Best Sandwiche Shop in South San Francisco is…….

South City foodies are loyal over their favorite sandwich shop when over 160 people weighed in. Photo Justin Guzman

South City foodies are loyal over their favorite sandwich shop when over 160 people responded.
Photo Justin Guzman

Folks in South City take their sandwiches seriously as was shown by the huge response, when over 160 people weighed in with their opinions after Everything South City posted this picture submitted by Justin Guzman on our Facebook page. The timing was perfect as ESC is working to host a ‘Sandwich Tasting Contest’ in the next month or so. The enthusiastic replies helped us narrow our sandwich shops to old school favorites Little Lucca’s on El Camino Real and Darby Dan’s on Airport, and the new kid on the block, Subculture Deli on Spruce.  Ken & Mike’s on Airport, and Luigis on Littlefield, also big time favorites,  are definitely worthy of being in our contest.  If you are interested in becoming one of our tasters please let us know! Details on this contest will be updated in the next week or so.

Here are some of the comments from our loyal South City foodies. (Grammar police are asked to be silent since these posts were copied from social media where those rules are not embraced by most)

*Ray Galarza: Very tough call because I love both of them. Darby’s Sleeper is crazy good Little Lucca’s garlic spread is legendary. Can’t lose with either of these two deli’s imho.

*Ronald Wong: Love them both!!! Both of them made excellent crab and shrimp sandwiches! It’s a coin flip for me, plus that’s the only time I eat sandwiches, either Little Luccas or Darby Dan’s

*Debbie Lewis Mendez: Little Lucas, I miss that place!!

*David Valencia: Sandwiches are pretty much the same all over. The only difference is which place uses the better sauce and which establishment is cleaner. Darby Dans beats Lucca on cleanliness while Little Lucca has the much better sauce. If u make it out to Richmond District on 15th and Geary, Lou’s Cafe beats South City’s best two in both those categories.

*Riko Cus: Subculture FTW!!

*Angelain Anderson Medina: Darby’s has the WORST bread! It ruins the sandwich!

*Monique Martinez: Little Luccas all the way

*David Valencia: And yes, Lou’s Cafe is even better than Subculture it’s just too bad it’s all the way on Geary Street.

*Angelique Presidente: Yes I will be more than happy to taste test!!

*Adam Hyndman Subculture is the best!!

*Marwan Salfiti: Little Lucca’s is good only because of the sauce. They use cheap meat, which makes a horrible sandwich.

*Okey Amuzie: I go to the Little Lucca’s in Little Luccas in Burlingame

*Deborah Mcgrath: what is the weight of the lunchmeat? ? used to be 1/4 pound per sandwich. is little lucca using the same amount lunchmeat but larger rolls. For me, the bread makes the sandwich.

*Angelique Presidente: Little Lucca’s!! They have an equivalent to the “Sleeper” by far better!!Ike’s on Mission hella good too uses SSF Raymond’s bread

*Jenny M Montanez: I second Subculture!!

*Laura Alban Walsh: I would love to be a taste tester

*David Valencia: Ike imo is overrated. Lou’s Cafe is by far the best sandwich spot in SF.

*Shirley Keogh: Ah crap…now I’m hungry…Little Lucca’s needs to set up shop in Illinois! I miss you so!!!! LOL

*Steve Nunez: Little Lucca Specialty Sandwich Shop hands down the best they have way more of selections

*Angelique Presidente: Darby Dan’s was awesome when it was the old back in the day owners, but there sandwiches & quality shrunk with the new owners, legacy squashed!

*Mitch Rafter: What about Subculture?

*Erik Alvarez: I think both are overrated. Ill take a sandwich from New daly city market/liquor store on templeton over both, no questions asked…and they’re only 6.50!!

*Angelina C Suarez: Maybe take a pic of the inside? Like LIttle Lucas but they are skimping on their meats, not good… More bread and lettuce than anything.. Prices went up and you hardly get any meat!!

*Mayor Finau Takapu: Little luccas hands down! Raised on Little luccas in so city.

*Adam Hyndman: Colombos in Pacifica

*Sarah Nicole: OMG I miss little luccas!!!

*Jerry Hamilton: Mike an kens south air port

*Jeremiah Miller: Subculture blows them both out of the water!!! Deliman Rocks!!

*Freddy Poli: Agreed. Subculture is the bomb!

*Heidi Marie Hermone: Both look yummy I want a sandwich

*Juan Bustos: Please let me be a taste tester. And include Subculture too.

*Jaime Portillo: mike and kens south airport blvd

*Adam Hyndman: Romas in San Bruno


*Liz Soto: Nothing like Colombos in Pacifica when it comes to taste and quality!

*Anthony Nieva: Roy’s Deli when it was still family owned killed them all

*Ubaldo Reyes: If this was a comparison based on taste, Dan’s win. If it was a competition to see who can ruin the taste with so much garlic spread, Lucca wins.

*Yolanda Dolande: Little Lucca gives you more sandwich to make up for the poor quality meat. Just my opinion.

*Sheila Folan Cronin: Where is Subculture?

*ESC:  they share the bldg with Raymonds on Spruce. Go into the parking lot and enter through the side door towards the back rather than Raymond’s front door. Tell Pat ESC sent you!!

*Nicol Montano: Nobody’s got it better than Little Lucca Specialty Sandwich Shop!!
There’s a Whole Lotta Love in that Sandwich

*Danielle Howard: Romas in san bruno and Subculture are the best around! Little luccas yuck!!

*Nicole Montano: I worked in delis, mine is the BEST! I’ll put mine up against them all. You have to care about what you make, not slap it together!

*Tane Maire: Seriously! I used to work at a deli too and the sandwiches I made were awesome. Go back to the same deli with the same ingredients and it just isn’t the same…


*Jose Martinez: Darby Dans by far way better! Not the biggest but the Best!!! They have been using the Jalapeño sauce since the seventies, little Lucas gets all wet and sloppy!!! Not Good!!!

*Bonnie Tognetti: My mother was in LOVE with Little Lucca. Used to drive down from The City to get their shrimp salad sandwich.

*Nancy Kehle: Don’t forget about Bogy’s on Linden. They have REAL meat…

*Francisco Manuel Alvarex-Martin: subculture> than both of those combined

*Yadira Levesque: Darby Dans is better!!!

*Christina Teani: Little Lucca’s. My parents were the original owners, so I’m very biased

*Nadine Moreno: I still take Darby Dans. Portion control and better quality!!!!

*Angelique Presidente to Christina Teani:  Biased, more like lucky! What a yummy childhood! YUM!

*Geneva Wisnewski: I love both. Believe me the little luccas in Millbrae don’t have anything on the SSF one. Drive all the way to SSF every weekend to get my fix. Grew up on both I lived On cypress so Darby dans was an everyday thing in the summer and little luccas was everyday for lunch during school

*Jim Kamariotis: For taste Darby dans

*Sailesh Mehra: Darby Dan’s!

*Jasmine McCord: Darby Dans is better hands down. You just can’t beat the taste of their sandwiches

*Jayne Peterson-Dimas: I love them both but Darby Dan has my taste buds

*Erik Alvarez: Homers.

*David Richoux to Sheila Folan Cronin – Subculture is in the Raymond’s Sourdough building on Spruce @ Starlite, on the parking lot side entrance. I like their chile dog, but all of their sandwiches are very good.

*Wendy Bellinger-Denny: Subculture hands down!!!

*Tim Hopkins: You should also let Subculture in the contest. ^They are a SSF Deli also…

*Jc AndLyn: Subculture for all fresh ingredients and nothing is microwaved!

*Evelyn Zaldana-Martinez: Little Lucas they get you in and out in a flash not like Derby Dan’s whenever they feel like serving the paying customer

*Angela Marzetta: Lill lucca all the way!! Darby Dan’s is terrible now!! It used to be good back in the day’s but the bread is dry and they barely put any meat!! I like Subculture above darby’s but lill Lucca is still number #1 to this South City girl!!

*Stephen Doyle: Both of these places SUCK! Subculture Deli RULES!

*Doug Kelly: Both SSF institutions! I like DD’s a little bit more.

*Jason Sivell: Roma’s!!!!!!

*Karen Davenport: Subculture has a clam chowder to die for too!

*Alichia Siguenza: For me little Lucca’s SSF, mmm

*Rick Delgado:  Lucca quality has gone down but the size has remained. Im siding with Darby Dan’s just out of taste

*Konrad Tolai: Little Lucca’s crab salad sandwich!!!

*Sharon Albera: Little Lucca all the way.

*Linda Zito: miss these sandwhiches

*Denise Lucia Premenko: *Roma’s in San Bruno is the best* Years (and I mean years) ago Little Lucca used to be the best in SSF but since ownership change…..the sandwiches have changed! Meat quality is poor!!!

*Demetra Kanellos: I need to say its little lucca’s all the way. I went to visit some old so. City friends that move to Oregon & had a request to bring a little lucca’s sandwhich with me. How’s that for special delivery from SFO all the way to Portland.

*Muriel Pleasic Peninger: woohoo!!!!!!!

*Mary Azzopardi:  I’ll make the trip to Columbo’s or to Calabria Bros (in SF at the old Sorrento’s location)….both make way better sammys than Little Luccas or Darby Dans for around the same price…better meats, better service, true old school delis in my opinion…sad since L.L. used to be the spot in SSF….

*Ashley DeNardi: Little Lucca by far. One word: garlic sauce

*Muriel Pleasic Peninger:  little lucas, by far, plus the crunchy bread crust. woo hoo!!!!!!!

*Dawn Carroll Cobb: awww man I totally forgot about Little Luccas sandwiches,they were the bomb dude, and huge! making me homesick!

*Rick Mesta: Roma’s in SB hands down.

*Adam Hyndman: Leonardos in Millrae is also good.

*Randy Wright: Darby Dans is the original, little lucca RIPPED OFF their idea (garlic mayo, peppers ect…)

*Gilbert Rodriguez: I grew up on that food.

*Claudia L Chevez: Luccas all the way…Darby sucks…

*Luis Pina: Little lucas! end of discussion


*Carol A Dowling: Lucca

*Ryan Rogers: Little Lucas all the way. Damn your photo made me want to go get one now. And they DID NOT RIP OFF Darby Dans, they IMPROVED IT!

*Emilio Torres: little lucas is coo i fux wit Mike&Kens deli the long way tho

*Kiki DeWees: dutch crunch…with garlic please…..

*Chris Willis: Little Luccas was way better in the 80’s now it’s all bread

*Tianaa Vialau: MIKE AND KENS yum

*Walder:  I’m in!!!!!!!!

*Solo Taumoepeau: SUBCULTURE – I’ve been loyal from a kid to Little Luccas but just recently I discovered a great contender.I can taste my boars head coldcuts @ subculture & it reminds me of the East Coast Delis on the tri-state area. I VOLUNTEER TO BE A TASTE TESTER ! lol

*Amanda Kesner-Hays: My husband would say Little Luccas, but the line is too much for me. I say Luigi’s…

*Peps Padilla: Subculture all the way. Darbys is terrible and Luccas is too worn out

*Marc Escalante: LITTLE LUCCA’S!!!!!!!!!!!

*Lilo Wayne N Ruta: So remember this sandwhich shop. Always went there after a church function. THE BEST!!

*Ryan Rogers: ESC why did you have to post this picture on a day that Little Lucca’s is closed?? I got all excited about getting one, hopped in the car, drove over to get one from Lucca’s and they were closed.

* ESC: Sorry!!

*Ryan Rogers: It’s okay. I ended up going El Farolito instead. lol.

*Justin Guzman: I went this morning, they were open! They may have just closed early today.

*Ryan Rogers: I went by at like 3:30 and it was closed. Oh well.

*Andrea Villa: Little Lucca’s

*Debi HdzHorny: They close too early 4:30; I think the one in Burlingame (brother’s shop) closes a little later. Love Lucca’s

*Lorie Garcia Leveen: Little Lucca’s sandwiches are the best. If any one haven’t tried Little Lucca’s sandwiches, they are missing a lot. The best of So. City!

*Felicia Howland: Little Lucca’s all the way baby!!

*Lori DeMars: Little Luccas. ?.hands down!

*Rosemary Marcantonio: Little Lucca’s..

*Richard Shirley: but whats in the sandwich not how long it is ?

*Abiel Aulelei Toa Malepeai: Little Luccas Southwestern for the win!

*Ava Jalapeno Popper Romero: little luccas sammies, they are the bomb, im about to crave for it soon enough’

*Kevin McIntosh: Little lucca first time I ever had a duch crunch I don’t remember them being that big

*Lina Katami Shetaya: Luigis sandwich palace !!!!! Clean fresh with the jalepeno and garlic spread is awesome) Luigis on Littlefield Ave,,,SSF

*Ramon Liveness: Mike and Ken’s on airport blvd!

*Jorge Alegre: can I be one of the testers? Lol

*Brian Fitzgerald: I have to disagree with this. They both make good sandwiches, the size comparison doesn’t look right. I won’t go to Little Lucca because the place is dirty, the lines long, and the place is stuffy. Darby Dan’s has been around a lot longer, and makes a consistent experience.

*Brian Chevalier: Little Luca has better looking bread even though I hate dirty…

*Brian Fitzgerald to Brian Chevalier:, Westborogh Deli sandwiches got pretty good over the past couple of years also…

*Brian Chevalier: Maybe Burlingame is cleaner…1809 El Camino Real @ Burlingame Shopping Plaza. And I’ve had a good sandwich here too at Mr. Pickles Sandwiche Shop in San Mateo

*Brian Fitzgerald: Little known fact; Luigi used to manage the straw hat pizza back in the 70-80s. Opened a couple of pizza and sandwich shops over the years. What a nice man.

*Ramiro Mayorga: One of the best sandwich is made at Sub Culture deli at 151 south spruce Ave so San Fran. Check it out for yourself.

*Travis Stevenson: Mike and kens deli next to jail house liquors and has the best sandwiches!

*Justin Cresci: Well Luigi’s that used to be on Gellert is closed down, only location is his one in Pacifica. Also, due to the remodeling I believe Westborough Deli closed down. They weren’t sure if they were coming back last I heard since they doubled rent now since the shopping center is going to be a lot nicer.

*Alex Smack’smack Brusca: The size of the bread doesnt matter. Its whats inside the sandwiches…. Subway does footlongs for $5 but it’s all bread and lettuce. You only get two slices of meat and one slice of cheese cut in half to look like two. I rather pay more and get better quality. You get what you pay for.

*Stacey Turpin:Westborough Deli sandwiches are the best!

*Richad Gatmaitan: Julie’s in Brisbane, lol….. missing Little Lucca’s, rocking their teeshirt up here in Santa Rosa/Sebastopol. I manage to get stopped once every two weeks by somebody that lives up here and misses their sandwiches dearly LOL!!!!!! Ike’s opened up here and they are ok, but no substitute for LL.

*Cindy Stenson: oh HOW I MISS Little Lucas!!!! But I also miss the Lucas family! Dede, can you mail me one ;o)

*Kim Whitlow: Darby Dans is better tasting, size has nothing to do with quality and taste!

*Craig Morganti: Mike & Kens deli for $5.25

*Natalia Cardenas: Probably Little Lucca’s, you can’t beat those.

*Deanna Mercurio: Little Lucca’s all the way….

* Nicol Montano: I Live in Vacaville now, but still go to Little Lucca Specialty Sandwich Shop every month, even got my new Son in Law hooked on the BBQ Beef Brisket Sandwich. NOBODY IN Vacaville can touch their sandwiches. The food sucks here!
But nobody makes a better one than me, cause a Mom put a lot of Love in it!

*Mike Delucci: Roy’s deli was the best!!! When it was across from El Camino

*Kevin Cunningham: Tough call!

*Rod Curl: Darby Dan’s Rules. Tradition.

* Vic Scocca: Little Lucca’s

*Cindy Shetava: Sandwich Factory in ssf! I’m there everyday for lunch. There’s actually a deli right near my work, but the owner is a straight overpriced jerk!!!

*Rod Curl: Bought my first house in The Bay Area, in Brisbane in 1988. Loved going to Bertolucci’s for dinner n getting sandwiches at Dardy Dan’s for Niners and Giants games…. They rule!!!

*Teresa Orrante: Darby Dan’s

*Rod Curl to Steven Montez: Eat diz, was living in Brisbane during the 1989 Earth Shake, I was at the game with a Darby Dan’s special when then lights went OUT…

*Lenny Lucero: Darby Dan’s, very close as Little Lucas rocks too!!!

*Robbin Guglielmi: Little Lucas

*Brian Cassidy: Darby Dan’s is such an overrated sandwich shop… They offer nothing that you couldn’t make in your own home. I don’t dislike it… it’s just “nothing special” whatsoever. Check out the “sandwich spot” in Millbrae. It definitely gives little lucca a run for it’s money. Maybe better quality sandwiches…And subculture is crap compared to the sandwich spot.

*Jennifer Pfeiffer: Go to Leonardo’s in Millbrae. Trust me!

*Marinna Kelly: Darby dans always!! I grew up on this!!! I’m sad Cus I live on the other side of the bay

*Robbin Guglielmi: Also how about Sams in Burlingame

* Hellkat Shows: Little Lucas was good when I went to El Camino high school and graduated in 85 I would say go down Manor to Colombo’s in Manor Square killer sandwiches

*Keith Wood: Back in the day Roma’s in San Bruno

*Will Alvarez: Little Lucas sandwich was good but it’s way over priced!! Plus they’re rude! So Darby dans please!

* Cheri Nicholls-Beering: Mollie Stones in bay hill. Pesto garlic spread please!!

*Cera Boyer: Depends if u r going for size or flavor. I’m a Darby Dans gal hands down.

*Jennifer Pfeiffer: How funny. We obviously are locals / “locos! Who started this meat fest discussion anyway?

*Karen Brogan: Darby dans looks better as in you see hanging out the side. In this case it’s not the size but the taste……..

*Rory McCabe: I don’t get crazy how big it is. What’s it taste like?

*Tim Phipps: Best was Herb’s deli on Taraval in the city. Unbelievable meatball sandwiches on Thursdays. Gone now.

*Gloria Evans: OMG! My 2 absolute favorite sandwich places. Favorite sandwich at Little Lucca’s is salami, and at Darby Dan’s turkey & cranberry sauce…both with ALL the fixin’s of course Maybe I should overnight one to Washington state!








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[…] A fun read including neighbors opinions on the best sandwich in town can be found HERE […]


[…] fun read can be found HERE in our archives as we asked folks who had the better sandwiches; Little Lucca’s or Darby […]

Victoria Monroe
Victoria Monroe
8 years ago

Little Lucca’s over Darby Dan’s… but Colombo’s Deli in Pacifica beats both hands down.