Los Angeles

19 Essential LA Sandwiches

Grab these for your next picnic at the beach, park, or pool.

Ggiata Delicatessen
Ggiata Delicatessen
Ggiata Delicatessen

Summer is already halfway over which means you still have a few weeks left to get your last picnic (or two) in. There are plenty of parks, beaches and outdoor spaces to post up and enjoy the sunshine with a good book in hand, summer jams, and maybe even a game of frisbee. But, let’s be real, no picnic is complete without an epic sandwich and lucky for you, we’ve scoured the city for the best sandwiches to-go. From Italian delis to wine shops and everything in between (even a few newcomers), we’ve got some of the best spots in town to get your meat and cheese fix.

The Godmother

Bay Cities Italian Deli
Santa Monica 
The Godmother is like an LA rite of passage so if you haven’t had it, stop what you’re doing and go try it. Like NOW. Except, try to avoid weekends when it’s always packed and make sure to bring cash or a debit card (credit cards are not accepted). This place has the original Godmother sandwich and you can bet anything else in LA named even slightly close to it, is a copycat of this. The signature sandwich has prosciutto, ham, capocollo, mortadella, Genoa salami, and don’t even *think* about not getting The Works and hot peppers. Then, block out the next two hours of your day because you’re going to need a cat nap after you’re done.¬†
How to order: Via Doordash or in person.

The Godfather

All About the Bread 
Mid-City 
You can’t have The Godmother without The Godfather and this one is a nod to it’s Westside rival (see above). While some will debate which sandwich is better, we’re perfectly fine declaring both as winning sandwiches because now you have options on both sides of the city. The Godfather is stacked with meat like spicy capocollo, mortadella, prosciutto di Parma, ham, and Genoa salami. And just like Bay Cities, they also offer “The Works” which is an assortment of pickled hot peppers, spices, carrots and cauliflower for a crunch.
How to order: Via Postmates, Doordash on in person.

Garlic aioli chicken sandwich 

Carla Cafe
West Hollywood
This underground sandwich is a total gamechanger and if we had to pick the ultimate winning sandwich from the list, it’s this one. The garlic aioli chicken sandwich has all the key ingredients for a perfect sandwich — crunchy bread, a generous portion of meat, an insanely delicious spread, and all the fixings. Carla Cafe was born out of COVID when two friends decided to start selling sandwiches to friends and family out of their house as a side hustle during quarantine. The overwhelming response led to taking orders from Instagram, expanding the menu, and opening a soon-to-be sandwich shop. They’ve moved into a ghost kitchen at Bootsy Bellows to keep up with the demand, so be patient and stay on it — they sell out FAST.¬†¬†¬†¬†
How to order: Follow them on Instagram, watch out for their weekly menu drops on Instagram Stories, and then DM them for the website link to order.

Haute Mess
Haute Mess
Haute Mess

Old Fashion Salumi

Haute Mess
West Hollywood
While the Cosmopolitan E Rosati might be the most popular sandwich, the Old Fashion Salumi is our top pick. In case you couldn’t tell, the sandwiches are named after popular cocktails, and there is one for everyone. The Old Fashion is made on freshly baked ciabatta bread with a generous serving of thinly sliced meat including mortadella, spicy capocollo, soppressata, Genoa salami, and the fixings. The deli is inside an Italian specialty market so you can pick up all your sweet and savory picnic necessities in one stop like a fantastic bottle of Italian wine for $20, European cheese, freshly baked baguette, and homemade sauces like salsa verde.¬†
How to order: Via website or in person.

Tongue sandwich

Attari Sandwich Shop
Westwood 
Yes, tongue. As in, cow’s tongue. This is actually a delicacy in Iranian cuisine and Attari Sandwich Shop in Westwood does it best. Warm slices of tender tongue, lettuce, tomato, and pickles on soft French bread. But don’t knock it until you try it — people line up for this sandwich!
How to order: Via Postmates or in person.

Il Tramezzino
Il Tramezzino
Il Tramezzino

Chicken special panini

Il Tramezzino 
Beverly Hills and Studio City
Some people think a good sandwich is all about the bread, others will argue it’s in the sauce. We’re here to tell you the Chicken Special is a winner on both fronts. Take one bite of the classic pressed sandwich and then immediately wipe your lip because the basil garlic sauce will be oozing out. Succulent chicken breast, sun dried tomatoes, and melted provolone inside a freshly baked pressed Italian baguette make this sandwich perfection and don’t worry, you don’t have to pay extra for avocado, it’s already included.
How to order: Via Seamless, UberEats, or ChowNow.

Ggiata Delicatessen
Ggiata Delicatessen
Ggiata Delicatessen

The Spicy P

Ggiata
Pico-Union
You can’t go wrong with any of the sandwiches at Ggiata, but the Spicy P is our first choice. It’s a twist on the classic chicken Parmesan smothered with a spicy vodka sauce, fresh mozzarella, and grated Romano on a seeded baguette. Ggiata is the brainchild of four childhood friends who wanted to bring their East Coast deli memories to the West Coast. They don’t take orders over the phone but they do deliver to most areas in LA.
How to order: Via Chownow

LA Street Pastrami

Dan’s Super Subs
Woodland Hills
You’ve probably never heard of this place because it’s deep in the Valley, like real deep. But if you want a good ol’ fashioned sub sandwich, from a tiny hole-in-the-wall spot that locals love, then Dan’s Super Subs is your spot. The LA Street Pastrami is so good it’s worth making the drive over the 405. It comes with pastrami, cheese, bacon, grilled onions, jalapenos, and a spicy homemade Baja sauce.¬†
How to order: Via Doordash, Postmates, or Grubhub

Pizzana
Pizzana
Pizzana

The Padrino

Pizzana 
Brentwood and West Hollywood
You might be thinking, LA can’t handle another Godfather sandwich. But once you’ve had The Padrino (which means Godfather in Italian), you’ll realize there’s room for more than one Godfather in this town. The Padrino is a meat lover’s dream, made with two pounds of prosciutto cotto and spicy soppressata, layered with pepperoncinis, provolone, Calabrian slaw, tomatoes, pickles, and aioli on housemade ciabatta. It weighs about as much as a newborn so you’ll probably eat half of the sandwich and save the other half to use as weights later.¬†
How to order: Via ChowNow

The Turkey Pesto

Uncle Paulie’s Deli
West Hollywood
Cold-cut gourmet sandwiches are the name of the game at this classic Italian-American deli. The Turkey Pesto is one of the best sellers and for good reason. Served on a plain or sesame baguette, the Italian-style sandwich is piled high with meat and slathered with homemade pesto sauce. All the sandwiches are inspired by New York delis but with a California flair, taking advantage of the abundant local produce. 
How to order: Via Chownow

Potato Chips Deli
Potato Chips Deli
Potato Chips Deli

Caprese

Potato Chips Deli
Culver City and Beverly Grove
Sometimes a simple, no-frills sandwich is what you’re craving and the caprese at Potato Chips Deli is just that: Creamy burrata, tomato, basil, oil and vinegar, served on ciabatta bread. They just opened a new location in Culver City and they’re open for pick-up, delivery and outdoor seating.
How to order: Via UberEats, Postmates, or Doordash

Sweet n Spicy Salami

E Stretto 
Downtown
The sweet n spicy salami is like a cheese plate in a sandwich made with Genoa salami, homemade spiced Calabrian honey, and parmesan cheese. Restaurateurs Joel Miller and David Fernie wanted to pay homage to the former panini shop they took over so they decided to open up an Italian-inspired deli (with locations in both LA and NY). They offer nine different sandwiches like the Ill Papa, turkey pesto, roast beef, and prosciutto di parma but the one common ingredient among all of the sandwiches is the ciabatta roll from Bread Lounge. Also, keep an eye out for the meatball sandwich which only makes an appearance every few months.
How to order: Via Caviar, Grubhub, or Postmates

#3 Soppressata Salami

Larchmont Village Wine & Cheese
Larchmont Village
Larchmont Village folks have loved this family-owned wine shop and deli for years. Salami, Manchego cheese, and a sun dried tomato spread on your choice of freshly baked ciabatta or baguette for $9 is a steal — valet parking in LA costs more than this sandwich. Pair it with a bottle of chilled ros√© and you’re ready for a summer picnic. They currently offer takeout-only sandwiches from 11am-5pm Monday through Saturday.¬†
How to order: Via Doordash or in person

Eggslut
Eggslut
Eggslut

The Fairfax

Eggslut 
Downtown 
Sure, it’s greasy but it’s damn good. It’s also a great way to start your morning. Soft-scrambled eggs, chives, cheddar cheese, grilled onions, and of course, sriracha mayo fill a warm brioche bun and it’s only $8.25. They have locations all over LA but the Grand Central Market location is the OG.¬†
How to order: Via UberEats or in person

Langer's Delicatessen-Restaurant
Langer’s Delicatessen-Restaurant
Langer’s Delicatessen-Restaurant

#19 pastrami sandwich

Langer’s¬†¬†¬†
MacArthur Park 
Langer’s #19 pastrami sandwich is pretty legendary in this town and it doesn’t need much introduction. It comes with thick cuts of juicy pastrami, Swiss cheese, and a Russian-style cole slaw dressing in between two slices of rye bread.¬†
How to order: Postmates, UberEats, Caviar, or Doordash

Porchetta Melt

Gjusta 
Venice 
Before you try this hot mess of a sandwich you should be prepared to circle the block for 15 minutes just to find parking, elbow your way through the Venice hipsters to get your order in but only after you get a few eye rolls from the guy behind the counter impatiently taking your order, and then dish out $20 for a small sandwich (no sides included). Then, be prepared to come back again next week and do it all over again because somehow Gjusta has that effect on you. The Porchetta Melt is made with tantalizing porchetta, melted fontina cheese, onions, and rapini — a very fancy, Gjusta way of saying broccoli rabe.¬†
How to order: Via ToastTab or UberEats

The Los Angeles Banh Mi Company
The Los Angeles Banh Mi Company
The Los Angeles Banh Mi Company

Roasted Pork Banh Mi 

The Los Angeles Banh Mi Company
Huntington Park
We’d be remiss not to include at least one banh mi sandwich on this list and the roasted pork at The Los Angeles Banh Mi Company is stupid good. Slow roasted pork shoulder is the star ingredient in this savory sandwich and the Korean style pickles, carrots and daikon also add a solid crunch. The sandwich also comes with a side of fried shrimp but the best part? The sandwich is only $7.50.
How to order: Via Seamless or UberEats.

DA Special

Eastside Market Italian Deli   
Chinatown 
This sandwich is a mountain of meat and a total savage. It’s like merging four-in-one — sausage, meatballs, roast beef, and pastrami. The deli has been around over 90 years so they know a thing or two about meat. Come hungry because it’s a hefty meal but you can do it. We have faith in you.
How to order: Via GrubHub or UberEats

Cemita

Los Poblanos or Cemitas Tepeaca Puebla
Boyle Heights
This food truck turned restaurant has been serving up cemitas in Boyle Heights since ‚Äė91. What’s a cemita, you ask? If a burger and a sandwich had a baby you get a cemita that is served on a seeded bun, with avocado slices, cheese, jalape√Īos, and onions. If you see Oaxacan cheese and papalo on the menu, don’t think twice, add it on. There are 25 different combinations of this sandwich but we’ll save you the time and tell you that the Milaneza beef is what you should order.¬†
How to order: In personSign up here for our daily LA email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun Los Angeles has to offer.

Leila Najafi is a contributor for Thrillist. 

Los Angeles

How to Spend a Weekend in Topanga Canyon

Nature and the arts collide in this beloved canyon community.

Hanan Isachar/Corbis Documentary/Getty Images
Hanan Isachar/Corbis Documentary/Getty Images
Hanan Isachar/Corbis Documentary/Getty Images

Situated in the Santa Monica Mountains and known for its vibrant creative community, Topanga is one of Los Angeles’s most prized destinations for art and outdoor enthusiasts alike. And while LA boasts its own sprawling landscape of fun to tap into, you’d be remiss to miss a chance to explore this tucked-away collection of state parks, and cafes, and restaurants-especially when it all rests just 20 minutes away from the city. From a quaint caf√© with dazzling canyon views to a world-renowned, open-air theatre, here are the best ways to pass some time in Topanga now.

Photo courtesy of Inn of the Seventh Ray
Photo courtesy of Inn of the Seventh Ray
Photo courtesy of Inn of the Seventh Ray

Friday

Book dinner at Inn of the Seventh Ray
Owner Lucille Yaney opened this iconic restaurant in 1975 after spotting the property on a drive through the canyon with her late husband Ralph, and it’s safe to say she had a good eye. The land perfectly fits into Yaney’s vision of a romantic, alfresco dining space with tables tucked into cozy nooks and gazebos, all beneath canapes and fairy lights. Today, Yaney co-owns the venue with executive chef consultant Brad Miller. Together, they continue to fulfil the restaurant’s original mission to serve pure, natural foods reflective of the season’s best. That approach appears in dishes like 8-Hour Black Vinegar Braised Short Rib with creamy rosemary polenta, duck bacon Brussels sprouts, and caramelized onion and fig jam; Roasted Mushroom Toast with oyster mushrooms and sherry tarragon cream; and Beets & Whipped Black Pepper Creme Fraiche. Consider the carbs here. Pastas and sauces are made in-house and from scratch, as is the bread (available regular or gluten-free), an order of which you won’t want to miss. Check out the wine list, too, which offers a robust organic and biodynamic selection that has helped the restaurant garner some impressive accolades in recent years.

Check into Topanga Canyon Inn
In addition to plenty of excellent Airbnbs available to rent in the Canyon, there’s Topanga Canyon Inn, a charming bed and breakfast comprised of two Mediterranean-style buildings-Casa Blanca and Casa Rosa-both built by the owners. Guests can enjoy bespoke design details in each room, along with gorgeous mountain views from their own private balcony. Come morning, join other travellers for breakfast, served daily at Casa Rosa.

Saturday

Get coffee at Café on 27
Ready your camera for a coffee date at this AM eatery and caf√©, where ample (and busy) outdoor seating offers some of the Canyon’s best views. A full breakfast and lunch menu is available (complete with hearty orders like eggs Benedicts, soups, and club sandwiches), but for lighter morning fare, spring for a pastry and any of their specialty drinks, such as the turmeric latte or Moroccan mocha.

Bradley Allen Murrell/Shutterstock
Bradley Allen Murrell/Shutterstock
Bradley Allen Murrell/Shutterstock

Hike Topanga State Park
Spanning 11,000 acres and 36 miles of trails, Topanga State Park is the largest state park within the Santa Monica Mountains and one of the world’s largest parks within city limits. Visitors can access the grounds via more than 60 entrances. Once on the trails, enjoy sweeping vistas while exploring the region’s range of plants, habitats, and wildlife, including several resident bird species.

Grab lunch at Topanga Living Café
Guided by their Topanga upbringing and need for a community gathering spot with great eats, sibling team Agustina Ferguson and Bayu Suryawan opened this daytime eatery in 2016. Ever since, locals and visitors have found refuge in the caf√©’s warm, airy space and nourishing, hyper-fresh fare-all California-inspired with global influences. Check it out in plates like the Island Style, a breakfast salad with Balinese corn fritters, a poached egg, and house-made chilli jam, or the tacos (Baja Fish or Baja Shrimp, Carne Asada, or Kabocha Squash), made-to-order and served on handmade tortillas. If you’re seeking something shareable, try the Farmers Market Crudite, a seemingly humble order whose bright beet hummus reminds us that eating your vegetables is, indeed, very cool. And take a drink to-go. The team here takes great pride in their coffee (organic espresso, courtesy of their iconic pink La Marzocco machine) and a lineup of made-to-order smoothies, juices, and teas. Shop your way through town
Visitors can stroll through the town centre’s most popular shops for various fun finds, including Moona Star, Pebbles, and Topanga Homegrown. Be sure to stock up on specialty, local snacks at Canyon Gourmet and satiate your sweet tooth while you’re at it. The organic soft-serve there is a must. Pro tip: Top it with any of their artisanal syrups for a winning combo, namely, the vanilla with cardamom.

Photo courtesy of Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum
Photo courtesy of Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum
Photo courtesy of Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum

Catch a show at The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum
This beloved open-air theatre has hosted productions for decades and is recognized worldwide for its Shakespeare interpretations. In addition to its annual summer season, which includes works like Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the venue hosts concerts, rehearsals, and classes throughout the year for budding actors and playwrights of all ages.

Snag a slice at Endless Colour
This family-run pizza joint specializes in from-scratch pies with clever topping combinations (think purple potatoes, fontina, and truffle oil in the Purple Molly Potato or spinach, leeks, and goat cheese in the Super Greens). Bring some friends, order a pie or two, and check out the drinks list, which includes offbeat options like orange wines and hard kombucha.

Photo courtesy of The Canyon Bakery
Photo courtesy of The Canyon Bakery
Photo courtesy of The Canyon Bakery

Sunday

Check out The Canyon Bakery’s “Sunday Funday”
Situated on the grounds of the aforementioned Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, this bakery specializes in naturally leavened breads, pastries, cakes, and cookies using locally sourced, whole grain flours. There’s a takeout window on Sundays, from 9:30 am until the bakery sells out. A strong following lines up for favourites, such as whole grain croissants and gluten-free pizza, so be sure to arrive early to get your fill.

Try tacos to-go at La Chingona
On your way out of town, grab some tacos at La Chingona, where a team puts forth fresh, organic, gluten- and dairy-free tacos. Orders range to include options like grass-fed beef (carne asada), shrimp (wild-caught), and soy chorizo and can be fashioned into plates beyond tacos, too (think tostadas, salads, and bowls). Open only on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays; this taco stand sees good demand. Plan accordingly, pending your travels, especially to savour an order or two of the churros.

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Nicole Schnitzler is a contributor for Thrillist.

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