In a sandwich rut? Sick of having ham and cheese day in and day out? Gonna go crazy if you have to have tuna fish one more day? I feel you. When I think of sandwiches, I usually think of something simple. Two slices of bread, cheese, and a type of meat. Nothing special. These restaurants seem to have gone out of their way to intentionally prove me wrong.
I asked Spoon members and students throughout the US to share their favorite sandwich joints, and they did not disappoint. It was so hard to narrow down just 10 or even 20, so here you have 35 amazing sandwiches to choose from. Maybe you’ll find your new fave!
1. The Godfather from Rinaldi’s Italian Deli
Steak, bacon, cappicola, salami, pepperoni, and provolone with lettuce, tomato, and mayo. Rinaldi’s Italian Deli is making you an offer you can’t refuse (and I couldn’t refuse that joke, sorry). You might not expect Florida to be serving up Italian sandwiches, but Rinaldi’s is doing it right.
2. Chicken Bacon Ranch from Krazy Moose Subs
The subs from Krazy Moose Subs in Alaska are 10 inches long, so you know you’re getting a pretty great deal for the cost. There’s a huge selection, so even if Chicken Bacon Ranch isn’t your thing, there’s plenty more amazing sandwiches to try. That being said, you really should try the Chicken Bacon Ranch anyways.
3. No. 25 from Zookz
Try finding a bad sandwich at Zookz in Arizona. Go on, I dare you. It can’t be done. I was trying to find the best sandwich to include on this list and I decided on No. 25, which is ham, avocado, black beans, cheddar cheese, and chipotle sauce, but there’s tons more to try. You’ll definitely find something to satisfy you here.
4. Manny’s Special from Manny’s Tortas
The best thing about Manny’s Special is that you can only find it here in their restaurant in Minnesota. It’s completely unique and Manny’s Tortas is really building something special. It’s steak, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, and jalapeños all grilled together, and then wrapped in ham and cheese.
5. The Farmer from Daily Dose Cafe
It’s easy to find a sandwich in Los Angeles, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to find a good sandwich. The Daily Dose is a beautiful cafe that only uses the freshest ingredients. Definitely check out The Farmer, which has become pretty famous. It’s filled with burrata, tomatoes, beets, yams, nuts, avocados, all served on olive bread.
6. Roast Beef and Provolone from Snarf’s
The subs from Snarf’s aren’t fancy, but they don’t need to be. You don’t need fancy ingredients. You just need good ones and that’s what Snarf’s offers. The Roast Beef and Provolone is served with Snarf’s incredible hot pepper relish and on their homemade fresh bread. They’ve really expanded their locations, so now you can get your Snarf on in Colorado, Illinois, Texas, and Missouri.
7. Italian Combo from Nardelli’s Grinder Shoppe
Nardelli’s has repeatedly been voted as the best sandwiches by Connecticut Magazine. What started as one sandwich shop has become a chain throughout the state, with people eagerly singing its praises, particularly for their Italian Combo, which is “world famous” for a reason.
8. The Bobbie from Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop
If this sandwich is good enough for Joe Biden, it’s good enough for you. But seriously, the VP considers this Thanksgiving-on-a-roll to be the best sandwich in America, and it’s definitely at least the best in Delaware. He’s certainly got a point. It’s filled with cranberry sauce, stuffing, and turkey. There’s nothing out there quite like it.
9. BBQ Pork Sandwich from Whitt’s Barbecue
You’re not going to go to Whitt’s in Alabama for the atmosphere. You’re going for their amazing smokehouse barbecue. Their food is on the cheaper side and is far from fancy, so don’t do this place for the Instagram. Do it for your taste-buds, which will agree that this is easily one of the best BBQ sandwiches ever.
10. Tea Bird from Victory Sandwich Bar
The Victory Sandwich Bar in Georgia is part delicious sandwich shop and part lively bar. Order up the Tea Bird for something with a little kick. It’s chicken with ghost pepper jack, tomato, lettuce, and sweet tea mayo. Don’t forget to get a Jack and Coke slushie with it!
11. Mixed Avocado from Spero Spera
Spero Spera is a relaxing cafe in Hawaii that uses fresh ingredients that are good for their customers. Take the Mixed Avocado sandwich for instance, which is stuffed with avocado, carrots, ham, sprouts, cabbage, American cheese, bacon, eggs, pickles, and their house sauce. It tastes delicious and gives you energy for the day.
12. Grilled Cheese from Bleubird
This grilled cheese is your childhood favorite, all grown up. It’s filled with brie, gruyere, cheddar, caramelized onions, fig preserves, and dijon aioli. Bleubird in Idaho toes the line between comfort food and fancy food, particularly in this sandwich. It’ll take you back to the days when your mom surprised you with a grilled cheese for lunch, but way fancier.
13. Porchetta Sandwich from Publican Quality Meats
You won’t actually find the Porchetta Sandwich on the menu. It’s only served on Sundays, but it’s worth trying to get to Publican Quality Meats in Illinois early enough to get one before they run out. They do porchetta right. It’s savory and fatty and perfect on ciabatta.
14. The Hot Brown from J. Graham’s Cafe
Loated in The Brown Hotel in Louisville, KY, J. Graham’s is serving up The Hot Brown, a classic, messy, open-faced sandwich that’s been a legend in Kentucky since the 1920s. Its Romano cheese with thick turkey breast, bacon, and tomato on Texas toast. They even have the recipe online to make it, but nobody could make it quite like J. Graham’s.
15. Overnight Duck Confit Panini from Duckfat
There’s a reason that this panini from Duckfat has been voted the best in Maine again and again. This sandwich is stuffed with tender duck with kimchi and cilantro-lime mayo. Fairly simple, but just so good.
16. Pork Tenderloin Sandwich from Breitbach’s Country Dining
Iowa has some incredible and incredibly famous pork tenderloin sandwiches, but Breitbach’s County Dining is easily one of the best. In fact, it’s been voted the best in Iowa. Check it out for yourself and you’ll see just how true that is.
17. Cuban Sandwich from Boulevard Bread Company
You could get a Cuban sandwich from basically anywhere, but no one does it like Boulevard Bread Company in Arkansas. The foundation of any good sandwich is its bread and this company is doing it right. Their Toasted Focaccia is bomb.
18. Oyster Loaf from Casamento’s Restaurant
Casamento’s is a seasonal restaurant that seems to have some pretty unstable hours, so you better time it right to get this New Orleans classic. The oysters are delicious on their own, but they’re made even better when they’re fried in Casamento’s cornmeal breading.
19. Mile High Club Sandwich from Rock-Cola Café
Stuffed with bacon, honey-baked ham, smoked turkey, American cheese, mayo, tomato, and lettuce, this towering sandwich from Rock-Cola in Indianapolis is guaranteed to fill you up. It’s served on two tiers of Texas toast so it’s pretty hard to eat, but the mess is worth it.
20. Miami Beach Special from The Bean Bag Deli and Catering Company
The Miami Beach Special is a creamy and gigantic twist on the corned beef on rye. Maryland’s The Bean Bag’s sandwiches come in the Big Bean (the bigger size) or the Beanie (the smaller size). The Beanie is still huge though, and you’ll get tons of corned beef, pastrami, coleslaw, and Russian dressing in every bite.
21. Pork Loin Milanesa from Dorado Tacos
I know what you’re thinking. It’s a taco place, shouldn’t you just get tacos? I mean the tacos here are great and all, but the Mexican sandwiches at Dorado Tacos in Massachusetts are diamonds in the rough. The crispy pork in this sandwich is nestled on a fluffy sesame seed roll, along with Oaxaca cheese, black beans, cilantro, black beans, chipotle sauce, and avocado.
22. Motown Cheese Steak from Wala Urban
It’s so hard to find a good cheese steak. So often you bite into one to find hunks of cheese, fatty steak, crunchy peppers and onions, and either way too soggy or stale bread. You won’t find any of that in a Wala Urban’s cheese steak in Michigan. You will find tender steak, perfectly melty mozzarella, and tons of caramelized onions.
23. Fried Chicken Sandwich from Howard’s Grocery, Cafe, and Catering
Tender chicken breast is breaded and fried for this sandwich from Howard’s Grocery in Missouri and then put on a fresh-made potato bun with pea shoots, barbecue mayo, fire-roasted peppers, and fresh basil. Howard’s is the perfect lunch spot, and this might just be the perfect sandwich.
24. Chicken Club on Focaccia from Broad Street Bakery and Cafe
To be honest, you can get any sandwich from Broad Street in Mississippi and you know it’s going to be good. That’s because their homemade bread cannot be beat. The chicken club is creamy with just the right amount of everything, but it’s made even better by the fact that the focaccia is perfectly baked.
25. For Pete’s Sake from Nora’s
This cozy sandwich shop in Missouri specializes in strange and delicious combinations. The For Pete’s Sake is a prime example. Nora’s created a sandwich with applewood-smoked pork loin, caramelized onions, melted brie, bacon, and apple sauce. There’s a reason it’s such a customer favorite.
26. The Nuke from Staggering Ox
The sandwiches from Staggering Ox in Montana are huge, cheap, and wonderful. Their clubfoot sandwiches are served vertically, to show you just how big they are. The bread is hollowed out to allow more ingredients to be stuffed inside. The Nuke, for instance, is filled to the brim with ham, turkey, beef, Swiss, Provolone, cheddar, lettuce, and their special sauce.
27. Double Deuce Sandwich from C. Berry’s
Pulled pork in general is delicious. There’s no denying that. And brisket is always amazing too. So C. Berry’s in Nebraska really did the right thing here and created a sandwich that gives you the best of both worlds. This sandwich is the perfect marriage of their hot, sliced beef brisket and their tender barbecue pulled pork, all on a toasted bun.
28. Catfish Sloppy Joe from RM Seafood
This might be Nevada’s most famous sandwich. Even Oprah has raved about it. RM’s Catfish Sloppy Joe is crispy fried catfish with onions, peppers, and barbecue sauce, piled high on a buttered bun. It’s a unique take on an old classic and you’ll never look at a Sloppy Joe the same way after this.
29. Gyro Special from Hammersmith Sandwich Company
This little shop in New Hampshire does not try to be anything that it’s not. It’s not fancy and neither is its food. Instead, Hammersmith Sandwich serves up fresh and hot sandwiches, with a lot of great takes on old classics. The Gyro Special is a homemade pita filled with meat and homemade tzatziki sauce. All fresh and all delicious.
30. Fat Darrell from R U Hungry?
R U Hungry in New Jersey is the home of the Rutgers fat sandwiches, and they are famous for a good reason. All their sandwiches are overstuffed with everything you could ever want. My personal favorite is the Fat Darrell, though. French fries, mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers, and marinara sauce. So good.
31. Albuquerque Turkey from Relish
The top sandwiches of New Mexico always have green chile. It’s a staple. Just ask the owners of Relish, who serve up their Albuquerque Turkey with honey roast turkey, havarti cheese, tomatoes, chipotle mayo, and, of course, green chile relish.
32. Falafel Sandwich from Mamoun’s Falafel
Mamoun’s Falafel is one of the oldest places to get falafel in New York and has been getting high praise ever since it opened. Today, it’s still one of the best places to get falafel in the city. It’s also one of the cheapest, coming in at just $3.50 per sandwich. Talk about getting more bang for your buck.
33. Fried Chicken Sandwich from The King’s Kitchen
Fried chicken on it’s own is good, but a sandwich is always better. The King’s Kitchen in North Carolina has perfected the fried chicken sandwich, though, by serving it on fresh ciabatta bun with their homemade honey mustard slaw.
34. The Noble Pig from Noble Sandwich Company
Noble Sandwich Company has somewhat of a cult following in Austin and that’s because you really can’t get a bad sandwich here. But if you’re a meat lover, you’re going to want to get The Noble Pig. It’s filled with spicy ham, pulled pork, Provolone, spicy mustard, mayo, and bacon.
35. The Thin Man from Thin Man Sandwich Shop
The Thin Man in Pennsylvania is where you go when you’re looking for something on the fancier side and when your stomach is feeling adventurous. The Thin Man sandwich is chicken liver mousse, bacon, endive, red wine vinaigrette, all served up a baguette. If you want to try something you really can’t find in any other sandwich shop, The Thin Man should be your go-to.