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Ideal’s Sandwich and Grocery


2108 Angier Ave
Durham, NC 27703
Phone: (919) 724-0241
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Google Reviews


Photo of Grey Clawson Grey Clawson
Dec 29, 2023 5

I got sick.... because I ate my damn foot long in 5 minutes because it was so freaking good. Never had a better chopped cheese. Will say it may be worth making some recommendations for how patrons should move through the shop? Manners should be obvious to people but this is a small southern city, not a city where people know how to move / behave in small spaces.

Photo of Jason Ritter Jason Ritter
Dec 8, 2023 4

Incredible sandwiches!! Just was very slow both times I've been there. One time waited over 40 minutes, while people that had come in 20 minutes after me had already received their order. I ordered 4 sandwiches (as is, with no substitutions), so I guess a larger order, but the wait seemed excessive. I asked about the order a couple times and was just told it was coming. The woman who was managing the orders was friendly and gave me a free cookie due to the wait, which was a nice gesture. The other minor issue was that the line flow seemed a bit confusing... the line to order and the line to wait for food were not well defined, which seemed to confuse some people. Not sure if there is an easy fix though as space inside is limited. Looking forward to visiting again, but will likely order over the phone in the future to reduce the wait time.

Photo of Lois Silver Lois Silver
Nov 27, 2023 5

The truth is that I don't want anyone else to know what a delicious NY gourmet-style sandwich shop is since it's already a huge hit with the locals! They bake their breads including focaccia. Minimal hours 1-3pm on Mon, Thu, & Fri. Long lines but so very worth it. Also get their homemade chips! Go early or they might run out of bread.

Photo of Grant Kenny Grant Kenny
Nov 8, 2023 5

Was asked to try this place out on Instagram and it was a great spot! The Harlem chopped cheese was one of the best subs I've ever had. Quality is top tier here. My only issue with this place is the line was super long and it took awhile after ordering to get my sub. A pickup option would be great but given the small space, I get why they might not want to. I suggest going on a weekday if it's less crowded!

Photo of Phyllis Jeter Phyllis Jeter
Nov 2, 2023 5

I came across the Ideal's Sandwich and Grocery in a New York Times article as one of the restaurants featured in their write-up, "36 Hours in Durham." This deli shop gets 5-stars across the board. Their sandwiches are well proportioned and delicious. Do yourself a favor and try it out for yourself!!! You will not be disappointed.

Photo of Taylor King Taylor King
Oct 15, 2023 4

My girlfriend and I used to come here all the time. The sandwiches are out of this world, easily the best in the triangle and probably NC for that matter. Lately though the line and difficulty with ordering have kept us from going. If you go on the weekend be prepared to wait like an hour to get your sandwich.

Photo of Mark Ingalls Mark Ingalls
Oct 4, 2023 5

Simply the BEST sandwich in the Triangle. Paul and Ian have created a cult like following with their northeastern style sandwich/grocery shop. Get there early and do not sleep on their store as they have thoughtfully curated some unique items you can not find at other places.

Photo of Ashley Odvody Ashley Odvody
Aug 19, 2023 5

These are some of the best sandwiches I've ever had in my life-no exaggeration. The owners are graduates of one of the top culinary school in the country, CIA, and it shows in the quality of their food. Their bread is handmade everyday: focaccia, English muffins, etc. They also are very reasonably priced. Everything I've tasted there has been amazing: even their egg & salami English muffin blew me away. I'm used to egg and bacon but this was a similar mouth feel with a whole other layer of surprising flavors on an English muffin with a slight crisp on the outside and squishy pockets like a flavor sponge. It was also only $5! People stand in line here everyday and it's worth the wait but you better come early because they run out everyday. They also are closed on Wednesdays so check the hours of operation before you come. Check out their Italian grocery store while you wait. It's full of delicious options. Another thing I like about this place is the owner's ideals. They actually named this for Ian's grandfather who was named Ideal but I actually think they live up to their name. They have managed to build a restaurant that is amazing but that doesn't kill their family and workers. They have cracked a code in the restaurant industry by doing things differently in lots of really smart ways. Such as keeping the hours reasonable for their families, picking a location that isn't huge and is cheaper so that they aren't overrun by overhead expense. As a result of these choices they can pour their best money and efforts into the food and it is reflected in the taste and good prices. They are like "The Bear," but the opposite of all the cussing and drama, extraordinary delicious with a side of niceness!

Photo of Natalie Paparone Natalie Paparone
Aug 3, 2023 5

Easily one of the best sandwiches I've had. Such a classic local sandwich shop with delicious food at affordable prices. The homemade chips are thin and garlicy and amazing, and I truly think I could eat the eggplant cutlet with ricotta hoagie every day. If you live in or near Durham you must try this place!

Photo of Eric Taylor Eric Taylor
Jul 6, 2023 5

Truly a legendary experience, I tried the chopped cheese, Italian, and eggplant sandwiches and I honestly had to stop and rethink my life a bit after every bite. To say that these sandwiches were delicious simply does not suffice, these were TRANSCENDENT.

Photo of Shirilea Demlow Shirilea Demlow
Jun 12, 2023 5

During our visit to town, my sister insisted on taking us to Ideals, and WOW, were we impressed! These sandwiches were simply mind-blowing—potentially the best I've ever tasted. Each ingredient was carefully selected, resulting in an explosion of flavors. Despite the wait, which was well worth it, we've already made up our minds to return every time we're in the area. Ideals has undoubtedly become our go-to spot for exceptional sandwiches.