Meat Lover's Paradise: 9 Greatest Italian Sandwich Shops in NYC

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As a self-proclaimed carnivore and meat enthusiast, I can tell you that the best things in life are meaty and soaked in oil and vinegar.

Seriously, though.

Who doesn't revel in crisp Italian bread stacked high with all the cured Italian specialities one could possibly dream of?

Vegetarians, maybe, but this article is not privy to them.

If you are in New York City and ever in need of a great Italian sandwich shop to hit up for a hero, look no further than these 9 classic spots (in no particular order).

And since it's impossible to include every absolutely epic sandwich that this city has to offer, feel free to leave your personal favorites in the comments section below.

(By the way, if you're looking for the best Italian sandwich shop in NYC on wheels, check out our choice amongst top NYC food trucks here.)

1. Mike's Deli (2344 Arthur Avenue - the Bronx)

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While you're shopping inside the Arthur Avenue Retail Market for all things Italian, stop for lunch at Mike's Deli and try the Big Mike Combo, to the tune of mortadella, ham, salami, capicola ham (which I will now refer to as cappy because I love saying cappy), and provolone.

This bombshell of a sandwich comes complete on a plate with pesto pasta salad. Oh, and the mayonnaise is free, if you're really that kind of awful person who puts mayo on an Italian sub.

Remember, there's a time and a place for that, people.

2. Alidoro (105 Sullivan Street) 

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Ask anyone who's ever stepped foot in this old-school Soho gem, and they'll tell you that what's been called by many as the most authentic Italian sandwich shop in Manhattan doesn't come easy.

Oftentimes, a single line of customers forms right out the door during lunch hours, there's absolutely no substitutions allowed on their menu (especially no requests for mayonnaise or mustard), and it's cash only.

But is it worth it? Simply put: yes, yes, yes. Their prices might be a little steep, but trust me, you'll have enough leftovers for a mid-afternoon snack and then some. Get the Pinocchio and you won't be disappointed.

By the way, in order to feed all of the frenzied 9-to-5'ers, owner Walter Momente recently expanded to midtown. But if you're going for the original Alidoro experience in all of its famed glory, be sure to visit their downtown location for the real deal.

3. Tino's Delicatessen (2410 Arthur Avenue - the Bronx)

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This aesthetically-pleasing Italian deli is just as beautiful to the eye as it is to the palette.

Tino's Combo is a true hero, saving the day with ham, mortadella, salami, and provolone-- plus lettuce, tomato, roasted red peppers, and of course, oil and balsamic vinegar.

The trifecta of toppings are the roasted reds, the oil, and the vinegar. No combo is quite complete without these all-stars finishing off a sandwich, and it's no different when it comes to Tino's edible works of art.

4. Faicco's Italian Specialties (260 Bleecker Street)

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Holy meat.

The Italian Special at Faicco's, with cappy, prosciutto, soppressata, mozzarella, lettuce, tomatoes, and roasted red peppers or sundried tomatoes, hits the trinity of spicy, sweet, and savory.

Score one of these super-sized sandwiches, and you'll be eating like an Italian noble for days.

5. Court Street Grocers (485 Court Street - Brooklyn)

jesseselwyn NYC sandwich tour continues with a less voluminous but highly tasty Italian combo from Court Street Grocers #sandwichoftheday #brooklyn

The Brooklyn original has officially become a Manhattan classic.

The Court Street Grocers Sandwich Shop, now also located in Hell's Kitchen, turns out an Italian combo like no other.

Seriously, it's pretty unique with the addition of pecorino cheese and their special house made relish in addition to the usual meaty suspects. Who doesn't love a unique new twist on an old classic, am I right?