December 17, 2021

These are the best sandwich spots in Alabama

3.7 min read

If you’ve got a big appetite and appreciate the mastery of sandwich arts, these places are for you.

From behemoth burgers to super-stuffed sandwiches and other over-the-top creations, you’ll find lots of everything between the bread on our loaded list.

As the Meat Boss in Mobile says, “Hope you’re hungry.”

Chicago Café (Florence)

Open for breakfast, lunch, and weekend late-nights, the café specializes in variations on Chicago-style hot dogs (think poppy-seed buns, celery-salt seasoning, and toppings like pickles), made with all-beef hot dogs or locally-sourced bratwurst ($2.99-$4.49). The Dog of the Month can get pretty out there, like September’s “Peach Gobbler,” a dog or brat topped with spiced peaches and crumbled streusel pastry topping.

(The Chicago Cafe/Facebook)

Meat Boss (Mobile)

Meat for the half-pound hamburger patties is ground in-house from brisket and chuck. Get decadent and top your burger ($10; $14.50 combo) with rib candy ($3.25 extra), pork pieces caramelized in barbecue sauce. The BYO sandwich menu ($8-$16.25) mostly features smoked meats, with a choice of bread and barbecue sauce. Toppings include slaw; jalapeño jelly are among the condiments. Baby back ribs ($7-$24) sell in 3-bone, half-rack and full-rack portions.

(Meat Boss – Cottage Hill/Facebook)

Panini Pete’s Café and Market (Fairhope)

“We put real food in our food,” Chef Pete “Panini Pete” Blohme brags. The Culinary Institute of America-trained chef and favorite of TV personality Guy Fieri pulls fresh mozzarella and roasts meats in-house. Double-stacked hamburgers and hearty waffled-pressed sandwiches include Pete’s Famous Muffaletta Panini ($10/half-sized sandwich). One of the state’s “100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama,” it gets real with mortadella and salami, Swiss and provolone cheeses, house-made olive salad, and tomato on sourdough.

(Panini Pete’s of Fairhope/Facebook)

Pizza Bar (Carbon Hill & Winfeld)

Sandwiches don’t play second fiddle at Pizza Bar. Its hoagies ($4.85 6-inch, $8.35 12-inch) are made with bread from Gambinos, a New Orleans bakery known for po-boy loaves. The Famous Ham and Cheese flexes a half pound of shredded meat (roast beef is similarly proportioned). The Cubama crosses borders with Alabama-style pulled pork joining more a traditional Cubano ham and Swiss cheese. Sandwiches also come in buns, but even a cheeseburger hoagie sounds temptingly fun.

(Pizza Bar/Facebook)

Rama Jama’s (Tuscaloosa)

The National Champion BLT stacks one strip of bacon for each football championship the Crimson Tide claims— now 18 of them with three pieces of Texas toast and with a farm-load of lettuce and tomato. Pile on an 8-ounce mushroom-Swiss burger, and it’s a $24 sammie. Also showing its Bama pride, the patty size for Rama Jama’s National Champ Burger ($12.95) increased to 18 ounces after the Crimson Tide beat Ohio State last January. Can 19 be coming soon?

(@rama_jamas/Instagram)

Stanlieo’s Sub Villa (Huntsville)

Family owned and operated since 1971, Stanlieo’s now has two Huntsville locations. Its Kitchen Sink Sub ($7.48) is a monster of a sandwich, with 7 types of meat (genoa salami, cotta salami, ham, turkey, roast beef, capicola, pepperoni), three cheeses (American, Swiss, provolone), plus onion, pickles, and tomatoes. They recommend topping it with the house-crushed pepper mix. Stanlieo’s also serves a line of vegetarian subs made with mock meat.

(Stanlieo’s of Huntsville/Facebook)

The Garage (Birmingham)

This bar, located in a 1920-era auto garage turned garden shop turned Southside hangout, has a simple menu focused mostly on BYO sandwiches. Basic meat sandwiches with a long list of toppings are $8.25. But for “a sandwich with everything but the kitchen sink and marbles,” try The Fritz ($11.95) with roast beef, ham, smoked turkey, pastrami, and lots of sandwich veggies.

(The Garage/Facebook)

The Rougaroux (Birmingham)

Generous po-boys ($11-$16) use bread from Leidenheimer Baking in New Orleans, favored for its thin crust and extra-pillowy interior that soaks up sauces and flavor. Rougaroux cooks roast beef until it falls apart, then cooks it some more in its own thickened juices, yielding the “debris” for the sandwich. Shrimp and oyster po-boys bountifully overflow with fried seafood. “A whole sandwich basically is a seafood platter on bread,” says Rougaroux owner Ed Stacey.

(The Rougaroux/Facebook)

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