Newspaper staff rates the top sandwiches in STL

One of the best parts of St. Louis is its deli scene. There are endless options whether you’re on The Hill, Clayton, or South City, the products at these fine establishments rival any city’s sandwiches. As more places open and begin to satisfy the hunger of ravished customers and more consumers try new places, the debate on what sandwich tops them all in the St. Louis area intensifies. We are here to finally settle the debate and give you all our take on the city’s best sandwich. Our entire newspaper staff spent numerous hours trying ten different delis and sandwich shops to give you our pick. We based our criteria for the best on the following: Taste, presentation, service, and price. Note: These are not professional opinions and we understand that there are places that we certainly missed. In the sake of time and conciseness, we narrowed it down to these ten incredible places known around the area. Also, at every place, we tried their most popular or signature sandwich to make it easier to rate.
Members of the newspaper staff went on a five-hour adventure to try all of the best sandwiches St. Louis has to offer. Hank Hardage 26, Luke Koenig 24, Will Timmons 24 Liam Mahfood-Thurman 26, and Andrew Dolan 26.
Members of the newspaper staff went on a five-hour adventure to try all of the best sandwiches St. Louis has to offer. Hank Hardage ’26, Luke Koenig ’24, Will Timmons ’24 Liam Mahfood-Thurman ’26, and Andrew Dolan ’26.
Will Timmons
The Moms Special from Moms Deli.
1. Mom’s Deli

Taste: 9.1
Presentation: 7.2
Service: 9.2
Price: $9.00

Mom’s Deli is a South St. Louis staple that has been front and center in the deli debate. We had just missed lunch hour, so there wasn’t much of a crowd which guaranteed quick service. We got The Mom’s Special features a classic cold sandwich with ham, turkey, and roast beef with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and pickles drowned in their homemade 1000 Island dressing. This sandwich wouldn’t be held in such high esteem without that signature dressing but is enough to make it our top choice due to the sensational flavor mix of the dressing and freshness of the cold deli meats.

The Mom’s Special from Mom’s Deli. (Will Timmons)
The Pastrami Sandwich from Carls Deli.
2. Carl’s Deli

Taste: 8.9
Presentation: 8.0
Service: 8.0
Price: $12.00

Carl’s Deli in no way is known like some of the places on this list. Located right next to Washington University in University City, Carl’s is known for their famous Pastrami Sandwich.

The Pastrami Sandwich from Carl’s Deli. (Will Timmons)
The Big Tommy sandwich from Blues City Deli.
3. Blues City Deli

Taste: 8.6
Presentation: 8.2
Service: 9.0
Price: $13.00

While Blues City is known on many reviews and lists as STL’s top choice for sandwiches, it didn’t quite crack the top of ours. The heart and soul of Benton Park is most famous for their Big Tommy which features roast beef with grilled peppers and onions on their garlic cheese bread. We believe while the roast beef paired well with the garlic cheese bread, the flavor didn’t match the likes of others we tried that day. It may not have been the best tasting, but the service was the best we had. They were very kind people who set up a very homey feel in the deli and in the outdoor seating.

The Big Tommy sandwich from Blues City Deli. (Will Timmons)
The Hot Salami sandwich from Gioias Deli
4. Gioia’s Deli

Taste: 8.5
Presentation: 7.6
Service: 7.1
Price: $14.00

This one, arguably, may be the most known that we have on this list as one of its four locations is a hop and a skip from De Smet and one of the most popular lunch places for our senior class. We got the Hot Salami which features their freshly cut hot salami with pepperoncini, onions, provel cheese, and spicy mustard on garlic cheese bread. For such a simple combination, we were impressed that it was able to create such an exquisite taste. While we did catch it at lunch hour, we only waited 10-15 minutes for our sandwich. We feel that the simplicity was similar to Blues City, but lacked the flavor explosion that we saw at Mom’s and Carl’s.

The Hot Salami sandwich from Gioia’s Deli (Will Timmons)
The Mississippi Night Club sandwich from The Gramaphone STL
5. The Gramophone STL

Taste: 8.5
Presentation: 8.2
Service: 6.4
Price: $14.00

A rather oddball on this list, Gramophone located in The Grove, features a wide variety of sandwiches different from any of the places we tried. We got their Mississippi Night Club sandwich which features turkey, roast beef, and bacon topped with pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and spicy red pepper spread finished off with local brand Billy Goat Chips. I know that is a mouthful and that is why we have it in the five spot on our list. While the sandwich was phenomenal and generated a considerable flavor, there was almost too much going on that not only worsened the presentation but upped the price. Still, The Gramophone is a great option if you’re looking for an extravagant lunch option.

The Mississippi Night Club sandwich from The Gramaphone STL (Will Timmons)
Honorable Mentions

LeGrand’s Market and Catering

Adriana’s STL

Grassi’s Ristorante & Deli 


Union Loafers

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