2016 has been a banner year for all manners of tom foolery, flim flam, and skull duggery. The world may seem like it’s imploding into a hateful music-less vortex, but it doesn’t excuse you from having a great lunch.
It is with this in mind that I decided to write a Slayer’s Superlative: Ten OC sandwich spots of 2016, a list of my 10 favorite sandwich spots around Orange County in 2016. I tried to give these places a ranking, but that requires more thinking, so it’s in no particular order. I always take suggestions, so feel free to bash me if your favorite doesn’t show up (I noticed that I left out a lot of South Orange County). Enjoy.
Ten OC Sandwich spots of 2016
Sessions West Coast Deli, Huntington Beach
It’s easy to forgive a mediocre meal when you have stunning pacific waters to stare at (among other things), but why settle when you can have a great view and a stellar sandwich? Of this list, Sessions in my opinion is the best representation of Orange County’s laid back coastal cuisine (in sandwich form). With shades of Latin influence mixed with light beach fare, you’ve got a combination of flavors that match the already picturesque backdrop.
414 Pacific Coast Highway
Huntington Beach,CA 92648
Bronx Sandwich Company, Anaheim/Tustin
Thick cuts of pastrami and crispy french rolls is what I think of when I go to Bronx Sandwich Co. The portions here are immense and their bread tastes like it comes fresh out of the oven. When eating here, I’d suggest going for one of their hot sandwiches, but you really can’t go wrong with any of them. Feel like going into a food coma? give “The Sloppy Bronx” a try.
13041 Newport Ave
Tustin, CA 92780
Mon – Friday 10AM-9PM/ Sun 11AM-7PM
The Restaurant is actually names after the style of sandwich it makes, so it’s got to be good right? Piadina is a traditional Italian flat bread that is cooked on a griddle. The restaurant makes their flatbread to order, so it comes off the griddle warm, flaky, and crispy. This is one of the most unique OC sandwich spots on this list.
The Market Place, 2933 El Camino Real, Tustin, CA 92782
Mon – Fri 10AM-9PM/Sat-Sun 8AM-9PM
Delivery: eat24/ Doordash
Stefano’s Golden Baked Hams, Laguna Hills
It’s hard to mess up a panini, but it takes some effort to make one that differentiates itself from the rest. Stefano’s Golden Baked Hams has some of the heartiest and interesting combinations for these hot pressed sandwiches in Orange County. With some nice wine & a healthy beer selection, you’ve got plenty to pair with your panini.
24781 Alicia Pkwy, Laguna Hills, CA 92653
Mon-Fri 9AM-8PM/ Sat-Sun 7AM-4PM
C4 Deli, Santa Ana
C4 Deli’s emphasis on house smoked meats is a game changer when it comes to their sandwiches. It’s not something that is emphasized in most sandwich places, making C4 Deli a unique dining experience. They have a great selection of craft brews, comfortable seating area, and board games for you and your full friends to enjoy.
200 N Broadway, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Mon – Thurs 11AM – 8PM/Fri 11AM-10PM/Sat 10AM -10PM/Sun 10AM – 8PM
SubCulture, Huntington Beach
SubCulture’s claim to fame is their freshly baked dutch crunch bread (which is the best I’ve been able to find around here). They drop the bread in the oven when you order, so it takes a minute for your food. Trust me when I say it’s worth it, the garlic aioli infuses into the crunchy bread for an amazing taste and texture (and that’s before you have the filling).
7862 Warner Ave, Huntington Beach, CA 92647
Mon- Sat 11am -7pm (5pm Sunday)
Stockyard Sandwich Co, Santa Ana
When it comes to pure indulgence and the compulsion for falling asleep immediately after you finish your meal, Stockyard Sandwich Co. has it taken care of. Located inside Downtown Santa Ana’s 4th street Market, Stockyard is a small food stall with big opulent sandwich fillings and smothered tater tots. The whole market has great food, but Stockyard’s short rib sandwich is a must for anyone looking to gorge.
201 E 4th St #138
Santa Ana, CA 92701
Sun – Wed 7AM – 9PM/10PM Thur/11PM Fri-Sat)
New York Deli Case, Mission Viejo
I used to go here in the early 2000’s while I was in driving school (back when I wore baggy JNCO jeans) and it’s been a go-to since. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked in there to the succulent scents of their house made roast beef in the oven or their signature bread rolls finishing up. This is the most simple entry into the OC Sandwich spots list and it’s a must for lunch in Mission Viejo.
Avery Plaza, 28570 Marguerite Pkwy # 102
Mission Viejo, CA 92692
(Mon- Fri 8:30 – 6pm/3pm on Saturday, closed Sundays)
Burnt Crumbs, Irvine
Brunt Crumbs kind of reminds me of my favorite Sandwich place in Vancouver, Canada. It’s got a small menu that is very specialized & seasonal, perfect for the adventurous. It’s relatively new to Orange County and absolutely worth your time. Everything is pretty much made in house, from their crispy ciabatta bread to their slow roasted pork. Looking for something SUPER indulgent? they’ve got a spaghetti grilled cheese sandwich! that’s enough carbs to keep you energized for days. There’s also a location in Huntington Beach, if you’re looking to hang out near the coast.
8549 Irvine Center Dr.
Irvine, CA 92618
Open Daily: 11am – 9pm
The Sandwich Society, Santa Ana
The Sandwich Society [Added link for 2018 blog post] in Santa Ana has some fun combinations for you to choose from. I’ve been there a couple times now, and everyone that I interacted with there has been great. They have some unique things to choose from (as well as some old favorites) and some great Italian soda. One of their claims to fame is their Pork belly Banh Mi, a modern approach to the traditional Vietnamese sandwich.
#A3, 2031 E First St, Santa Ana, CA 92705
Mon-Fri 7AM-4PM/Sat 8AM-3PM/ Sun Closed
Tutor & Spunky’s – Dana Point
Tutor & Spunky’s has been voted Dana Point’s best sandwich 7 years in a row by the “Dana Point Times.” Their strength lies in their signature dressing.
34135 Pacific Coast Hwy, Ste 116, Dana Point, CA 92629
Buena Vista Market -Dana Point
Buena Vista Market has plenty to choose from, but their Carne Adobada Torta is one of my favorites.
34135 Pacific Coast Hwy, Ste 116, Dana Point, CA 92629
Despite all the backdoor shenanigans going on in 2016, I still think it was a pretty good year. Sure, we may have some odd days ahead of us, but at least we can still sit back with a good sandwich and laugh with dear friends. Orange County is a beautiful place to live and becoming a more beautiful place to eat. If you ever find yourself in Southern California, I urge you to spend some time here, maybe we’ll have lunch together. Keep in mind that there is more here than sandwiches (I just don’t care about them). Have an amazing 2017 my friends.
As of writing this, We’ve still got 2 weeks in 2016. If I try anything new, you may see some honorable mentions added.
P.S. Do you have a suggestion for the best OC sandwich spots of 2017? I’d love to hear from you.