A few ground rules first. The place really has to be a spot for sandwiches. Sure, there are some great restaurants with A sandwich on the menu, but that doesn't make them good spots for sandwiches, plural. This eliminates many fine(r) dining options. Also, I'm retiring Antone's. We all like it. No need to keep telling people.
I can tell you, it wasn't easy to choose. There are some really good spots that didn't quite make my list.
Honorable Mention: Onion Creek
I give this an honorable mention because it remains a stalwart member of my go-to eateries in Houston. The turkey on ciabatta with avocado and bacon continues to be one of my favorite sandwiches anywhere, so much so that I try to visit often enough to ensure OC remains open and that sandwich continues to exist.
This Montrose staple has flat out great panini including the Petronella with turkey and pesto. These are very, very large hunks of sourdough, so the sandwiches are massive. Half of one with some tomato soup ought to do it, especially because you have to save room for one of their incredible sugar cookies.
Not to be confused with the fine dining establishment in Greenway Plaza, this incredible Italian deli is actually in Montgomery, east of Conroe. A reader persistently insisted I try it and I finally made it in 2019. Lord, was it worth it for these monstrous Italian classics like the Lucky Luciano (pictured). Take the drive. You'll thank me.
What would this list be without a bánh mì? And there are great Vietnamese spots all over town to choose from. But, the combination of creativity and perfect bread from Roostar gives them the edge in my book. I could eat there every day.
With sandwiches like the "Crunchy" Chicken (pictured), the local chain owned by the folks who gave us Benjy's and the Classic All Day, Local Foods is quickly becoming the city's favorite spot for a great sandwich and with good reason. They are out of this world.
If you haven't tried Ploughman's, a tiny strip center joint on Pinemont just north of Oak Forest, you gotta get there. The locally-sourced ingredients, nevermind the cool nerdy decor, and creative combinations make this one of Houston's hidden gems deserving of much more recognition than they get. Don't miss out on this one.