America's Best Sandwiches
James Camp Photography
Lobster rolls, BLTs, banh mi: the best sandwich shops do the classics right or find unexpected ways to improve them.
At its essence, a sandwich is two pieces of bread with something in the middle. It’s a convenient, made-to-carry meal—and can also inspire cultlike devotion.
Consider the Big Nasty, a breakfast of champions that lures diners into Atlanta’s Rosebud for fried chicken, scrambled eggs, bacon, and Tillamook cheddar barely contained within a buttery hamburger bun.
Some memorable sandwiches win us over by breaking the rules. The lobster roll at L.A.’s Hinoki and the Bird arrives in a jet-black bun made from charcoal-enriched flour and flavored with Vietnamese green curry and garlic aioli to punch up the mayonnaise dressing. Others take a reverential approach. At Brooklyn’s Mile End, the Ruth Wilensky (salami and brown mustard on a pressed onion roll) pays tribute to the matriarch of a Montreal sandwich institution.
You can opt for good-for-you ingredients like marinated kohlrabi and butternut squash or indulge in a gut-busting cholesterol bomb. The latter? Well, then let us point you to the off-the-menu Luther sandwich at D.C.’s Churchkey: a chicken jus–glazed brioche donut piled with buttermilk fried chicken and applewood-smoked bacon.
We won’t judge; our favorite sandwiches come from all walks of life. They defy cultural boundaries, blur ethnic lines, and run the gamut from traditional to molecular. But they all leave customers satisfied.