NH’s Ultimate Sandwiches

Find the most delicious sandwiches in the state, from updated American classics to a world of international flavors

What’s a sandwich?

For the purpose of this story, it might be easier to say what it isn’t: It’s not a hamburger, wrap or hot dog. It’s not even a submarine sandwich or a breakfast sandwich, despite the use of the word. Hey, we can’t include the entire realm of sandwiches in this discussion — as it is, when it comes to this list, we may have bitten off a little more than we (or you) can chew.

It’s said that the fourth Earl of Sandwich invented the concept of the sandwich in the 1700s as a way to provide convenient sustenance while he sat at gaming tables for hours on end. To this day, it remains a popular selection for a grab-and-go lunch or satisfying meal that contains the entire food pyramid.

All you need for utensils are your hands. Occasionally, a really great sandwich requires a firm grip with two hands, rolled sleeves and plenty of napkins.

With a diverse immigrant population adding various culinary traditions to our Main Street storefronts plus our own homegrown chefs upping the ante, sandwich permutations abound throughout the state. All we know is that a good sandwich can cure what ails your mind. They are a complete journey, maybe even a shortcut, to faraway lands and gastronomic joy.

What are the basics of a good sandwich?

A good sandwich is made with great bread selected for the specific sandwich, whether it’s a traditional choice or a creative diversion. It’s important that the bread melds well with the interior ingredients. It shouldn’t try to upstage the ingredients it’s embracing.

Housemade bread is always a good start — it’s fresh.

What lies between the slabs of bread can be a mind-bending savory combination of texture, fat, acid and salt. And a good sandwich balances all these extremes. If it’s a grilled sandwich, we can add the wonderful taste of caramelized sugars as butter and oils brown the bread on the flat top.

There always seems to be a tangy pickle accompanying sandwiches, both around the world and in the heart of America. It’s a tradition begun by Jewish immigrants in New York City. The briny vegetable proudly maintains its place aside, atop or inside the handheld glory. It’s the perfect foil for rich meats, oozing cheese and a smörgåsbord of layered happiness

On to the list …

The Esposito at the Nashua Garden

This longtime sandwich standby on Main Street in Nashua offers up super-fresh Boar’s Head meats and breads to make their sports-inspired sandwiches (Green Monster, Foul Ball, Larry Legend, Boggs, etc.).

Consider The Esposito (pictured) with hot capocollo, Genoa salami, mortadella and provolone cheese. Add in your choice of other fillings, such as bacon, sprouts or roasted red pepper, for a slight upcharge.

Finally, settle in with a nice draft beer and dine with the likes of Larry Bird, Fred Lynn and other ’70s-era sports heroes, framed and nailed to the walls.

Get There
The Nashua Garden
121 Main St., Nashua
(603) 886-7363


The Godfather at Sandwich Master Plus


This is the kind of place food dreams are made of. Outrageous combinations include the Sandwich Master Comfort with pulled pork and mac and cheese, plus fried onion rings layered in between. Or try The Godfather, which comes with Italian sausage, homemade meatballs, shaved steak, and grilled onions and peppers. There are numerous combinations using their meatballs, mac and cheese, housemade pulled pork, chicken fingers, onion rings and sloppy Joe. There’s also an option to use two grilled cheese sandwiches as the top and bottom “bread,” stuffed with your choice of fillings. Salads, burgers, pizza and regular sandwiches are available too.

Get There
Sandwich Master Plus
19 Sonja Dr., Rindge
(603) 899-2211


The Italian at The Kitchen


Every sandwich at this shop is a winner. They’re all creative combinations with just the right amount of tangy sauces to meld the ingredients together. The Italian is massive, and the porchetta is a happy marriage of pork loin and pork belly dripping with succulent pesto and Dijon jam.

Get There
The Kitchen
171 Islington St., Portsmouth
(603) 319-8630


The Zamboa at Biederman’s Deli and Pub

This deli-in-a-bar is a college town staple that keeps locals and travelers alike coming back again and again. Their sub sandwiches are legendary, and the secret is in the toasted buns — these starting points for the famous ’Boas are slathered with garlic and butter. The Zamboa melds thinly sliced buffalo chicken breast with mozzarella, red onions, leafy green lettuce and three strips of bacon, and is finished with a hot sauce and a blue cheese dressing. The turkey pileup combines thinly sliced smoked turkey and roast beef with jalapeño havarti, red onions, bacon, and their own BBQ sauce on an onion roll. How can 40 years of college students be wrong?

Get There
Biederman’s Deli & Pub
83 Main St., Plymouth
(603) 536-3354


Inventive Chicken Sandwiches at Umami Farm Fresh Café

Umami is a hipster hideout with mismatched furniture set in an old farmhouse that excels at unique sandwich invention. Check out the chalkboard for available options, many of which are burgers, but all of those can be transformed into their Korean fried chicken sandwich version. The menu changes often, but ingredients have included short ribs and caramelized onions, pork belly with a local fried egg or “karaway kraut” with the “fancy sauce.” Be sure to add the truffled shoestring fries. Find more inventive Asian influence in the wok-fried rice and even a bánh mì hot dog. The blackboard also lists all their local farm sources, including their own. A good place to start? Pictured here is chicken ’n dumplins with Korean fried chicken, smashed pork, leek dumplings and scallion mayo on a sesame roll.

Get There
Umami Farm Fresh Café
284 1st New Hampshire Turnpike
Northwood
(603) 942-6427


The Special at The Sunrise Shack


Well-known for their blueberry pancakes and creative French toast, this roadside café also takes great pride in their off-the-charts sandwiches using, in many cases, local Vintage Baking Company breads. Specials change daily, but think pastrami dripping with beer cheese, house-roasted turkey with lemon watercress mayo or Cajun steak with a layer of griddled mac and cheese. Pair it with the soup special, a locally brewed beer and seize the day.

Get There
The Sunrise Shack
644 White Mountain Hwy., Glen
(603) 383-7169


Ham and Cheese at the Harrisville General Store


The residents of Harrisville are very lucky. Their local corner store accommodates just about any foodie whim — a nice cheese selection, craft beer, Mayfair Farm maple syrup, frozen lobster meat and inviting homemade cookies in glass jars. And then there’s the deli case. The short case is well-stocked (if you come early) with inviting salads, desserts and, of course, sandwiches. The ham and cheese sandwich is extraordinary, thanks to a thick layer of Brie cheese, thin-sliced ham, pickled red onions and a whole village of French cornichons. It’s all held together between a nice baguette, reportedly imported from New York.

Get There
Harrisville General Store
29 Church St., Harrisville
(603) 827-3138


Globally Inspired

Take a trip around the world without leaving the state.

STRET

Mexican

From the heart of Mexico comes a torta featuring its own eponymous bun, the cemita. At STREET, find a crispy fried chicken thigh mingled with pickled red onion, avocado and a few leaves of cilantro, all topped with a chipotle mayo sandwiched inside the signature soft sesame seed bun.

Get There
STREET
801 Islington St., Portsmouth
(603) 436-0860


Tuscan Kitchen

Italian

A good sandwich starts with great bread. Tuscan Kitchen and Market make their own rustic Italian loaves that have just the right about of chew, softness and crust. With a nice array of imported salami and roasted tomatoes, their Italian sandwich starts at a cut above.

Get There
Tuscan Kitchen & Market
67 Main St., Salem
581 Lafayette Rd., Portsmouth


Main Street Gyros

Greek

Try the lamb gyro on pita with fresh lamb from the spit, a nice garlicky tatziki sauce and Greek-seasoned French fries.

Get There
Main Street Gyros
215 Main St., Nashua
(603) 579-0666


Earth’s Harvest Kitchen & Juicery

Middle Eastern

Chef and owner George Bezanson takes it to the limit with beautifully presented sandwiches, delightful sweets and powerful juices. The Ali Baba features smoked turkey, roasted garlic hummus, whipped and spiced feta, vine-ripe tomato, shaved onion, alfalfa sprouts, baby lettuce and tahini on house-made sourdough bread. It’s peace on Earth, or at least in your mouth for the next 20 minutes.

Get There
Earth’s Harvest Kitchen & Juicery
835 Central Ave., Dover
(603) 516-7600


Habibi Mediterranean Café

Middle Eastern

Enjoy traditional falafel (deep-fried balls made from ground chickpeas) with parsley, garlic, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and spices served with tahini, all wrapped in a soft, warm pita bread. What could be a more flavorful experience without meat!

Get There
Habibi Mediterranean Café
2968 Lafayette Rd., Portsmouth


XO On Elm

Venezuelan

Chef Leonardo of Venezuela brought a host of new international options to this Elm Street mainstay.

Try the arepas, which come with a variety of fillings for a great international sandwich that’s also gluten-free (they’re made with corn flour).

Venezuelans have savored this popular street food for centuries, and now it might just catch on in New Hampshire.

Get There
XO On Elm
827 Elm St., Manchester
(603) 560-7998


The Tavern at the Bedford Village Inn

French

The new tavern renovation at the Bedford Village Inn makes a casual, but upscale dining experience all the more approachable. Try the classic French dip with slow-roasted Niman Ranch beef, a layer of white cheese, peppery arugula and a garlic aioli for the bind that ties.

Get There
The Tavern at the Bedford Village Inn
2 Olde Bedford Way, Bedford
(603) 472-2001


Dixie Blues Restaurant & Bar

Cajun

Chef Chris Noble, the former chef of the shuttered bluAqua Restaurant & Bar in Amherst, is originally from New Orleans. Now at his new venture, he’s finally able to strut his stuff. Find his Cajun cuisine here, including jambalaya, oyster po’ boys and a muffuletto sandwich — the signature sandwich of New Orleans created by Italian immigrants. It includes olive relish, plus carefully arranged layers of Genoa salami, mortadella, provolone and Swiss cheese. The bread used here is not the traditional large, round loaf, but is similar in texture and sweetness. The Manchester location of Dixie Blues is expected to open in April and will offer variations on this menu.

Get There
Dixie Blues Restaurant & Bar
345 Amherst St., Nashua


Noodz

Chinese

This new fast-serve restaurant makes both their own ramen noodles and bao buns. The latter are the Chinese version of a sandwich with raised dough that is steamed to finish.

Noodz takes the bun up another step with a nice, rich pork belly slab, along with pickled vegetables for a perfect blend of richness and tang.

Pair it with a beer from a nice selection of local brews.

Get There
Noodz
968 Elm St., Manchester
(603) 836-5878


Saigon Sandwich

Vietnamese

The French left their influence in Vietnam with the classic bánh mì, which is served on a crusty baguette.

At Saigon Sandwich, Vietnamese chefs (former owners of the Vietnam Noodle House), put together a beauty of a sandwich with a rich pork pâté and roast pork, while the pickled carrots and cucumbers add just the right bite and stems of cilantro make it the real deal.

Get There
Saigon Sandwich
241 Main St., Nashua
(603) 598-4700


All-American

Classic favorites taken up a notch

Beef Sandwich

Buckley’s Bakery & Café


When you start with good bread, the rest is almost easy. The deli case at this bakery and café is filled with sandwiches ready to heat in a panini press. The steak and pub cheese has tasty beef with caramelized onions, red bell and jalapeño pepper cheese for a tiny bit of heat on French country white bread. It works!

Get There
Buckley’s Bakery & Café
436 Daniel Webster Hwy., Merrimack
9 Market Place, Hollis


BLT

Squam Lake Marketplace

How many general stores sport a chandelier? The basic BLT is made with wonderfully hearty bread, local bacon and a nice tomato. Don’t forget a sampling of cookies made by the owner’s mother.

Get There
Squam Lake Marketplace
(Seasonal, opens in April)
863 Route 3, Holderness
(603) 968-8588


The Everyday Café & Pub

Here’s one of these wonderfully ambitious cafés that’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and takes pride in serving local food to the local folks. The BLT is made with maple syrup candied bacon, lettuce and tomato on locally made bread. This is a fun spot with a lot of heart that also serves only local beer.

14 Maple St., Contoocook
theeverydaycafenh.com


Grilled Cheese

The Current

With pulled pork and oozing cheese, the grilled cheese is one of the best choices at The Current, the new restaurant inside the recently rebranded DoubleTree by Hilton (the former Radisson). It also comes with a cup of tomato soup. A nice renovation includes a new bar, and booth and couch seating, all with plenty of USB ports.

Get There
The Current
DoubleTree by Hilton
700 Elm St., Manchester


The Gypsy Café

This Lincoln hotspot’s Italian duck grilled cheese sandwich turns a common item to a special occasion meal. This upscale spin on a classic has pulled duck, basil aioli, fig jam and jack cheese for a rich, savory sandwich with a sweet touch. For an appetizer, try the Best of NH Editor’s Pick grilled cheese fondue with cubes of bacon Brie grilled cheese sandwiches with an ancho-apricot dipping sauce.

Get There
The Gypsy Café
117 Main St., Lincoln
(603) 745-4395


Reuben

Roots at
Robie’s General Store

Josh and Amber Enright have a long history of perfecting the sandwich. Josh started at Seedling Café in Nashua, and Amber began at the beloved but now-closed Jewell & The Beanstalk in Manchester.

The historic Robie’s General Store is filled with memorabilia gleaned from the political hopefuls at this well-trod whistle-stop.

Enjoy a juicy Reuben with the likes of Jack Kennedy, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.

Get There
Roots
Robie’s General Store
9 Riverside St., Hooksett
(603) 485-7761


Fried Chicken

Sea Dog Brewing Co.

This Maine-based brewery has two charming bar and restaurant locations in North Conway and Exeter. The pickle-brined fried chicken sandwich is the one to savor with excellent crispy fries and, of course, a long pull of Sea Dog’s blueberry wheat ale.

Get There
Sea Dog Brewing Co.
1976 White Mountain Hwy., North Conway
(603) 356-0590
9 Water St., Exeter
(603) 793-5116


Lakehouse Tavern

This new restaurant in the former Tavern 5 spot offers casual dining downstairs in the pub and relaxed dining with white tablecloths on the main level.

Lakeside dining on the deck is perfect during warm weather.

The Bird Man sandwich is a beauty with two versions of bird — their own roasted turkey breast topped with fried chicken and lettuce, onion and tomato with mayo on a brioche roll.

Lakehouse Tavern
157 Main St., Hopkinton
(603) 746-1800


Club Sandwich

The Bob House and The Reel ’N Tavern

The beauty of the club is that third slice of bread that helps lift and separate. All the sandwiches are supersized here, from the Bob House club and the Tavern Reuben with house-made corned beef to the Auger with black pastrami, onions, mushrooms, BBQ sauce and provolone on grilled rye bread. The grilled cheese is loaded with bacon and tomato. All are pretty easy to try on for size.

Get There
The Bob House and The Reel ’N Tavern
520 Whittier Hwy., Moultonborough
(603) 253-1025


PB&J

Great Harvest Bread Co.


Maybe Elvis had it right all along. There is nothing better than a PB&J, and it’s better yet when built on good bread. The bread here is made daily from flour that’s ground on-site. The Gorilla has banana slices, all-natural peanut butter and a sprinkling of their own granola. To make it Elvis-style, add a slice of bacon and jam. It’s all spread between two thick slices of their cinnamon chip bread, or choose any of their other varieties. The whole thing is finally toasted for a crispy, sweet and mellow experience.

Get There
Great Harvest Bread Co.
4 Sunapee St., Nashua
(603) 881-4422


For Dietry Needs

Breadless

Luca’s Mediterranean Café


If you’re avoiding carbs or looking for gluten-free options, the pulled lamb lettuce wrap here has all the satisfaction of a “real” sandwich, but not the carbo-load of bread. Find a taste of the Middle East with the additions of tzatziki sauce, pickled red onions and feta cheese.

Get There
Luca’s Mediterranean Café
10 Central Square, Keene
(603) 358-3335


Vegetarian

Pressed Café

This well-run café now has three locations (two in New Hampshire and one in Massachusetts) that all offer fantastic service and a plethora of options for pressed ciabatta sandwiches. For vegetarians, consider the Sabich, which has grilled eggplant, hummus, hard-boiled egg, cucumber slices, Roma tomatoes, Amba sauce and a tahini and lemon drizzle. You won’t miss the meat. There are also four paninis for vegans too.

Get There
Pressed Café
108 Spit Brook Rd., Nashua
(603) 718-1250
3 Cotton Rd., Nashua
(603) 402-1003


Vegan

The Local Moose Café

Keep it light with locally sourced, thinly sliced veggies with a red pepper hummus all sitting pretty on a house-made baguette. Go on a Saturday or Sunday and indulge in a frosted, freshly made raised donut.The menu has a number of tasty sandwiches for all types, from vegan and vegetarian options (the tofu bánh mì is a nice twist) to a meat-lover’s Cubano.

Get There
The Local Moose Café
124 Queen City Ave., Manchester
(603) 232-2669


Gluten-Free Five StarsHighly rated by the Find Me Gluten Free app

Looking for a good gluten-free sandwich? Give these locations a try.

Categories: Features, Food & Drink

More:

Comments

comments