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Bread Winners: The 50 Best Sandwiches in South Jersey

by Erica Bauwens, Matt Cosentino and Peter Proko; Photo by Michael Persico

You could say that we are gluttons for punishment. How else would you explain our desire to spend the better part of a year traveling around eating hundreds and hundreds of sandwiches? We suffer for our readers, of course, all in an effort to bring you our choices for some of the most amazing things since, well, sliced bread.

You’ll find no cheesesteaks on this list and that was intentional. While we love them as much as the next person, they belong in their own category. So, here we celebrate the 50 best, from gut-busting Italian hoagies to traditional Korean barbecue.
Better grab some extra napkins.

MUFFULETTA at Marino’s of Mullica Hill
This sandwich is to New Orleans what the cheese-steak is to Philly. Although often served cold, Anthony Marino instead turns the combination of mortadella, salami, ham, mild provolone and Sicilian olive salad into a Panini with toasted foccacia bread.

EL CAPITAN at Phil’s Deli and Market in Cherry Hill
This always-buzzing spot is popular with the lunch crowd, and on most days you’ll find the place’s namesake behind the counter crafting quality sandwiches that aren’t afraid to skew from the norm. Our go-to bite has got to be this concoction of chicken salad made on the premises, mozzarella and roasted red peppers. Of course, what would a sandwich be without the addition of some crispy bacon?

SOUTHWESTERN WILD FIRE at Dad’s Deli in Marlton
Tucked behind a Rita’s Water Ice on North Maple Avenue, this unassuming spot with an overly friendly family atmosphere has some of the tastiest (and well-portioned) sandwiches around. Choosing just one was hard, but this spicy specialty is served up with Santé Fe turkey, pepper jack cheese and the pièce de résistance: fried long hots.

VALERIE’S VENDETTA at Don Franco’s in Washington Township
Each specialty sandwich at Don Franco’s gets a unique name to help separate it from the pack. We don’t know what started Valerie’s feud, but we hope she doesn’t settle it anytime soon because we’re suckers for this prosciutto, mozzarella, plum tomatoes, basil, mixed greens and balsamic vinegar hoagie.

FRENCH DIP at Jake’s on the Bypass in Washington Township
We recognized Jake’s last summer for their sliced salmon steak sandwich. Then, someone told us to try the French dip. The key ingredient here is the homemade roast beef, tender as baby fat and packed with flavor that you won’t soon forget. Top it off with some provolone and horseradish and pass the au jus.

HOT BRISKET AND CORNED BEEF at Short Hills Deli in Cherry Hill
The booths at this Jewish-style deli are seemingly always packed with hungry diners ready to chow down. Our advice? Skip breakfast and the complimentary pickles and save room for this behemoth. The meat is piled high enough that you may want to enlist a partner to help you finish.

ROAST PORK at Gia Nina’s in Woodbury
Our area may be synonymous with the cheesesteak, but true locals will tell you the roast pork and the chicken cutlet are the preferred choice. At Gia Nina’s, the slow roasted meat is enhanced with sharp provolone and the bite of fresh broccoli rabe (or spinach if you prefer). You can get this style of sandwich lots of places, but few, if any, serve it on their own freshly baked homemade bread.

CHOO CHOO MA’S FAVORITE at Melinda’s Gourmet Specialty Deli in Washington Township
When we heard about this sandwich with honey ham, honey turkey, havarti cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion and honey mustard, we were intrigued. When we found out it was served on a croissant, we ordered another one.

GRILLED CAPPY at Abbruzzi and Giunta’s in Mount Laurel
We’ve told you before how a trip to Abbruzzi and Giunta’s is like taking a stroll through Philly’s Italian Market minus the parking headaches and those burning trashcans. Just the smell of those various imported meats and cheeses makes our mouth water, which is why we’re fond of this capicola, fresh homemade mozzarella and roasted peppers delight.

PASTRAMI HOAGIE at Carmen’s Deli in Bellmawr
What can we say about Carmen’s that hasn’t been said already? This is an institution for many locals who remain fiercely loyal, including former Food Network host and Camden native Aaron McCargo. Here, “very lean” pastrami is stuffed into a hoagie roll, making for a simple, yet satisfying, bite that would make any deli worth their salt proud.

NO. 2 at Croce’s in Cherry Hill
It may be No. 2 on their menu, but when it comes to Croce’s, this sandwich is No. 1 with us. Homemade roasted peppers are generously layered into a roll serving as the foundation for fresh, milky mozzarella and sliced-to-order prosciutto.

DLJ at The Apron in Haddonfield
This haven for slow-cooked wonders also cranks out some memorable sandwiches—this turkey meatloaf jewel in particular. Topped with caramelized onions, a hot pepper mayonnaise and bacon, it’s comfort food you can eat with your hands.

AU SAUMON at Miel Patisserie in Cherry Hill
The reaction around the office when we picked this one? Lots of people didn’t know this place also made sandwiches. Well, the secret’s out of the bag. This bistro-worthy bite consists of both smoked salmon and salmon mousse and finished with chives, capers, diced hard-boiled egg and housed inside two slices of pumpernickel.

PEPPY at The Sicilian Deli in Woodbury
For those who appreciate a little kick to their sandwiches, look no further. Just the right amount of spice shines through thanks to pepper turkey and pepper ham mingling with—what else—pepper jack cheese and made complete with iceberg lettuce, tomato, onions, olive oil and red wine vinegar.

KOAGIE at Sammy Chon’s KTown BBQ in Cherry Hill
Korean barbecue is some pretty amazing stuff. Here, you get your choice of beef bulgogi (marinated beef), chicken, spicy pork and even fish to go inside a seeded Liscio’s roll full of sesame coleslaw that provides texture and balance to this truly wonderful sandwich that has been recognized nationally and thoroughly enjoyed locally.

NO. 13 at The Hogback Deli in Bordentown
When we were kids, we knew this sandwich as a corned beef special, and at The Hogback, boy do they make it special. Corned beef, pastrami and Swiss cheese with coleslaw and Russian dressing make for a timeless classic, and one that has us returning to The Hogback over and over.

PECAN CHICKEN SALAD at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Maple Shade
Let’s be honest: We frequent Iron Hill for their quality craft brews, but we prefer more than just a liquid lunch when we visit. One of our favorite menu items hands down is this homemade chicken salad infused with Granny Smith apples and served with lettuce and a sinfully sweet cranberry chutney on whole wheat bread.

CRAB CAKE SANDWICH at Grabbe’s Seafood Restaurant and Crab House in Westville
Walking into this Westville spot, you expect to see Guy Fieri filming a segment for Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. It might not look like much, but you won’t find better crabs in South Jersey. Try the crabcake sandwich; it’s fried to perfection, with lump crab meat and absolutely zero filler.

BRONZED GROUPER at Carolina Blue Smokehouse and Taproom in Pitman
Grouper is one of our favorite fishes and too often underrated in our opinion. At Carolina Blue, where they specialize in house-smoked barbecue using peachwood, they treat the fish with the respect it deserves. Delicate and delicious, it’s an ideal choice for even the most discerning pescetarian.

TUSCAN PANINI at Rexy’s in West Collingswood Heights
We used to love the chicken parm sandwich here, but sadly it’s no longer on the menu. We’ve gotten over the loss thanks to this delectable replacement. Grilled chicken, provolone cheese, spinach, tomatoes and balsamic dressing are the key ingredients, but it’s the kalamata olive tapenade that really makes this sandwich sing.

ROAST BEEF HOAGIE at Liscio’s Bakery in Washington Township
Many area shops proudly use Liscio’s fresh-baked rolls, including some on this list. It turns out the source actually makes some palatable hoagies in their own right. This simple staple is not flashy, but it’s a quality option whether you’re tailgating in the Eagles parking lot or just tired of all those Wawa touch screens.

HAM AND TURKEY PESTO at Honey Baked Ham Co. in Marlton
Many folks flock here for their holiday hams, but it’s also an above average place for an afternoon nosh. Ham and smoked turkey breast are the stars, but the red onion adds a sweetness while the pesto aioli adds a rich flavor profile that comes full circle when it’s slid in between slices of multigrain flatbread.

CHICKEN DIABLO at Primo Hoagies in Marlton
This well-known chain offers a variety of tremendous Italian hoagies, but if you’re in the mood for a bolder choice, try one of their diablo sandwiches. This chicken number is a blend of fresh cutlets, buffalo cheese and multiple spices which bring plenty of heat.

THE SOPRANO at New York Italian Deliin Glassboro
Owner and former New Yorker “Roberto” serves up just about any sandwich you can imagine, even if it’s not on his menu. One of our favorites is the Soprano, a combination of delicious fried eggplant, homemade mozzarella and roasted peppers mixed in blue cheese dressing on your choice of a plain or seeded roll.

CHICKEN GIUSEPPE at Pal Joey’s Deli in Sewell
This legendary Gloucester County spot closes at 6 p.m. during the week and 5 p.m. on Saturday, so make sure you get there early. You can’t go wrong with any of their hoagie selections, but the chicken Giuseppe stands out on the hot menu. Chicken cutlets and sharp provolone are topped with fresh bruschetta on a Sarcone’s roll.

THE GODFATHER at Rastelli’s Market Fresh in Deptford
Just like Vito Corleone, this loaded hoagie is straight out of Sicily. Rastelli’s, a Deptford landmark, piles on dry hot and sweet capicola, hot and sweet sopressata, sharp provolone and roasted peppers on a seeded roll. It’s topped off with oregano and cracked Sicilian olives to make this specialty hoagie an offer you can’t … well, you know.

CHICAGO’S BURNING at WilJax in Haddon Heights
WilJax boasts an incredible selection. One we love is listed on the menu under a section titled “The Devil Made Me Do It,” and you’ll be glad you made the deal for this spicy sandwich. It features imported ham, hot capicola and pepper jack cheese topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, spices, oil and balsamic vinegar.

Whatever you might be in the mood for, you’re likely to find it at Amato Brothers. Included on the menu are three different meatball sandwiches, including meatball parm, meatballs in red gravy and Christine’s, which comes with provolone cheese and long hots, sans the sauce.

MOUNT HOLLY MELT at Robin’s Nest Restaurant in Mount Holly
Chef Robin Winzinger is one of the area’s most consistent cooks. We love her ode to Mount Holly—chicken salad comprised of white meat chicken, onions, celery and Mandarin oranges dressed with a dill mayo. Add melted cheddar and fresh sourdough bread and you have one fitting tribute any town would wear like a badge of honor.

TOP OF THE ROUND ROAST BEEF at Schileen’s Pub in Westville
This rollicking pub has typical bar fare as well as several traditional Irish selections. But it’s probably best-known for the top of the round roast beef sandwich, a heaping pile of tender beef with your choice of provolone, American or Swiss cheese on a round roll. Top it off with gravy or horseradish sauce and you can see why they’ve sold more than 200,000 of these delicious sandwiches.

This is a new addition to the menu at the five South Jersey locations of Ott’s, and we’re hoping it’s here to stay. A generous heaping of tender, thinly-sliced prime rib is topped with sautéed onions and provolone cheese and housed inside a Kaiser roll.

ROSA’S VEGGIE SANDWICH at Jersey Joe’s in West Berlin
Roasted red peppers and sweet peppers are mixed with a generous mound of sautéed spinach and onion, then topped with sharp provolone cheese. Jersey Joe fans rave about the freshly baked, seeded rolls’ crispy exterior and pillowy center.

THE KITCHEN SINK at DiPascale’s in Pennsauken
This unassuming mini-mart has serious attitude. Sliced turkey and prosciutto is topped with sautéed broccoli rabe, roasted red peppers and both sharp provolone and mozzarella and served on a fresh baked seeded hoagie roll.

CHIPOTLE PORK SANDWICH at District 611 in Riverton
D611 may have earned a reputation for their pizzas, but when lunch time rolls around, it’s their selection of sandwiches that catch our attention. In this instance, slow-cooked Berkshire pork is served on toasted white bread slathered with a healthy serving of chipotle mayo, then finished off with crispy Bibb lettuce and pickled onions.

SMOKED HAM SANDWICH at Whistlers Inn in Cinnaminson
This sloppy sandwich starts in Whistlers’ backyard smokehouse, where the cooks slow smoke juicy ham for hours before slicing it thin, slathering it in their specialty, house-made barbecue sauce, and slapping it on a Kaiser roll.

PASTRAMI REUBEN at The Kibitz Room in Cherry Hill
The minds behind this traditional New York-style Jewish deli take sandwiches seriously. That means over-the-top portions of hand cut, juicy pastrami cooked until it practically melts in your mouth, piled sky high on rye bread with coleslaw, Swiss and Russian dressing. Combine that with free rein of the deli’s hand-prepared pickle bar and you have plenty of leftovers.

SHORT RIB SANDWICH at P.J. Whelihan’s Pub in Maple Shade
There’s more to sports snacking than the basic wings. Take PJ’s Asian-fusion creation, which slathers shredded short ribs in a tangy Korean barbecue sauce, then adds a hearty slice of Vermont cheddar cheese on a fresh baked long torpedo roll.

ULTIMATE GRILLED CHEESE at the High Street Grill in Mount Holly
Don’t expect the grilled cheese you grew up with at the High Street Grill. The chef starts with your choice of either Parmesan-crusted wheat or rye bread and fresh sliced tomato, then melts layers of smoked cheddar, pepper jack and Maytag bleu cheeses together. The hand-sliced root vegetable chips served on the side are another grown-up touch to one of our favorite childhood staples.

OVEN ROASTED PORK at DiNics in West Collingswood Heights
The DiNic’s Reading Terminal location has become a tourist destination after earning national foodie credit for their low and slow roast pork sandwiches. The family uses a recipe that’s been passed down over centuries, so you don’t need much more than roast pork on their Italian roll, but if you’re looking for some extra Italian-inspired flavor, try adding sharp provolone and spicy broccoli rabe.

BAR-B-Q CHICKEN BLT at Nixon’s General Store in Tabernacle
The General Store has been a staple in Tabernacle for more than 160 years. But we’re pretty sure the original owners never had anything like this BLT on their menu, which reinvents the standard bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich by using thinly sliced barbecue chicken, honey mustard and cheddar cheese, as well.

HAWAIIAN CHICKEN at Balsamo’s Pizza in Lindenwold
South Jersey may not be the most exotic of locations, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some tropical flavors. Take this island invention for example, which combines Balsamo’s marinated grilled chicken with chopped pineapple, grilled cured ham and American cheese for a mainland spin on popular Hawaiian ingredients.

GRILLED PORTOBELLO PANINI at Pizza Luigi Fresca in Marlton
Tucked away in an Old Marlton Pike strip mall is this inventive joint, where cooks have developed a whole menu of unusual hot and cold sandwich creations. Their vegetarian-friendly panini comes with a hearty, grilled Portobello mushroom, roasted red peppers, and mozzarella cheese, all pressed between homemade focaccia bread and plated piping hot.

CHEESE, ROAST BEEF AND PEPPERONI HOAGIE at The Bread Board Plus in Haddonfield
What started as one of the original Jersey Mike’s sandwich chains more than 25 years ago has developed into a fundamental lunch destination known for cutting meats and cheeses fresh to order. The unusual pairing of roast beef, thin sliced pepperoni and your choice of cheese, finished off with lettuce, tomato, onions, oregano, oil and vinegar is a meaty meal with a hint of Italian spice.

SWISS BBQ CHICKEN at Passariello’s in Voorhees and Moorestown
If pizza is all that you’ve had from Passariello’s, you’re missing out. They go beyond Italian with a chicken sandwich, grilled with sliced ham. Add plenty of melted Swiss cheese and slather it all in spicy barbecue sauce along with lettuce for a bite of freshness and you’ve got one super messy and mouthwatering meal.

THE FULL MONTY at The Turning Point in Marlton
Breakfast and lunch unite in the Monte Cristo, a sandwich normally battered and fried but lightened up for this location. This classic meal starts with two slices of thick-cut French toast, and piles on thin sliced turkey breast, ham and Swiss cheese melted together for a sweet and savory bite. It’s finished off with fresh-chopped fruit salad on the side, and a strawberry reduction sauce for dipping.

You may have grown up with peanut butter sandwiches in your lunchbox, but the concoctions found at PB&U in the Moorestown Mall are nothing like what you remember. There’s this mix, which blends creamy peanut butter with hazelnut Nutella spread, Marshmallow Fluff and M&Ms on your choice of Wonderbread, wheat, slider rolls or gluten-free bread. Then there’s even more absurd toppings like bacon, cheddar and even pickles. Our advice? Channel your inner child and go crazy.

GRIDDLED CHEESE DELUXE at Bobby’s Burger Palace in Cherry Hill
Celebrity chef Bobby Flay earned his fame through his gourmet restaurants and expensive cuts of steak, and after years of fine dining he’s shifted gears with his chain of fast-casual burger joints. His grilled cheese with bacon, brie, goat cheddar, and Monterey Jack cheeses gets the same grill treatment as his line of burgers, just with a whole lot more cheese.

THE GARDINAIRE at Treno Pizza Bar in Westmont
Veggie lovers will love this fresh, Tuscan-inspired panini, which combines sauteed mushrooms with roasted red peppers and spinach. The bread gets a hearty slathering of house-made pistachio pesto before being topped with mozzarella cheese and pressed until the outside is crispy and the inside is piping hot.

FRANKIE SPECIAL at Bomb Bomb BBQ Grill and Sandwich Factory in Glassboro
We aren’t sure who Frankie is, but we’ve got him to thank for one of our favorite guilty pleasures. This is just one of Bomb Bomb’s specialty, over-the-top sandwiches, and it comes loaded high with fried chicken tenders, American cheese and bacon, then tossed with iceberg lettuce and honey mustard dressing.

TURKEY AND SMOKED GOUDA PANINI at Bacio Marketplace in Moorestown
Bacio’s has remained a popular lunch spot on Moorestown’s main drag with a reputation for its affordable lunch specials that leave diners happy and full. Their paninis all come served on multigrain bread, but the smoked Gouda and maple-glazed turkey breast catches our attention, especially when it’s combined with thinly shaved cucumbers and roasted red peppers, two oddly flavored toppings that work wonders together.

Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 2 (May, 2013).
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