The three essential food groups to the college experience, as everyone knows, are coffee, pizza and sandwiches, in combination and quantity best determined by the individual student/consumer.

We can't tell you how much of each leg of the triangle should be consumed, or how often, but we consider it our solemn duty to offer newcomers to Boulder the best guidance possible on where to seek out the best of these in at least one category.

As for coffee and pizza, prepared with even minimal competence, there isn't much that can go wrong. Sandwiches, though? This can be a far more delicate area. So many moving parts. Everything in its proper freshness, proportion and texture. And you, with your busy busy schedule, don't have the time to do all the research necessary.

Relax, take a deep breath. We have done it for you. With no further delay, let us introduce you to the five sandwich shops that will help make every other part of your life in Boulder blissful. Or at the very least, kept you well-fed.

Half Fast Subs

1215 13th St.

303-449-0404

10:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Wednesday: 10:30 a.m. --1 a.m. Thursday and Friday; 10:30 a.m.-1 a.m. Saturday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday

halffastsubs.com

Perched directly right across the street from campus on the Hill, Half Fast Subs is a great spot, offering patio seating. Try any one of its 100-plus menu items, such as the Thai Tempeh or the N'Awlin's Shrimp Po-Boy. All sandwiches are available in the 7-inch and 14-inch iterations.


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Snarf's

2 locations

2128 Pearl St.

303-444-7766

11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday

5340 Arapahoe Ave.

303-444-3404

11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday

eatsnarfs.com

Gwen Schwartz, second from right, smiles for the camera as she after delivering food to Emily and Tyler Driver and Brian Alfano, at right, in the Cheba Hut
Gwen Schwartz, second from right, smiles for the camera as she after delivering food to Emily and Tyler Driver and Brian Alfano, at right, in the Cheba Hut on University Hill. (Paul Aiken / Colorado Daily)

Snarf's own hot pepper relish is enough to trigger an addiction to this sandwich shop. But don't despair, you can buy it by the jar. Oh, and the fresh bread is pretty darn good, too.

There are more than 20 sandwich options in 7-inch and 12-inch configurations, including a mouth-watering prime rib as well as a slew of vegetarian options, like an artichoke, feta and provolone sub. A wide range of salads and tantalizing sides flesh out the menu. At lunch hour, you may face a wait — but you know what they say about good things coming to those who do so.

Deli Zone

3 locations

1322 College Ave.

303-449-6952

Monday-Wednesday 7:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday 7:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

2900 Valmont Road

303-447-9349

7:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday; 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

4800 Baseline Rd

303-328-9171

7:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday

delizone.net

You may think you're in New York, but pinch yourself — you're still on the Hill.

Deli Zone features famous Brooklyn heroes in the form of big fat ruebens and Philly cheese steaks. Go local with subs such as the Soprano sandwich (grilled roast beef, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, red onion, horseradish mayo and lettuce). Or, go straight to the Hell's Kitchen breakfast sandwich, or get all political with the Guiliani (emphasis on the grilled Genoa salami, pepperoni and ham). You could also tap your inner hoodlum with the Gangster, bristilng with grilled chicken, bacon, roasted red peppers, Swiss cheese and pesto mayo.

Hungry for breakfast? The sandwich offerings include the Joe Namath breakfast sandwich (don't worry, your dad can tell you who he is). That features, eggs, bacon, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and mayo on toasted sourdough bread.

Joe Bucci, left, and Jeanne Sherwin have lunch at Snarf’s on Pearl Street.
Joe Bucci, left, and Jeanne Sherwin have lunch at Snarf's on Pearl Street. (Cliff Grassmick / Colorado Daily)

Cheba Hut

1313 College Ave.

303-413-3494

10 a.m.midnight; Monday-Sunday.

chebahut.com

The marijuana-themed sub shop boasts "the only thing fried is the occasional customer." Perhaps more than occasional, since the state entered the era of legal weed, for those at least 21 years old. As the menu comes into focus, customers might need to convince themselves they are not, in fact, in a particularly fragrant dispensary.

Try the Jamaican Red (spicy chicken), or the Kali Mist (California Club). Sandiwches come in 4inch (Nug), 8-inch (pinner) or 12-inch (blunt) sizings.

Salvaggio's

3 locations

2609 Pearl St.

303-938-1981

7 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday

1397 Pearl St.

303-545-6800

8 a.m. - 8 p.m., Monday-Friday; closed weekends late fall to early spring

1107 13th St.

303-448-1200

8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 8 a.m.- 11 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday

salvaggiosdeli.net

It starts with bread. That mouth-watering, warm, soft, fresh-baked bread. Excuse us while we drool. Now; where were we?

Salvaggio's sandwiches are made with a wide variety of fresh deli meat and cheeses, sliced right into the sandwich. Try a hot pastrami or shaved roast beef.

There aren't many fancy-shmancy selections, but what the Italian deli does offer is just right.

Contact Camera Staff Writer Charlie Brennan at 303-473-1327 or brennanc@dailycamera.com