Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Sandwich Society.

Pittsburgh Sandwich Society, Lawrenceville and mobile truck

What used to be just a truck is now a truck and a shop off the main drag in Lawrenceville. They do a Yinzer-fied take on the California classic, the In-N-Aht Burger. That’s two beef patties, American cheese, onion jam, spring greens, tomato, pickles and the mysterious “Animal Sauce” on a butter-toasted bun. The Grilled Chicken Club features pickle-brined chicken (which is incredible) plus bacon, avocado, crispy potatoes and tomato on a grilled brioche bun. Lots of places are dog-friendly nowadays; few go the extra mile and make an entire menu for pups. The PB Milkbone Sandwich — peanut butter between two Milk Bones — sounds like it would elicit some arfs. (I don’t know for sure, though, since I’m not a dog.)

Bitter Ends Garden & Luncheonette.

Bitter Ends Garden & Luncheonette, Bloomfield

This tiny lunch counter in Bloomfield proves you don’t have to commit to a big sit-down meal to eat well at midday. It’s brought to life by a James Beard Rising Star Chef, Becca Hagarty, who hails from The Café Carnegie and Dinette. Her experience with Rick Easton at Bread & Salt Bakery is what really makes this place shine. Sandwiches are all served on rustic, fresh-baked crusty bread which might be the best in town. Bonus: Bitter Ends get the bulk of their ingredients from their own farm nine miles away. The Egg Sandwich — sunny-side up, with sautéed greens and (optional) lamb sausage — makes all other sandwiches look overdressed.

Tootie’s Famous Italian Beef, South Side

Frequently serving drunken revelers until 3 a.m. on the South Side on weekends, this is a sandwich shop that has seen things. Things you wouldn’t believe. And it has lived to tell the tale. A Chicago classic from an old family recipe, the Italian Beef is a big mess of beef, provolone and giardiniera — thankfully available in slider, regular and large formats. If that’s not big and messy enough for you, try the Beef Mac & Cheese crowned with bacon macaroni and cheese on top.

Lucy’s Banh Mi, Strip District cart

Of all the culinary delights in the Strip District, the ones Lucy Nguyen sells from a cart next to Bar Marco rank near the top. She makes simple banh mi — spicy Vietnamese sandwiches with marinated and grilled pork or chicken on a fresh baguette, bursting with pickled carrots, onions, spicy peppers, herbs and hot sauce. Her annual return from Vietnam (where she spends the winters) is anticipated by legions of savvy Strip-goers. 

Smallman Street Deli, Strip District

This is the closest thing we have to a classic old-school Jewish deli — though, alas, it’s no longer in Squirrel Hill, which just closed after 13 years. The Strip location is still going strong, though, powered by mountains of pastrami and corned beef, and other butcher-cut meats. Whatever you sandwich you pick this winter, make sure it comes with a bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup or Phyllis’ Matzo Ball Soup.

Have we mentioned your favorite sandwich spot in Pittsburgh? We’d love to hear from you. Post in the comments below, let us know on Facebook or e-mail us.