Where to Order the Best Vegetarian Sandwiches in Boston

By Emily Millian
01/09/2023
The Best Vegetarian Sandwiches in Boston
Sofra | Credit: Chris McIntosh

Sandwiches are an easy option for lunch out in Boston, and that’s true for vegan and vegetarian diners, too. Whether you take all your meals meatless or are an omnivore seeking more greens in your life, these handhelds are stacked with plant-based possibilities. When only a sandwich without meat will do, check out these local spots for the best vegetarian sandwiches in Boston.

Flour Bakery + Cafe vegetarian sandwich
Credit: Brian Samuels Photography

Flour Bakery + Cafe might be best known for sweet treats like the coveted Sticky Buns and chocolate chip cookies, but the beloved bakery chain makes incredible sandwiches on its own breads. Veggie-forward offerings are fresh, seasonal, and often rival the ones with meat in heartiness, such as the Roasted Sweet Potato sandwich on multigrain sourdough with Great Hill blue cheese, walnut pesto, apple, and watercress. Homemade Hummus on focaccia showcases seasonal pickles, herbs, and vegan sriracha aioli, while the Grilled Mushroom Melt indulges our craving for gooey, greasy cheese with smoked gouda, gruyere, caramelized onions, and sherry. 

Shirley

Shirley - The Best Vegetarian Sandwiches in Boston
Shirley | Credit: Chris McIntosh

With a tagline like “eat more sunshine,” Shirley makes it easy to eat our veggies and feel good about it. The Davis Square newcomer stacks up with the best thanks to highly local, seasonal sammies. The Melty Camembert and Roasty Apple, for instance, combines ooey gooey Bell and Goose Camembert cheese from New Hampshire, roasted local apples, Wild Acres Farm honey, and olive oil; and the vegan-friendly Black Bean Sesame Sweet Potato Torta with chipotle-sesame sauce, caramelized sweet potatoes and butternut squash, pickled farm veggies, and refried black beans. The small menu changes daily, but it always offers something special.

Hi-Rise Bread Company
Credit: Brian Samuels Photography

We all know a good sandwich begins with good bread. It’s a non-negotiable ingredient. So the bread experts at Hi-Rise Bread Company anchor a swoon-worthy lunch menu with toasted whole wheat, sesame-speckled buns, and more fresh bakes stacked to order. With one of the most extensive selections of vegetarian sandwiches around at more than a dozen options, this Porter Square bakery takes veggies just as seriously as the bread game. We love Johnathan’s Vegetable Garden with cooling goat cheese, radish, cucumber, red leaf lettuce, tomato, and basil pesto. Or, try Johnye’s Louisville Slugger for something a little more decadent: mushroom duxelles, monterey jack, roasted tomato, and smoked serrano mayo on grilled sourdough. 

Cutty’s | The Best Vegetarian Sandwiches in Boston
Credit: Brian Samuels Photography

It’s love at first sight at Cutty’s—not just for the husband-and-wife duo behind the Brookline Village sandwich shop, but for the embrace they’ve received from neighbors and visitors alike. Sammies like the Roast Beef 1000 and the monthly special Super Cluckin’ Sunday have a cult following, but the veggie handhelds are an equal delight. Try the Greens Shallot on toasted ciabatta with sauteed Swiss chard, crispy shallots, and saffron yogurt; or the Rabe T.J. pressed on an Iggy’s sesame seed roll with broccoli rabe (sauteed to bitter, nutty balance), melty mozzarella, aged sharp provolone, and house-made tomato jam. The sandwich masters at Cutty’s also nail it with a buttery havarti grilled cheese. Don’t forget to order a homemade limeade to go with.

Tatte bakery in Boston
Credit: Brian Samuels Photography

Tatte has made a mark on Boston (and beyond) as locations of the Israeli-inspired bakery and cafe chain continue to multiply. Beloved for the overloaded pastry counter and some of the best Shakshuka in town, Tatte’s sandwiches boast just as much flavor. The Roasted Cauliflower pita is a vegetarian option that hits all the right notes with pine nuts, spicy labneh, golden raisins, chilies, cilantro, and capers. In addition to notable veggie-forward combinations, the menu clearly denotes common allergens for folks with other dietary restrictions.

Littleburg Vegetable Kitchen

Littleburg Vegetable Kitchen | The Best Vegetarian Sandwiches in Boston
Credit: Brian Samuels Photography

When Littleburg made its debut in 2017 as a pop-up, Oleana alum Graham Boswell gave diners a new perspective on vegan fare. Inspired by Greek home cooking, the menu serves up a plethora of plant-based sandwiches with flavors that are traditionally meat-focused. To wit: A shawarma pita with yuba (savory tofu skin), assorted gyros with portobello mushrooms or seitan and garlicky almond tzatziki sauce. Breads and creamy sauces are made fresh in-house and set these sandwiches apart. Littleburg put down roots in Somerville with a takeout spot in Union Square, right next door to Backbar (yes, you should pair this fare with cocktails) and also offers prepared meal delivery around Boston and the ’burbs. 

Vinal General Store

Vinal General Store
Credit: Brian Samuels Photography

At Somerville’s Vinal General Store, both nostalgia and flavor are indulged. While we are day-one fans of the carnivorous Spuckie (Vinal’s hyperlocal version of an Italian sub), the vegetarian sandwiches are not to be overlooked. Take the Cheesy Choppenade, a creatively meatless riff of the classic muffuletta with zippy olive and red pepper tapenade, smoked mozzarella, provolone piccante, arugula, and red onion; or Live at the Romesco, with roasted mushroom and cauliflower, romesco sauce, provolone piccante, arugula, and shallot “crunchies.” The Veggie Supreme features house-made pimento cheese, “shrettuce,” tomato, dill pickles, pickled red onion, and red wine vinaigrette. In the mood for breakfast sandwiches instead? Head next door to Vinal Bakery for egg-and-cheese on house-baked English muffins accessorized with the likes of maple butter or spicy pesto

Roxy’s Grilled Cheese
Credit: Chris McIntosh

Roxy’s Grilled Cheese started as one of Boston’s original food trucks, and now boasts brick-and-mortar locations in Allston and Central Square for the sandwiches that made it a household name. The grilled cheese options run the gamut from a Classic Three Cheese—Vermont cheddar, muenster, and Monterey Jack—to The Allston, a fancier entry with herbed goat cheese, fig jam, caramelized onions, and arugula. At its original location in Allston, Roxy’s even offers a fully vegan-friendly grilled cheese menu made with plant-based butter and cheeses.

Spinach Falafel at Sofra Bakery and Cafe
Credit: Chris McIntosh

In Turkish, “Sofra” is one and the same with hospitality and generosity—and that’s seen with all facets of this Middle Eastern bakery and cafe. Sofra proffers incredible sandwiches where vegetables are treated with as much care as any animal protein. It takes a less conventional route with sandwiches like in the Butternut Squash Gozleme, a Turkish-style flatbread stuffed with leeks, halloumi cheese, and tomato-brown butter; and Durum, a Turkish wrap filled with red-lentil kofte, cabbage, pickled peppers, and tomato-brown butter. The Cambridge cafe is also the home base for acclaimed chef Ana Sortun’s vibrant Spinach Falafel, a signature dish that has also graced the menus at Oleana and Sarma.

Saus | The Best Vegetarian Sandwiches in Boston
Saus | Credit: Chris McIntosh

Come for the fries and selection of dippable sauces, stay for the stellar sandos. The Bow Market outpost of Saus evokes the original downtown location, with one major caveat: The menu is entirely vegetarian, and can even be made vegan on request. We just loooove the house Veggie Burger, a crispy patty made from farro and fava beans topped with cheddar, scallion slaw, lots of dill pickles, tomatoes, and “secret Saus.” The fully vegan Cauli-Falafel, layered with tangy pickled cabbage, tomato, pickles, and garlic chickpea mayo, seals the sando deal for us. Be sure to peep the specials board, too.

Taco Party

Taco Party Vegetarian Sandwiches
Credit: Brian Samuels Photography

What began as a food truck is now one of the coolest vegan restaurants around. Taco Party in Somerville’s Ball Square (now accessible from the Green Line, to boot) has ’80s rec-room vibes and an entirely plant-based menu. While its namesake dish may be the initial attraction (we love the spicy Lentils Al Pastor Taco with grilled pineapple), the tortas are equally as tasty. Atop a fluffy Portuguese bun from nearby Winter Hill Bakery, a choice of a crispy-fried tofu cutlet or grilled chorizo seitan are spread with homemade pinto dip, smashed avocado, pickled red onion, lettuce, tomato, and mayo.  

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