Young and Hungry

What’s D.C.’s Defining Sandwich?

The good folks at GOOD magazine are putting together a map of the best sandwiches by state and have asked yours truly to nominate one tasty sammy that best represents D.C.

Rather than hastily firing off my own verdict, Young & Hungry first wants to hear from you.

Here's the criteria: "We’re not just looking for the tastiest sammy to originate from your state (although we do accept samples). We’re not necessarily seeking the most famous, either (Kentucky may be spared the Double Down). We’re on the lookout for GOOD sammies—sandwiches with historical or cultural significance in your home state, ones that can be assembled from local ingredients, and ones that support local independent businesses. The ideal GOOD sandwich will do all three."

What say you, sandwich eaters of Washington? Is it the jumbo fried fish sandwich at Horace & Dickie's that Adam Richman deemed "absolutely out of this world" on Man v. Food? The crab cake at Old Ebbitt Grill? The Uruguayan chivito at Fast Gourmet?

Is it even a traditional sandwich? Does the half-smoke at Ben's Chili Bowl merit a mention? The famous frank is sort of sandwiched between halves of bun, after all.

For that matter, what defines a sandwich?

Stick your nominations in comments.

Photo courtesy of Horace & Dickie's

  • G Carlson

    The jumbo fried fish sandwich at Horace & Dickie's is one of my favorite ever. I love Ben's Chili Bowl but I don't consider a hot dog a sandwich.

  • Tweaked

    Personally I would vote the Chivito as DC's best sandwich. But being a sandwich from Uruguay, and a recent addition to the DC sandwich scene, not sure it fits the historic or cultural significant criteria.

    The G-Man sandwich at Mangialardo and Sons might be a better fit. Eventhough it's basically an Italian cold cut sub.

    As profiled in the Wash Post: Like many great sandwiches, the "G" Man comes with a back story. In the early 1970s, Tony recounts, a pair of FBI agents on their way to a Redskins game stopped by the deli for a pair of subs. Tired of the same thing, they asked Antonio to make them something special. "Two days later, a different group of agents came in and said they wanted 'that 'G' Man sub.' " Word had spread through the office, and a signature sub was born.

  • Christopher Honey

    C'mon - the definition of 'sandwich' needs to be sufficiently loosened to include Ben's Chili Bowl and the half smoke.

    If you live in DC and aren't just a tourist, there is not restaurant more iconic than Ben's Chili Bowl and noting is more iconic than their half smokes (oddly enough, their chili, not so much).

  • Sean

    I much prefer a nice panini from Cafe Tu-o-Tu in Georgetown.

  • DavidN

    Anything from Litteri's.

  • C Meyer

    Breadsoda's signature sandwich- The Breadsoda- gets me geared everytime without fail. Rivals a reuben from NYC.

  • Philly Guy living in DC

    This is a no brainer. A. Litteri's - get it together people

  • Jane

    Whatever it is, it has to come from Fast Gourmet.

  • Mikey B

    "The Three Little Pigs" at Cafe Saint-Ex on 14th street.
    Pulled Pork BBQ/slice of Ham/two strips of Bacon/two fried eggs and gruyere cheese on a toasted bun.

  • hah brainer....sorry that is so boring...the chilli makes it a sandwich

  • just sayin’

    Nothing but chicken with mumbo sauce from Eastern Market. Who are these other impostors? C'mon, DC.

  • Read Scott Martin

    Mangialardo's G-man in a walk. Never has a shop with such brief hours of operation compelled so many armed, body-armoured professionals to drive across town to doublepark in abject admiration of lunch. And the rest of us cognoscenti love it too.

  • Java Master

    the half smokes and chili at Ben's are vastly overated!!
    Ben's receives greeat publicity but has very average food....

  • Barbara Piper

    At least two of the criteria – local ingredients and supporting “local independent businesses” convert a culinary exercise into a political one, but if that’s what they want then most of the suggestions so far are off-target. The most appropriate sandwich would be a soft-shelled crab sandwich at any of the local, small-scale vendors who sell them in-season. An alternative would be the crab cake sandwiches at ditto. It doesn't get more local.

  • R. Young

    Any sandwich from Manglialardo's!

  • yup

    I'm partial to The Luther at Churchkey, or the Super Grilled Cheese at Stoney's, but I wouldn't nominate either because I'd hate for dipsh!t tourists to ruin either of those places. Best to stick with Ben's...

  • Matt Ashburn

    Mangialardo's G-man.

  • monkeyrotica

    G-Man. It's been around since the '68 riots, people.

  • Djc

    Mangialardo's G-man.

  • Kev29

    "I wouldn't nominate either because I'd hate for dipsh!t tourists to ruin either of those places"

    Umm, people come from all over the country to go to Churchkey - you're not keeping that place a secret. And there's enough dipshit locals to ruin it. Not that I care about others when I'm there - just the beer.

  • Native American JD

    Meat between bread constitutes a sandwich.

  • Daisystarr

    DC Sandwich's vietnamese banh mi!
    Hands down!

  • Candice

    I'm obsessed with the fried "chicken" sandwich at Everlasting Life Cafe in Petworth. I'm not even a vegetarian or vegan and I fantasize about it all time.

  • VEO

    The Cubano at Fast Gourmet.

  • Juani Fernandez

    The Chivito or the Cubano at Fast Gourmet!