Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato Sandwich (credit: chow.com)

For many there is nothing like a BLT for a meal that hits the spot. The Bay Area is chock full of sandwich spots creating some of the best classic and creative takes on this winner. Though with the overstuffed babies at these places, be sure to use two hands.

Little Lucca Specialty Sandwich Shop
724 El Camino Real
South San Francisco, CA 94080
(650) 589-8916
www.littlelucca.com

With two Peninsula locations, Little Lucca Specialty Sandwich Shop has built a great reputation and a faithful following for its large sandwiches that sport traditional favorites alongside some quirky and delicious combos like its take on the classic BLT. Here at Little Lucca, it is BLT & A or BLT and Avocado ($9.50). Packed with bacon, one satisfied customer said the sandwich maker put about 18 sizzling, fatty slices on her sandwich. These sandwiches are heaped with ingredients, and that mountain is covered with the top bread fully loaded with mayo and Lucca’s addictive spicy garlic sauce. Be warned though, the wait can be long while each hefty sandwich is made fresh and the place is often crowded. For speedier service use the online ordering form and be sure to say when you will pick it up.

Crossroads Café
699 Delancey St.
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 512-5111
www.delanceystreetfoundation.org

Almost everyone in San Francisco knows of Delancey Street Foundation, noted for its efforts to rehabilitate and help guide people in need. The namesake restaurant is a vital part of the work it does and the café part of the group is Crossroads Café, a training school of the Foundation. Café fans say its BLT just may be the best in the city. “The bacon is thick and amazing, the bread good and nicely toasted, and just the right amount of tomato and mayo” is a testament to its deliciousness.

The Lunchpad at Noir Lounge
581 Hayes St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 522-6647
www.thelunchpadsf.com

Open for a bit of breakfast and a whole lot of lunch, The Lunchpad is a mainly a sandwich spot that isn’t as obviously located as its popularity suggests. Fear not though, you will find it. This cute pop-up café tucked into a lounge has it all from the décor, ambiance, service, nifty location and most of all the food. Stuffed sandwiches, enormous delicious salads, daily lunch specials, homemade chips and brunch are served all day. One of the creative sandwich favs here is the B.L. Whaaat! ($7.50) This is a fresh take on the classic BLT with candied habanero bacon, greens, tomatoes, red onion, roasted garlic aoli, and Swiss cheese. Are you hungry yet?

Haight Street Market
1530 Haight St.
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 255-0643
www.haightstreetmarket.com

Haight Street Market has been a neighborhood friendly fixture on Haight Street since 1981. This locally owned and independent market carries many household staples, including healthy organic and raw option. It also has an ever-expanding grocery selection making the place feel like a great fit for the neighborhood. Haight Street Market has grown to include a café and deli where the market’s signature sandwiches offer many freshly made options. BLT lovers will enjoy the 710 BALT that includes thickly sliced bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado and mayo. In addition to the signature sandwiches, feel free to create your own personal best. Then stroll out to tables and seats outside the market to dine and enjoy the sunny neighborhood weather.

Ike’s Place
3489 16th St.
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 553-6888
http://ilikeikesplace.com 

Everybody loves Ike’s. That’s the buzz around town and beyond, and with multiple locations around the Bay Area. Ike’s is definitely user friendly. The place offers  fantastic sandwiches with a something-for-everyone spread. If you find yourself craving a BLT, order Mayoose’s CA-BLT, an almost classic of avocado, bacon, choice of cheese, lettuce and tomato. You say you love bacon but are going vegetarian this week? No problem. Order the Sneaky Kitty ($9.99), loaded with American cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and veggie bacon ($9.99). Check the website for additional locations around the Bay Area.

Melanie Graysmith is a writer, artist and educator based in San Francisco. She writes on adult education, art, culture and lifestyle topics, and enjoys writing short stories and poetry. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.