5 Mouthwatering Detroit Sandwiches You Should Try

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Big Baby sandwich Detroit

When people talk about Detroit, they mention the ubiquitous coney dog. However, there are many other types of great food in the Motor City. Recently, my friend the good Doctor and I set out to find some of Detroit’s great sandwiches at delis and sandwich shops around town. Here’s five that we think you should try. If you’ve got other ideas, let us know in the comments and we’ll do our homework!

Big Baby sandwich Detroit

Food Exchange– “The Big Baby”

The Food Exchange is an east side sandwich shop on Harper near Van Dyke.  The “Big Baby,” their flagship item, is a serious sandwich. Start with a huge hamburger, pile on some corned beef,  top with lettuce, onion, tomato, pickle and cheese.  You are good to go.  This sandwich will fill up two people or make it two meals.  They also have “Big Baby Fries” which were going  to be an impossibility after eating half of this, baby.

Ernie's sandwich in suburbs

Ernie’s Market – “The Special”

Ernie’s Market in Oak Park is a special place.  Ernie has been making sandwiches since he was a kid, and he might just be one of the most positive, friendly people you will ever meet.  Go in to Ernie’s Market, tell Ernie it’s your first time in the joint, and order “The Special.”  It’s a little bit of everything, and a whole lotta’ love. Quality deli ingredients, and fresh toppings on this sandwich will make your mouth water. As he’d say, “Yeah baby!”

Nathan's Sandwich Detroit

Nathan’s Deli – “#11, Rueben on Grilled Rye”

A classic Detroit lunch spot on Jefferson, right outside the core of Downtown, Nathan’s is a sandwich joint worth checking out. Nathan’s isn’t fancy, but they serve it up right. The #11 is a subtle twist on a Detroit favorite, the Reuben. The grilled bread adds and extra layer of crunch and melts the cheese. I’m getting hungry again just writing about it.

Gateway Deli sandwich potato

Gateway Deli – “The Potato Pancake Sandwich”

Gateway Deli, tucked underneath Fort Washington Plaza, is a great Jewish-style Deli in Downtown. One of their signature sandwiches is the Potato Pancake sandwich, which puts savory corned beef between two house made potato pancakes instead of bread. Comes with special sauce.

Mudgie's The Barret sandwich

Mudgie’s – “The Barrett”

A Corktown deli and eatery that serves high quality sandwiches made with great ingredients. “The Barret” is their take on the Rueben, with high quality Sy Ginsberg corned beef and uses creamy coleslaw instead of sauerkraut. I got mine with tomatoes. If you haven’t been to Mudgie’s then you have got to go. I always go back to try something new, as they’re constantly coming up with new soups and have great specials.

  • Excellent choices! Also, Lafayette Coney Island downtown. And, *just* outside Detroit – and this is a must! – Lile’s Sandwich Shop on Michigan Ave. in Dearborn for the best corned beef and ham sandwiches, and split pea soup in the state!

  • HEYYYYY !! Noah’s in Dearborn ( Mich. Ave.- East End) ain’t nothing to sneeze at.

  • Oops you missed Hygrade Deli,,, Detroit proper Oldest Deli with there Famous Reuben,,,, if you haven’t been you need to go NOW. Dozen of TV and written publications in 2013,,,maybe you have not see them,,, ok here’s one for you. ENJOY


  • For a phenomenal veggie option, try the Veggie Riot at Foran’s Grand Trunk Pub. It’s AWESOME.

  • Ernie’s is the best sandwich and entertainment around but best ham sandwich you have to go to Mike’s famous ham on Michigan near grand blvd.

  • 3-D’s pizza and sandwiches in Eastpoine, on 10Mile and 94. The 3-D special is by far one of the best sandwiches anyone could eat. I travel back home once to twice a year and miss out on A. Lafayette Coney Island, and B. 3-D’s Pizza and Party Store. Just ask for “the Special” you wont regret it.

  • You gotta try the ‘Bread Basket’ deli in oak park on greenfield and Lincoln. Or ‘AL’s famous deli’ on Woodward and 14 mile. They are sister delis but both have a uniqueness to them and are very good.

  • There’s a bar in Wayne. Mi that has a sandwich called Chicken Cordon. Bleu….it’s great

  • No mention of Slows??? They have the best BBQ sandwiches in all of Michigan! Pulled pork, pulled turkey and pulled chicken all stacked high, fresh and juicy!! And they have a handful of signature sauces!!!

  • Have you tried Firehouse Subs in Rochester Hills? The Italian sub is killer! Add some hot peppers for an extra layer of flavor. And they have the best Meatball sub around.

  • Have you tried Steve’s Detroit Deli? The best sandwiches in the D. Check out his Youtube video and stop by for breakfast or lunch, M-F.

  • Cantoro Market on Haggerty north of Five Mile in Livonia. Technically a “panini” and they are excellent.

  • Mudgie’s is tha shiznit!!! Corner of Porter and Brooklyn in Corktown. Used to be called McNally’s Deli back in the day. Mudgie worked for Mcnally. When McNally decided to retire, Mudge bought the place and kept the great sammiches alive. The only downfall… it’s overrun with hipster douchebags. Other than that, its the best deli in or around Detroit.

  • Via Coney Island on Gratiot and E. 7 Mile has a burger called the Motown Burger. It’s basically a bacon cheeseburger/corned beef in one. I think that one is probably even better than that first sandwich mentioned in the mentioned top five! It’s so huge and so perfect, and too much for just one person!!

  • Russell Street Deli in the heart of Eastern Market. Pastrami and the Reuben my favorites. huge selection of sandwiches and homemade soups. Not just a deli, great breakfast and entrees.

  • The Original Bread Basket Deli Oak Park. Hands down best sandwich in town. If I could I would eat there every meal.

  • Mikes famous ham is right next door to Hygrade deli they have the absolute best ham sandwich ive ever ate

  • Bread Basket Deli in Oak Park, Ernie’s , and Ventimiglia’s in Sterling Heights at 15 and Dodge Park are the top 3.

    • I don’t get ventimiglis, I went there once, it wasn’t good enough to try again, bomarittos on Mack kills them

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