Iron with bacon and grilled chicken) can be had with a fresh-made soup like cheddar potato, tomato, and roasted pepper and Gorgonzola.
DeFalco's At this first-rate Italian deli and grocery in Scottsdale, you're not just eating the ingredients; chances are you're sitting right next to them. Choose from about 40 kinds of monstrous hot or cold sandwiches made with top-notch ingredients. A soup of the day ($4.25/bowl) comes with hot focaccia bread and might be anything from minestrone to Italian wedding soup.
Duck and Decanter This legendary restaurant with three locations has been serving up soup and sandwiches to the Valley for 40 years. Try a signature sandwich like The Duckling, ($8.75 and made with duck breast, turkey, and cream cheese) or build your own from meats like turkey pastrami or salami on your choice of bread. Soups of the day might be buffalo chicken or split pea with ham (cup $3.99/bowl $7.99) and can be had as bread bowls for $6.99.
Lux Central Okay, okay, so the daily-changing menu is super-small and there's a chance you won't score a soup and a sandwich on the same day, but the good news is you'll probably get one, and, if you hit the jackpot, both (bonus!) at this tragically hip downtown home of stellar coffee and eats. Look for killer tomato basil, vegetable bean, and potato, sausage, and kale soup ($7) and sandwiches like grilled chicken or steak on ciabatta bread.
Maizies Cafe & Bistro This laid-back, family-owned eatery on the light-rail line makes for great crowd-ogling when biting into a tasty sandwich or slurping up a spoonful of comforting soup. Look for tempting lunch specials like an Ancho cheese steak sandwich and beer cheese soup, a grilled chicken panini with green chili tortilla soup, and a stuffed pita with French onion soup. Delicious.
New York Flavor Whether you're an ex-New Yorker or just want to eat like one, you'll find piled-high deli sandwiches and two daily soup specials done up East-Coast style at this comfortable cafe in Surprise. Look for signature sandwiches named after New York neighborhoods and streets and classics like the hot corned-beef on rye ($9.99). Daily soups ($3.99/bowl) include seven-bean and classic chicken noodle. Get a cup and a half-sandwich for $6.99.
Bertha's Cafe This tucked-away spot in an East Phoenix strip mall serves up fresh-made sandwiches and a daily, made-that-morning seasonal soup special to hungry, lunchtime patrons six days a week. Take advantage of Bertha's half-and-half lunch special where you can score a half-sandwich, a cup of soup, chips, and a cookie for $7.95.
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The Farm Kitchen at South Mountain Can a steaming cup of soup or fresh sandwich get any better than when they're enjoyed amid lush lawns, blue sky, and pecan trees a half-century old? Unlikely. At this South Phoenix getaway, snag a half sandwich and a daily soup (think black bean and carrot, roasted garlic potato leek, and a Southwest turkey and dumplings soup) for $10.95 then pick you picnic spot to enjoy.
Pane Bianco Chris Bianco's place of farmers-market-fresh quality eats in Central Phoenix features top-notch sandwiches as well as a daily soup special. Pick up the can't-go-wrong housemade mozzarella, tomato, and basil sandwich on wood-fired foccacia ($8.50) and/or a bowl of the day's soup ($6), which could be anything from grilled cheese with tomato to a hearty tepary bean soup with veggies.