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Cheeky Sandwiches

Critic's Pick Critics' Pick

35 Orchard St., New York, NY 10002 40.715797 -73.991686
nr. Hester St.  See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup
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  • Cuisine: Cajun/Creole, Soup & Sandwich
  • Price Range: $

    Key to Prices and ratings

    Upscale
    • Almost Perfect
    • Exceptional
    • Generally Excellent
    • Very Good
    • Good
    Cheap Eats
    • Best in Category
    • Excellent
    • Delicious
    • Very Good
    • Noteworthy
    • Very Expensive
    • Expensive
    • Moderate
    • Cheap
  • Reader Rating:

    10 out of 10

      |  

    4 Reviews | Write a Review

Photo by Ryan Monaghan

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Official Website

cheeky-sandwiches.com

Hours

Sun-Thu, 7am-9pm; Fri-Sat, 7am-midnight

Nearby Subway Stops

F at East Broadway; B, D at Grand St.

Prices

$3.50-$8.50

Payment Methods

Cash Only

Special Features

  • Breakfast
  • Kid-Friendly
  • Lunch
  • Take-Out

Alcohol

  • Beer and Wine Only

Reservations

Not Accepted

Profile

Cheeky, a New Orleans–flavored snack shop on the lower end of the Lower East Side, just east of Chinatown, has a few inspired sandwiches. What it doesn’t have are regular hours or a phone. The seating, such as it is, consists of one bench and a dozen or so painter’s stools of varying height and stability arranged along a narrow feeding ledge. Among the other things that distinguish Cheeky from the presidential suite at the Four Seasons are three space heaters and the lack of a full-fledged door—in its place, behind brightly painted shutters and a cheerful picket fence, there is a thick plastic curtain that wouldn’t appear out of place at a car wash. The look, in sum, is simultaneously rough and quaint, in a struggling-artist sort of way. Cheeky has its charms, and like we said, its sandwiches. Chief among these is an excellent oyster po’ boy. It comes fully “dressed,” in po’boy-speak, with lettuce, tomato, mayo, plus hot sauce and pickles, all of which add vim and vigor to the proceedings. The oysters are fresh and crisply fried, but what makes this sandwich so distinctive is the bread that Cheeky’s chef-owner Din Yates has shipped up north from the John Gendusa Bakery in New Orleans. It’s a remarkably crackly crusted loaf with a light and airy crumb; the closest equivalent hereabouts might be a good rice-flour bánh mì roll. Almost as delicious is a braised beef short-rib sandwich with a creamy horseradish sauce on griddled challah, and the fried chicken with red-cabbage slaw on a buttermilk biscuit. To round out the Big Easy theme, there are Zapp’s potato chips and Big Shot soda, chicory coffee, even what Yates refers to as an anti-muffuletta: Swiss Emmentaler cheese and a zingy olive-and-pickled-vegetable salad on soft, olive-studded bread. That’s right: no meat. That last might not go over in New Orleans, but for the Lower East Side, it has potential.

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