Below, you’ll find 15 of our favorite sandwiches in cities across the country, with muffulettas in San Francisco, Italian subs in Chicago, and bánh mì in Houston.Less
Now is a good time to remind you that a great breakfast sandwich doesn't require a bagel or english muffin. Take the excellent version from Thai Diner in NYC. They use buttery roti to keep all of the sandwich elements tightly compact so that every bite includes the same consistent layers and flavors. You’ll taste herbaceous sai oua sausage, a combo of mayo and scallions, a soft, folded egg crepe covered in oozing american cheese, and fresh thai basil, all pressed between that flaky roti.
This LA institution has been serving Jewish deli staples like matzo ball soup and creamy macaroni salad since 1947. But you’re coming here for the #19: Langer’s signature thick-cut pastrami smothered in swiss cheese, russian dressing, and homemade coleslaw between two slices of the famous, twice-baked rye. The pastrami and rye fuse together to the point where you can’t even tell which is which. It’s euphoric, plain and simple. If we could vote this sandwich into public office, we would.
The Caribbean roast pork sandwich from this Seattle shack has the power to do two things: bestow upon you eternal joy and destroy your white T-shirt with meat drips. It’s worth it, though, for this toasted baguette stuffed with braised pork clinging to tangy marinade, sweet onions stamped with char from the grill, tart pickled jalapeño, romaine, and a zesty aioli that laughs in the face of standard supermarket mayo. Just be sure to have your Tide Pen on standby.
Sanguich De Miami is home to the platonic ideal of a Cuban sandwich—it’s a perfect example of the combined powers of ham, roast pork, pickles, mustard, and swiss cheese between Cuban bread. Each one is brushed with pork fat before being pressed into crispy triangles. Unlike a lot of the more casual Cuban options in the city, they make almost every component of this sandwich themselves, with plenty of time and care. It's a difference you’ll taste as soon as it touches your tongue.
Philly is a sandwich town, but the clear meat king among the overstuffed royalty is the cheesesteak from Angelo’s. Tender shredded ribeye and melted american cheese are layered into a warm and crackly seeded roll baked in-house. And each time we have one, we feel like an Eagles fan watching the team win a Super Bowl (well, almost). The spot is always as packed as Walmart on Black Friday, but it’s definitely worth the wait.
Once you taste the dặc biệt bánh mì from Alpha Bakery & Cafe in Houston, it will tease you forever, reaching out in daydreams like a pork-laden angel. Watching a staffer spread a thick layer of creamy butter on a fresh baguette for the first time is a thing of wonder, especially when that baguette then gets stuffed with pâté, bologna, pork belly, head cheese, and a fistful of sliced vegetables and herbs. This is the best bánh mì in Houston, which is why it’s hard to believe it only costs $5.
This iconic family-run Italian deli and sub shop in Chicago has been around since 1937. J.P. Graziano’s industrial exterior hasn’t changed since the neighborhood was full of meatpacking warehouses, and inside they’re still making the most delicious Italian subs and sandwiches in the city. Specifically, the Mr. G, which has spicy soppressata, prosciutto, salami, hot oil, marinated artichokes, and a surprisingly delicate truffle mustard balsamic vinaigrette.
This counter-service sandwich spot makes San Francisco’s best muffuletta, but it’s not exactly typical of the New Orleans classic. Theirs uses original mayo—something frowned upon by purists—but it adds an layer of richness that takes the sandwich to the next level. The sesame bread gets coated with a thick swath of spicy olive spread that has us under its fermented cauliflower and carrot giardiniera spell. They’ll suggest you order it toasted (another controversial move), and we do too.
The Rachel sandwich at Mum Foods in Austin combines everything you love about New York Jewish delis with everything you love about central Texas-style BBQ. That means brined, oak-smoked brisket that’s been cooked low-and-slow until it pulls apart with a gentle tug. The rye is grilled, the sauerkraut is subbed for coleslaw, and the dressing is russian. It’s crunchy, smoky, tangy, and rich, and it’s something that could only exist in Texas.
Though this pizzeria makes some of the best pies in Atlanta, we’d trade them in for their incredible pita sandwiches. Firewall’s bread is baked in a wood-fired oven, so you get a nice crunch and a smoky flavor from the sesame pitas. Every sandwich here is game-changing, but the Southern Italian is the best. Even though it’s inspired by Philadelphia’s roast pork, it stays true to Georgia with tender collard greens that pair naturally with shredded pork, salty provolone, and tangy hot peppers.