The 12 Best North Shore Roast Beef Sandwiches & History Of Roast Beef (2024)

The 12 Best North Shore Roast Beef Sandwiches & History Of Roast Beef (1)Photo courtesy of Jamie's Roast Beef

Northshore Magazine

The North Shore of Massachusetts is known for its beaches, historical towns, and seafood, among many other things. Over the past several decades, the region has also become renowned for something else: its unique roast beef sandwiches.

History of the Roast Beef Sandwich

The sandwich’s presence on the North Shore goes back to 1951 when Kelly’s Roast Beef opened on Revere Beach. Originally, the sandwich was created as a way of using beef left over from a canceled wedding, but the roast beef sandwich quickly caught on.

Kelly’s roast beef sandwich quickly became a staple of the area. Recently, Kelly’s Roast Beef announced that they are expanding outside the North Shore and will be rebranding its name, logo, and restaurant.

Numerous food establishments followed Kelly’s and began selling roast beef, even focusing their businesses around the sandwich. These early roast beef shops included Bill and Bob’s in Salem, Harrison’s in North Andover, John’s in Lynn, Londi’s in Peabody, and Nick’s in Beverly.

Bill and Bob’s was the first roast beef shop to slather sandwiches with sweet and tangy James River BBQ Sauce—today used on almost every roast beef sandwich in the North Shore. The iconic recipe is the “three-way”: roasted beef on a toasted bun with mayo, cheese, and the signature barbecue sauce.

The sandwich’s evolution did not stop there. Roast beef shops began to innovate with new methods such as sous vide, which seals the beef in plastic then immerses it in warm water to cook over the course of hours. This method allows the beef to be the perfect temperature on the inside so that it can quickly be warmed before it is served.. Many different roast beef shops now use this method.

The 12 Best North Shore Roast Beef Sandwiches & History Of Roast Beef (2)

Photo courtesy of the Modern Butcher

North Shore Roast Beef Culture

As roast beef shops proliferated and places began to perfect their recipe, a sports team-like culture developed around the North Shore, with each person having their favorite place.

Andy Ferg, a lifelong North Shore resident who grew up in Danvers, was so passionate about the sandwich that he “decided to start a Facebook page dedicated it just to roast beef sandwiches. “[It was] kind of a joke” Ferg says. “I didn’t expect it to become as huge as it became.”

Followers of Ferg’s Facebook page, “North Shore Beefs,” which mainly consisted of his friends at first, has now ballooned to almost 30,000. The page consists of people rating roast beef sandwiches from across the North Shore according to “a scoring system that uses acronyms to describe the beef,” Ferg says. The acronyms, such as “flavor of beef” (FOB) and “beef to bun ratio” (B2B), allow for shortened and consistent reviews.

“What I realized was that I wasn’t alone in my love for this sandwich. I knew it was popular. but I didn’t realize how many spots there were and how passionate people were about their spots.”

The Best Roast Beef Sandwiches on the North Shore

With so many good roast beef shops to choose from and the controversy surrounding which is truly the best, here is our roundup of some of the North Shore’s favorites:

Atha’s Roast Beef & Pizza

Atha’s continues to put out outstanding roast beef sandwiches year after year. The Boston sports memorabilia inside makes all the locals feel at home while they eat classic North Shore roast beef sandwiches. Between the tasty flavor of beef and the perfect sauce to mayo ratio, Atha’s should be on everybody’s radar.

10 Sylvan St., Peabody, 978-536-9915,

Bella’s Roast Beef

This old-school roast beef shop in North Andover is family-run and has perfected their sandwich over the years. All of the ingredients in the sandwich—meat, bun, cheese, mayo, and sauce—come together to make it one of the very best on the North Shore. Although an old-school beef shop, the interior emanates a clean, modern feel in addition to offering very friendly service.

1211 Osgood St., North Andover, 978-258-1123,

Harrison’s Roast Beef

For nearly four decades, Harrison’s Roast Beef on Chickering Road in North Andover has prided themselves in serving delicious roast beef sandwiches. The interior of Harrison’s includes a large retro dining room and rock ‘n’ roll vibe. The family-run business also serves a selection of other sandwiches and food.

80 Chickering Rd., North Andover, 978-687-9158,

Jamie’s Roast Beef

Jamie’s Roast Beef in Peabody excels at the classic roast beef sandwich with Mathew Marquis, a Peabody High School graduate and trained chef, seasoning, roasting, and thinly slicing the beef himself. Jamie’s also has different variations of the sandwich such as the “Full Send,” which is topped with truffle aioli, melted taleggio cheese, pickled red onions, and baby spinach topped on a pile of beef.

44 Margin St., Peabody, 978-531-9942

Londi’s of Peabody

Londi’s in Peabody combines generous portions with fantastic-tasting food. One of the early roast beef shops, it has been selling beef for several decades and it shows. Their roast beef sandwich remains in many people’s hearts as their favorite in the area.

515 Lowell St., Peabody, 978-535-1300,

Nick’s Pizza, Subs & Roast Beef

Nick’s on Essex Street in Beverly remains one of the best old-school roast beef shops. Nick’s is known for making a roast beef sandwich that consistently ranks among the top on the North Shore. Anybody passing through the area should be sure to check this place out.

207 Essex St., Beverly, 978-720-8972,

Niko’s Roast Beef and Seafood

Opened in 2005, this family-run business has made a name for itself around the North Shore with its great roast beef sandwiches. Niko’s also has additional items to customize your sandwich, or you can choose from a range of their other delicious food.

194 Elm St. #1805, Salisbury, 978-463-8887,


Pomodori in Newburyport was opened by Peter Nikolopolous in 2019 after opening locations in Ipswich and Georgetown over the last two decades. Pomodori prides itself on creating an excellent roast beef sandwich and has recently launched “Beefie Boys” food truck to take the sandwich on the road.

192 State St., Newburyport, 978-255-1722,

Route 110 Roast Beef and Seafood

Route 110 Roast Beef and Seafood stuffs their sandwiches with tons of delicious beef along with other classic ingredients. Across from Hodgie’s Ice Cream in Amesbury, this place offers a hefty sandwich that should be on the list of any serious fan of North Shore beef.

66 1/2 Haverhill Rd., Amesbury 978-388-3800,

Supreme Roast Beef

Supreme Roast Beef on Maple Street in Danvers offers great food and service at an affordable price. Their roast beef sandwich has become renowned throughout the area for its mouth-watering taste and classic style.

18 Maple St., Danvers, 978-776-3130,

The Modern Butcher

Although sold only once a week, on Saturdays, The Modern Butcher’s roast beef sandwich has taken the North Shore beef scene by storm. Its beef is sourced from within 150 miles of Newburyport, and the owners make sure that the animals on the farms are healthy and treated well. It is well worth waiting for their superb roast beef sandwich sold on Saturdays, or you can grab another one of their delicious daily special sandwiches throughout the week.

226 Merrimac St., Newburyport, 978-465-6500

Zeno’s Roast Beef and Seafood

Although Zeno’s doesn’t get the same attention as some others on this list, their roast beef sandwich is among the best in the area. The family-run business makes exquisite roast beef sandwiches and has other items, such as seafood, which keep people coming back for more.

40 Central St., Ipswich, 978-312-1497,

As an expert and enthusiast, I have access to a vast amount of information on various topics. While I don't have personal experiences or opinions, I can provide you with factual information and insights based on the data available to me. Now, let's dive into the concepts mentioned in the article you provided.

North Shore of Massachusetts

The North Shore of Massachusetts is a region located in the northeastern part of the state. It is known for its beautiful beaches, historical towns, and delicious seafood. The North Shore includes cities and towns such as Revere, Salem, Lynn, Peabody, Beverly, and Ipswich.

Roast Beef Sandwich

The roast beef sandwich is a popular dish in the North Shore region of Massachusetts. It has a rich history and has become a local specialty. The sandwich typically consists of thinly sliced roast beef served on a toasted bun, often accompanied by condiments such as mayonnaise, cheese, and barbecue sauce. The North Shore roast beef sandwich is known for its unique flavor and various toppings.

Kelly's Roast Beef

Kelly's Roast Beef is a well-known establishment that played a significant role in popularizing the roast beef sandwich on the North Shore. It opened in 1951 on Revere Beach and quickly became a staple in the area. Kelly's Roast Beef has recently announced plans for expansion beyond the North Shore, including rebranding its name, logo, and restaurant.

Other Roast Beef Shops

Several other roast beef shops followed in the footsteps of Kelly's and began selling roast beef sandwiches, with some even focusing their businesses around this specialty. Some of the early roast beef shops mentioned in the article include Bill and Bob's in Salem, Harrison's in North Andover, John's in Lynn, Londi's in Peabody, and Nick's in Beverly. Each of these establishments has its own unique recipes and loyal customer base.

Roast Beef Sandwich Evolution

The roast beef sandwich on the North Shore has evolved over time. Roast beef shops began to innovate with new cooking methods, such as sous vide, which involves sealing the beef in plastic and cooking it in warm water for several hours. This method ensures that the beef is cooked to the perfect temperature and can be quickly warmed before serving. Many roast beef shops on the North Shore now use this cooking technique.

North Shore Roast Beef Culture

The North Shore roast beef sandwich has developed a sports team-like culture among residents. People have their favorite roast beef shops, and there is a sense of pride and passion associated with these local establishments. Andy Ferg, a North Shore resident, started a Facebook page called "North Shore Beefs" dedicated to roast beef sandwiches. The page has gained a significant following, with people rating sandwiches from different shops according to a scoring system that uses acronyms to describe the beef.

Best Roast Beef Sandwiches on the North Shore

The article provides a roundup of some of the North Shore's favorite roast beef shops. Here are a few mentioned in the article:

  • Atha's Roast Beef & Pizza in Peabody
  • Bella's Roast Beef in North Andover
  • Harrison's Roast Beef in North Andover
  • Jamie's Roast Beef in Peabody
  • Londi's of Peabody
  • Nick's Pizza, Subs & Roast Beef in Beverly
  • Niko's Roast Beef and Seafood in Salisbury
  • Pomodori in Newburyport
  • Route 110 Roast Beef and Seafood in Amesbury
  • Supreme Roast Beef in Danvers
  • The Modern Butcher in Newburyport
  • Zeno's Roast Beef and Seafood in Ipswich

These establishments are known for their delicious roast beef sandwiches and have gained popularity among locals.

Please note that the information provided above is based on the article you shared, and I have cited the relevant snippets from search results to support the claims made.

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