Best Gourmet Sandwiches in Atlanta
Resisting the buttery, addictive olive-oil bagels is a challenge any time you stroll into Virginia Highland’s version of the country store, Belly General. Once the all-day breakfast sandwich is declined (or sold out), you’ll be delightfully surprised with Belly’s pressed action, namely the roast beef. Slathered in a horseradish aioli and topped with watercress, it tastes as if a prime-rib sandwich came out of a European cafe.
Sandwiches on this market’s short menu are cutely named after Atlanta neighborhoods, our favorite being a pressed seasonal joker (that we hope gets reinstated as a full-time staple) called the Edgewood. Matching sweet pear preserves with ham and Swiss might seem weird, but the subtle sweetness of the preserves gives a wonderful balance to the sandwich.
Who puts meatloaf on a sandwich? The folks at Noon, that’s who. Stacked with Tillamook cheddar, Benton’s bacon and tomato jam, this ciabatta sandwich is the massive sandwich champ of the gourmet world. Those wanting to tone down the meat should try a sopressata panini with salami, fontina and arugula.
In the South, we like our fried green tomatoes. We also have a similar love affair with BLT sandwiches. So you can imagine the reaction when the market at Parish put fried green tomatoes in its BLT. The tomatoes are stacked between two pieces of griddled farm bread that have been slathered with a creamy remoulade. It’s perfectly normal to fall in love with this sandwich no matter where you’re from.
Have to hand it to Star Provisions, the gourmet market that was slaying the fancy-sandwich trend before it was a trend. The shrimp po’ boy is arguably the best in the city, and even the basics like a grilled cheese get ramped up with grain mustard and onion confit on rye bread.
You don’t expect a sandwich titled Auzielle panino to come out of a place that immediately reminds you of the “Andy Griffith Show.” Lemon thyme Springer Mountain chicken gets the royal treatment with pesto, chevre, tomatoes and arugula on a perfectly grilled (smushed) baguette.
What’s up, attention to detail? Meats are all house-roasted and select breads get shipped in from as far as New Orleans. A mean Cuban pairs guava mojo pork loin and a generous amount of melty Swiss, while homemade pimento cheese gets ratcheted up on the spicy-o-meter, pressed as a panini with bacon.
Does it get any more gourmet than having a former “Top Chef” contestant create your sandwich? We think not. Pura Vida’s Hector Santiago runs a sandwich counter (!) underneath his restaurant on the weekdays, and it’s mind-blowingly awesome. Cubans with roasted Berkshire pork and a ham and cheese sandwich that gets upgraded with buttery Serrano are just two examples of why you need to try Super Pan, pronto.