Of all the epicurean delights that can be found in our fair city, few are as under-appreciated as the humble deli sandwich.

International variations get all the hype, such as the exotic bánh mì (best found at the deeply authentic Thuận Phát, 3020 Santa Rosa Avenue) or the hearty torta (best found at the OG orange taco truck, Delicias Elenita, 816 Sebastopol Rd). Less attention is given to that lunchtime staple, the classic American cold sub, but that’s about to change. Let’s talk about sams.

With a limited palette of cold cuts, mayo, mustard, veggies and bread, a masterfully built sandwich is designed to delight the palate and not break the bank. There are plenty of fancy sandwiches that are worth the extra dough, but for the purposes of this article we’ll focus on the blue collar sando. Lunch for under ten bucks is still alive and well in our city. So let’s get to it: here are the five best deli sandwich spots in old Saint Rose.

Lazzini’s Market (3449 Bennett Valley Rd) is a family-owned deli that has been receiving some well-deserved love from the community in the five years since they opened. The market is stocked with craft beer and Old World specialties for a picnic in nearby Galvin Park, and their hoagies are heavenly. Every signature sandwich on the board is a good choice, but the Italian Stallion, a classic sub loaded with salami and mortadella, is an offer that cannot be refused by true sando connoisseurs.

Mac’s Deli and Cafe (630 4th St) is possibly the most beloved restaurant in Santa Rosa, and for good reason. The Soltani family makes delicious food and offer exemplary service. This is not a grab-and-go deli; rather, it’s a classic diner, a community gathering place where you’ll find suit-and-tie business people dining alongside plumbers, punk rockers, and Santa Rosans of every stripe and color. Their hot pastrami with slaw on an onion roll is about as timelessly delicious as it gets.

Perry’s Delicatessen (1220 Mendocino Ave), right across from historic Santa Rosa High School, is a local treasure. Their signature hot sams are all very good, but when a Panther wants a classic ham and cheddar or turkey and swiss, Perry’s is the only place that will do it right.

Canevari’s Deli (695 Lewis Rd) is a classic purveyor of Italian-American delicacies, specializing in house-made ravioli and lasagne like mama used to make. The little building, open since Santa Rosa was little more than a few walnut orchards, also happens to turn out some scrumptious sandos. Try the California, which is essentially a BLT with Swiss on rye.

9th St Market (766 Wilson St)/Sam’s Market (212 E St)/Dave’s Market (320 West 3rd St). These three liquor store delis received honorable mentions for their honest, straightforward sandwiches for working folks. Don’t expect heirloom tomatoes or artisanally cured meats; instead, you can count on getting a good, filling lunch for around five bucks.

There are plenty of other great options out there in SR. Check out #samchron on Instagram for a more comprehensive list of wicked ‘wiches, and if you have a favorite, please join in with the #samchron tag.