31 Days of Sandwiches

It's August! Here are 31 ways to make the most of National Sandwich Month.

August 1 2016, 3:00 PM

Vert Kitchen's curry chicken sandwich
—Photography by Rachel Adams

The best thing about sandwiches is that they can be eaten for lunch or dinner (or even breakfast, but that’s another story). Often they’re filling and hearty, other times they’re light and fresh, but always—always—they’re satisfying. We spent the last several months tasting around town to come up with this list, just in time for National Sandwich Month. Enjoy these 31 ways (one for each day of August) to celebrate.

Acme Delicatessen: Acme Smoked Salmon

While the smoked salmon bagel sandwich is on the breakfast menu at chef Lon Symensma’s Union Station deli, we’d happily eat it any time of day. All the traditional elements of this New York-inspired dish—whipped cream cheese, red onion, capers, and tomato—are elevated with tender, house-smoked wild salmon and freshly baked bagels (go for the onion-y everything variety). Best of all, Acme does serve this sandwich all day, so you can indulge the craving day or night. 1701 Wynkoop St., 720-460-3706, acmedelicatessen.com

Amir Grill: Gyro

While fillings are important, the key to this sandwich is great bread. Amir Grill in Golden bakes fluffy circles of fresh pita bread throughout the day—meaning that even simple sandwiches, like the classic gyro, are exquisite. The hot-from-the-oven pitas are topped with caramelized shavings of a spit-carved spiced lamb and beef mix, bell peppers, black olives, and tomato. 103 N. Rubey Drive, Golden, Unit E, 303-278-1011, amirgrill.com

Beet Box: Chickpea of the Sea

We love that this vegan bakery and cafe on the edge of Five Points so vigorously reworks the tuna salad that it’s even better than the original. The kitchen tosses garbanzo beans with fresh herbs, veggies, and just enough lemon juice and olive oil to hold it together. Add butter lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, and house-made vegan mayo and bread and you’ve got a mighty meal. 1030 E. 22nd Ave., 303-861-0017, beetboxdenver.com

Brider: French Dip

Leave it to this LoHi eatery, which is an offshoot of Oak at Fourteenth and Acorn, to improve upon the French dip. This sandwich comes stacked with tender wagyu beef, arugula, mustard, horseradish aïoli, Gruyère, and jus so good you might be tempted to drink it. 1644 Platte St., 303-455-3084, denverbrider.com

Buchi Cafe Cubano: Aye Conyo

While we flock to this cozy Sunnyside spot for strong, sweet Cuban coffee and flaky guava and cream cheese pastelitos, it’s the Aye Conyo sandwich that keeps us coming back. This meaty creation comes piled high with roasted pork, ham, turkey, pepperoni, Swiss cheese, pickles, onions, hot peppers, mustard, and key lime mayonnaise. Pressed between soft white bread to order, this is Denver’s ultimate version of the traditional Cuban sandwich. 2651 W. 38th Ave., 303-458-1328, buchicafecubano.com

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The Cheese Company Deli Cafe: Pastrami

In our minds, pastrami sandwiches should always be hot—heat allows the Swiss cheese to melt and the cured meat to fully express its flavors. But at this Hilltop staple, customers can order the combo hot or cold. Either way, the ratio of pastrami to cheese to whole-grain mustard to rye is always right on. 5575 E. Third Ave., 303-394-9911, thecheesecompanydeli.com

Curtis Park Deli: Italian

If you crave Italian sandwiches, you’ve come to the right place. Curtis Park’s stars salame rosa, pepperoni, calabrese, arugula, Asiago, house-made aïoli, and red wine vinaigrette on freshly baked ciabatta. Just get there early—this neighborhood spot runs out early and often. 2532 Champa St., 303-308-5973, curtisparkdeli.com

Dolce Sicilia Italian Bakery: Sausage Sandwich

At this Wheat Ridge bakery, owner Franco Spatola’s house-made breads shine in the simple sandwiches. We’re partial to the sausage sandwich, which features spicy Italian links seared and sliced lengthwise, a blanket of melted provolone cheese, and just the right amount of Spatola’s marinara sauce between two slices of crusty white bread. 3210 Wadsworth Blvd., 303-233-3755, dolcesiciliabakery.com

Globe Hall: Pulled Pork Sandwich

Unless it’s Saturday, you might have to wait until dinner to get your hands on Globe Hall’s pulled pork sandwich. But that’s OK because the brioche bun stacked with low-and-slow barbecue pork (crispy bits and all) and tangy, crisp coleslaw is a winner anytime you can get it. Add sauce at the table and, if it’s evening, stick around for live music. 4483 Logan St., 720-668-8833, globehall.com

Hey PB&J: Figgy Piggy

Spot this jelly-colored food truck and you’re almost guaranteed a line. Stick around for the Figgy Piggy, which comes slathered with almond butter, fig jam, and goat cheese, and gets a boost from applewood smoked bacon and honey. Each smooth and crunchy, sweet and salty bite is nothing short of lunchtime heaven. heypbandj.com

Hudson Hill: Grilled Cheese

What’s better than a classic grilled cheese? An all-out gourmet version. At Hudson Hill, the staff cuts a baguette in half lengthwise, opens it so the crumb side is out, butters it, and then slathers the crust side with more French butter as well as Parmesan and Shropshire blue cheese. That combo goes into the heavy-duty panini press and comes out golden and gooey. 619 E. 13th Ave., 303-832-0776, hudsonhilldenver.com

Hutch & Spoon Cafe: Meatloaf

There’s nothing fancy or complicated about this RiNo cafe’s meatloaf sandwich. Order it and you’ll be on the receiving end of a thick wedge griddled with melty sharp cheddar and two slices of sourdough. It’s hefty, hearty, and—thank goodness—on the menu every day of the week. 3090 Larimer St., 303-296-2317, hutchandspoon.com

The bacon sandwich at Il Porcellino Salumi

Il Porcellino Salumi: Bacon Sandwich

While the BLT is arguably the world’s most famous pork belly sandwich, Il Porcellino Salumi’s bacon sandwich gives the classic a run for its money. This Berkeley meat emporium loads up Grateful Bread’s toasted country bread with slices of soft-cooked, house-cured bacon, apple butter, jalapeño aïoli, tomato, and a generous drizzle of pecora cheese fondue. It’s an indulgent, messy, and decidedly different take on the bacon sandwich. 4334 W. 41st Ave., 303-477-3206, ilporcellinodenver.com

Masterpiece Delicatessen: Reuben

When it comes to Reubens, we want the classic done right. Chef Justin Brunson’s Masterpiece Deli more than delivers on this front, with meltingly tender, just-fatty-enough, house-braised corned beef accented with a generous amount of sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and house-made Thousand Island dressing on toasted marble rye. It’s not reinventing the wheel—just perfecting it. 1710 Sherman St., 303-832-5555; 1575 Central St., 303-561-3354; masterpiecedeli.com

Braised short rib at Mercantile Dining & Provision

Mercantile Dining & Provision: Braised Short Rib

The truth is, you can’t really go wrong with any of chef Alex Seidel’s stellar between-bread creations at Mercantile. Still, the braised short rib option at the bustling Union Station eatery is a perennial favorite. The hearty combo of red wine–braised short ribs, French onion jus, aged Gruyère fondue, and arugula on a baguette is good enough to drive (or light-rail) across town for. 1701 Wynkoop St., #155, 720-460-3733, mercantiledenver.com

New Peach Garden: Chinese pork

Billed on New Peach Garden’s menu as simply “pork sandwich,” this gem might easily be skipped. Don’t. Also known as rou jia mo, the $3.50 street food–inspired sandwich stars tender pork redolent of anise, chiles, cumin, and cilantro inside a flaky, croissantlike circle of house-made bread. Ask for a side of chile oil to add at will. 1111 Washington Ave., #10, Golden, 303-279-0400, newpeachgarden.com

New Saigon Bakery & Deli: Rotisserie Chicken Banh Mi

With more than 17 banh mi varieties available at this offshoot of the popular New Saigon Restaurant, settling on a favorite is no easy task. The pork belly might be tempting, but go for #3: the ga roti or rotisserie chicken sandwich. You’ll find a house-made French baguette (which strikes the ideal balance between crisp and yielding) filled with juicy pieces of poultry, fronds of cilantro, and thin shavings of carrots, radish, jalapeño, and cucumber. A thin swipe of aïoli offers moisture and binds the sandwich together. Be sure to go early, as this spot often sells out. 640 S. Federal Blvd., 303-935-7859

Nick’s Cafe: Fool’s Gold Sandwich

In 1976, Nick Andurlakis, then a cook at the Colorado Mine Co. in Glendale, first served Elvis Presley the Fool’s Gold Sandwich—a pound each of peanut butter, blueberry preserves, and bacon on a sourdough loaf. To this day, you can taste a scaled-down version of the king of rock ’n’ roll’s unlikely favorite sandwich at Andurlakis’ Golden restaurant, Nick’s Cafe. Heads up: This Elvis-themed diner is cash-only. 777 Simms St., Golden, 303-238-9670

Olive & Finch: Greggers (Beef Tongue)

This hot sandwich is nothing if not hearty, with layers of thinly sliced, long-braised beef tongue, roasted red pepper, caramelized onions, roasted garlic, and arugula on a baguette. A light smear of tarragon aïoli is a not-so-subtle addition that provides fresh balance. 1552 E. 17th Ave., 303-832-8663, oliveandfincheatery.com

Parsley: Spicy Turkey

This Golden Triangle shop has perfected the art of using roasted green chile strips in a sandwich. The Spicy Turkey combines slices of meat, those (usually mild) chiles, sun-dried tomato spread, tomatoes, red onion, and olive oil vinaigrette on ciabatta. You’ll need a napkin, and you’ll be back for this oh-so-Colorado lunch. 303 W. 11th Ave., 303-893-7914, parsleyandbailey.com

Quiero Arepas: El Caribe

Perhaps one of the best things about Quiero Arepas is that every one of the Venezuelan sandwiches is gluten-free (no guilt!). We’ve long been fans of the Pabellón—shredded beef, black beans, and grilled plantains—but recently discovered the El Caribe combo of smoked salmon, avocado, and tangy chimichurri-esque guasacaca sauce. Avanti Food & Beverage, 3200 Pecos St., 720-432-4205, quieroarepas.com

The Regional: Roast Pork Sandwich

Chef Kevin Grossi traveled across the country for inspiration before opening his Avanti Food & Beverage stall, the Regional, in mid-July. A menu standout is the Philadelphia-style chopped roast pork, long hots (peppers), and broccoli rabe sandwich. If you’ve eaten the original at Tommy DiNic’s, you know what awaits. For a touch of Denver flavor, Grossi uses a hollowed-out City Bakery Italian roll as the vessel. Avanti Food & Beverage, 3200 Pecos St., 303-842-4094, theregionalfood.com

Salt & Grinder: Dijon Egg Salad

You can tell a lot about a deli from its egg salad, and Salt & Grinder is all about improving upon the classic. The kitchen mixes chopped hard-boiled eggs with crème fraîche, mayo, Dijon, and fresh tarragon for a tangy, slightly uptown filling that’s piled onto a grinder and topped with shredded iceberg and tomato. 3609 W. 32nd Ave., 303-945-4200, saltandgrinder.com

Fried green tomato po'boy at Sassafras American Eatery

Sassafras American Eatery: Fried Green Tomato Po’ Boy

This breakfast and lunch spot smartly combines two Southern classics—fried green tomatoes and po’ boys—for a win. Crispy, tangy, buttermilk-marinated tomatoes stand up against goat cheese, arugula, and red onion on a sub roll dressed with sun-dried tomato vinaigrette. Add bacon for more decadence. 2637 W. 26th Ave., 303-433-0080; 320 E. Colfax Ave., 303-831-6233; sassafrasamericaneatery.com

Squeaky Bean: Fried Chicken BLT

How could you possibly make a BLT any better? You could add a crunchy piece of fried chicken, that’s how. The folks at the Squeaky Bean stuff a toasted, squishy bun with thick-cut bacon, a golden-fried chicken thigh, mayo-based “special sauce,” and lettuce and tomato. Bonus: The crisp lettuce and (when in-season) juicy tomatoes come straight from the Squeaky Bean’s Lakewood farm, Bean Acres. 1500 Wynkoop St., #101, 303-623-2665, thesqueakybean.com

Steuben’s: Lobster Roll

Colorado might not boast any coastline, but thank goodness we have two locations of Steuben’s instead. At $23, the lobster roll is pricey, but you’re paying for a generous serving of fresh-from-Maine lobster. The sweet meat is dressed with mayo and diced celery and served in a buttered split-top bun. Pretty great for our landlocked state. 523 E. 17th Ave, 303-830-1001; 7355 Ralston Road, Arvada, 303-830-0096; steubens.com

Stoic & Genuine: Tuna Melt

We’re willing to bet you’ve never had a tuna melt quite like this one. Stoic & Genuine chef Jorel Pierce serves a gussied up version of the classic featuring ultrafresh, lightly seared albacore tuna, melted American cheese, and a crunchy cabbage slaw on an inside-out English muffin. It might not be the tuna melt you remember, but that’s a good thing. 1701 Wynkoop St., 303-640-3474, stoicandgenuine.com

Taste of Philly: Philly Cheese Steak

The key to a great cheese steak is balance. The filling should be gooey and greasy but not dripping down your arm. The peppers and onions should spice up the sandwich without overwhelming it. And the hoagie roll should be soft but not chewy. Taste of Philly clears all these benchmarks with ease, offering a reliably good sandwich (consistency is another hurdle that other cheese steak joints often wrestle with) that lives up to its namesake city. Multiple locations, tasteofphilly.biz —Luc Hatlestad

Torta Grill: Enrique

The Mexican sandwich called the torta is a towering culinary feat of many layers, flavors, and textures. All this is true at Torta Grill on Colfax, a tiny corner shop that serves dozens of versions. We go for the Enrique, a combo of cooked cactus, panela cheese, and crushed red pepper that comes with the usual refried beans, tomato, and a slather of mayo. Get the sandwich in mini or regular size. 1818 E. Colfax Ave., 720-420-0964, tortagrilldenver.com

The Truffle Cheese Shop: Sandwich Du Jour

Because the Truffle’s two open-face sandwich offerings change often—there’s always one meat and one veggie option—we’re not pinpointing a favorite. (Though, if we had to, it would be the French ham with French butter and exquisite Dijon.) Check the shop’s calendar for daily selections and pick them up at the cooler near the register. The staff makes sandwiches every morning so they’re always fresh. 2906 E. Sixth Ave., 303-322-7363, denvertruffle.com

Vert Kitchen: Curry Chicken

Far too many chicken salads rely too heavily on mayo to bind and flavor, but (thankfully) that’s not the case at Wash Park’s Vert Kitchen. Here, tarragon pesto and curry sauce offer punch while cashews, apple, and currants add texture, making this a sandwich you’ll crave again and again. 704 S. Pearl St., 303-997-5941, vertkitchen.com

—Photography by Rachel Adams