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Seattle's Best Sandwiches To Take On A Boat

Sandwiches are some of the best boat meals around. Here's where to grab a great one before you set sail.

We're here today to introduce to you a new class of sandwich: the boat sandwich. You might be asking yourself, “What on earth is that? A sandwich you eat on a boat?” Yes. It’s exactly that.

But not so fast—it can’t just be any sandwich. A boat sandwich must accomplish a few things. It has to keep well between purchase and departure (a.k.a. sale and sail). It should have as sturdy of a structure as the hull of your vessel, which means buns, baguettes, and rolls only. Lastly, it has to be really damn tasty. So grab a six-pack of Rainier, slather on the sunblock, and prepare for some shredduce-swaddled cold cuts from these spots around Seattle.

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THE SANDWICHES

When it comes to nautical sandwich needs, Tubs is our first choice. These subs are anatomically pristine works of sliced meats, cheeses, homemade sauces, and crisp iceberg shreds on baguettes that are equal parts pillowy and crusty. Whether you go with a chicken bacon club sprinkled with BBQ dust and dunked in herb-flecked ranch, or a Philly-style roast beef sandwich with swiss and sauteed onions, it’ll be the most important cargo aboard the boat. Aside from cold beer. Oh, and life jackets. 

A bánh mì is always a solid boat sandwich candidate—there’s something refreshing about sea-scented Seattle air combined with raw cucumber and pickled carrot matchsticks that makes for a real treat. Yeh Yeh’s in Lynnwood is the best spot in the area for a Vietnamese sandwich, be it filled with braised pork and salty pâté or fried tofu and a creamy, black pepper sauce. Be sure to add on a stiff condensed milk-sweetened iced coffee for the captain. 

But if you’re in the mood for a bánh mì and have the power to order yours filled with fresh seafood, that’s even better for the whole water motif. For that, we highly endorse the dry-fried lemongrass fish bánh mì from Tony’s. It’s an outstanding baguette stuffed with flaky, fragrant fish that only softens slightly on contact with the custardy egg-forward mayo. And if you’re able to bring glass on board, pair it with some sparkling wine. 

If you want to keep things relatively uncomplicated on an Italian sandwich, come to Salumi for ones with thin layers of cured pork products and some briny globs of fresh mozzarella. This institution in Pioneer Square has a lot of tasty hot creations with things like meatballs and porchetta, but for the purposes of your voyage, it’s best to go with one of their cold sandwiches. There’s a grinder and a muffuletta, but we always love keeping it simple with the build-your-own option. Choose between regular salami, hot salami, mole-inspired salami, or hot sopressata, various cheeses like fontina, mozzarella, or provolone, and enjoy at a speed of around 15 knots.

photo credit: Hog Island Hoagie/Facebook

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Hog Island Hoagie

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Perfect For:LunchQuick Eats

For Philadelphia-inspired hoagies involving a combination of meats and lots of spicy pickled stuff ranging from giardiniera to Mama Lil’s, Hog Island (located inside Petoskey's) is our #1. It’s impossible to go wrong with anything here, whether you’re in the mood for a hero with ham and white american cheese or a vegetable hoagie with olive tapenade and roasted tomato, but our favorite is the namesake Hog Islander. It comes stacked with ham, salami, coppa, mortadella, provolone, and spicy peppers—and to really get into that east coast spirit, tack on a bag of Herr’s chips.

Pane Pane’s teriyaki meatball bánh mì, kicked with sriracha mayo and pickled jalapeño, is one of the best sandwiches on the planet. It tastes just as great after it comes to room temperature a little bit, so this fluffy baguette of salty-sweet excellence works well as a lunch while afloat on a marine vessel. But you shouldn’t ignore their cold cut sandwiches. Their salami sub with pesto, aioli, fuschia-tinted pickled onion, and mixed greens is phenomenal, too. If you’re down to share, just grab both and ask the staff to cut them in half. 

The hot grinders at this spot in Fremont are thick, toasted to order, and prove to be very comforting on a gloomier day when there’s a chill in the wind. We’d honestly just be happy chomping on their garlicky herb oil-brushed french bread slathered in zesty grinder sauce (otherwise known as an Italian-seasoned ranch). But their wide variety of sandwich fillings, from roast beef and mesquite chicken breast to baked black pepper tofu with sesame dressing, makes it a great stop for both carnivores and vegetarians.

The beauty of Madison Kitchen’s BLATT is in its simplicity. Tender and smoked turkey grooves with thick bacon for crunch, and gets along with avocado, fresh tomato, greens, and a perfect basil aioli that is neither too herby nor mayo-laden. Laid between a squishy but structurally sound Macrina potato bun, it’s on the lighter side, and tastes extremely satisfying with a fistful of kettle chips and/or some lake mist sprayed onto your face. 

Editor's Note: Mammoth's Eastlake location is temporarily closed, and is operating out of their Ballard sister restaurant, Bitterroot BBQ.

Mammoth is operated by the same team behind Bitterroot BBQ, one of our favorite BBQ restaurants in town, which means they clearly know their way around a smoker. You’ll find sandwiches like a Cubano-inspired sandwich (our favorite) with homemade pulled pork and ham, turkey with pepper jack and sriracha aioli, chicken thigh with swiss and caper aioli, and a smoked tofu bánh mì. And if you’re in the market for something a little lighter while out at sea, there’s a BLT and tuna salad.

Fishermen’s is a great choice if your boat (or your friend’s boat, or your GetMyBoat rental) is docked at Salmon Bay, but it’s also a good pick in general because their sandwiches are straight-up delicious. Our favorite is the Corleone, which is like an Italian sub that minored in French during college. It has ham, salami, capicola, smoked gouda, cherry peppers, and dijonaise on a baguette, and there’s a perfect balance of smoke, tang, and heat.

Editor’s Note: Post Alley Pizza is closed until June 21, 2022.

Let’s say you spend an excessive amount of time daydreaming about Italian sandwiches. Same. In that case, Post Alley Pizza should be your pre-sail destination. This pizzeria bakes homemade sesame-studded hoagie rolls and stuffs them with finocchiona salami, spicy coppa, ham, provolone, red onion shavings, and a tart slaw. The crackly bread soaks up the liquid while still remaining dry on the outside, made even better with a side of “hoagie jazz” (a garlicky, melty anchovy spread with calabrian chiles). Yeah, some red wine vinaigrette-soaked chicory strands are probably going to slide out onto the deck, but that’s what your friend’s dog is there for.

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