Your guide to the best delis, cafes and sandwich shops in Asheville
Are you on the search for that stacked deli sandwich made to perfection? A perfect pressed panini? Or maybe the New Jersey deli of your dreams? We all know that Asheville has no shortage of good eats, and this includes good sandwich shops!
In building out this guide on where to find great sandwiches in Asheville, we focused on classic delis and restaurants primarily dedicated to sandwiches, though we also included a few that have more than sandwiches on the menu.
Wherever you end up, expect delicious sandwiches and get ready to give a rave review!
These sandwich shops and restaurants run the gamut from go-to places for panini pressed sandwiches, New Jersey style delis, New York style delis (yes, there’s a difference between the two!), sandwich shops with pinball machines and even a gas station restaurant with award-winning faire.
Table of Contents
Before we dive into the list of Asheville sandwich shops, we thought we’d first start with a map so that you can easily find the one closest to you. You know, if it’s a sandwich emergency or something. Our guide also includes links for online ordering where applicable so that you can easily grab and go.
It turns out Asheville has a lot of great sandwiches, so we broke the guide into a few sections to help you navigate it.
- Map of sandwich shops & delis
- Delis and sandwich shops
- Classic sub shops in Asheville
- Where to get great paninis
- Other places with awesome sandwiches on the menu
Map of the Best Sandwich Shops & Delis in Asheville
Delis and sandwich shops in Asheville
The restaurants in this section are classic sandwich shops, delis, cafes, etc. with an extensive sandwich menu. These are the places that feature several signature sandwiches, soups and salads. If you are looking for a sub shop, jump to our next section!
1. Loretta’s Café
A classic sandwich shop in Asheville with New Orleans Roots
If you’re in the mood for a delicious sandwich, Lorreta’s Café is a must stop. This classic sandwich shop with New Orleans roots serves up huge sandwiches stacked tall with flavor. As soon as you walk in the door the smell of their homemade bread will let you know you have arrived.
Lorreta’s offers a wide selection of sandwiches ranging from classic cold deli sandwiches to signature hot sandwiches, Reubens and melts. They even have a dedicated vegetarian sandwich section with seven unique options. We love to get one of their combos with a half sandwich and cup of soup.
The only drawback is that they are not open on weekends, so make sure to plan a weekday visit!
2. Asheville Sandwich Company
Plan to feast at West Asheville’s local sandwich shop
Asheville Sandwich Company is a fixture on West Asheville’s Haywood Road. Their menu includes classic hot and cold deli sandwiches as well as cheesesteaks and burgers. They also have a selection of vegan sandwiches on their menu.
Be ready for a line during peak lunch hours (we like to think this is a sign of a good sandwich establishment.) You order at a window and they have outdoor seating only so plan to eat outside or take it to go.
If you’re looking for a sweet treat to go along with your sandwich, check out their ice cream and milkshakes.
3. Home Ground Coffee Bar and Deli
Grab a sandwich before a stroll along the French Broad River Greenway
A local favorite! Choose from sub sandwiches, their signature buttermilk chicken sandwich, pastrami, grilled pork loin, a Cuban, etc. Their sandwiches are made with local bread– like buns + multigrain toast from City Bakery and hoagie rolls from Geraldine’s Bakery. Speaking of, read more about why we love Geraldine’s Bakery here.
Apart from sandwiches, you’ll find salads, smoothies and coffee on the menu. And breakfast! They have great breakfast sandwiches available, including a fried chicken one with apple butter.
You’ll find an expansive outdoor seating area behind the restaurant. They also have indoor seating but we always opt for outside when the weather is nice.
Home Ground is a sister restaurant to the much loved HomeGrown in North Asheville. You can get their famous buttermilk chicken sandwich at either location.
4. City Bakery
A classic bakery with delicious sandwiches
City Bakery’s menu is packed with specialty and classic sandwiches. As one would expect, their sandwiches are made on fresh bakery bread – we love their French sandwich bread.
Choose from a variety of their signature sandwiches (or go for breakfast for a biscuit!) They make an excellent classic club sandwich and their vegetarian Avogoddess sandwich with mozzarella and green goddess dressing is divine.
City Bakery has two locations– one in the heart of downtown Asheville and one in North AVL on Charlotte Street. Both have breakfast, quiche, sandwiches and freshly baked bread and goodies daily. You’ll also find their fresh bread around town on various restaurant menus and even for sale at some grocery stores.
5. Mosaic Café
A great café in Biltmore Park Town Square with excellent breakfast and lunch sandwiches
If you find yourself in South Asheville in need of a sandwich, head to Mosaic Café! They have a great menu with everything from spicy pimento cheese to a ham, brie, apple butter and bacon sandwich.
Mosaic is a laidback café with a local neighborhood vibe and seating both inside and out. It’s just across from REI in Biltmore Park Town Square, so we like pairing a trip there with breakfast or lunch at Mosaic.
Speaking of breakfast, it’s awesome! Especially their lumberjack sandwich that comes loaded with ham, bacon, sausage, egg and swiss on a pretzel roll. It’s featured on our list of the best breakfast sandwiches in Asheville.
You can read more about breakfast from Mosaic Cafe here.
6. Zella’s Deli
A New York Deli in the heart of Asheville
Zella’s Deli is a traditional New York deli located in downtown Asheville. They offer classic hot and cold deli sandwiches (their hot pastrami and corned beef sandwiches are soo good.) Hot sandwiches include a meatball sub and chicken cutlet sandwich, of course. Cold options include an Italian, chicken salad, egg salad, caprese, turkey sandwich, etc. You can view the full menu here.
Zella’s is open for late breakfast and lunch from 10am until 3:30pm. Breakfast items include pancakes, hash browns, French toast and a bacon egg + cheese. They also open Thursday-Saturday from 10pm to 3:30am if you’re out and in need of a midnight snack.
One more noteworthy thing: you can order deli meat and cheese by the pound if you’re in the market for cold cuts for home!
The Best Sub Shops in Asheville
1. Old School Subs & Deli
Get a taste of New Jersey at Old School Subs and Deli
Just outside of Biltmore Village on Sweeten Creek Road you will find a gem of a deli making some of the best subs in Asheville. Their no frills counter service is always a hot spot during lunch so try to go early to beat the rush. You can also order online to fully skip the wait.
Old School Subs bakes its own sub rolls in house, so your sub will always start with a fresh foundation. They also roast their own chicken and beef and source their other deli meat from Thumann’s Deli Meat & Cheese in New Jersey.
Though everything is great at Old School, we especially love their Italian sub and the turkey philly. And they make a mean Greek salad with the best deli dressing ever.
Old School has a second location in Black Mountain.
2. Silverball Subs
Local Asheville sub shop with character and heart
Silverball Subs knows what it’s doing when it comes to making delicious subs. From their bread to their NJ sourced meat to their pinball machines and arcade games, it’s easily one of our favorite sandwich shops in Asheville.
Their menu includes a ton of signature subs, Carolina kettle chips and you can build your own with their Thumann’s meat and cheeses. They also have signature subs on the menu. We especially love their hot stuff sub (pictured) and their classic Italian.
If you aren’t convinced, do yourself a favor and scroll their menu. The never-ending photos of stacked subs should do the trick.
Silverball Subs serves craft beer and carries Boylan Bottling Craft Sodas for a uniquely delicious fountain soda experience (creamy red birch beer!!) For added entertainment, they have over a dozen pinball machines for you to try your hand at.
Where to find great paninis and pressed sandwiches in Asheville
1. Roman’s Deli & Catering
A classic lunch spot in the heart of downtown Asheville
Conveniently located in downtown Asheville next to Harrah’s Cherokee Center, Roman’s Deli dishes out some of Asheville’s best pressed sandwiches. With sandwiches ranging from Turkey Cranberry Pesto and Bacon-Avo Caprese to traditional Italian and club sandwiches, they have something for everyone.
In addition to classic sandwiches they also have burgers, soups and salads and their menu has loads of vegetarian options.
Also, as the name suggests, Roman’s offers catering. Whether it’s for a business meeting, a wedding or maybe you just have a large family, Roman’s is great with orders of all sizes.
2. Tiger Bay Café
A small café hidden in a coffee shop with big taste
Tucked away inside West Asheville’s BattleCat Coffee, you’ll find the 10/10 Tiger Bay Café. They make an awesome breakfast and lunch and, though their sandwich menu is relatively small, have some of the best sandwiches in Asheville.
Pictured is their breakfast panini, but their lunch sandwiches are also great. Especially the BCT (bacon, avocado, swiss, tomato) and chicken avocado panini. Or you can just order a breakfast panini because it’s available all day and DELICIOUS.
And if you want to know more, make sure to read our spotlight on Tiger Bay Cafe. We clearly love singing the praises of Tiger Bay!
Order online before heading that way. And then grab a drink from BattleCat on the way in before you pick up your order. It’s the perfect combo!
3. Ultra Coffeebar
A coffee shop with absolutely delicious sandwiches
You read that right, Ultra Coffeebar in RAD is an awesome destination for delicious bagel and pressed ciabatta sandwiches. They have tasty and unique combinations, like their Odyssey with turkey, mozzarella + pesto and their fig & brie that includes green apple and arugula. It’s totally unexpected!
Their breakfast sandwiches are also great— the sunrise bagel (egg, garlic herb cream cheese, tomato, pickled onion, spinach) is actually featured on our best breakfast sandwiches in Asheville list. And of course, you can expect delicious and creative coffee drinks.
Ultra has outdoor seating out front that is perfect for enjoying a nice Asheville day. You’ll also find seating inside.
4. Gourmet Chip Company
A potato chip company with excellent pressed paninis
If you love potato chips (and sandwiches!), head to Gourmet Chip Company located in downtown Asheville. You’ll find unique chips and sandwiches, like a pressed Parisian melt with brie, goat cheese, bacon apples and rosemary. And a pressed truffle parmesan turkey sandwich!
Their chips steal the show, though. You’ll find so many great flavors, like the Italiano Modena with sun-dried tomatoes, pecorino romano, garlic, basil, and balsamic reduction. Their Napa chips are topped with a lavender honey drizzle! And even their salt and vinegar chips are elevated.
Other Great Places For Sandwiches in Asheville
And finally, a list of a few local restaurants that feature great sandwiches on their menu. In this section you’ll find everything from The Rhu’s Appalachian sandwich with collard greens on it to a gas station restaurant with a killer menu.
1. Montford Deli
A Montford neighborhood gem (currently moving to Woodfin)
A local neighborhood favorite in the Montford neighborhood, this bodega style deli serves up burgers, chicken fingers, po boys, hot dogs and few sandwiches.
We debated including them in the top section of sandwich shops (“deli” is in the name, after all!), but their menu is so heavy with the other stuff that we thought it belonged here instead.
They are in the process of moving to a new location in Woodfin and will be closing the Montford location on 1/27/2023.
Stay tuned for all the latest and reopenings.
2. Sand Hill Kitchen
Asheville’s semi-hidden gem for delicious sandwiches
Tucked away on the side of a gas station, Sand Hill Kitchen is a hidden gem that you might not expect to find here. Well, it was hidden until they started winning awards for their chicken sandwich! Either way, Sand Hill is worth a visit if you are on the hunt for the best sandwich in Asheville.
In addition to their award-winning fried chicken sandwich, they have a slew of traditional sandwiches on their menu including a Reuben, chicken salad sandwich, grilled cheese and roasted red beet sandwich. It’s a totally unexpected menu for a gas station sandwich shop. And as a bonus, each lunch is served with a side of their famous dilly pickles.
Sand Hill also serves a hearty, fresh and delicious breakfast, so check that out if you’re in the neighborhood.
They have daily specials for breakfast and lunch, so make sure to follow along on social media. And order online! You can pick up in their drive through. It’s fantastic.
3. Session Café
A hidden gem with excellent sandwiches and vibes
It’s totally unexpected for so many reasons, but the best sandwich in Asheville may just be the egg salad sandwich from Session Café. It’s delicious and somehow beautiful, which I have never achieved myself when making anything where egg salad is the star. Their menu also includes a chicken salad melt, grilled cheese, French dip sliders and a breakfast sandwich.
Session not only has excellent food, but it’s also a really cool spot in downtown Asheville. It’s on the ‘other’ side of the Grove Arcade. And I say “other” because it seems like everything is on the opposite side.
You don’t really expect to walk around the Grove Arcade and find something as cool as Session and Citizen Vinyl. Did I mention that? Session is the café inside of the Citizen Vinyl record factory. You can actually watch them at work from a window!
There is also a print shop, plant shop and a very cool bar there, too. In fact, it was named one of the best bars by Esquire Magazine in 2022. No big deal.
4. The Rhu
Collards and Kale on sandwiches, oh my!
The Rhu in downtown Asheville has a pretty great list of sandwiches on their menu, though they somehow get overshadowed by the pastry case! And the breakfast. And the brownies. But once you see past that, you’ll find out that The Rhu is making waves in the sandwich world.
One of our favorite sandwiches at The Rhu is the Appalachian— it comes with roasted pork loin, collards, cheese, Lusty mayo, and caramelized onions. They also have a kale slaw sandwich, the Kale Yeah, that is equally unique and delicious.
The Rhu is open for breakfast and lunch and truly excels at both. It’s a great place to dine with friends or to get some work done. There’s some seating downstairs with a New York City coffee shop vibe and a ton of seating upstairs. Though there are signs pointing you up, it still feels hidden somehow.
5. Centreville Luncheonette
A cute and cozy neighborhood lunch spot in North Asheville
Centreville Luncheonette will satisfy your sandwich needs, as well as your hot dog and burger ones, too. You can get everything from a BLT, grilled ham and cheese or meatball sub as far as sandwiches go. And they have so much more to offer including burgers, cheesesteaks, hot dogs, and salads.
Centreville Luncheonette is located in a quiet neighborhood setting with tons of outdoor picnic tables to dine outside.
We hope this guide to the best delis and sandwich shops in Asheville helps you find your new favorite spot! If you are looking specifically for a breakfast sandwich, check out our list of the best breakfast sandwiches in Asheville.