Pisillo Italian Panini – Sandwich oasis in downtown manhattan

New York is known as a city of excess, where we will take a particular subject and make it both bigger and better.  Our passion for the sandwich arts is no different, from iconic deli’s such as Katz’s and the Carnegie, the city that never sleeps has been making sandwiches that are just as big in taste as the city itself.  While most of manhattan seems to be sprinkled with amazing sandwich shops, the downtown area was the only area that could be considered lacking in an iconic deli.  While downtown is awash in fast food restaurants claiming the best 12 inch subs, no location shown bright as a beacon of the sandwich arts.  This had been the case until only recently, when a tiny italian panini shop which served up perfectly crafted sandwich which tasted as if made exclusively under the Tuscan sun opened.  Pisillo Italian Panini is a restaurant which does the tradition of amazing New York City sandwiches proud and is a must visit for anyone with a large appetite.

Pisillo is a very unassuming shop hidden off the main downtown streets in the financial district area.  The outside of the shop looks straight out of 1950’s New York with bright italian colors adorning the facade with large glass widows opening up to a tiny little seating area.  When stepping into Pisillo, time seems to stand still as you move from the fast paced streets into this laid back sandwich haven.  A far cry from the normal lunch locations in this area, Pisillo’s unassuming decor only helps lend to it being a much needed authentic staple in the area.

The real draw to this little deli are the sandwiches, which are only as delicious as they are massive in size.  When I say massive in size, this is no understatement.  This is like comparing the difference between a slice of Domino’s pizza to a dollar slice of  New York pizza or the difference between a softball and a basketball.  The sandwich pictured below was the equivalent to a half a loaf of bread, as Pisillo promises at least a 14 inch sandwich.  What makes these meals so great isn’t just the size but the quality of the ingredients.  Everything they make is imported from Italy from the cheese to the meats (they even have weekly deliveries of burrata cheese straight from Italy) and it is all hand crafted by the knowledgable workers behind the counter.  All of the sandwiches on the menu have simple ingredients from salami, to prosciutto, to chicken and are paired with only a few extra additions to make one of the best sandwiches we at ExploringNY have ever had.  The only problem is that these sandwiches can go fast, which means that you need to come early in case Pisillo does run out of bread.

Having opened only recently to the area, it already has fast become a favorite of many locals in the area vastly surpassing the other local fast food sandwich chains.  The location is cash only, but the fact that a sandwich costs a little less than $10, you will have no problem parting with an Alexander Hamilton for such an amazing meal.  While there are very few places that serve up just a sandwich that would be recommended to go out of your way to visit, Pisillo needs to be added to that list.