Fine cured Italian meats, salty cheese, crisp vegetables doused in oil and vinegar, and a crusty roll. What’s better than an Italian sub sandwich? It’s pretty easy to procure one, which is nice because it’s a constant lunchtime craving, but where in Las Vegas can we find the best of the best?
Let’s begin with the obvious. Of the quick, easy and plentiful sandwich shops around town—the Jersey Mikes and Firehouses and Capriottis—I prefer the version at Jimmy John’s (multiple locations, jimmyjohns.com). It’s called the Vito. It’s cheap ($5.25), it has the right meats and vinaigrette, and you can and should add hot peppers for a happy kick. And Jimmy John’s sub rolls are the best in the fast ’wich biz, soft and chewy and tasty.
Students need sandwiches for sustenance, so there must be a great campus-area shop, right? It’s called Cugino’s (4550 S. Maryland Parkway, 702-895-7561), and while it’s awfully tempting to explore the hot sandwiches here—peppers and eggs, veal parm or meatball, yum—the cold subs get it done. The #1 has Genoa salami and mortadella, the #2 subs capicola for mortadella, and they both load up with provolone, lettuce, tomato, onion and Italian dressing ($6.99). Just be sure to order yours on a hero roll minus the mustard and mayo. Who puts that stuff on an Italian sub?
Siena Deli (9500 W. Sahara Ave., 702-736-8424) is one of the biggest and best in the Valley, a longtime local spot that expanded to this massive west-side location a few years back. With a full restaurant and bar, a fully stocked market with imported Italian goodies, a bakery and deli, this place is serious. The standout sub is the Sicilian ($7.99), which stacks salami, mortadella, capicola and provolone on top of (not underneath) the veggies. The difference-maker here is the roll, which Siena bakes in-house, pillowy goodness encased in near-crunchy crust.
Another longtime local haunt has taken up new residency, this one in the southeast. Montesano’s (9905 S. Eastern Ave., 702-870-3287) has been feeding locals for two decades, best known for baked pastas and mouthwatering pastries. But the sandwiches are equally legit, and this Italian hero ($7.99) has an extra thick stack of those beloved meats on a roll with a bit more chew than the others.
In the end, I would happily eat from Cugino’s and Siena any day, but the most crave-worthy Italian sandwich I’ve located in Las Vegas comes from my favorite Italian restaurant, a neighborhood place that really doesn’t do that much lunch business. Parma (7591 W. Washington Ave. #110, 702-233-6272) is so good at everything, it’s no surprise that chef Marc Sgrizzi would craft a killer sandwich, too. The Parma ($9.95) has everything the others have, but it adds spicy sopressata to the meat collection. Sgrizzi pays a little more for the best quality stuff—the hard Italian roll is absolutely peerless, chunks of crackling-sharp Parmesan cheese join the creamy provolone for unexpected bursts of flavor, and a bright and briny olive spread augments the red wine vinegar dressing to cut through the meaty, cheesy richness. It’s an unbeatable bite.