When executed well, the hot sandwich is a hearty, flavor-layered comfort of culinary beauty. Join us as we unhinge our jaws for some of the finest Northern Michigan sandwiches.

January 2020 Update: This article was published in 2013, but these delicious Northern Michigan sandwiches continue to stand the test of time. All shops are still open.

Pastrami Sandwich // Frenchies Famous

619 Randolph St., Traverse City // 231.944.1228

French Clements hustles like a culinary octopus, simultaneously whisking omelets on the small commercial range, shaving pastrami and teasing crema from his La Mazocca espresso machine while scribbling orders and greeting patrons at Frenchies Famous, Traverse City’s cultiest cafe. The ochre walls, hammered copper accents and busy clatter have a literary, Parisian spirit that is manifest in the savory crepes, airy omelets and café au lait that are Frenchies breakfast signatures. The pièce de résistance, however, is the pastrami. Frenchies corns and cures the brisket in house, yielding some of the finest pastrami this side of the five boroughs, which is served slathered with honey mustard and melted Swiss on salty focaccia.

The Garwood // Lakeside Charlie’s

301 S. Lake Mitchell Dr., Cadillac // 231.775.5332

A proprietary mouthful of shaved hard salami, smoked turkey, gouda, lettuce, tomato, red onion, pepperoncini and housemade thyme mayo grilled on crusty French bread.

Safety First // Lake Street Market

306 S. Lake St., Boyne City // 231.582.4450

Invoke warmer climes with this caprese-inspired stack of tomato, fresh mozzarella and housemade pesto grilled on baguette.

Great Lakes Fish Sandwich // Stafford’s Weathervane

106 Pine River Lane, Charlevoix // 231.547.4311

Lightly battered lake perch swimming under lettuce, tomato and punchy dill aioli on a cottage dill roll.

Carolina Reuben // Folgarelli’s

424 W. Front St., Traverse City // 231.941.7651

Revel in the Carolina Reuben, a transcendental combination of house-smoked ham, swiss cheese, slaw and sweet mustard grilled on crusty rye bread.

Baja Shrimp Wrap // The Roadhouse

1058 Michigan Ave., Benzonia // 231.882.9631

Grilled achiote shrimp and veggies with black bean corn relish, cheese and tomatoes tossed with the House dressing and folded in a flour tortilla. Olé!

Satch’s Cuban // Cormack’s Deli

2569 Charlevoix Ave., Petoskey // 231.347.7570

Memphis-style barbecue pulled pork, honey ham, Tony Packo’s sweet-hot pickles, melted cheddar and spicy brown mustard on a grilled onion roll.

Grilled Ham & Brie // Julienne Tomatoes

421 E. Howard St., Petoskey // 231.439.9250

Maple cured ham, French brie and cranberries: one of the world’s great threesomes made better with crunchy romaine and roasted seed bread from Crooked Tree Breadworks.

Big Brutus // Brutus Camp Deli

4086 U.S. 31 North, Brutus // 231.529.2222

Jaw exercises may be a pre-requisite for this lumberjack-sized hot stack of corned beef, Canadian bacon, smoked turkey, cheese and thousand island dressing on a sub bun.