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Where to Find the Best Sandwiches in Nantucket, the USA’s Unofficial Sandwich Capital

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1 week ago

We are always fascinated when a simple dish starts to become synonymous with the reputation of a place. And there is no more simple dish than a few ingredients between two pieces of bread. Alas, it is sandwiches that rule the culinary roost in Nantucket, but not all sandwiches are made equal so you need to know the best sandwiches in Nantucket.

We’ve experimented ourselves and consulted locals to determine the six best sandwiches in Nantucket, as assessed by quality, flavor and vibe of the eatery. And to go that extra step in experiencing the local culture, you should take your sandwich to one of Nantucket’s best beaches and eat it there as the locals do. It’s a critical part of assimilating into island life, and I wouldn’t expect any protests given that all is asked of you is to eat sandwiches on the beach.

Sandwiches to Nantucket are like kebabs in Iraq or snoek in South Africa, and they should be appreciated as such. Travel Insighter is all about exploring the world through the eyes of locals, and locals of Nantucket have decided that sandwiches are part of the cultural fabric of the island.

6. Curry Chicken Salad at Something Natural

Locals consider that gourmet sandwiches as a trend was started by Something Natural which has been making fantastic sandwiches for over 50 years. Something Natural inadvertently started an island-wide competition for best sandwiches in Nantucket, and lo and behold, in 2024, the island is filled with plenty of tasty options.

We’re glad to say that Something Natural hasn’t dropped its game. Their Curry Chicken Salad is one of the best on the island, and it’s even better when paired with one of their own house-made juices. And just for good measure, Something Natural is set away from the main town and is an oasis among the trees. You’ll want to sit and sunbake on the picnic tables after you’ve stuffed yourself.

Local tip: Get there early than 12 pm. Midday hits and suddenly there is a queue into the carpark.

At Something Natural, you get your choice of bread for any type of sandwich. “French” is actually a baguette which is a little crunchier and is a great choice for the Curry Chicken Salad sandwich, but the best bread pairing for the sandwich is the oatmeal according to Something Natural’s staff (yes, we quizzed them).

It’s a controversial opinion but the real draw of Something Natural is not so much their sandwiches (which are still objectively fantastic) but rather their absolutely delicious cookies. They only make two: chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin. And when somewhere only makes two types of cookies, you know they’re laser-focused on delivering the best flavor.

They are constantly baking fresh batches so you know you’re only going to get a fresh cookie, and any cookie connoisseur knows that fresh, warm cookies are the best cookies. I won’t be surprised if their cookies are the highlight of your meal.

5. Tuna Melt at Bartlett’s Farm

Bartlett’s Farm serves a huge variety of sandwiches, but the crowd favorite is unequivocally the Tuna Melt. You absolutely want to ask for your sandwich to be toasted with cheese. It’s super tasty and has the freshest ingredients. Otherwise, when in New England, treat yourself to a lobster roll.

Bartlett’s Farm’s is a great choice if you’re on the way to down to Ladies Beach, Miacomet Beach or Cisco Beach, all of which are within a 5 to 10-minute drive of Bartlett’s Farm. The team at Bartlett’s Farm prides themselves on making “farm made” sandwiches, which means they source virtually all of the ingredients for your sandwich right there on their farm.

Local tip: If you’re heading to the beach, order your sandwiches ahead online and they’ll leave them in the collection zone wrapped and ready to go.

Bartlett’s Farm is a lot more than a sandwich shop, so if you’re struggling to justify driving out of town for a sandwich, you’ll find plenty to buy and keep you entertained in their garden center and market. It’s also right next to Cisco Brewers which is one of the places you must visit in Nantucket.

4. Nantucket Babe at Fresh

With black forest ham, melted gruyere, and spicy honey mustard on ciabatta, the Nantucket Babe at Fresh is a force to be reckoned with. They also serve gluten-free sandwiches, which aren’t terribly uncommon on the island but Fresh serves the best of them. The sandwiches are expensive, but you know you’re getting one of the best sandwiches in Nantucket.

If you get a sandwich at Fresh, we recommend you take your sandwich to the nearby harbor and enjoy there.

If you’re looking for a breakfast sandwich, the Wake N’ Bacon (on the everything bagel, of course) is absolutely the right choice. The only thing we should mention is that Fresh takes its time making sandwiches, so don’t expect to have your sandwich in hand within ten minutes.

3. Classic Veggie at Claudette’s

It’s a tough choice between the Classic Veggie and the Roast Beef at Claudette’s, but we suspect you’ll be getting a minimum of two so you can fight it out with yourself. The honest truth is what really makes Claudette’s sandwiches so great is the house sauce which is a mixture of mayo, spicy brown mustard and horseradish.

Claudette’s is located in Siasconset (known as Sconset to locals), which is one of the places you should visit (ideally by bike) during your stay in Nantucket. Claudette’s is also one of the best sandwiches in Nantucket because of the vibe of the place. The eatery is located on the corner of the tiny beach town and seems to be the unofficial meeting point. Take a minute to sit down and enjoy the space.

2. Ham & Swiss Panini at Born & Bread

Born & Bread gets it all right: tasty sandwiches (and amazing cookies), a great morning and early afternoon vibe, that freshly baked smell, and wonderful flavors from producers around the island. In particular, the Ham & Swiss Panini (very closely followed by the Bianco Grilled Cheese) is absolutely delicious, and luckily for you, the bakery is right in the center of town so you won’t need to go far.

If sandwiches are the savory choice for Nantucket locals, it’s clear that cookies are the sweet choice. Alongside PPX Events Patisserie and Something Natural, the cookies at Born & Bread, particularly the cowboy, are worth a trip on their own. They’re perfectly gooey, warm to touch and an interesting mix of texture and flavor. If we were writing a list of best cookies in Nantucket, the cowboy would come out on top.

1. And the best sandwich in Nantucket is…

The signature Turkey Terrific at Provisions. It’s just so incredibly tasty, and it will almost certainly become one of the foundational memories of your time in Nantucket. What sets the Turkey Terrific at Provisions apart is that its made with proper stuffing the way it should be.

Provisions is the breakfast and lunch arm of Straight Wharf, one of the best restaurants in Nantucket, so you know you’re going to get an excellent sandwich. Provisions is super popular among locals and visitors alike, but although there will almost always be a line at peak sandwich time (breakfast and lunch), it moves quickly and you won’t usually wait more than 15 minutes for your sandwich.

Provisions might not have the storied history of Something Natural, but they’ve created a terrific (no pun intended) turkey sandwich. We would suggest that you keep your Provisions sandwiches in the brown paper bag and take them to the beach, but it’s just too good to not eat it straightaway at the restaurant or at the nearby harbor.

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irina dalgaard

Tuesday 18th of June 2024

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