When I was younger, I thought sandwiches were boring. Bread with just stuff in the middle was how I looked at it. Thankfully, with age, I wised up. Sandwiches can be fantastic! And I’m paying them more mind and am basking in our honeymoon phase. I have been exploring the world of sandwiches in the Triangle of North Carolina and am happy to share my list of where to get your sandwich fix.
Last updated September 2020.
Upon pulling up to Na’ Mean and seeing that it’s tucked inside a quiet strip mall, I’m already smiling to myself. You may remember how I feel about strip mall gems. Just glancing at their creative menu made me happy. There were banh mi inspired sandwiches the first half of their menu, and noodle and salad bowls the second half. When I took my first bite of the “Baht Mi” sandwich, which has BBQ short rib, honey peanut sauce, chilies, cucumber, mint, pickled vegetables, and their housemade chili sauce, I was converted to a loyal fan. I am excited to work my way through the rest of the menu.
4823 Meadow Dr. Suite 108, Durham, NC 27713
Beasley’s Chicken + Honey
Beasley’s Chicken + Honey was my first experience of an Ashley Christensen restaurant and though I admired her from afar, eating at Beasley’s endeared me to her work even more. I had been scouting the area for Nashville Style Hot CHicken and was almost certain that it doesn’t exist in the area when I got wind of Beasley’s Chicken + Honey having it on their menu. That spicy sandwich had me sweating in seconds, and yet, I’d go back for more. It hurt so dang good. I also tried their fried chicken sandwich, and what it lacked in spicy kick, it made up in uncomplicated pleasure. Mmm, that perfect crispy batter on the outside and the juicy chicken on the inside!
237 S Wilmington St, Raleigh, NC 27601
One of my Austin friends, Patrick, would ask me if I made it to Raleigh Times anytime we caught up since I moved to the area. He kept mentioning their Reuben. I finally heeded his advice and tried their Reuben (blurred in the background of the photo above), and their shrimp po’boy. And I loved both their sandwiches so much that I’m certain I’ll only order these two sandwiches when I return. Maybe future dining companions will broaden my experience by ordering other things that I can steal bites of, but I’m smitten with these two sandwiches. The Reuben had kimchi collard greens. I’ve yet to have a Reuben with collard greens, much less kimchi collard greens. It worked pretty well! The shrimp po’boy was just as delightful with their Vietnamese purple slaw. I highly recommend both sandwiches!
14 E Hargett St, Raleigh, NC 27601
I like when a restaurant or business does one thing so well, they can operate their business with just that one thing if they wanted to! Such is the case with Merritt’s Grill and their BLT. They have other things on their menu aside from the BLT but really, just get the BLT. I add avocado to mine and have to refrain from humming happily as I eat this famed BLT sandwich.
I also featured them in my Best Restaurants of Chapel Hill post.
1009 S Columbia St, Chapel Hill, NC 27515
Alimentari at Mothers and Sons
Recently, Alimentari at Mothers and Sons launched a sandwich club! For every 7 sandwiches you buy with your punch card, you get the next one free! I am especially in love with their Salumi Misti sandwich which has Salame, mortadella (contains pistachio nuts), pickled cherry peppers, arugula, and basil.
Alimentari at Mothers and Sons
107 W Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701
EDIT: During the pandemic, Lucky’s Delicatessen’s space is being used by Alimentari at Mothers and Sons. An inside source has informed that Lucky’s will operate again in a new location soon.
Located downtown Durham, Lucky’s Delicatessen is a New York-style deli slinging sandwiches most days from 11 am to 4 pm. I’ve had their eggplant parm sandwich, their Reuben, and a special lobster roll with lobster from St. Roch. All three made me do my happy eating wiggle. You know you do it too.
105 W Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701
Saltbox Seafood Joint
You can get amazingly fresh seafood at Saltbox Seafood Joint. Their fish sandwiches are topped with their slaw will have you excited to come back and order another. Order yours with a side of their hush honeys!
Saltbox Seafood Joint
608 N Mangum St, Durham, NC 27701
Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen
When in the South, you must partake in the chicken biscuit sandwich. And if you’re in the Research Triangle Area, the place for chicken biscuit sandwiches is an unassuming drive-thru establishment opened only for breakfast and lunch, called Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen. I’ve learned this humble establishment has become somewhat of an institution for the chicken biscuit sandwich. I decided to order my chicken biscuit with added pimento cheese, to give it another layer of Southern charm, and because I’m a glutton, I ordered a hash brown and slipped it into my sandwich. Um, if that’s too much for you to handle, just the chicken biscuit will probably make you happy too!
Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen
1305 E Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27514
I’m obsessed with two sandwiches from Pig in Chapel Hill. The pig cheek banh mi (pictured above) is SO good. Sugarface and I always get one to share. The other favorite sandwich is the Carolina Sandwich which is a pulled pork sandwich with pimento cheese. It’s so messy and probably not recommended for a first date, but it’s worth the trouble and calories. They also have a solid menu of classically Southern sides, like mac and cheese and fried okra. And though I’m not a big salad eater, their beet and goat cheese salad is particularly enticing. Overall, the Pig is probably not good for your health but is great for your soul.
630 Weaver Dairy Rd #101, Chapel Hill, NC 27514
One of these days I’ll make a blog post just on fried chicken sandwiches! Ha! Wilson’s Eatery’s fried chicken sandwich has a slathering of pimento cheese, making it extra North Carolina. I also tried their Pork Belly LT which they call the Cha Cha LT, and it’s banging.
1053 E Whitaker Mill Rd, Raleigh, NC 27604
Who knew a vegetarian sandwich can look this enticing? Grub Durham makes a beautiful beer-battered mushroom sandwich with feta cheese and sriracha ranch! What a winning combination. Their lunch menu has a great selection of sandwiches with proteins that range from fried chicken to tuna, to pimento cheese, and my favorite, pastrami!
1200 W Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701
This adorable sandwich shop in Durham is popular and offers a great variety of sandwich choices. I liked Eastcut Sandwich’s buffalo chicken sandwich with curly fries! They have plenty of outdoor seating to have a relaxing al fresco experience.
3211 Old Chapel Hill Road, Durham, NC 27707
How lucky am I to live within walking distance from this well-respected and quaint deli in Carrboro, North Carolina? Neal’s Deli makes their own pastrami and corned beef. Both Sugarface and I both get the Pastrami Reubens with Zapp’s chips when we grab lunch here. When Sugarface’s mom is in town, I pick up fresh biscuits from Neal’s in the morning so she can make her biscuits and gravy.
100 East Main Street, Carrboro, N.C. 27510
Honorable Mention from the Triad Area
Bánh mì Saigon Sandwiches & Bakery (Greensboro)
I found the best banh mi sandwich I’ve found in North Carolina so far and it’s sadly an hour away from me in Greensboro! Bánh mì Saigon Sandwiches & Bakery is strip mall gem in Greensboro slinging banh mi sandwiches to order. The bread is perfect! Every time I find myself driving west, I’ll be making a stop here.
Bánh mì Saigon Sandwiches & Bakery
3808 W Gate City Blvd, Greensboro, NC 27407
So that concludes my list of where to get your sandwich fix in the Research Triangle Area.
Over to you now! Did I miss your favorite sandwich? If you’re not from the RDU area, please comment and tell me about your favorite sandwich.
For more about this area of the South, check out my Ultimate Guide to the Triangle.
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