Cheeky Sandwiches

The rating scale of 0 to 100 reflects our editors’ appraisals of all the tangible and intangible factors that make a restaurant or bar great — or terrible — regardless of price.

Read more about the new ratings
83 Very Good

A New Orleans–flavored sandwich shop on the lower end of the Lower East Side.

35 Orchard St., New York, NY, 10002


Known For

The lowdown

The look is simultaneously rough and quaint, in a struggling-artist sort of way. And the seating, such as it is, consists of one tiny table, a makeshift bench or two, and a dozen or so stools of varying height and stability arranged along a series of narrow feeding ledges. What Cheeky lacks in interior design, however, it makes up for in delicious New Orleans–inspired sandwiches. Chief among these is an oyster po’ boy. It comes “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 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 Crescent City theme, there is Big Shot soda, chicory coffee, and Zapp’s potato chips.

Robin Raisfeld & Rob Patronite

What you need to know

DrinksBeer and Wine

Noise LevelCivilized