How We Chose
To determine our list of 51, we teamed up with online restaurant guide The Infatuation—considering their on-the-ground expert reviews and recommendations from writers and editors, along with independent diner feedback—paying special attention to eateries serving regionally-inspired dishes and using locally- sourced ingredients. Scroll through to see if your favorite sandwich made the list.
6080 AL-117, Mentone
Swing by for their award-winning ’Bama Grown Fried Catfish Sandwich on sourdough, topped with tartar sauce, lettuce and tomato.
2125, 304 G St, Anchorage
Come hungry: The Bootlegger Club is turkey, pastrami, ham, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and Russian dressing stuffed between slices of fresh-baked bread.
218 West Main Street, Mesa
Sriracha honey and house-made pickles top the Crispy Chicken sandwich at this popular fast-casual joint.
7311 North Hills Boulevard, North Little Rock
Try the towering Grilled Club—triple stacked with ham, turkey, bacon, mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickle and Swiss and American cheeses.
Multiple Locations in L.A.
This shop, located inside of a shipping container, serves food until they sell out, so go early for the Larry Mantle: a bologna and salami sandwich with red onion, pickled peppers, lettuce, pecorino pepato cheese, spicy aioli and oregano vinaigrette on a sesame roll. As The Infatuation’s Brant Cox writes, “Every sandwich at Wax Paper is good, but if this is your first time, the Larry Mantle is your move. This behemoth is essentially their version of an Italian and it is tremendous.”
The hot #3 Cheesesteak at this Italian deli comes with all the fixin’s: American cheese, onions, peppers and mushrooms.
22 Reef Road, Fairfield
Don’t miss the Grilled Abbers Panini, a pressed hoagie layered with fresh mozzarella, basil, tomato and mayo.
The Da Vinci is made with salami, soppressata, fresh mozzarella, sun-dried red peppers, roasted red peppers and extra-virgin olive oil on semolina bread—which is baked in-house daily.
3502 Gulfview Ave, Marathon
Located just north of the Florida Keys’ 7-mile bridge, this marina-side restaurant is famous for the Lobster Reuben: fresh lobster, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing on rye bread.
The eatery serves up sandwiches inspired by global flavors—like the Conquistador, made with baked chicken, lettuce, tomato and their secret signature sauce. As The Infatuation’s Sarah Bailey puts it: “It’s exactly what you want for lunch when the last three days have been a blur of turkey and swiss. Get one to go, or stay and hang out on their patio with a craft soda.”
Multiple Locations in Maui
At this popular seafood restaurant, the Fish Burger is not actually a burger, but rather a sandwich made with fresh catch-of-the-day, coleslaw, tomato, cheese and house-made tartar sauce.
1735 W Kathleen Ave, Coeur d’Alene
Gourmet comfort food is the name of the game at Meltz. They have a rotating menu with seasonal sammies, but order the Cubano—mojo-basted pork shoulder, Swiss cheese, smoked ham, roasted garlic and Dijonnaise—any time of year.
3221 W Armitage Ave, Chicago
Whether you’re eating at their brick-and-mortar location or food truck, don’t miss the El Jibarito—Puerto Rican grilled steak served between two slices of fried green plantains. According to The Infatuation’s Adrian Kane, “It will make your breath bad for days, but it’s completely worth it.”
The Dagwood Supreme is piled high with roast beef, ham, turkey, provolone and Colby cheeses, lettuce, tomato and onions and finished with a generous drizzle of Dagwood’s Special Sauce.
1401 Army Post Rd, Des Moines
Crowds flock to this old-school diner for fried-food favorites, including the King Loin: a massively wide, breaded-and-fried pork tenderloin placed inside a pillowy bun.
Visit the smoke-house’s original location in a gas station to try their Z-Man Sandwich, made with beef brisket, smoked provolone cheese, barbecue sauce and two crispy onion rings.
300 West Main Street, Louisville
Go for the craft beer, stay for the Hot Brown: an open-faced sandwich of sourdough topped with smoked turkey, tomatoes, bacon, mornay sauce, cheddar jack cheese and smoked paprika.
Mason Hereford, a 2019 James Beard Award semifinalist for best chef, serves the vegetarian Collard Green Melt, made with slow-cooked collards, Swiss cheese, pickled-cherry-pepper dressing and slaw on rye bread. “Even if you only have one day in New Orleans, Turkey and the Wolf is where you should go for lunch,” The Infatuation writes in their review of the unique eatery.
86 Middle Street, Portland
This oyster bar puts a twist on the New England classic by serving their Brown Butter Lobster Roll in a Chinese-style steamed bun.
What began as a food stand in the parking lot of a nightclub now operates four restaurants serving Baltimore-style barbecue. Try the Pit Beef Sandwich: thinly sliced beef round, cooked to order on a potato bun.
139 Dodge St, Beverly
Located on the North Shore, this family-owned spot has been serving hot sandwiches like the Large Beef with Cheese and Sauce for more than 30 years.
422 Detroit St, Ann Arbor
This famous deli makes their Jewish rye bread in-house and serves sandwiches like the Sherman’s Sure Choice, stacked with corned beef, Swiss Emmental cheese, coleslaw and Russian dressing.
Multiple Locations in Minneapolis
Stop in for the Bánh Mì, filled with Vietnamese-style barbecue pork and chopped green onions.
509 North Farish/4487 North State, Jackson
“Where you can have an irony-free pig’s-ear sandwich
that will make you weep for joy,” the late chef Anthony Bourdain said on a 2014 episode of CNN’s Parts Unknown of this spot’s Pig Ear Slider topped with mustard, coleslaw and house-made hot sauce—all for just $1.50.
3106 Olive St, St. Louis
Known for their Memphis-style barbecue, they smoke their meats low and slow over sweet apple or cherrywood. Drop by for a Beef Brisket Sandwich with your choice of three house-made barbecue sauces.
1433 S Higgins Ave, Missoula
Set inside a market, this deli serves an array of tasty sandwiches, including the meat-filled Megadeath—ham, finocchiona, hot soppressata, pepperoni and hot capicola—topped with a “feisty slaw.”
3578 Farnam St, Omaha
The Blackstone Reuben was first served at the nearby Blackstone Hotel in the 1920s. Today this brewery is carrying on the legacy of that original rye melt—lean corned beef topped with sauerkraut, melted Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing—although they won’t ever reveal the secret recipe.
3650 Lakeside Drive, Reno
Fill up your gas tank and then pop into this sandwich joint, which is run out of a convenience store. Try the
Ham & Cheese, made with Black Forest ham, cheddar cheese, cream cheese, jalapeños, mayonnaise and tomatoes on a grilled roll.
121 Main St, Nashua
Athletic memorabilia covers the walls at this cozy sports bar, known for hearty deli sandwiches like the Big Papi—turkey, pepperoni and Muenster cheese, served hot—named after Boston Red Sox All-Star David Ortiz.
Fiore’s House of Quality
2693, 414 Adams St, Hoboken
This 106-year-old deli and cheese shop makes their mozzarella on-site each morning; it’s the star of the Roast Beef, Mutz and Gravy sandwich, which is available only on Thursdays and Saturdays — so plan ahead.
1711 Llano St #G Santa Fe
The toasty Southwestern Grilled Cheese is the standout at this spot in St. Michael’s Village. The griddled sandwich consists of cheddar cheese, spicy New Mexico green chiles, tomato and a mound of crispy bacon on multigrain bread.
260 Bleecker St, New York City
Located in Manhattan’s West Village, this deli is known for its grab-and-go heroes. Order the Italian, filled with four different meats—prosciutto, ham, hot capicola and soppressata—along with fresh mozzarella, lettuce, tomatoes and roasted peppers. “We have no idea why this Italian deli flies under the radar, but your days of not knowing about Faicco’s end right now,” The Infatuation Deputy Editor Katherine Lewin writes.
1009 S. Columbia St, Chapel Hill
Standing on a gravel lot near the University of North Carolina, this student favorite spot is famous for their BLTs stuffed with a generous handful of bacon. Don’t miss their Signature BLT with Pimento Cheese on locally made sourdough bread.
402 N Broadway St, Fargo
Tucked away in an antique shop, this Nordic Jewish deli serves bagels, latkes and sandwiches, like the Nordic Lamb Meatloaf Sandwich stuffed with lingonberries and pickled onions on pillowy focaccia bread.
326 E 8th St, Cincinnati
Breakfast is served all day at this coffee house, where the specialty is their Breakfast Sandwich, made with a fried egg, crispy bacon and pimento cheese on multigrain bread.
1630 N Blackwelder Ave, Oklahoma City
If you’re in the mood for hearty comfort food, you’ve come to the right place. Try the Macaroni Pony: a sandwich filled with chipotle barbecue pulled pork and triple-cheese mac and cheese on jalapeño cornbread.