The Seattle Boat Sandwich Guide

Eating sandwiches on a boat just makes sense. Here's where to grab a great one before you set sail.
The Seattle Boat Sandwich Guide image

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.


photo credit: Chona Kasinger



$$$$Perfect For:Casual Weeknight DinnerCheap EatsKidsLunchQuick EatsSerious Take-Out Operation
Earn 3x points with your sapphire card

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. 

For the times when your overly prepared friend has planned a “scheduled, but fun” boat day and needs everyone to meet at 9am “sharp,” grab a breakfast sandwich from Bright Spot first. It’s a muhammara and labneh-smeared brioche bun topped with a pile of arugula that keeps everything fresh, a sturdy slice of american cheese, and a baked egg square—which means no runny yolk to drip all over your friend’s printed itinerary.

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. 

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.

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.

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 some hot creations with things like meatballs and porchetta, but for the purposes of your voyage, go with one of their cold sandwiches. There’s a grinder and a muffuletta, but we prefer 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.

Chase Sapphire Card Ad

Suggested Reading


The Best Bánh Mì In Seattle

Where to get our favorite Vietnamese sandwiches.

Where To Get The Best Picnic Food In Seattle image

If you're game to eat on a patch of grass, here’s where to get all of your supplies.

The Best Places To Eat & Drink By The Water image

Here’s where to hang out (and eat some good food) near the water—from Lake Washington to Alki Beach.

Infatuation Logo


2024 © The Infatuation Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The views and opinions expressed on The Infatuation’s site and other platforms are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of (or endorsement by) JPMorgan Chase. The Infatuation and its affiliates assume no responsibility or liability for the content of this site, or any errors or omissions. The Information contained in this site is provided on an "as is" basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.


Get it on Google PlayDownload on the App Store