The 20 Best Sandwiches In 20 Brooklyn Neighborhoods

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Red Hook: Defonte’s Fried Eggplant, Fresh Mozzarella, and Hot Peppers on a Hero

This is Brooklyn. And now we’ve come to Red Hook. How could we not recognize one of the iconic Italian sandwich spots that put Brooklyn on the map for those in the culinary know way before Brooklyn became “Brooklyn.” Anyway! It doesn’t get much better than Defonte’s, and while it was hard to choose just one sandwich (the potato and egg is also incredible), we like this best because the eggplant is beautifully friend and breaded without being greasy or leaden, and the mozzarella is creamy and fresh, and it’s all perked up with those vinegary hot peppers whose juice soaks into the hero bread. Yum.

379 Columbia Street, Red Hook

13 COMMENTS

  1. Smoke meat sandwich from Mile End, (mayhaps?). Also, glad that there’s no sandwich in this list that has kale or incorporating kale.

  2. Mimi’s in Ditmas Park is a local spot i go to a couple times a month, but i’ve never seen that sandwich on the menu, i’ll have to ask about it next time. I usually get the mushroom hummus with warm whole wheat pita, and their cauliflower salad is to die for.

    Roll n’ Roasters is worth the trip out to Sheepshead bay, but personally I prefer Brennan and Carr’s roast beef.

    And the commune BLT is outstanding, I almost hesitate to mention it because it’s still a well kept secret.

  3. Love the list cept for one minor error. The Trinidadian amazing little pocket of heaven “doubles” are never called a “double” (singular). Because they always consist of TWO pieces of bara (the bread). So even though it sounds strange to an American ear…. You would order one by asking for “one doubles… Slight peppa”. : ). Now let me get back to working my way through your list!
    Jen

  4. The Michelle My Belle sandwich at Lorimer Market in Wburg is top 5 in NYC. These guys are legends, I’ll put them up against anyone.

  5. Umm..there is a really old school Italian hero shop in Lefferts Gardens called Mama Louisa’s. It rivals and is even better than DeFonte’s in Red Hook.

  6. John’s Deli?!?!?!? Been in business for 80 years out in gravesend with other locations in staten island. but the brooklyn shop is the original. Shrimp parm is outstanding but you really come here for the roast beef. The bread is perfect, roast beef slow cooked and juicy with some smothered onions but the secret ingredient is the gravy. Black and thick, it looks like motor oil and has a sweet syrupy consistency that goes so well with the sandwich that they sell it on its own as a side for you to dip things in. and whenever you tip the guys behind the counter, they all yell out “Subway” which has a rich history all its own.

  7. So so sad, 20 sandwiches and most reside in the gentrified nightmares locals hate.
    How about going deeper into Brooklyn and checking out the authentic flavors.

    Bay Ridge, Brighton Beach, Midwood, Mill Basin, Canarsie. So many neighborhoods that make up the heart of this borough. But no, you chose the hipster hell, from that which the rest of us run.

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