You could do so much in 14 days. Reach out to your family. Start writing your novel. Learn to dance. Go through a full COVID-19 quarantine.
Or you could spend the time doing something useful, like developing an acute knowledge of bread-based foods in Shanghai, by ordering a different sandwich every day for fourteen days. I'm not saying that's what I did. I'm a professional. I did it in two days. Here are my recommendations.
A meat patty in a bun is a burger. Corollary: a meat patty between bread is a sandwich.
Anything on a bun that does not have a burger patty is a sandwich.
A sausage in a bun is a hot dog. Corollary: a sausage between bread is a sandwich.
A wrap is fluid. It is a sandwich; it is a wrap. It is BOTH AT THE SAME TIME.
1. Spread The Bagel's New York Reuben
Available On: ele.me, Sherpa's, Meituan Waimai - 68rmb
Bagelwiches are sandwiches, and SPB bagels are top-notch, wonderful things. I particularly enjoy the whole wheat Reuben. The cured beef brisket isn't as tasty as Tock's smoked special meat, but it's nearly as meaty. The Emmenthal, sauerkraut and Russian dressing is just a subtle leitmotif in the meat symphony.
2. Tock's Smoked Beef Sandwich
Available On: ele.me, Sherpa's, Meituan Waimai - 78rmb
"Why not the Reuben," you ask? Need to maximize your smoked beef. They even put the top slice perpendicular so that you can keep the red meat from escaping out the back. Like little wings. It comes with fries, which is superfluous. Tock's Montreal deli beef needs nothing except a little mustard.
3. Saigon Mama's Chicken & Pork Banh Mi
Available On: ele.me, Sherpa's, Meituan Waimai - 58rmb
We're not short on banh mi in the city: see Bun Cha Cha, Cyclo and Pho To Shop. I could go for any of them but Saigon Mama's banh mi has a lot of pickled carrot and I like pickled carrot. The grilled chicken also good (55rmb).
4. The Habit Burger's Santa Barbara
Available On: ele.me, Meituan Waimai - 58rmb
See Rule 1. This is a double-cheeseburger sandwich on buttered toast with avocado. It straddles the categories like an Olympic gymnast and triple-flips its way to gold. Best ordered with a malted vanilla milkshake.
5. La Coyota's Cochinita Burrito
Available On: ele.me, Sherpa's, Meituan Waimai - 50rmb
Mexican sandwiches exist but not in Shanghai. This is the closest we get, and it's a wrap, so Rule 4 applies. Plenty of these available in the city. Pistolera. Cantina Agave. Taco Bell. La Coyota's Cocinita Burrito stands out a as a delivery option because it isn't likely to fall apart in your hands and get rice and pulled pork in your keyboard. Plus it's pretty damn cheap. Crucial in a good burrito.
6. Madison Kitchen's Great Balls of Fire Meatball Sub
Available On: Sherpa's, Meituan Waimai - 88rmb
All of Austin Hu's sandwiches are daylight-destroying nuclear submarines, but this one especially. Back when it was on Donghu Lu, I'd go for lunch and the energy required to digest this monster meatball distribution system would annihilate my afternoon. Nothing got done after 2pm on a Madison Kitchen day. Now it can be delivered to my desk. Oh. Oh good.
7. Bird's Buffalo Fried Chicken
Available On: ele.me - 68rmb
Bird's pitching to the gourmands with their new sandwich menu. Honorable mention to the vegetarian Bombay Club for trying to getting something ethical in me but I prefer the Buffalo Fried Chicken. Pleasantly spicy, pleasantly Gorgonzolan. Comes with a side of pickled stuff.
8. Totino Panino's Parma Ham
Available On: ele.me - 78rmb
Sheets of parma ham! Waves of it! Bite a hole in the middle and you've got a rain poncho. Totino Panino has really upped the ante on Italian sandwiches in Shanghai. Their bedrock is solid sandwiches on fresh ciabatta with cold cuts. Now available on delivery. Forza Italia.
9. El Bodegon's Choripan Sandwich
Available On: ele.me - 60rmb
Comes in a baguette, see Rule 3. It tastes like South American carnival food. A chorizo stuffed with chimichurri. Of course it's good.
10. Mr & Mrs Bund's Polux Double Decker Club Sandwich
Available On: ele.me - 110rmb
Mr. & Mrs. Bund are new to delivery (thanks global epidemic!), which means we don't have to put pants on to eat there anymore. This is a very Paul Pairet sandwich: smoky, salty and intense. Perfect for the upcoming Paul Pairet Country Club and Polux Horse Stables in Jinqiao. (Jokes. Or...) But "doubledecker"? Where's the second deck? Am I supposed to stack the wedges myself? How do I earn my second deck?
11. McDick's Filet o' Fish
Available On: McDonald's delivery, ele.me, Meituan Waimai - 21.5rmb
This one's divisive. Schismatic. The Martin Luther of sandwiches (no meat patty, see Rule 2). Is it disgusting or is it the greatest thing to happen to seafood since fishing with dynamite?
12. Co. Cheese's Country Ham
Available On: Sherpa's - 65rmb
I want to take it home and introduce it to my parents so bad. God.
Everything on the menu at Co. Cheese is worth having. All of it. I picked the Country Ham because it looks the sandwich-y-est. The only downside to delivery is that you don't get to drown it in their hot sauce.
13. Xime's Classic Pork Katsu
Available On: Sherpa's - 59rmb
This is fluffy, sweet white bread with the crust cut off like gran-gran used to do. Nice grainy mustard and cabbage with a crunchy fried pork cutlet.
14. Eli Falafel's Falafel Wrap
Available On: ele.me, Sherpa's, Meituan Waimai - 40rmb
Wrap. Sandwich. WHICH ONE IS IT. Look, we needed a vegetarian one and this ambiguous Lebanese tube fit the bill.
To Celebrate: Strictly Cookies' Ice Cream Sandwich
Available On: :(
We were going to say that you could celebrate your first day with a green QR code by getting one of these puppies, but the ice cream sandwich is not available during the Special Period due to supply chain disruptions. #fuckcoronavirus. Go to FamilyMart instead and get a Snickers ice cream. They're new.