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Elsie's Sandwich Shop, Cambridge, Mass.

Our readers greatly miss Elsie's Sandwich Shops that were once located in Cambridge and Falmouth on Cape Cod.

Steve wrote, "The best deli sandwiches around ... I liked them better than Jack and Marion's. Especially "the Fresser's delight."

Evan from London, England, sent us a message stating, "that landmark that marked the beginning of any vacation on the Cape for decades. I still remind my family of how much I miss those turkey sandwiches with the thinnest slices of turkey I have seen anywhere. Melted in your mouth-no chewing required."

Stuart wrote us a while back saying, "Can you add Elsie's in Harvard Square to your list?  I was just back for my 35th Harvard reunion and everyone is still talking about it!"

Stuart, sorry we are a little late with this but we'd be more than honored to mention Elsie's!

Elsie's was simply one of the best sandwich shops ever in this region. I don't know much about the Falmouth location, but can tell you a little about the Cambridge spot by saying this was the place to meet whether you were a student, professor, townie or out-of-towner.  Elsie's trumped other local sandwich shops and certainly offered a superior alternative to college dining hall food. Plus, it was open late at night!

I remember the roast beef sandwiches tasting so much better than any other places -- including those famous places on the North Shore -- and no competitor could match the delicious turkey club. The Fresser's Delight that Steve mentioned consisted of turkey, roast beef, and corned beef on three slices of sissel bread. Elsie's also served a juicy, oversized burger that would give any of those trendy burger chain a good run for the money Yum!

The Cambridge location closed in 1995, staying in business for about 30 years. We miss you, Elsie's!


  1. Didn't Elsie's make it into a scene in the 1973 movie Paper Chase?

  2. When I returned home from the service, Elsie's was one of my favorite places to visit. It has been many years but I still remember some of those who worked there. One of those great spots that finally closed and literally broke the hearts of so many people.

  3. Elsie’s pastrami sandwich was to die for! I would pick up two at a time! Elsie burger beat most burger places! I am drooling! Hahaha!

  4. Totally the best roast beef sandwich ever! Always packed with people...three deep... Sometimes I yelled my order from the back and got it tossed to me over many heads!

  5. Elsie's roast beef sandwich with Russian is the best sandwich I have ever eaten. Every time I would return to Cambridge/Boston for a conference, my first stop was to Elsie' and it never disappointed.

    1. I went to high school upstairs. I can still smell it. God, I miss it......

  6. The roast beef sandwich was great, but I didn't like the onions. So I would order a "roast beef special - hold the onions" and the counterman would yell back "Regular with Russian." Next time I would order a "Regular Roast Beef with Russian" and it would be repeated as "Special hold the onions."

  7. The roast beff special was my favorite back in 70 and 71 whe I lived on Western Avenue! Sure miss Elsie's!

  8. One cannot talk of Elsie's without mentioning their spectacular liverwurst or bratwurst with sauerkraut, both on a kaiser roll.


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