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Julia’s Slice of Life: The Best Sandwiches in NWI


The sandwich. Is there a better food? Chocolate and pizza get all the attention for being everyone’s favorites, but I think we can all agree that the sandwich is a quiet but mighty contender. There’s just something about the combination of cold cuts, fresh fillings, and magical mayo hugged by soft, doughy bread that makes everything right with the world. In the words of the wise Liz Lemon, “All anyone really wants in this life is to sit in peace and eat a sandwich.”

One of the best features of the almighty sandwich is its opportunity for variety. A sandwich can be made in hundreds—nay, thousands—of ways: hot or cold, veggie or meat, mayo or mustard, and with a slew of toppings ranging from basic (lettuce and tomato) to imaginative (chutney and Cheetos). My personal favorite is turkey topped with sharp cheddar, lettuce, tomato, avocado and mayo on a fresh white roll. Mmmm….

We asked our Facebook followers for their suggestions on the best sandwiches in Northwest Indiana and received an enthusiastic response, primarily from LaPorte and Porter counties, but with a couple of Lake County mentions as well. Below are some of the restaurants and respective sandwiches that were given the thumbs up.

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Blackbird Café, Valparaiso
Sandwich: BLT with a Bite

Blackbird is a popular coffee shop in downtown Valpo that also offers hot and cold sandwiches. The BLT with a Bite is just as it sounds: bacon, lettuce, tomato, with avocado and chipotle mayo.

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Dough Boys, Michigan City
Sandwich: STRueben

The sandwiches here are made with house smoked and braised meats and house baked breads. Corn beef, Swiss cheese, caraway kraut and house 1000 island dressing top the STRueben.

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Lincoln Carry Outs, Hobart
Sandwich: Steelworker

This is one of NWI’s longest-standing restaurants and there’s still heated debate about which town’s Lincoln’s is the best. The award-winning Steelworker comes with grilled roast beef, American cheese, mayo, lettuce and onion on grilled beefsteak rye.

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Panini Panini, Michigan City
Sandwich: Prosciutto Panini

The grilled Italian sandwich is obviously the specialty here, as indicated (twice!) in the restaurant’s name. The Prosciutto option combines sweet with savory—prosciutto, avocado, tomato and cantaloupe.

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Rudy’s BBQ Shack, Valparaiso
Sandwich: Brisket

The meats at this southern BBQ joint are smoked on site daily. The smoked brisket is a fan favorite and is available on the daily menu so it can’t be missed.

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Shoreline Brewery, Michigan City
Sandwich: Mr. Gobbles

One of Michigan City’s favorite breweries is just as beloved for its food as it is for its beer. Mr. Gobbles is a cleverly named turkey sandwich topped with spiced cranberry chutney, provolone, arugula, and Dijon aioli on cinnamon bread.

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Tiger Lily Café, Chesterton
Sandwich: Yeehaw BBQ Sandwich

This café is known for its vegan and vegetarian dishes, though there are plenty of traditional options too. The Yeehaw BBQ Sandwich is a vegan variety, with house-made seitan, BBQ sauce and crispy onions on a toasted pretzel roll.

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Tomato Bar, Valparaiso/Schererville
Sandwich: Portobello Sandwich

The Tomato Bar is a trendy gourmet pizza place but sandwiches are on the menu too, including the Portobello, featuring the item for which it’s named along with herb mayo, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, provolone and feta on pita bread.

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Valpo Velvet, Valparaiso
Sandwich: The Pig Says Moo

While Valpo Velvet is best known for its ice cream, the shop also serves a wide variety of sandwiches. The Pig Says Moo comes with ham, cheddar, horseradish mustard and a fried egg on a pretzel roll.

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Village Tavern, Porter
Sandwich: Village Patty Melt

This stop is a local favorite for its no-frills environment and straight-up good food. One of its most famous menu items is the patty melt, served on grilled rye with grilled onion and Swiss cheese.

Other restaurants that were mentioned for their sandwiches in general were Fiddlehead in Michigan City, Indiana Deli in LaPorte, and Red Cup Café in Chesterton. I personally also love the sandwiches at The Sip in Crown Point/Highland and Toast and Jam in Schererville.

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