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Maine's signature sandwich, the Italian from Amato's.
Maine's signature sandwich, the Italian from Amato's.
Amato's

16 Superb Sandwiches to Seek Out in Maine

Why does everything taste better between slices of bread?

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Maine's signature sandwich, the Italian from Amato's.
| Amato's

Delis and restaurants across Maine turn out epic sandwiches every day. Here's a guide to 16 of the truly worthwhile options, new and old, bound to satisfy anyone who tries them and upset anyone whose local favorite was neglected. Looking for the state's essential lobster rolls? There's a map for those, too.

Note: map points are ordered south to north.

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Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process.

Bennett's Store

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Bennett's is known for its huge sandwiches served on soft, dense white sub rolls. The local favorite is the "steak bomb," the steak and cheese combo loaded with shaved steak, American cheese, and grilled onions, peppers, and mushrooms. The large, at nearly 2 feet long, is suitable only for the truly famished.

Palace Diner

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Practically everything that comes out of this diminutive kitchen is the Platonic ideal of itself. The tuna melt is no exception: "The raft of iceberg lettuce makes it," as Eater critic Bill Addison noted.
Bill Addison/Eater

Tandem Coffee + Bakery

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This bakery's breakfast sandwiches and sweet treats may get all the love, but its lunch offerings are stealthily gaining a following. The unusual crowd-pleaser is the egg and pickle sandwich: sliced eggs, pickled beets, mayonnaise, and herbs on focaccia.
Corey Templeton/Eater

Home Catering Company

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The opening of this young Spring Street deli was followed closely by rave reviews of its Reuben. Housemade corned beef is stacked high on rye bread, covered with Morse's sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Thousand Island dressing, then grilled in a panini press. Grab plenty of napkins.

Foodworks

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Foodworks must be a contender for Portland's best-kept secret. Fans of this India Street deli particularly love the tuna salad sandwich with celery, red onion, and sprouts on housemade bread, preferably of the Anadama persuasion.

Amato's

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Like it or not, the Italian is Maine's unique regional specialty, and Amato's, "Home the of the Real Italian," is the place to try the now-ubiquitous ham and cheese sub on a soft white roll.

Fishermen's Grill

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Maine is full of fried fish sandwiches, but it's the haddock "slammer" at this unassuming roadside seafood grill that has fans foaming at the mouth. The huge portion of fish comes fried to perfection, accompanied by tartar sauce and a soft bun comically undersized relative to the haddock. "Green and red vegetables" are optional.

Rosen's Deli

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Chopped liver fans had their hearts broken when news broke of Full Belly Deli's closing — but not for long, as the deli relocated to Westbrook with a new name. The same classic hot pastrami on rye can be found at the new location.

Po'Boys & Pickles

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Busy outer Forest Avenue is not the easiest place to run a sandwich shop, but that doesn't stop loyal followers from repeatedly recommending these po'boys as some of the best sandwiches in Maine. The classic fried oyster po'boy on a characteristic crackly sub roll is a must.

Clayton's

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Fans of Clayton's love its unique sandwich fillings and housemade soups and baked goods. The most popular item is the chicken salad in a variety of styles; try it with blue cheese and red grapes.

Big Top Deli

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It's no joke that the best sandwich at this circus-themed deli in downtown Brunswick is the Hoax: a breaded, fried chicken breast with American cheese, tomato, and lettuce. Big Top is also one of the places in Maine to find an Italian cold cut sub (not to be confused with the Maine Italian made famous by Amato's).

The Landings Restaurant

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Diners love "Not Your Mom's BLT," where the classic sandwich is elevated with slab bacon, Bibb lettuce, and red pepper aioli. The waterfront restaurant closes for the season at the end of October, so hurry up and try this midcoast favorite.

'Wich, Please

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Food blogger-turned-food trucker Malcolm Bedell successfully launched his sandwich cart in Rockland's Buoy Park this summer. For the winter, Bedell has shacked up at nearby restaurant Comida to offer lunch service, so you can still try The Reubenesque: roasted sliced beets, Morse's sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and house Russian dressing on rye.

Maine Street Meats

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Located in the State of Maine Cheese Co., this butcher shop's one-day-only Vietnamese banh mi makes Mondays worth getting out of bed for. Housemade meat spreads and baguettes seal the deal; sub in a locally-made tofu for a vegetarian version.

The Coffee Pot

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The favorite here, simply called The Coffee Pot, is a soft split top roll filled with onions, peppers, and tomatoes, then layered with salami, American cheese, and pickles. The trademarked original was served at here and inspired a lawsuit when several neighboring cafes attempted to sell copycat versions.

Big G's Deli

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Big G's has been serving its oversized sandwiches in the central Maine area for almost 30 years. While everyone has her favorite, it's the Gobblin Gourmet (chicken salad, cranberry sauce, lettuce, and cheddar cheese) that has captured the hearts and stomachs of most diners.

Bennett's Store

Bennett's is known for its huge sandwiches served on soft, dense white sub rolls. The local favorite is the "steak bomb," the steak and cheese combo loaded with shaved steak, American cheese, and grilled onions, peppers, and mushrooms. The large, at nearly 2 feet long, is suitable only for the truly famished.

Palace Diner

Practically everything that comes out of this diminutive kitchen is the Platonic ideal of itself. The tuna melt is no exception: "The raft of iceberg lettuce makes it," as Eater critic Bill Addison noted.
Bill Addison/Eater

Tandem Coffee + Bakery

This bakery's breakfast sandwiches and sweet treats may get all the love, but its lunch offerings are stealthily gaining a following. The unusual crowd-pleaser is the egg and pickle sandwich: sliced eggs, pickled beets, mayonnaise, and herbs on focaccia.
Corey Templeton/Eater

Home Catering Company

The opening of this young Spring Street deli was followed closely by rave reviews of its Reuben. Housemade corned beef is stacked high on rye bread, covered with Morse's sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Thousand Island dressing, then grilled in a panini press. Grab plenty of napkins.

Foodworks

Foodworks must be a contender for Portland's best-kept secret. Fans of this India Street deli particularly love the tuna salad sandwich with celery, red onion, and sprouts on housemade bread, preferably of the Anadama persuasion.

Amato's

Like it or not, the Italian is Maine's unique regional specialty, and Amato's, "Home the of the Real Italian," is the place to try the now-ubiquitous ham and cheese sub on a soft white roll.

Fishermen's Grill

Maine is full of fried fish sandwiches, but it's the haddock "slammer" at this unassuming roadside seafood grill that has fans foaming at the mouth. The huge portion of fish comes fried to perfection, accompanied by tartar sauce and a soft bun comically undersized relative to the haddock. "Green and red vegetables" are optional.

Rosen's Deli

Chopped liver fans had their hearts broken when news broke of Full Belly Deli's closing — but not for long, as the deli relocated to Westbrook with a new name. The same classic hot pastrami on rye can be found at the new location.

Po'Boys & Pickles

Busy outer Forest Avenue is not the easiest place to run a sandwich shop, but that doesn't stop loyal followers from repeatedly recommending these po'boys as some of the best sandwiches in Maine. The classic fried oyster po'boy on a characteristic crackly sub roll is a must.

Clayton's

Fans of Clayton's love its unique sandwich fillings and housemade soups and baked goods. The most popular item is the chicken salad in a variety of styles; try it with blue cheese and red grapes.

Big Top Deli

It's no joke that the best sandwich at this circus-themed deli in downtown Brunswick is the Hoax: a breaded, fried chicken breast with American cheese, tomato, and lettuce. Big Top is also one of the places in Maine to find an Italian cold cut sub (not to be confused with the Maine Italian made famous by Amato's).

The Landings Restaurant

Diners love "Not Your Mom's BLT," where the classic sandwich is elevated with slab bacon, Bibb lettuce, and red pepper aioli. The waterfront restaurant closes for the season at the end of October, so hurry up and try this midcoast favorite.

'Wich, Please

Food blogger-turned-food trucker Malcolm Bedell successfully launched his sandwich cart in Rockland's Buoy Park this summer. For the winter, Bedell has shacked up at nearby restaurant Comida to offer lunch service, so you can still try The Reubenesque: roasted sliced beets, Morse's sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and house Russian dressing on rye.

Maine Street Meats

Located in the State of Maine Cheese Co., this butcher shop's one-day-only Vietnamese banh mi makes Mondays worth getting out of bed for. Housemade meat spreads and baguettes seal the deal; sub in a locally-made tofu for a vegetarian version.

The Coffee Pot

The favorite here, simply called The Coffee Pot, is a soft split top roll filled with onions, peppers, and tomatoes, then layered with salami, American cheese, and pickles. The trademarked original was served at here and inspired a lawsuit when several neighboring cafes attempted to sell copycat versions.

Big G's Deli

Big G's has been serving its oversized sandwiches in the central Maine area for almost 30 years. While everyone has her favorite, it's the Gobblin Gourmet (chicken salad, cranberry sauce, lettuce, and cheddar cheese) that has captured the hearts and stomachs of most diners.