Save Room for the 15 Best Sandwiches Across America
No matter where you live, chances are you love a good sandwich. But certain areas of the United States lay claim to different iterations of everyone’s favorite sack lunch. We did the hard work for you and found the best sandwiches around the country. Regardless of whether you believe a hot dog qualifies as one, you will probably find your favorite sandwich on this list.
15. The Pit Beef represents the best of barbecue
You might slap some barbecue on a bun, but the pit beef sandwich really ranks as the best version of that combo. And Chaps Charcoal Restaurant in Baltimore serves some of the best on the East Coast. It opened in 1987 with no phones or electricity, and today, it continues earning its fame.
The hearty Pit Beef sandwich uses an entire bottom round, grilled and sliced to order. That meat should fall apart in your mouth, and leave you hungry for the next bite. We know we crave one right now.
Next: The following messy sandwich requires a whole stack of napkins.
14. Get ready to get messy with the French Dip
Likely named for the eponymous roll that holds its thin slices of rare rib eye, the French Dip hit the scene during the early 20th century in Los Angeles. While some dispute exists about its origins, Philippe the Original lays a credible claim to inventing it. The Dip features paper-thin roast beef on a French roll, with a side of delicious drippings, or au jus. A sandwich that comes with dip — can it get any better?
Next: This sandwich doesn’t use bread, but that actually makes it better.
13. Taste the islands with a Jibarito
This Puerto Rican sandwich originated in Chicago during the mid-90’s, and it combines some of the best foods on earth. It crams lettuce, tomato, onion, aioli, and usually steak between two deep-fried plantains. If you have never had plantains, the Jibarito would make an excellent place to start. It might not weigh in as the healthiest around, but it sure tastes great.
Next: If you have not had the following at the original, you haven’t had it at all.
12. Feel like a New Yorker with Pastrami on Rye
Katz’s Deli, on New York’s Lower East Side represents the best of New York and the best pastrami on rye, period. There, you can get a towering pile of corned beef or pastrami, both made on site and sliced to order. But really, you just can’t go wrong with a good pastrami on rye, period.
To make the pastrami, fatty, succulent beef navel gets rubbed with a proprietary seasoning blend and cured for up to four weeks. Next, smoke it for up to three days, boil it until tender, and steam for half an hour. It takes a long time, but this perfect sandwich really makes it worth the wait.
Next: This family got a sandwich named after them.
11. Pay homage to Pittsburgh with a Primanti
Created by a famous Pittsburgh family, the original Primanti came about as a sandwich truckers could eat with one hand.Today though, a “Primanti” consists of basically any combination of meat with tomato, coleslaw, and French fries between two slices of Italian bread. Eat this sucker quickly though, or you will also end up with soggy fries. Nobody wants that.
Next: The following came about as a drunk food, but now you can get it at all hours.
10. You don’t have to drink to love a Hot Brown
A Kentucky chef invented this open-faced, cheese sauce-covered monstrosity to help all-night revelers soak up their booze. Today though, feel free to eat it for lunch. A real hot brown has freshly-carved turkey, bacon, and cheesy bechamel sauce on top of toasted bread. Yes, you will need a knife and fork. Yes, we still consider it a sandwich.
Next: This sandwich sounds simple, but it also requires a few specific elements.
9. Connect with the old country with Italian Beef
If you have never had an Italian beef sandwich in Chicago, you have never had an Italian beef. In its place of origin, it consists of either sirloin or round roasted in a seasoned broth, shaved thin, dipped in its broth again, and then piled onto Italian sub bread that has also had a broth bath. Condiments generally include sweet peppers and the spicy regional “giardiniera” pepper relish. Similar to a French dip, this one usually also has cheese and those necessary peppers.
Next: You just have to add the following to your sandwich repertoire.
8. Grab a friend to enjoy a Muffaletta
If you have a big appetite or a Hurricane in one hand, you need a New Orleans muffaletta. These iconic French Quarter sandwiches feature several cured meats, one or two cheeses, and a signature olive spread. The name comes from the Sicilian sesame bread that encases those wonders. If it sounds like an undertaking, you get the general idea. We recommend sharing this monster.
Next: You might know this one by several names, depending on where you live.
7. Choose your own adventure on a Submarine (or Grinder, or Hoagie)
A rose by any other name might smell as sweet, and the same goes for these famous sandwiches. The Maine-born meal supposedly earned the name “submarine” after a Boston-based restaurant dubbed it as such in order to entice the WWI navy servicemen stationed there. Other areas of the country call it a hoagie or a grinder, but they all refer to basically the same food.
Submarine sandwiches must have long, soft rolls with some combo of deli meats, shredded lettuce, tomato, onions, and some kind of condiments. Some like mayo, others prefer oil, still others go for mustard. But whatever you get on your sub, this one also ranks as the most versatile on our list.
Next: These sandwiches might sound similar to others, but it also has one key difference.
6. Yes, a Hero is different than a Sub
The term “hero” first came up in New York City in the late 1930s, as well as along the Eastern seaboard. While versions vary slightly between locations, the real hero (pun intended) has some necessary elements. It must pack a ton of cured meats into a crispy sub roll. It also has to have semi-hard cheeses, Italian condiments like olives and pepperoncinis, and oil and vinegar. And whatever you do, no mayo on your hero. That makes it a sub.
Next: The following combines a bunch of elements into one perfect package.
5. Feel like a Floridian with a Cuban
Originating in Florida, the Cuban sandwich crams a whole lot of delicious into one package. It features ham and cheese, roast pork, Swiss Cheese, dill pickles, and mustard. The real star comes in the Cuban bread, which tastes like a fatty baguette. Press that sucker for ultimate element mixing, and enjoy. Around Tampa, you might also find salami, mayo, tomato, and lettuce included in these sandwiches, too.
Next: These Northern sandwiches makes a luxurious protein more pedestrian.
4. Get your peg leg ready for a Lobster Roll
The lobster roll easily ranks as New England’s greatest contribution to sandwiches, maybe even all of food. This finger-licking version features large chunks of fresh lobster mixed with mayo, celery, and maybe a little dill. Slap it onto a buttered, toasted hot dog roll and enjoy the crunchy, creamy, seafood delight. It just does not get any more ocean-licious than that.
Next: The following has popped up across the country, but you can’t beat the first.
3. The origins of the Reuben might surprise you
While many consider corned beef a New York standby, the an Omaha, Nebraska cook actually invented the Reuben. A real Reuben should consist of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing, pressed. You also get extra points for buttering the bread before toasting it, because who doesn’t love a little extra fat?
Next: We know the following city already had a claim to fame, but you’ll understand why.
2. Striking workers first named the Po’ Boy
The po’ boy supposedly got its name during a New Orleans streetcar company strike in 1929, when two brothers who jokingly called the striking workers “poor boys.” Traditionally, a po’ boy consists of a 24-inch roll filled with a hearty helping of fried shrimp or oysters. It can also feature other proteins, but if you want a real po’ boy, you gotta go with the seafood.
Next: The top spot goes to sandwiches as famous as the city that birthed it.
1. Get the ‘Wiz on your Philly Cheesesteak
We owe a lot to Philadelphia for birthing the iconic cheesesteak, and you just have to try one there at once. A real cheesesteak should come on crusty Amoroso roll, and should also feature chopped up sirloin and melted cheese. You can get onions too, but the real pro move features Cheez Whiz. Yes, that fluorescent “cheese product.” Healthy? Nope. Delicious? You betcha.
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