Tina Fey’s 30 Rock character Liz Lemon put it best when she said: “All of humankind has one thing in common: the sandwich. I believe that all anyone really wants in this life is to sit in peace and eat a sandwich.”

And while their coffee may leave something to be desired, Americans know a thing or two about sandwiches. It’s no wonder then that a swathe of US-inspired sandwich shops and counters have landed in Melbourne recently. Here are three newly opened spots to try next time you’re craving some peace, quiet and a sandwich.

Ruben’s Deli
The latest venture from Amanda Ruben (previously of Miss Ruben and Cooper & Milla’s) and Chris Watson, former head chef at Cutler & Co and Marion, is a New York-inspired corner deli.
Ruben’s renowned Reuben is, of course, the highlight. But the semi-open kitchen is also equipped with a full smoker, which the team uses, among other things, for cold smoking their salmon. Highlights from the seafood offering include hot-smoked salmon with hot honey and a house-made whipped cod roe, all served on a Baker Bleu bagel.

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Ray’s Sandwich Deli
A slice of New York comes to a quiet Hawthorn backstreet in the form of Ray’s Sandwich Deli. It’s built on years of hospo experience between co-owners Mariella Traina and her brother-in-law Jonathan Mandel, who have run cafes and takeaway joints in Melbourne and Sydney, including The Counter and Meet Gerard.

Their sandwiches are assembled to order and, as in many New York sandwich delis and bodegas, you can watch as your food is prepared. There are also handmade plain and blueberry bagels from Garden State Bakery served with cream cheese, butter, peanut butter, jam, avocado or smoked salmon. And the toastie menu includes a tuna melt, a Reuben, ham and cheese, as well as a triple-cheese veggie number.

Pretty Boy Floyd’s
The sandwiches at Pretty Boy Floyd’s, named for the Depression-era gangster, are largely inspired by deli creations from well-known New York and New Jersey shops.

The New York Reuben is a take on the signature item from Manhattan’s When Harry Met Sally-famous Katz’s Delicatessen. The Harlem Chopped Cheese (a bodega sandwich typically served on a hoagie with hamburger meat, onions and American cheese, plus toppings like shredded lettuce and tomato) is based on a sandwich found at Blue Sky Deli – better known as Hajji’s – in Harlem. And inspiration for the Italian Roast Beef (a sandwich that’s risen to global fame thanks to its starring role in season one of The Bear) is lifted from Fiore’s House of Quality in Hoboken, New Jersey.