Making a sandwich is easy. You take a couple spices of bread, slap something in between them, and call it lunch. But making a truly great sandwich, one where the bread, fillings, and condiments all work in perfect harmony, is no small feat. Thankfully, we live in a country that’s home to great sandwiches from coast to coast, and we tracked down the best sandwich in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The sandwich is one of the most versatile and far-reaching types of food in existence. For all intents and purposes, as long as it’s between two slices of bread or between two halves of a roll, you can call it a sandwich (so, yes, that does mean hamburgers and hot dogs are sandwiches, but those are rankings for another day). Sandwiches can be boring or they can be life-alteringly exciting; they can be super healthy or they can be gut-bustingly greasy; they can be super cheap or they can be outrageously expensive; they can be hot or they can be cold.
Many of these sandwiches are iconic, beloved to locals and occasionally even tourists, and major sources of pride for the restaurant or sandwich shop that serves them. But plenty of these sandwiches have been living in relative obscurity. Well, not anymore. These sandwiches are all worthy of renown and are worth seeking out by anyone passing through the area.
In order to assemble our ranking, we started by combing through our previous rankings of America’s 10 best sandwiches and America’s 35 best sandwich shops. We then went state by state, city by city, scrolling through review sites and local news publications to learn which sandwich shops, and individual sandwiches in particular, are the most beloved. Some are complex creations of chefs that can only be described as mad scientists. Some are world-famous “originals” that are still widely agreed upon as the absolute best. Some are flawless interpretations of classic regional specialties. Some are simple and no frills. But no matter their differences, they’re all delicious, and they prove that no matter where you travel in America, a great sandwich isn’t too far away.