SEATTLE IS SUCH an auspicious sandwich town, we can now limit our inquiry to beef sandwiches and still put together one heckuva list.
Come for a whole corned beef brisket—the cognoscenti do—but while you’re here be dazzled by a warm corned beef sandwich: marbled rye, a full two inches of exquisite thin-sliced meat, all the fixings, and horseradish to end your sinusitis now and evermore. 1124 Howell St, Downtown, 206-624-9248
At this SoDo legend you order a shredded BBQ beef sandwich at a takeout window, sit in the parking lot, burn your lips off—and love every goopy minute. Firephobes: Order it mild; it tastes like a sloppy joe. 2260 First Ave S, SoDo, 206-623-0629
Hey, nobody said it was spotless. But as for the classic steak-onion–American cheese melt-up called the cheesesteak, this friendly Madison Valley joint’s tops. One is proudly made with Cheez Whiz, just like in Philly! 2332 E Madison St, Madison Valley, 206-323-1000; phillysteakshop.com
You’re in Ballard at this one-table dive, but you’re barely in Seattle. Various hairy-chested Rizzo gentlemen stuff no less than 100 pounds of thin-sliced beef per day into sub rolls all predipped in beef stock, and the result is a drippy cholesterol tour de force, with American or Swiss the only tax on your brain. 7334 15th Ave NW, Ballard, 206-588-2841; rizzosfrenchdip.com
Think “pastrami cheesesteak” and you’re onto the Tatstrami, a legend across Pioneer Square among the wage slaves who wait in lunch lines for it at this humble East Coast facsimile. Equally lauded are the hot pastrami and cold roast beef sammies. 115 Occidental Ave S, Pioneer Square, 206-264-8287; tatsdeli.com
Find more dining recommendations on our Eat and Drink page.