Baked ziti pizza may have been New York City's original carb-loaded mash-up, but noodle-loaded sandwiches are bringing even more starchy goodness to the five boroughs. Used as bread, in between bread or both, noodles are slowly becoming the key to creating a kick-ass sandwich. We're still waiting for someone to invent a solid baked ziti bun for a bodega bacon, egg and cheese (seriously!) but here are some of the best carb on carb-on-carb creations this sandwich-centric city has to offer.
Spaghetti Sandwich at M. Wells Dinette Leave it to the cafe at a contemporary art museum to substitute a baked spaghetti patty for a burger in what may be one of New York's greatest vegetarian sandwiches. Served in an old classroom at PS1, there's nothing elementary about this spaghetti sandwich, topped with Caesar salad and served between two toasty garlic buns. The crunchiness and carbiness work well together, and the heaviness of the spaghetti is lightened up a bit by the greens on top. Stabbed dramatically through the middle with a steak knife, this work of art is far better than anything served at a school cafeteria.
22-25 Jackson Ave., 718-786-1800, website
Ramen Burger The original noodle bun, Keizo Shimamoto's now trademarked creation, is pretty much New York's official icon of noodle sandwich goodness. The original Ramen Burger™ features a Schweid and Sons patty topped with bright green arugula and scallions, a secret shoyu (think ramen) sauce and is smashed between two squishy ramen noodle buns. While the classic is a solid option, branch out with the vegetarian version packed with crimini mushrooms and a slick of garlic aioli, or go for a BBQ spin with the teriyaki pulled-pork option. Personal recommendation: Stay in bed on a Sunday and order the breakfast burger, stacked with bacon, a fried egg and gooey white American cheese between the noodles.
2018 Hill-Ump at Sunny and Annie's A framed photo of Seth Rogen visiting this 24-hour bodega infamous for its unique sandwich creations should tip you off to what you're in for. This new spicy sandwich is piled with sliced roast beef, grilled teriyaki chicken, melty fresh mozzarella rounds, avocado, bean sprouts, fresh cilantro, pineapple, jalapeno and Korean glass noodles all slathered in a spicy green and red chili pesto sauce. In short, it's bomb. It's also massive and comes with a pickle, so bring a friend and enjoy on a bench in nearby Tompkins Square Park.
94 Avenue B., 212-677-3131, website
Sugar Freak Special i.e. Mac & Cheese Po'Boy at SugarFreak This on-menu special is truly something else. The New Orleans style po' boy sandwiches a chicken fried chicken cutlet with gooey mac and cheese, plus some extra cheddar for good measure. For those who can't decide between half a fried chicken or a bubbling skillet of mac and cheese, this is the perfect compromise. If the sandwich's lettuce and tomato have you feeling too healthy, go for an extra side of crawfish mac and cheese, served Poopa style i.e. in a bread bowl.
36-18 30th Ave., Astoria, 718-726-5850, website
(courtesy Brother Jimmy's)
Grilled Mac and Cheese at Brother Jimmy's Spiked with mustard, onions and some added cheddar, this next-level Velveeta mac and cheese lives its best life after being panini pressed between two buttered, cheesy slices of toast. Each bite is loaded with almost impossible levels of carbs and cheese that may permanently convert you to this mash-up version of the classic grilled sandwich. Eat over your basket of fries (necessary) to catch all the extra dripping cheese. Before you order a second, don't forget about the fried Oreos for dessert.
181 Lexington Ave., 212-779-7427, website
Melissa Kravitz moved to New York City in 2009 and has been writing about food ever since. Her work can be seen on Thrillist, Mashable, Elite Daily, First We Feast and more. She eats mostly noodles and is working on a novel.