Chopped cheese
Chopped cheese Crotona Bronx.jpg
A local variant of the chopped cheese, in Crotona Park, the Bronx, pictured with halal turkey bacon and barbecue sauce
Alternative namesChop cheese
CourseMain course
Place of originUnited States
Region or stateNew York City
Created byVarious claims
Serving temperatureHot
Main ingredientsGround beef, cheese, bread

The chopped cheese, also known as the chop cheese,[1] is a type of sandwich originating from New York City. Found in bodegas throughout Upper Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens[2] it is made on a grill with ground beef, onions, and mixed in melted cheese and served with lettuce, tomatoes, and condiments on a hero roll.[1] It is compared with the cheesesteak, cheeseburger, and a cheese sloppy joe, often thought of as a mixture of all three.[3]


Though the chopped cheese sandwich gained significant media attention around 2018, the actual origins of the sandwich are up for debate. There is speculation that the sandwich was an adaptation of an Arabic specialty, dagha yamneeya (دقة يمنية), which is essentially cooked chopped meat and vegetables served with Yemeni bread.[2] Some have argued that it is a century-old recipe that has been "Columbused",[4] while some think it is a more recent creation.

In popular culture

The chopped cheese has also made its way into hip hop culture, being featured in or the subject of many songs. Harlem rapper Cam'ron filmed his music video "Child of the Ghetto" at Hajji's Deli, which is largely considered the origin of chopped cheeses in NYC.[2]

The sandwich has also been the topic of a documentary from website First We Feast. The documentary Hometown Hero: The Legend of New York's Chopped Cheese discusses the origins of the sandwich and its cultural history. In the documentary, the sandwich is referred to as being legendary, and "Harlem's favorite".[5]

See also


  1. ^ a b Rosenberg, Eli (2016-11-07). "The Chopped Cheese's Sharp Rise to Fame". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  2. ^ a b c Bolois, Justin (2016-01-19). "The Cult of the Chopped-Cheese Sandwich, New York's Most Enigmatic Icon". First We Feast. Retrieved 2017-06-14.
  3. ^ Rabine, Robert (2016-12-27). "Recipe: The real deal, Chopped Cheese Sandwich". Shoreline Times. Archived from the original on 2020-07-25. Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  4. ^ Bellafante, Ginia (2016-12-22). "Gentrification and Junk Food: Chopped-Cheese Edition". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  5. ^ Breslouer, Lee (2016-11-17). "The Crazy & Controversial History Behind the Beloved Chopped Cheese Sandwich". thrillist. Retrieved 2017-04-18.