Delis in Andover Massachusetts

Andover, Massachusetts is a small, rural town about half an hour from Boston, and one thing that you will always find when you visit close-knit historic towns is that they thrive on traditions. While it might sound hyperbolic, that tradition extends to things as simple as sub and sandwich shops. Yes, you can find chain eateries here (Quizno’s, Subway, Blimpie), but you’ll find that folks gravitate to the handmade, Mom and Pop goodness of locally owned restaurants. With that in mind, here are the top five sub shops in Andover where you can taste the tradition in every mouthful.

#1) King’s (11 Bartlett St., 978-470-1850)

Family operated for over thirty years, King’s is known as an unpretentious place to get a real, overstuffed, forget-your-diet sub. The made-to-order subs are available in small (which is huge) and large (plan to share), and customers can choose from a traditional white or wheat sub roll, a wrap, or Syrian pita-style flat bread. The grilled hot subs are the way to go: steak, pastrami, steak tips, or a hot Italian combo, which you can load up with all the peppers and toppings you want. The sweet potato fries only add to the decadence. Stop by King’s in the morning for a breakfast worthy of a lumberjack, and feast on one of their breakfast subs.

#2) Chateau Andover (131 River Rd., 978-687-2442)

If you’d like to enjoy your sandwich in a nicer sit-down atmosphere, Chateau Andover is the place. The Chateau is a local family-owned franchise with locations all around Massachusetts, and the Andover version, like its counterparts, serves up family-style Italian fair. While the pastas and pizzas are perfectly good, visually scroll down the menu to the sandwiches. The subs they do the best are of the hot Italian variety, and the best bet is to go for one that features their homemade tomato sauce. The meatball, the chicken parmesan, and even the eggplant subs are primo. Add-on extras like blue cheese and roasted red peppers make them even more top-notch.

#3) Harrison’s Roast Beef (80 Chickering Rd., 978-687-9159)

While the roast beef wars have been raging in Massachusetts for decades, Harrison’s emerges in the Andover area as a clear winner. This no-frills deli subscribes to the belief that if you do one thing exceptionally well, you don’t need to do a whole lot of other things. The roast beef here takes center stage on an otherwise small menu, but you’ll find real fresh-roasted beef piled hugely high on rolls that the staff will butter-grill on request. The tangy sauce is so famous that locals purchase the sauce alone to take home. Even though the focus is roast beef, the corned beef here is also exceptionally good, but Harrison’s might want to keep that a secret. Don’t tell!

#4) Vic’s Pastry Shop (1 Lilley Ave. in Lowell, 978-458-2021)

A quick shot down the highway finds you in nearby Lowell, where you can surprisingly find some of the best subs you ever had in a place that markets itself as a pasty shop. Vic’s is a place unlike any other, a diner-style establishment with a first-rate bakery, but which also makes a mean, meaty sub. Those outside of the New England area may be unfamiliar with the steak bomb, the regional version of the cheesesteak, but Vic’s is a good place to get to know one. They make the hugest bomb around, literally hanging off the plate by six or seven inches! Diner-style prices make it an extra bargain. Oh, and save room for a pastry: many are under a buck.

#5) Borrelli’s Italian Delicatessan (322 Merrimack St. in Methuen, 978-687-2306)

Technically in Methuen, Borrelli’s is only ten minutes from the center of Andover, and the drive is a lot cheaper than going to Italy. This is a real delicatessan, which means they sell their fresh meats and cheeses by the pound. The same high quality ingredients go into their fresh-made subs, which feature the very best authentic Italian ingredients. You won’t find an extensive menu here, but the specialties are far from run-of-the-mill. For real Italian flavor go for the Sicilian: Sopressata, hot Capicola, fresh Mozzarella and oregano. The Prosciutto and fresh Mozzarrella sub with basil leaves tastes like it was made on the streets of Milan and jet-expressed straight to you. And like most real delis, the prices are right (under $10 will fill you way up).

While there’s no way of knowing which sub shop you’ll choose in Andover, Massachusett’s, it’s probably easy to predict what you won’t choose. Subway, Quizno’s and Blimpie will be the last thing on your mind as you make your way to one of these sandwich traditionalists for a one-of-a-kind, fresh-made, classic sandwich that you’ll remember for a lifetime. Long live the small town!