There are few things more exciting than the prospect of a perfectly constructed breakfast sandwich. As opposed to other sandwiches, which can essentially be anything slapped between two slices of bread, a breakfast sandwich is truly a work of art: one that incorporates all of the flavors of breakfast into the perfect medium. We set out on a quest to find the 10 best breakfast sandwiches in America.
So what, exactly, is a breakfast sandwich? Just a sandwich you eat for breakfast, you might say, but that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. You wouldn’t call a tuna fish sandwich a breakfast sandwich just because you eat it in the morning, would you? No, a breakfast sandwich is, put simply, a sandwich that includes some foods that are typically associated with breakfast. This is why a bacon, egg, and cheese is the quintessential breakfast sandwich: it wraps up the most popular breakfast foods into one perfect bite.
In order to track down the best breakfast sandwiches in America, we started by thinking about what makes a particular breakfast sandwich rise head and shoulders above the rest. There’s nothing wrong with a bacon, egg, and cheese on a roll from the corner deli (in fact, there’s a lot that’s right with it), but we wanted to find sandwiches that break the mold, that set the bar so high that it’s nearly impossible to replicate or surpass them in excellence. These are the sandwiches that will get you out of bed with even the most crushing of hangovers, because redemption awaits.
After assembling a list of our personal favorites, we set out to track down existing rankings and best-of lists both in print and online, and found breakfast sandwiches that are legendary in their own right all across the country. We ranked them using criteria like quality of the ingredients, creative ingenuity, and the interplay between components.
So from a classic New York breakfast to a traditional Middle Eastern morning meal, read on to learn what goes into the 10 most legendary breakfast sandwiches in America, and at which restaurants you can find them. And while you may never be able to perfectly replicate them at home, we have a feeling that they’ll inspire you to think outside the bacon, egg, and cheese box.
#10 Taïm, New York City: Sabich
This breakfast sandwich is extremely popular in the Middle East, but it’s not exactly easy to track down stateside. At New York’s Taim, chef Einat Admony, who’s originally from Tel Aviv, serves a faithful and delicious interpretation: a pita stuffed with fresh-made hummus, Israeli salad, fried eggplant, shredded cabbage, sliced hard-boiled egg, and a pickled mango sauce called amba. The flavors all blend together into a vegetarian breakfast symphony.
#9 Eggslut, Los Angeles: Fairfax
Yes, their name is borderline inappropriate, but once you get over it you’ll realize that this place takes its eggs very seriously. The bacon, egg, and cheese and sausage, egg, and cheese sandwiches are perfectly constructed (we’ll be putting honey mustard aïoli on all our sausage, egg, and cheeses from now on), but the Fairfax is what put it on the map. A warm brioche bun is filled with perfectly soft scrambled eggs and chives, then simply topped with caramelized onions and sriracha mayonnaise. It’s an egg sandwich in the purest sense of the term, and it’s damn near perfect.