We love sandwiches, like, a lot. We especially love katsu sandwiches, which are as delicious as they are photogenic. And lucky for you, there are tons of excellent places to get one in SF. Here are seven great katsu sandwiches to try right now.
We’d keep a miniature statue of Cafe Okawari’s katsu sandwich on our nightstand if we could - it’s that good. Cafe Okawari’s version features a chicken thigh that’s fried to golden brown perfection, and then sandwiched between thick slices of soft white bread. Every element of the sandwich - from the crispy, juicy chicken to the tonkatsu sauce and mayo - is absolutely flawless. You can also grab a side salad or matcha latte to go with it. Place an order online for pick-up.
Volcano Curry in the Richmond makes some of the best chicken katsu curry in the city. So it’s no surprise that their katsu sandwiches impress us, too. The important thing to note is that these sandwiches are massive. Two evenly breaded and fried chicken cutlets are stacked on top of each other, and then layered with a ton of coleslaw, and a slightly-sweet sauce. You will need two hands to eat this. Things will get messy. But when a sandwich is this fantastic, there are no complaints.
Torraku Ramen used to be a ramen-only food truck, but now they’ve got a brick-and-mortar spot in Potrero Hill serving everything from donburi bowls to yakisoba. They also recently added a katsu sandwich to the menu that’s excellent all around, but we especially love it for the thick layer of spicy mayo. The sandwich also comes with a side of cabbage salad and dressing, which you’ll want to stuff inside the sandwich - it adds a nice and necessary crunch. Order here for pick-up.
Bread N’ Chu
If you’re in the Outer Richmond, and in need of a perfectly-square katsu sandwich right now, head to Bread N’ Chu. The year-old sandwich shop makes a really good one with a thick, crispy chicken breast, shredded cabbage, a generous layer of Kewpie mayo, and crustless milk bread. They make other sandwiches, too, like tonkatsu and choux sandwiches, but the katsu one is the star. You can get it for lunch for takeout or delivery from 10am to 5pm.
The kissaten-style cafe in North Beach is our go-to whenever we need a salad in sandwich form (which, these days, feels like all the time). Their King George sandwich is a rainbow of fresh, thinly sliced vegetables, and it’s really, really good. But this is a katsu sandwich guide, and that’s what we’re here to talk about. And, thankfully, it’s another reason that Family Cafe is so great. The sandwich is a lightly crispy-fried chicken thigh topped with a housemade katsu sauce, red and green cabbage. They also have a pickle katsu sandwich with a herb cashew dressing that we’re hoping to try next time - or, at least, whenever we crave green things.
The cafe in the Mission is known for their delicious matcha drinks and pastries, but that’s not all they excel at - they also make a great katsu sandwich. Their housemade tonkatsu sauce is tart, and a little sweet, and complements the savory panko-breaded pork loin nicely. Stonemill Matcha is open Wednesday to Sunday, from 10am to 3pm. You can order ahead here.
Yubu by The Shota
The Shota, a high-end omakase spot in FiDi, recently debuted a new takeout operation called Yubu. They specialize in colorful, beautifully-packaged donburi bowls and inari sushi box sets fit for a special occasion (like, a birthday in quarantine), and also make some of our favorite new katsu sandwiches in the city. They come with chicken or beef, and a layer of mozzarella cheese that melts to gooey goodness after everything is breaded and fried. Order it with a side of their rich tomato soup, to dip your sandwich in, of course. And heads up, Yubu’s sandwiches are currently only available for lunch.