Few cities are as iconic when it comes to food as New York City. The city’s culinary reputation was practically built on great sandwiches, which makes it a great starting point when looking at new ideas for your bakery café’s offerings. While it has staked its claim on standards like pastrami on rye and Italian heroes, New York City is also a hotbed for sandwich creativity.
Take, for instance, the Chairman Bao from BaoHaus in the East Village. The restaurant specializes in “bao” (steamed bun) sandwiches and the Chairman is an open¬-faced bao filled with tender and fatty pork belly, topped with Haus Relish, crushed peanuts, and Taiwanese red sugar.
BaoHaus is owned by Eddie Huang, a world famous American restauranteur whose life story is the basis for the ABC hit show Fresh Off the Boat. Huang was born in Washington, D.C., but his parents were immigrants from Taiwan. Huang uses that Taiwanese heritage as inspiration for his sandwich menu.
If you’re looking for a gourmet sandwich option that provides a bread alternative that is anything but ordinary for a bakery café’s menu, look no further than The Flamin’ Hot Doughnut Grilled Cheese. This exciting food hybrid comes from a collaboration between The Doughnut Project and Clinton Hall.
This savory sandwich consists of a Habanero Glazed Bacon Donut, sliced in half, filled with mozzarella, and hung over a bowl of tomato soup. It made its debut in late February and was only available for a limited time and in short supply.
Perhaps your menu could use something a little less gourmet and a little more health-focused. New York City is also the source of great vegetarian sandwich options, like the Scuttlebutt from Saltie. It features hard-boiled eggs, feta, black olives, capers, pickles, and pimento aioli in between slices of focaccia bread. Focaccia has become an artisan bread of choice for many sandwich shops in recent years because of its shape and texture, so it’s easy to see why it makes such a good inclusion.
Another great vegetarian sandwich in New York City is the Broccoli Classic from No. 7 Sub. It’s made with roasted broccoli, feta cheese, fried shallots, mayo, a bit of sweet lychee, and all inside of an Italian hero. While broccoli subs may not sound like an appealing option for some, this item has helped No. 7 Sub to become a star of the NYC sandwich scene.