It’s summer and that means the food options multiply as alfresco dining is possible with picnics, barbecues, potlucks, and more often, quick lunches on park benches. In continuation of the WeCould8 series, I present to you 8 places to buy excellent sandwiches near Union Square and Madison Square Park (in order of my preference):

1. No. 7 Sub (1188 Broadway / 29th St – closes 5pm): The most ingenious subs I have ever seen! Packs the punch of a full meal in a hero roll. We had Broccoli with lychee, ricotta salata, pine nuts and the Zucchini Parm with fontina, sweet onion, pickled jalapenos, bbq chips. Tyler Kord is just at another level – and those were just veggie subs! 

2. DeFonte’s (261 3rd Ave /23rd St): The Brooklyn classic Italian deli has a Murray Hill location with large top-notch Italian subs. My fav is the Roast beef, fresh mozzarella, fried eggplant and natural jus, but I’m pretty certain they’re all amazing. Not fancy, just satisfying.

3. Grey Dog (90 University / 11 St): A good all-around coffee place with a chill vibe, good soups, desserts and sandwiches. The Michigan sandwiches come on choice of 6 good breads with chips. My fav is the Reuben with choice of turkey, chicken, roast beef or veggie burger.

4. Baogette (61 Lex bet 25/26 St): A small menu of tasty banh mi sandwiches. The chicken and fish are good, the veggie not so much, and haven’t tried the original yet. Pretty much take-out only.

5. Fredi Sandwich Bar (28 E 12th St): It has potential to move up to number 3. We tried the tandoori chicken salad w/ sliced cucumber, pickled onions & yogurt dressing, which had a little goat cheese flavor that we dislike, but most people would enjoy this. The pork meatball banh mi was ok, but not too memorable. There’s a large selection, so maybe we made poor choices on our 1 visit? We’ll see…

6. Press NY (34 E 23rd St): It has a chain feel, but is only this 1 location – for now. They press the wrap dough in front of you and have a selection of interesting toppings you choose. At the end it’s still a wrap, but it’s a pretty good one.

7. Mangia (22 W 23rd St): It’s basically a high-end deli with prepared sandwiches and design-your-own salads. It’s good quality, but more of a standby than a destination.

‘wichcraft (11 E 20 at Broadway): I can’t rank this one because I haven’t been here, but Tom Colicchio seems to be successful with whatever he touches. The menu looks great with lots of non-meat options and quality ingredients. I will be visiting soon.

So get yourself a tasty sandwich, a good book, and go to the park.