We scoured the United States to create a master list of highly recommended Italian Combo Sandwiches.
The “Italian Combo” is a sandwich that commands so much respect it’s referred to with reverence as a “Godfather.” A sandwich made of curated meats and cheese packed in Italian bread. On this mighty classic sandwich, you’ll find Capicola ham, Genoa salami, and soft provolone cheese. By any name, the Italian Combo is an offer you can’t refuse.
Other variations have salami, pepperoni, mortadella, soppressata, oil vinegar, and hot peppers. There’s another variation that includes marinated eggplant, lettuce, tomato, onion, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. Regardless of the ingredients, the Italian Combo is one of the most popular, creative, and delicious slices of Italian Americana.
America Domani surveyed our friends, family, and fellow foodies; polled our social media followers, and asked our contributors to help compile a list of the best Italian Combos in America. Here are some of the top delis and restaurants that serve The Godfather and their variations.
ANTHONY & SON PANINI SHOPPE: BROOKLYN, NYC
This small Williamsburg, Brooklyn-based shop is home to fine Italian homemade cooking. Their claim to fame is for having “the best panini on the block.” Their Italian Combo comes loaded with prosciutto, capocollo, sopressata, salami, pepperoni, mortadella, fresh mozzarella, arugula & roasted peppers with balsamic vingerette. You can order this sandwich either sweet or spicy.
ANTHONY’S DELI: MAMARONECK, NY
According to their website, Anthony’s Deli is the “home of the Godfather sandwich.” Their Godfather is loaded with salami, pepperoni, ham capicola, proscuitini, mortadella, soppressata, provolone, lettuce, oil & vinegar, and hot peppers served on Arthur Avenue Italian bread. Customers come back and demand this sandwich it tastes so good.
A & S CATERERS AND LUNCHEONETTE: STATEN ISLAND, NYC
Naturally, Staten Island is going to have more than one place to get a great Italian Combo, but A & S Caterers and Lunchenette have the Island’s best. Their sandwich has Salami, prosciutto, pepperoni, soppresata, provolone, roast peppers, lettuce, balsamic olive oil.
ACCOMPLICE BREWERY: CHEYENNE, WY
Possibly one of the more unusual locations for Godfather sandwiches on this list, this small brewery in Wyoming makes a mean Italian combo. Their Toasted Italian San-which comes on a toasted harvest moon bun stacked with pepperoni, prosciutto ham, and Italian sausage. While most places give you cold cuts, they give you slices of whole sausage. The sandwich also comes stuffed with San-Marzano tomato, mozzarella, romaine, pickled onions, oil and vinegar.
BAY CITIES ITALIAN DELI: SANTA MONICA, CA
They have been baking and delivering authentic Italian specialties since 1925. Bay Cities crafts each of their sandwiches with their fresh-baked homemade hero bread. The Godfather here is constantly rated as a fan favorite, many love how the fresh-baked bread adds flavor to their sandwich, giving it a solid crunch. Make sure to either order ahead or grab a Godfather from the cooler to skip the long deli lines.
BOB’S ITALIAN FOODS: MEDFORD, MA
Serving the Greater Boston Area for over 85 years, the Italian Deluxe with prosciutto is stuffed with soppressata, capicola, mortadella, provolone, and imported prosciutto. This legendary Boston spot is the keeper of the city’s Italian sandwich tradition.
CARBONE’S: TORRINGTON, CT
This Italian combo is made with ham and Genoa salami and is a favorite among local “grinder” eaters for its abundance.
CENTRAL GROCERY & DELI: NEW ORLEANS, LA
Home of the “Original Muffuletta,” this New Orleans, French Quarter has been serving their sandwiches since 1906. Their sandwich is made on a crisp, 9-inch Sicilian sesame loaf, stuffed with ham, salami, mortadella, swiss, provolone, and a briny marinated olive salad filled with Kalamata and green olives and other pickled veggies. You’ll get the true taste of New Orleans.
CUGINO’S ITALIAN DELI: LAS VEGAS, NV
Visitors to this Italian deli say that it is as authentic as you can find in Sin City. The “Italian Sandwich” is made with mortadella, provolone cheese, either capicola or Genoa salami, lettuce, and tomato. To round out this royal flush of a sandwich, they add onion, mustard, mayo, and Italian Dressing.
DiANOIA’S EATERY: PITTSBURGH, PA
This corner place in the Strip District serves up a variety of eats, including an impressive “Italiano” forged with prosciutto, Genoa salami, soppressata, ham, lettuce, tomato, onion, evo, and spicy cherry pepper relish.
FRANK’S NY STYLE DELI: PHOENIX, AZ
You might feel like you’re seeing a mirage out in the Arizona desert with The “Tony Sub.” This sandwich comes packed with pepperoni, hot capicola, Genoa salami, Italian dressing, and provolone cheese.
GENO’S STEAKS: PHILADELPHIA, PA
While they are more well known for their cheesesteaks, you’ll still be able to order an Italian Combo/Godfather here. Geno’s calls their Italian Combo the “Italian Hoagie.” Their hoagie comes packed with salami, capicola, ham, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion.
GALLUCCI’S: CLEVELAND, OH
The “Italian Muffuletta” at this Cleveland spot comes back with ham, Genoa salami, mortadella, provolone, and “olive salad.”
GAETANO’S: WESTPORT, CT
Charismatic sandwich maker from the Bronx, relocated to Westport, Connecticut, bringing with him a genuine Italian combo loaded with provolone and delectable prosciutto.
GOODFELLAS DELI AND SUBS: NEW PORT RICHEY, FL
New York transplants rave about The “Don Vito” from Goodfellas Deli and Subs in New Port Ritchie, Florida. Built with provolone, ham, salami, mortadella, hot capicollo, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and a house vinaigrette. It is a sandwich from one of the top delis in the state of Florida.
GUIDO’S: BENSALEM, PA
One Brooklyn-based sandwich eater who spoke to America Domani, said “Guido’s is as good as any deli in NYC.” Known for their cheesesteaks, this Italian sandwich shop, the “Slammin’ Italian,” comes stuffed with a pepper spread, aged provolone, prosciutto, capicola, soppressata, Genoa salami, long hots, and olive oil.
The Italian Store: Arlington, VA
A classic Italian Market just outside the nation's capital, this shop serves up a variety of traditional subs for a President. The menu at The Italian Store features several sandwiches that can be considered a "Godfather," but "The Roma" is closest to the widespread definition.
JOHNNY SALAMI'S: NEW HAVEN, CT
This deli-in the heart of one of America’s great Italian American communities- has a completely different take on the “Italian Combo.” Their “Hot Italian Combo,” has chicken cutlet, meatballs, eggplant, and is bathed in marinara.
LIONI’S ITALIAN HEROES: BROOKLYN, NYC
Another perfect take on the Godfather sandwich is at Lioni’s, a classic New York City hero joint founded in 1980 in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Their #25 “The Louie Prima” is crafted with hot capicola, salami, pepperoni, swiss, provolone, stuffed peppers, and deli mustard.
MAMA’S OF CORONA: QUEENS, NYC
This is the definition of an old-school Salumeria. Established nearly 90 years ago, you can walk in this shop any day of the week, and grab a delicious pre-prepared, “Mama’s Special.” This sandwich comes prepared with prosciuttini, salami, mozzarella, mushrooms, and peppers.
MANGIALARDO’S: WASHINGTON DC
Considered some of the best old-school Italian eats in the nation’s capital, Manigialardo’s serves “The Big G Sub.” They pack their sandwich with ham, salami, mortadella, and provolone cheese.
MONA LISA ITALIAN FOODS: SAN DIEGO, CA
This place is the sandwich shop at the heart of San Diego’s vibrant Little Italy community. Their “deluxe sub,” built from mortadella, dry salami, ham, and provolone is an Italian sandwich that eaters on either side of the country or the world can respect.
MIKE’S DELI ARTHUR AVENUE: BRONX, NYC
Serving the Bronx’s Little Italy for over 50 years, Mike’s Deli of Arthur Avenue puts dedication into their sandwiches. Their “Muffaletta” is made with Genoa Salami, mortadella, provolone cheese, and topped with chef Greco’s spicy olive spread on focaccia bread.
THE ORIGINAL JOHN’S DELI: BROOKLYN, NYC
Located in Gravesend, Brooklyn, this deli has been in business since 1968. They take pride in being quoted as having “the best hero in Brooklyn.” Their Godfather sandwich comes loaded with ham, soppressata, capocollo, prosciutto, provolone, roasted red peppers, and shredded lettuce. The meat is savory while the gravy soaks into the bread to give you a delicious bite.
THE ORIGINAL RINALDI’S DELI AND CAFÉ: EL SEGUNDO, CA
Their Godfather is stacked with ham, salami, pepperoni, roast beef, and bacon, topped with melted provolone and mayo, lettuce, and tomato. Customers love the combination of warmth, cheese, salty, and meat. You’ll savor every bite when you order the Godfather here.
PRIMOHOAGIES: SOUTH JERSEY AND NATIONAL
If you’ve ever visited the Jersey Shore, then you’ve probably visited Primo Hoagies. if not, you may have a location coming to a town near you. Their “Italian Classic” comes in five options the Italian, the Mild Italian, the Sharp Italian, the Mild Sharp Italian, and the Old Italian. Their sandwich has prosciutto, sharp provolone cheese, hot or sweet capicola, and natural casing Genoa salami.
REGINA'S GROCERY: NEW YORK, NYC
Nestled in the heart of Little Italy, NYC, this grocery store originated in Brooklyn. They bring in only the finest of meats and cheeses from Italy. Their sandwiches are all named after their family members, including those who have passed on. Their Uncle Jimmy and Uncle John are their variations of the Italian Combo, including prosciutto, provolone, mortadella, hot soppressata, smoked ham, lettuce, EVOO, red wine vinegar, and roasted red peppers
RICCOTTI’S SUBMARINE SANDWICH: NORTH PROVIDENCE, RI
In business since 1950, Riccotti’s “Italian Sandwich” is their popular menu item. Packed full of mortadella, Genoa salami, hot ham, pepperoni, and provolone, these sandwiches satisfy the local Italian American population.
ROCCO’S DELI: BETHEL, CT
This little deli is only open until 3 pm but is home to some of Connecticut’s best Italian sandwiches. Rocco’s Italian combo consists of salami, pepperoni, mortadella, capocolla, provolone, lettuce, tomato, onion, vinaigrette, and stands tall against any big city sub.
ROCCO’S ITALIAN DELI: DETROIT, MI
The name of the sandwich says it all, “A Love Letter to the Corner Deli.” This modern Italian eatery in the American Midwest has concocted an Italian Combo for the ages that includes Genoa salami, capocollo, mortadella, sharp provolone, lettuce, tomato, onion, and vinaigrette.
RUSSO’S MARKET: WILDWOOD, NJ
The line outside this Jersey Shore establishment starts early on beach days. This old-school shop serves up an Italian hoagie with thinly sliced Genoa salami, capicola, provolone, and pepperoni.
SAL, KRIS, & CHARLIE: ASTORIA, QUEENS, NYC
You can get a great Italian combo here for sure, but this Astoria sandwich shop’s greatest concoction is a combination of Italian and American cold cuts, American and Provolone cheese, sweet and hot peppers, and a dash of mayo and vinegar.
TALIERICO’S GOURMET DELI: MIDDLETOWN, NJ
If you have been searching sandwich hashtags on Instagram, this place is bound to come up. This Red Bank deli serves up a mean Italian combo (listed on the menu as the “Italian Whole Sandwich”). Their staple Italian sandwich comes piled high with ham, salami, pepperoni, provolone, lettuce, tomato, onion, oil & vinegar.
UNCLE PAULIES: LOS ANGELES, CA
Uncle Paulie makes sure that you don’t walk away feeling that you ate too much. For the cost of the sandwich, you get the perfect amount of meats and cheese. The pepper spread adds a hint of spice to the sandwich, while the bread ties it all together.
WHITE HOUSE SUBS: ATLANTIC CITY, NJ
A mainstay of Monopoly City since 1946, this blue-collar sub shop made Frank Sinatra’s favorite sandwiches. Legend has it, that the “chairman of the board” would have these sandwiches shipped to wherever he was. The “Classic Italian Sub” features Genoa salami, provolone cheese, imported ham, and capicola ham layered in their signature Italian long roll.
We asked some of our contributors where they get their favorite Godfather sandwiches:
Ian MacAllen: "These days my go-to shop is Napoli Bakery on Metropolitan Avenue in Brooklyn where the Godfather goes by the Italian, "Padrino," stuffed with prosciutto, soppressata, capocolla, provolone, and arugula."
John Roche: "The "Import Mix" from Rossi's Deli, a panini-style combo of capicola, soppressata, cotto, mozzarella, pecorino, smashed olives, roasted peppers, and arugula is a contender for the best. Rossi & Sons, the original location, is located on the corner of Delano Street and South Clover Street in Poughkeepsie, NY."
Anna Staropoli:" Cardona's Market in Saratoga Springs, NY (random location for great Italian food but it's actually so good)!"
Joe Galatioto: "Emily's Pork Store on Graham Avenue [in Brooklyn]. It's not even close. The inside of that place smells like a salumeria in Italy. They know what they're doing in there."
Arianna DiCicco: "Russo’s Mozzarella & Pasta in Park Slope, BK!"
AJ Forrisi: I enjoy "The Godfather with Roasted Red Peppers" from Original John's in Bensonhurst/Gravesend. Something about the Red Peppers combined with the meats makes it a delight every time.
Matt Caputo: "Personally, I trek to Anthony & Son whenever I’m in Brooklyn. When I’m in Queens, I like the Italian sandwiches at Mario’s Meats & Deli on Metropolitan Avenue in Middle Village, Queens." (Both writers Anthony Sciarratta and Arianna DiCicco also said that Anthony & Son were their favorite spots as well.)
Al DiGuido: "I love Gaetano’s in Westport and Mike's Deli in the Bronx. They're both classic spots."
Assistant Editor for America Domani, AJ Forrisi is a Brooklyn-based writer and photographer. His work focuses on food, travel, sports, landscapes, and urban scenes. You can find him on Instagram @aj.photo.works.