Here, Eat This

Houston's Best Sandwiches: The Pesto Chicken Salad at Barnaby's Cafe

The Pesto Chicken Salad sandwich (with artichoke hearts) at Barnaby's Cafe is as beloved as the cute little inner loop chain that created it.
The Pesto Chicken Salad sandwich (with artichoke hearts) at Barnaby's Cafe is as beloved as the cute little inner loop chain that created it. Photo by Jeff Balke
We are in search of Houston's best sandwiches because we love sandwiches and we love Houston!

Finding great sandwiches in any city will invariably lead lunch lovers to quaint joints beloved by locals. You find the reviews on Yelp and Google. You read about them on Facebook. These aren't gourmet establishments or five-star dining, but they aren't exactly dive burger joints either. They are adorable, friendly and always a great place to get good food.

In Houston, Barnaby's Cafe is one of those places and if you find yourself at one of their locations, I humbly suggest you have them drop the Pesto Chicken Salad on your plate.

It should be noted that Barnaby's does nothing small. Their salads fill the bowl the size of a freeway retention pond and they don't shy away from giant, stacked sandwiches that strain the jawline. The Pesto Chicken Salad is no different except that it might be a little easier to eat thanks to the creamy interior.


But, who cares when it tastes this good? And this is no ordinary chicken salad. Made fresh in-house, it is packed with basil, pecans, parmesan cheese and, of course, chicken. Artichoke hearts are also part of the equation along with good olive oil, giving this an almost Greek vibe, particularly dressed with mayo and red onions.

The chunks of chicken and artichoke also give it a pleasant chew and the onion and lettuce provide nice crunch. There are a lot of textures and flavors going on and they are all wonderful. I also, highly recommend the sweet potato fries. Many believe them to be the best in Houston. My dining partner, who happened to be my mom, said she had never had better and she's somewhat of a connoisseur.

Plus, all the Barnaby's spots are just damn pleasant. You can lounge on the patio with your dog and try all manner of their killer sandwiches or, if you dare, the waffle fries and blue cheese fondue. Good lord. But, when you visit, put the Pesto Chicken Salad Sandwich on your to-try list. There's a reason so many people love it...and Barnaby's.

If you have a sandwich you think is one of the best in town, hit us up. We're always looking for new options.
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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke