Sandwiches are, of course, subjective. The “best sandwich” for me may not be the “best sandwich” for you. So, that’s why we present 50 of them here – then we know, we’ve got you covered.
So, without further ado let’s took a look at our list and, where appropriate, a little backstory on each sandwich and why they are the best sandwiches. All sandwiches appear in no particular order.
50An Alabama BBQ Sandwich With White Sauce
The white sauce on an Alabama BBQ Sandwich is a combination of mayo and vinegar and it adds real personality to the mix. You want soft, tender BBQ chicken to set the whole thing off in a mouthful of awesome.
49The French Dip
The French Dip sandwich is an American classic. We’re talking rare rib eye, thinly sliced and between two slices of bread that you can dunk into a big old bowl of juicy gravy. You simply can’t go wrong here.
48The Smoked Meat Sandwich
Smoked meat sandwiches are from Canada. You need half a pound of mixed smoked meat and a touch of yellow mustard (ideally Heinz, we’re told but French’s did just fine for us). Then make sure no-one else is witnessing your gluttony and devour. (Pro Tip: Add a sour pickle on the side. And a Cherry Cola if they’ve got it.
47The Arkansas Garden Sandwich
The garden sandwich won the National Sandwich Contest back in 1979 and it’s the first vegetarian option on our list. You need mushrooms, three cheese, and a super spinach-pate on a bed of pumpernickel. It’s amazing.
46The Philadelphia Cheese Steak Sandwich
It doesn’t get more American than this little number. Thin sliced rib-eye, American cheese (or Kraft Cheez Whiz), in a tasty Italian roll. That’s it. Leave the vegetables out of it or switch up the bread to something more substantial if you really have to add them.
45The Banh Mi
Our first international entry is often considered to be the finest sandwich of them all by connoisseurs – it’s a staple of the Vietnamese diet and can be bought on any street corner in Saigon. Here you need some pork shoulder and belly slowly marinated in lemongrass, roasted, then tuck it into a baguette and add cucumber, mayo and pickle. It’s a taste sensation.
The Dagwood was born in a comic strip (Blondie, to be precise) and it’s the biggest sandwich ever mainly because the only thing stopping you from making it bigger – is you. Turkey, ham, mayo, tomatoes, lettuce and whatever else you want, in as many layers as you want.
43Colorado’s Fool’s Gold
This is the meal that killed Elvis, probably. A sourdough loaf with a full pound of peanut butter, bacon and jelly, each. Yes, really. It contains enough calories for 3 days so don’t eat it all at once – we’re not sure you could if you tried.
One of Florida’s finest sandwiches and there’s no definitive version. We’d go with slow-roast pork, combined with top notch ham in pineapple glaze, a little brown sugar, cloves and Swiss cheese. The bread ought to be light and fresh.
41The Eh Bae Bae
We have no idea where this began but boy is it tasty. Meunster cheese, scrambled eggs (a little runny), bacon and lettuce and tomato in a whole wheat bread of your choosing. This is decadent and delightful.
40The Clam Roll
You need fresh clams to make this work well, deep fry them and pop them in a bun. Done right, it’s one of America’s finest and most under-rated sandwiches. Done wrong and it’s an abomination. Make your own.
39The Ham And Cheese
Look, here’s the thing. This is one of the all-time classic sandwiches but it shouldn’t be. If you have the best ham, you don’t need the cheese. If you have the best cheese, you don’t need the ham. You add cheese when the ham is pre-sliced rubbish from a deli. The bread is irrelevant.
38The Kalua Pork
Hawaii offers up it’s best sandwich for our list. Slow cooked pork, pineapple salsa and a soft warm bun. This is all you need to rock your taste buds.
37The Italian Beef
This may have started in Italy but it’s Illinois it’s best connected to today. Slice the beef thin, add peppers, gravy and pickled vegetables. This is a seriously good sandwich.
36The Kimchi Chopped Cheese
We figure somebody in Korea eats something like this, but our recipe comes from Canada. Soft, yellow rolls and ground beef, kimchi, pickle, lettuce and cheese. They’re a bit of a surprising flavor first time round but wow, they’re moreish.
Salmon, cream cheese, tomatoes, red onions and just a hint of capers. That’s the OG and it’s one of our all time favorites. Be warned though, eating this baby can get a little messy if you don’t pack the bun just right.
34The Bologna Sandwich
Don’t flinch. We know you hated this at school but done right, it’s an invincible dish. Crisp the bologna in a pan, and then add some mustard (good French mustard – not the yellow stuff) and a little mayo. It’s gorgeous.
33Pastrami On Rye
Sure, it’s a little conservative but this is NYC’s finest contribution to our culinary history (well, apart from pizza, maybe) and it’s awesome. Pastrami, rye and mustard. Pack it all in. Wait for it to fall to pieces and end up in your lap. It’s still worth it.
32BBQ Pulled Pork
They know their sandwiches down in Kansas City and the BBQ Pulled Pork is as simple and as tasty as it sounds. You want a fairly rugged bun to stuff the meat and sauce into and then you can just go to town on it.
31The Lobster Roll
You can either move to Maine or save up for this one. Lobster may not be the cheapest of ingredients but it’s worth it. The roll requires as much lobster meat as you can get your hands on and either butter or mayo on the bun and nothing more.
We know, it’s another school yard memory and some people hate it and others love it. The humble tuna salad needs just some fresh chopped tuna, a little olive oil and as much veg as you can get your hands on.
29The Hamburger Sub
Were we wrong to include this? We don’t think so. You need three quality meat patties, three super slice s of cheese and the trimmings for a burger if you want them. One sub roll and you’re away. The calories are horrific, but it has a superb taste.
We’re off to Greece for another international entry. Though, we could as easily be in Turkey and feasting on Shawarma. The Gyro requires slow roasted lamb, ever so thinly cut, with hot sauce, tzatziki and salad vegetables to your taste. Historically, in much of Europe it’s best consumed after alcohol but it’s fine without.
I feel bad just writing the title to this post. You see the peanut butter and marshmallow crème sandwich demands Marshmallow Fluff from Massachusetts. If you’ve got that, then you’ve got yourself a Fluffernutter.
The best Reuben we’ve ever had was in Michigan but what you need to make one at home is corned beef, Swiss cheese, some sauerkraut and a little Russian dressing. The bread must be rye – that’s not optional.
25Beer Braised Brisket
The name should tell you one of the key ingredients for this super sandwich roll. Then all you need is some pickled red onions, a little arugula and some horseradish. This is what the finer things in life are made of.
Absolutely no-one knows where this came from (though the Saratoga Club House may have the strongest claim) but two stacks of bacon, turkey, egg, lettuce, tomato, mayo is a classic. Though not one that is universally loved.
We’re off to Israel for our falafel though we could just as easily visit Palestine or The Lebanon for it. Lebanon has even threatened to sue Israel over the copyright to falafel (ultimately failing because you can’t copyright a recipe). Crunchy falafel is the base, then lettuce, tomato, cucumber and that super creamy tahini. You can’t go wrong with falafel.
They love these down in New Orleans and it’s possibly the most ridiculous looking sandwich on our list. You need the muffuletta bread to space out the huge amount of different cured meats, some cheese and that olive spread to make it work. Sadly, this ends up with a stupidly shaped sandwich that always makes us laugh.
This is the sandwich of animals. Burger patties, butter, cheese, onions, and fried bread instead of a bun. Why not just go to McD’s? Well, because it tastes wonderful, that’s why.
20Peanut Butter And Jelly
We return to the schoolyard with the sandwich nearly every kid in America grew up on. Let’s not pretend at health food here. White bread, peanut butter, grape jelly – it’s heaven even if it’s going to pack on the pounds for you. Why is it so popular? It was the ultimate sandwich included in war rations back in World War II and it stuck.
We’re not going to deny that The Veal isn’t everyone’s idea of a classic sandwich. It’s essentially two thin veal schnitzel, covered in a sweet red sauce and trapped in a bun of epic proportions. It’s absolutely delicious.
18The Meatball Sub
This is American charm at work. Take something that feels like it belongs in Italy and make it your own. And we do recommend that you make your own meatball sub as so many places use lousy bread that soaks up all the sauce and leaves you holding a horrible mess. Meatballs, marinara sauce, cheese and a good bun. That’s all you need. Serve with olives if you want to feel posh about it.
Our friends down in South America can make a mean sandwich if you ask them to. You need to ask for an Arepas to be made to order in most places. It requires slow roasted beef, a little chicken, onions, mayo and avocado. Served in a crispy but somehow still chewy shell. It’s an absolute treat.
This was once a food for kings. Believe it or not. It’s only in recent years that chicken was cheap. Go back a couple of hundred years and it was insanely expensive. Our favorite requires crispy lettuce, a light garlic mayo and chicken. It has no pretentions and it needs none. Whole wheat bread, please.
We hit up St. Louis Missouri for the finest open faced sandwich in the world. It’s fresh roast ham and roast beef on toasted bread. They use “proprietary braising techniques” for authenticity in Missouri but we’ve tried making our own and they’re still great.
14The Meatloaf Sandwich
We should probably be ashamed of a pork, beef and veal combination in the era of the rising vegan, but we can’t be – it’s an amazing sandwich which satisfies even the heaviest appetite. Get the slab of loaf, slather it in cheese, and then melt it, and finally add ketchup and you’re away. It’s a deserved classic sandwich.
13The Hoagie (also known as The Submarine and sometimes as The Grinder too)
It’s shaped like a submarine because a Boston-based restaurant thought that would appeal to sailors during WWII and it does. The bread is important, a long and soft roll with a light fluffy interior texture. Then it’s time to go crazy with fillings – meats, lettuce, onion, tomato, as many condiments as take your fancy. Go for it.
12The Croque Madame
It’s sort of French particularly if you reach for the Gruyere as your cheese of choice, a great ham is required to match this, then you slather it in bechamel. That’s a Croque Monsieur, a good sandwich in its own right, but slap a poached egg on the top and then you’re cooking with gas. The Croque Madame is the queen in this contest.
The BLT is the essence of simplicity. It’s the sandwich you crave when you need to be fed without showing off your sophistication. Bacon, lettuce, tomato and any bread you darn well choose. This is your moment.
10The Ham Sandwich
Yes, we know, you were expecting something more sophisticated this far down our list but the ham sandwich made of world class ham, crisp French bread, butter and a touch of elegant mustard is a world beater. It’s as simple as that.
Who doesn’t love a sandwich which is essentially a whole roast suckling pig crammed in an Italian bread? Well, vegans probably. The rest of us know The Porchetta for what it really is, a delicacy of fat, crackling and juicy meat. Yum.
8Pulled Pork Sandwich
We prefer the North Carolina variant where the sauce is vinegar based but you cannot deny this BBQ beast its rightful place on the list of best sandwiches ever. BBQ is America’s massive culinary contribution to the world, and this is its sandwich.
7The Grilled Cheese
If we were doing this list in order, this might be the number one. It’s said that the first grilled cheese was prepared in 1920 but no-one knows for sure. What we do know is that the month of April is now “National Grilled Cheese Month.” When a sandwich gets its own month – it’s a great sandwich. It’s simple but sublime.
6The Pork Chop Sandwich
If you’ve not spent much time in Montana, then you may never have come across the lean, boneless, fried pork chop moment that is the state’s finest sandwich and one of the best to ever be made.
5The Chicken Parm Sandwich
If you’re a vegetarian feel free to substitute egg plant for the chicken but this is one of the most satisfying Italian-style sandwiches ever to be made. A toasted sub is an essential base then it’s chicken, sauce and cheese. Bring it on. Now, please.
This was made popular by a streetcar company strike in 1929, so the story says, when the advertising was done by two poor boys (po-boys). It must be a full foot long. You can fill it with what you like but you better use a lot of filling to fill that sandwich.
3The Polish Boy
Not to be confused with our previous entry, this is a Cleveland, Ohio special that is messy and awesome in the same breath. It’s a grilled kielbasa stuffed in a hot dog bun, so far, so ordinary, but then they take the fries, coleslaw and BBQ sauce and shove them all in there too. It’s fun and spectacularly good eating.
2The Tuna Melt
It’s better than the tuna salad and every kid in the land is happy to see one of these on the table. You need a French baguette, cheddar cheese and fresh tuna. Then it’s pretty much perfect.
1The Breakfast Sandwich
Who said that sandwiches had to be for lunch or dinner? Whoever said it missed out on the joy of the breakfast sandwich. Serve it between waffles, on a bagel, in an English muffin, in a roll, whatever you want. But sausage, bacon, egg, butter and a little cheese is heaven on a plate. End of story.
So, that’s our 50 Best Sandwiches Ever. Did we do a good job? Did we miss out your favorite? Let us know!
If you’re a sandwich neophyte and need some direction we’ve put together a very helpful Sandwich Makers Guide.