Beef Up Your Takeout Routine with Classic Roast Beef Sandwiches Around Boston

By Catherine Smart
Nick's Famous Roast Beef

In the pantheon of regional specialties, North Shore-style Roast Beef Sandwiches are a thing around Boston. Thinly sliced beef piled high on a squishy bun, the toppings are some combo of cheese, BBQ sauce, and mayo—with all of the above, it’s a classic “three-way.” These hand-held meals are built to satisfy carnivorous cravings, ranging in heft from Junior-size to Super. Whether you’re looking for an unadulterated original or a fancy Wagyu upgrade, here’s where to go for the best roast beef sandwiches from Brookline up to Beverly.

Cusser’s Roast Beef & Seafood

Credit: Holly Rike

Made with luxe Wagyu beef, the Famous Roast Beef sandwiches at Cusser’s are North Shore-style, but dressed up for church. At the Back Bay takeout spot from the folks at 80 Thoreau and Mooncusser Fish House, order a Cusser’s Three-Way with BBQ sauce, mayo, and cheese; or 80T Style with spicy aioli, pickled onions, and cheddar—and don’t forget a craft cocktail to wash it all down.

Nick’s Famous Roast Beef

A North Shore institution since 1975, Nick’s Famous Roast Beef in Beverly proudly boasts the motto, “We’re the Only One,” and indeed, in 2019 People magazine named it the best sandwich in Massachusetts. Though the folks at Nick’s are sticklers for tradition—you’re getting the three-way with mayo, BBQ sauce, and cheese—they now offer gluten-free buns, too, because everyone deserves to enjoy a pile of tender beef slathered in sauce.

Where to Order the Best Sandwiches in Boston

Rethinking a roast beef sandwich is a little like trying to cover a Beatles song, but Cutty’s Beef 1000 is a remake that really works. A brioche roll all piled up with slow-cooked beef, crispy fried shallots, sharp cheddar cheese, and a Thousand Island riff on the dressing, it’s obvious why this Brookline sandwich shop has such a devoted following. The 1000 is an instant classic.

Harrison’s Roast Beef

This family-run restaurant in North Andover is known for melt-in-your-mouth shredded roast beef served on an onion roll, simply slathered in BBQ sauce. But if you insist on going your own way, Harrison’s is happy to accommodate, with topping options like horseradish, hot relish, and mayo. The (non-alcoholic) drink menu is an amazing throwback, too, with Black n’ White shakes, Sarsaparilla soda, and Grape Kool-Aid.

Hot Box

Hot Box Sandwich
Brian Samuels Photography

A day-one dining option at Somerville’s eclectic Bow Market, Hot Box is a one-stop shop for two regional specialties: lacy-edged South Shore-style bar pizza and hulking North Shore-style roast beef sandwiches. From the minds behind the masterful breakfast sandwich at Mike and Patty’s, the walkup shop’s beefy three-way lights up all the right boxes. Layers of thinly sliced Angus are doused in piquant BBQ sauce, melding with melty American cheese and mayo, all atop a soft, onion-flecked roll.

Supreme Roast Beef

Head to this Danvers landmark for the Super Beef, served on a pillowy onion roll for more than 45 years. But don’t leave without trying Supreme’s Greek Salad—or, more specifically, the house-made Greek dressing, which is a secret recipe of the owner George Metaxakis. Who knew our roast beef habit would lead to eating more veggies?

Mike's Roast Beef

No matter what time of day you start craving a tender beef sandwich on a squishy roll, head to Everett. This old-school spot makes them fresh daily from 9 a.m. until 2 a.m. If eating Mike’s Roast Beef for breakfast is wrong, we don’t want to be right.

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