The Charlottesville 29

If there were just 29 restaurants in Charlottesville, what would be the ideal 29?

The Charlottesville 29 of Sandwiches: Charlottesville’s 29 Essential Sandwiches, Ranked

Welcome to The Charlottesville 29 of Sandwiches — the ranking of Charlottesville’s essential sandwiches. Like The Charlottesville 29 does with restaurants, The Charlottesville 29 of Sandwiches asks: “if there were just 29 sandwiches in Charlottesville, what would be the ideal 29?”

Unlike the restaurant 29, the sandwiches are ranked. What does this mean? Well, if there were 29 sandwiches in Charlottesville, the ideal set would be all 29. But, if there were just 28 sandwiches, it would be the top 28. And so on, leading up to the one Charlottesville sandwich that would be hardest to live without.

The list is based on 29 years of research and sandwich consumption in Charlottesville, narrowing hundreds down to a mere 29. A task this daunting requires clearly defined rules. Those are here.

And with that, The Charlottesville 29 of Sandwiches. Click each link to learn more:

#1: Roasted Vegetable Panuozzo – Lampo

#2: Stock Ham Biscuit – Stock Provisions

#3: Cemita de Milanesa y Chorizo – Al Carbon

#4: Ottobun with Beef – Otto

#5: Fried Chicken Sandwich – The Fitzroy

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The Charlottesville 29 of Sandwiches: The Rules

The Charlottesville 29 of Sandwiches asks: “if there were just 29 sandwiches in Charlottesville, what would be the ideal 29?” The rules:

1. A “Charlottesville” postal address is required. As with The Charlottesville 29, to be eligible a sandwich must come from a restaurant with a Charlottesville postal address. This rules out destination-worthy stalwarts from places like BBQ Exchange, Greenwood Gourmet, and more.

2. Must be regularly available. The sandwich must be a regularly available menu item. This rules out the many great specials at places like Kitchenette, Feast!, and Revolutionary Soup, as well as seasonal offerings like the tomato sandwich from The Whiskey Jar and Beer Run’s The Dubliner. It also rules out places where the sandwich menu changes on a constant basis, like Quality Pie.

3. Must be a “sandwich.” What counts as a sandwich? To be eligible for the The Charlottesville 29 of Sandwiches, it must be a savory food item stuffed between two or more bread-like products or wrapped in a bread-like product. Regardless whether they meet these criteria, the following do not qualify: hamburgers, hot dogs, tacos, pupusas, burritos, quesadillas, gorditas, empanadas, arepas, baleadas, open-faced sandwiches, calzones, strombolis, crepes, dosas, dumplings, dessert sandwiches, and food items stuffed in something that is not sufficiently akin to bread (e.g. lettuce wraps, waffle sandwiches.). An argument exists that each one of these may technically be a sandwich. Regardless, they are beyond the scope of this exercise.

4. Variety matters. As with restaurants, answering the question at the heart of The Charlottesville 29 of Sandwiches demands consideration of criteria beyond just quality – most notably variety. If sandwich lovers were limited to just 29 sandwiches, they would want variation, with standouts from a wide variety of types. Not just 29 gyros, no matter how good the gyros are. (Mmm, 29 gyros).

5. Continual updates. Whereas The Charlottesville 29 is updated annually, The Charlottesville 29 of Sandwiches will be updated on a continual basis. Openings, closings, changes in quality, and new discoveries could change the list. As could menu changes. (See Rule #2 above.)

6. “Others of Note,” defined. Since variety matters, each entry in the 29 names other sandwiches which might have qualified for The Charlottesville 29 of Sandwiches if not for the excellence of the entry of similar type. These are listed in each entry under “Others of Note.”

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