The saintly Liz Lemon shared her worldview on an episode of 30 Rock: “All of humankind has one thing in common: the sandwich. I believe that all anyone really wants in this life is to sit in peace and eat a sandwich.”
We couldn’t agree more.
What follows is a list of Phoenix’s fantastic delis, eateries, and lunch spots – some busy, some swanky, one even a cellphone-free zone (from that aforementioned sit-in-peace part) – featuring some of the best sandwiches the Valley has to offer. Enjoy.
Crispy Chicken at Worth Takeaway
Stroll down downtown Mesa’s quaint Main Street and you’ll spot Worth Takeaway. This modern, sleek restaurant offers coffee and craft sandwiches – including the Crispy Chicken. This $9 sandwich (they’re all $9) includes battered chicken strips soaking with a Sriracha honey spread, mayonnaise, and juice from the house-made sweet and spicy pickles. Those pickles and Bibb lettuce top the protein, and it all comes between two slices of ciabatta from PROOF bread – also a Mesa business. Worth Takeaway is open from 8 a.m. to 9:05 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4:05 p.m.
Meatball at DeFalco’s Italian Eatery
DeFalco's Italian Eatery – also a boutique grocery store and deli – has been around since 1972, and this south Scottsdale Italian restaurant is known for its appetizers, pasta, and sandwiches. The hot sandwiches section of the menu features the meatball – complete with handmade meatballs, sauce, and melted cheese. Choice of bread includes a sub or wheat roll, seeded sub roll, marble rye, sourdough, nine-grain, focaccia, or crispy baguette. Your get your choice of half ($5.59) or whole ($7.99) – 12-inch or six-inch. DeFalco’s is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays.
Mom’s Homemade Hot Meatloaf at The Lunch Bag
Serving midday items in Scottsdale, and around since 1981, The Lunch Bag offers a number of signature sandwiches at $7.95, including the popular Mom’s Homemade Hot Meatloaf. The concoction consists of hot meatloaf on toasted sourdough, complete with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise. Grab a homemade sandwich from the Lunch Bag from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday (closed on Sundays). They also offer free delivery in the area.
Ridgeview Farms Chicken Salad at Pane Bianco
If you were waiting for a good chicken salad sandwich on this list, you can exhale now. Pane Bianco, the Chris Bianco (of Pizzeria Bianco fame) sister restaurant, has been a sandwich spot and a half since opening in 2005. The Ridgeview Farms Chicken Salad comes with house stone-ground mustard, Gala apples, and arugula, served atop focaccia bread. The bread is baked in the restaurant’s wood-fired oven. Pane Bianco is open for lunch (this sandwich is only offered on the lunch menu) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays.
Sacks Overture at WM SACKS
Known for the “art of sandwicherie,” WM SACKS is a four-location, lunch-focused casual eatery established more two decades ago by Wanda Morrow. The sandwich menu – for which the restaurants are known – features an array of signature sandwiches, including the Sacks Overture. The Overture includes a fragrant stack of prime beef accompanied by sweet and red onion, tomato, lettuce, and mild horseradish sauce on an eight-inch baguette for $6.49. Hours for each location are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, with most locations open for lunch on Saturdays.
The D.A.M. Sandwich at Duck and Decanter
Duck and Decanter has been around Phoenix in one place or another since 1972, and has billed itself as “your original sandwich and beverage experience.” Under the menu's hot sandwiches section, you’ll find the D.A.M. Sandwich. Damn, it's good: The pork roast has been marinated in a jalapeño and onion barbecue sauce, slow-cooked, pulled, and rubbed with the restaurant’s blend of Southwestern spices. The meat is topped with the Duck’s own coleslaw, and served on an onion roll. Get a full sammy for $6.99, or the mini version for $4.99. Duck and Decanter serves from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
The Doughboy at Cheese N' Stuff
A central Phoenix staple, the Cheese N' Stuff deli has been around for more than 60 years, and management here asks you keep phones on silent and take your calls outside. For those who love turkey sandwiches, the Doughboy is a real treat for $6.95 – especially if you enjoy your lunch in the restaurant. The Doughboy consists of turkey, yes, plus bacon, Swiss cheese, avocado, and mayonnaise. This lunchbox-friendly square sandwich is served on tangy sourdough (other options include rye, whole wheat, and a sub roll) and warmed, which you can feel through its tinfoil wrapping. The iconic neon sign at Cheese N' Stuff is humming from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturdays (closed Sundays).
The Straw at Miracle Mile
What started as Herman’s Corned Beef Junction became Miracle Mile – a New York-style sandwich joint serving the Phoenix area since 1949. Among its menu of breakfast, lunch, and dinner items sits the Straw, consisting of a pile of hot pastrami with melted Swiss cheese and sauerkraut, stacked high on bread choices including rye, sourdough, Kaiser or onion roll for $11.50. Additional items like lettuce, tomato, onion, and mayonnaise are available upon request. Order the Straw at Miracle Mile from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Vegetable Sandwich at Noble Eatery
For a protein-free 'wich, Noble Eatery has a filling answer for those looking for a vegetable sandwich with a little substance and weight. Known for its “mid-day meals,” Noble Eatery is an Italian spot offering grains, legumes, salads, soups, small bites, and sandwiches through the ever-changing chalkboard menu manned by chef Zach Flynn and baker Jason Raducha. The vegetable sandwich is served on the well-known, freshly baked bread from Noble Bakery, and includes a stacked array of seasonal and local vegetables. Noble Eatery is open from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday through Friday – but do expect more than a few fellow sandwich lovers in this small lunch spot.
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What the Cluck? at Nocawich
A spinoff of the late Noca restaurant’s quick lunch menu, Nocawich is found just north of Arizona State University’s Tempe campus serving breakfast and lunch items — and, obviously, sandwiches. At $9, the What the Cluck? is like not having to decide between fried chicken and a good sandwich on your lunch break. For this dish, the chicken breast is brined in seasoned buttermilk overnight, and dredged in a flour and cornmeal mix. Find a crispy, juicy fried chicken breast accompanied by slaw and B&B pickles – all covered in a honey Dijon sauce. A house-made Parker roll holds the delicious mess together, and that’s all you really need to know. Get messy at Nocawich from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.