By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Apr 22, 2024 at 11:02 AM

Riley's Sandwich Co. & Social House
4473 N. Oakland Ave., Shorewood, (414) 616-1811
148 N. Milwaukee St.,  (414) 231-3628

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Put “sandwich” in the name of your restaurant and there’s definitely pressure to perform on that front. Fortunately for Riley's Sandwich Co., quality is at the top of the list.

I have a love-hate relationship with steak sandwiches, which can run the gamut from tender and flavorful to tough, gristly or mealy. Such is not the case at Riley’s, a take-out-only shop where beef filet is treated to a sous vide bath, ensuring tender mid-rare meat that’s consistent every time. You can find the tender beef on numerous sandwiches, from Philly-style sandwiches to over-the-top options like “Terrible City” topped with mozzarella, onions, dill pickle potato chips and slaw.

But if you’re looking for a good classic option, grab the Steak Kensington, which is gussied up with roasted mushrooms and onions, melted mozzarella and creamy horseradish spread (the Oakland Style version subs out garlic for the horseradish). 

The sous-vide treatment is also used on Riley’s organic chicken breast sandwiches, which can be ordered in variations from bbq and taco dip to jerk chicken, Nashville hot or “wannabe banh mi”; I’ve not yet tried them all, but their chicken parmesan option is a solid choice topped with garlic bread crumbs, a tasty marinara sauce and melted mozzarella. Trust me when I suggest adding the spicy giardiniera; it ramps everything up a notch.

If you don’t eat meat, there’s a nice selection of veggie-based sandwiches as well, including Buffalo and Nashville Hot Cauliflower, Italian Veggie and more.

Visit their Third Ward location and you can even enjoy your sandwich inside their dog-friendly gathering place, Riley's Social House, where they've got a full bar, including over 20 craft brews on tap.

Recommended: Chicken Parmesan; Nashville hot cauliflower (if you like heat); sous vide wings

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.