As any good sandwich aficionado knows, creating mouthwatering scrumptious combinations between two slices of bread is truly an art form. One must incorporate a certain amount of innovation and wizardry to concoct these one-of-a-kind specialties using high-quality meats, cheeses, and other fixings, like fresh local veggies and condiments made in-house. These 16 Mile High staples are serving up hand-crafted, artisan sandwiches with unique flavors and ingredients that will make you forget all about that low/no-carb summer diet. Meet many a sandwich and slay them all at these best sandwich shops in Denver!
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Masterpiece Delicatessen
In 2008 Chef Justin Brunson and partner Stephen Allee opened what is arguably Denver's go-to sandwich spot, and they've certainly achieved their goal of creating sandwiches "that will truly knock your socks off. And possibly your pants." Both LoHi and Uptown locations boast top-notch ingredients like their 12-hour braised beef brisket and seared sushi-grade ahi tuna. Truly unforgettable mouthwatering masterpieces with elevated twists!
2. Denver Biscuit Company
I pretty much use any excuse to (over)indulge at Denver Biscuit Company, and it's definitely motivation to do more cardio, because they've honestly got some of the best hangover-comfort-not-prepping-you-for-a-bikini-body biscuit sandwiches EVER! Try their DBC Club with buttermilk fried chicken, tender belly bacon, lettuce, tomato, and chipotle ranch or maybe the Elmer with 10-hour smoked pulled pork, BBQ sauce, fried onions, cole slaw, and house made pickles. (Don't miss the pickles!) Try a side of their perfectly crispy sweet potato fries (perhaps smothered in gravy), then go home, get horizontal, and reminisce about all the buttery biscuit goodness.
3. Buchi Cafe Cubano
This Sunnyside sandwich shop is serving up real deal hot pressed authentic Cubans, using slightly sweet, crusty Cuban bread filled with warm roast pork and toppings like grilled onions, hot peppers, and plenty of melted swiss cheese. They also serve additional meat and veggie options, breakfast sandwiches, and a killer steaming hot café con leche to wash it all down the hatch.
4. Snarf's Sandwiches
Snarf's opened its doors in Boulder 20 years ago and has now expanded to nearly 20 restaurants, including five in the Denver area. And when you taste their award-winning, hand-crafted, oven-toasted subs made with high-quality ingredients and homemade bread, you'll know why. Before your next hike or picnic, stop at Snarf's and grab some subs to scarf!
5. Vinh Xuong Bakery
You don't have to be able to pronounce it to love it! This staple mom and pop (and son) operation has been providing the good people of Denver with authentic Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches on their very own crusty homemade baguettes for years. The original location on Federal is take-out and cash only, while their new light and airy digs on Alameda have plenty of seating and a credit card machine. (And you can ask them how to pronounce it when you get there...trust me, they're used to it.)
6. Vert Kitchen
French-trained chef Noah Stevens is bringing simple, elegant sandwiches that will excite your taste buds to his charming establishment in the Wash Park neighborhood. "Everything is proudly handmade in-house using 100% organic and locally-grown produce, all-natural, sustainable meats and dairy, plus the finest pantry goods in Denver." What more do you need to know!?
7. Etai's Bakery Cafe
This Mile High franchise has a handful of locations in Denver serving a wide variety of cold and hot sandwiches, wraps, pitas, and paninis on artisan breads. Try their famous French dip oozing with gouda and caramelized onions or a garden-fresh explosion of artichokes, spinach, and fresh basil with brie. And don't miss out on their daily specials like their braised brisket sandwich with horseradish aioli or their custom Colorado pastrami with Swiss and dijon. Divine!
8. Ba Le Sandwiches
Another sandwich joint slinging the classic collision of French and Vietnamese traditions is this unassuming spot in a strip mall on South Federal. They've got about 15 banh mi varieties made fresh to order, and the best part is that they're all under $5! For a banh mi that won't break the bank, bop on over to Ba Le!
9. Curtis Park Delicatessen
This neighborhood deli and market boasts some of the freshest hand-crafted sandwiches in the city. They use local ciabatta bread baked daily, premium artisanal, (mostly) local ingredients, and even house-made condiments to top off their tasty creations. As they say, "There is nothing like having bread baked that morning, freshly laid eggs, produce from up the road, and coffee roasted by your neighbor." Amen!
10. Las Tortas
Ever had a mouthwateringly delicious gourmet Mexican sandwich? You've GOT to try the authentic tortas at this spot on Leetsdale! Juicy marinated meats, traditional homemade Mexican sauces, and toppings sliced fresh daily are combined to create their authentic sandwich specialties. I suggest you start with one of their Guadalajaran Tortas, smothered in delightful authentic sauces made in-house. Ándele, amigos!
11. Spinelli's Market
Since 1994, this Park Hill institution has been creating gourmet Italian specialty sandwiches for loyal followers, with over 20 sandwich varieties to choose from...and then some. Meatballs with marinara, roasted vegetables with house dressing, and an on-point muffaletta are just a few of their scrumptious delights. And after a few visits, you'll feel like part of the family!
12. Olive & Finch
This Uptown corner cafe and bakery is dedicated to dishing out fresh, made-from-scratch foods prepared daily and made to order. They've got many delicious bread varieties to choose from, including baguettes, ciabatta, focaccia, and croissants, as well as premium meats and cheeses such as prosciutto, shaved carne asada, and their famed six hour house braised beef tongue.
13. Amira Bakery
If you're looking for traditional Lebanese-style sandwiches, look no further! This deli and cafe in University Hills has some of the most authentic shwarma around, using fresh baked pita bread and juicy, smoky chicken or beef shaved off the spit right before your eyes. (Just remember...they're known for their shwarma, not their customer service.)
14. Hutch & Spoon Cafe
On the contrary, if you want a genuine, neighborhood cafe experience with friendly staff and owners that are passionate about the local community, check out this spot in RiNo, where everything is lovingly made in-house using fresh, whole ingredients from Colorado producers, growers, and ranchers. Try their roasted meatloaf with perfectly sharp cheddar, a melt-in-your-mouth kale and gruyere grilled cheese, or their reuben made with Colorado bison pastrami. Colorado-made with Colorado love!
One Denver sub shop that satisfies carnivores and vegans alike, is this unbeatable Cap Hill institution. From slow-roasted Colorado beef and andouille sausage to tempeh and portobello mushrooms, SubCulture has it all...including craft cocktails and beer to accompany your 7 or 12-inch feast. They've got dozens of tasty sandwiches to choose from (served warm or cold), and they're open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Get on it!
16. Torta Grill
This tasty tortas take-out spot in City Park might have limited seating, but they're not limited on their tortas. Choose from pork loin, breaded steak, ham, chorizo, carnitas, eggs, franks, bacon, and even cactus...add a little cheese, and viola. (You can also build your own generously filled torta, choose between regular size and mini, and enhance it with their house-made chipotle sauce, jalapeño jelly, or diced jalapeños.) They're tortally delicious!
Want to let us in on your sandwich secrets? What do you think are the best sandwich shops in Denver? Tell us your carb and meat-filled favorites in the comments!