Where to Eat Excellent Roast Beef Sandwiches around Boston and the North Shore

Where's the beef? At these mouthwatering standouts from Brookline to Beverly.

To outsiders, lobster rolls might be the sandwich most associated with Boston—but we’d like to go on record as saying that the region is one hell of a roast beef capital, too. Especially when you factor in the North Shore, where roast beef-specializing sandwich shops are legitimately part of the native culture. We’ve gathered some of the top spots around, keeping things to about a 30-minute car-ride radius from downtown. Where’s the beef? Right here.

This guide was last updated in October 2023; watch for periodic updates.

Close up on a roast beef sandwich with a roll covered in salt and caraway seeds.

Beef on weck from All Star Sandwich Bar (via delivery). / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

All Star Sandwich Bar

Funky, creative sandwiches are the province of this Cambridge classic (which takes a similarly playful approach to pizzas across the street at All Star Pizza Bar). Its beef on weck, though, is a faithful rendition of the roast beef sandwich style that’s typically associated with Buffalo, New York: House-roasted beef is sliced thin and smeared with copious horseradish, then served warm on a kummelweck roll, which is basically a kaiser topped with kosher salt and caraway seeds, plus au jus for dipping. It’s the MVP on All Star’s menu.

1245 Cambridge St., Inman Square, Cambridge, 617-868-3065, allstarsandwichbar.com.


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Billy’s Roast Beef & Seafood

We’re big fans of Billy’s. It’s been around for nearly 35 years, serving generous helpings of barbecue-sauced fresh roast beef on plain, sesame, or onion rolls. (They’re toasted with butter. Even better!) Every sandwich gets cheese (on the bottom) and smears of mayo (on the top), but the Super Beef adds lettuce, tomato, pickles, and horseradish. It’s a nontraditional North Shore play, but never change, Billy’s—never change.

1291 Main St., Wakefield, 781-665-2070, billysroastbeef.com.

cusser roast beef sandwich

Cusser’s roast beef. / Photo by Holly Rike

Cusser’s Roast Beef & Seafood

Cusser’s started, seemingly, like a side project: Just a walk-up takeout window on one side of Mooncusser, a white-tablecloth seafood gem (one with a talented Top Chef in its kitchen). Since then, though, it’s shifted to locations at two Boston food halls: Time Out Market in the Fenway and Hub Hall in the West End. You can credit that growth to Cusser’s lovely lobster rolls, upgraded chowder, and Best of Boston-winning sandwiches of fine wagyu beef—glorious!—available in classic three-way form (roast beef with mayo, cheese, and barbecue sauce) or “80T style” (with pickled onions and spicy aioli), named for its big sibling in Concord, 80 Thoreau.

401 Park Dr. (Time Out Market), Fenway, Boston; 80 Causeway St. (Hub Hall), West End, Boston, 617-263-8900; cussersboston.com.

best sandwiches boston

Cutty’s Roast Beef 1000. / Photo by Adam Detour


What sets apart the Beef 1000 at Cutty’s? The luscious marbling of chuck-eye roll beef, roasted in house, is just the beginning—there’s also the horseradish-spiked Thousand Island dressing, sharp cheddar, and crispy fried shallots. The pièce de résistance, though, is the black-pepper brioche roll. Sure, the menu at Brookline’s beloved sandwich shop is nothing but home runs, but this beefy one truly bats 1000.

284 Washington St., Brookline, 617-505-1844, cuttyfoods.com.

Hot Box. / Photo by Hot Box via Yelp

Hot Box

Multiple munchies are satisfied at Hot Box’s walk-up takeout window in Somerville’s Bow Market courtyard, as the place specializes in the most-craved regional cuisines of the North and South shores: roast beef sandwiches and bar pizzas, respectively. Those pies have previously been anointed with a Best of Boston award—and the sandwiches? They’re tops, too, offered in classic three-way formation (roast beef with American cheese, mayo, and barbecue sauce) in junior and super sizes.

1 Bow Market Way, Union Square, Somerville, 617-284-9600, eathotbox.com.

a roast beef sandwich and fries sit on a white paper plate inside a fast-food restaurant, accompanied by a cup of soda

Roast beef at the Medford location of Kelly’s. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Kelly’s Roast Beef

No one should doubt that the original, 1951-founded Kelly’s at Revere Beach is a Bay State landmark that lives up to its legacy of superlative sandwiches: medium-rare roast beef with American cheese, mayo, barbecue sauce, lettuce, and tomato on a sesame seed roll from Malden’s fourth-generation, family-owned Piantedosi Baking Company. Admittedly, there are those who claim that—as with Regina Pizzeria, another local icon turned mini-chain—the other locations don’t quite hit the same spot. But considering that every member of the Kelly’s family roasts the same 25-day-aged sirloin-tip meat in-house, we’d suggest that in this case, such suspicions are misplaced.

41o Revere Beach Blvd., Revere, 781-284-9129; Route 1 South at Lynn Fells Parkway, Saugus, 781-233-5000; 165 Endicott St., Danvers, 978-777-1290; Revere Beach Parkway, Medford, 781-393-4899; kellysroastbeef.com.

Mike’s Roast Beef

Not to be confused with the similarly standout Mikey’s Famous Roast Beef in Beverly, Mike’s in Everett is a genuine humdinger that’s even closer to Boston. The roast beef, served with cheese on an onion roll, can be covered with your choice of barbecue sauce, hot sauce, horseradish and more—and washed down with tasty shakes in flavors like black raspberry. Bonus: The place is only one mile away from Everett’s Fermentation District, home to Night Shift Brewing, Bone Up Brewing Company, and Short Path Distillery, so you can snag a sandwich before making a booze run. (Visit while you can, as Mike’s future is up in the air following the property’s sale to Wynn Development.)

115 Broadway, Everett, 617-389-2333, mikesroastbeef.com.

Nick’s Famous Roast Beef

Another roast beef specialist, another possessive-form first name. (This is a thing, apparently.) Nick’s sandwiches could never be confused for another’s, though, as they’ve even earned People magazine press by representing Massachusetts on a state-by-state list of America’s best sandwiches. And yet, no outside validation is needed; anyone who has had these super-tender slices, which come generously sauced-up with barbecue (grab extra napkins), can attest that they might be the best for miles around—and thus, more than worth the Boston-to-Beverly jaunt.

139 Dodge St., Beverly, 978-922-9075, nicksfamousroastbeef.com.

The Shop at Dovetail

Sometimes less is more. And sometimes you should order a sandwich called a “Supreme Beefer,” packed with slow-cooked roast beef, Napa cabbage and carrot slaw, gochujang jus, and black garlic mayo, served on ciabatta. It’s a mouthful, and we are very much not mad about it. Find it on the menu at the takeout and specialty shop connected to Charlestown restaurant Dovetail (sibling to Brewer’s Fork), where you can also pick up interesting beer, wine, and cider; house-made provisions like bacon jam and tzatziki; pantry items from brands like Momofuku and Dumpling Daughter; fancy tinned fish; and lots more.

1 6th St., Charlestown, Boston, 617-337-5070, dovetailcharlestown.com.


The menu at this inconspicuous Cambridge spot covers all the ground you’d expect of any similar counter-service joint in the city: There are salads, subs, pizzas, fried seafood, and the like. There’s a reason its roast beef sandwich is featured on the street-hanging sign, though—it’s the clear star in Skampa’s ensemble, offered on an onion roll in the classic three-way form. There’s three sizes, too, but when the roast beef is this good, we’ve yet to hear a compelling argument that bigger isn’t better.

424 Cambridge St., Cambridge, 617-354-0009, skamparestaurant.com.