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Breakfast sandwiches: Five great riffs on a brunch classic in NYC

We’re sure the venerable Earl of Sandwich would approve of these creative riffs on the breakfast sandwich.

Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Smoked sablefish sandwich at Roberta's

Photograph: Jolie Ruben

Biscuit egg sandwich at Fort Defiance

Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Breakfast sandwich at Mile End

Photograph: Dominic Perri

Chicken and egg sandwich at Northern Spy

Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Breakfast sandwich at Smith Canteen

Defer your hangover with these great breakfast sandwiches, which run from Fort Defiance’s egg and ham sandwiched in a biscuit, to Roberta’s elevated version with sablefish.


Critics' pick

A silky hunk of rich sablefish, lightly smoked for an hour over alder wood, is the star of this morning treat. Toasted halves of a house-made English muffin cradle the opalescent slab, along with paper-thin slices of crisp cucumber and a slick of aioli zipped up with Meyer lemon juice and zest. $15.

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Fort Defiance

Critics' pick

In this breakfast classic, tender flaky biscuits laced with aged cheddar hug rosy slips of Pino’s Prime Meats ham and a runny fried organic egg from Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative. Sweet-and-spicy homemade jalapeño jam cuts through the salt and richness, bringing this Southern comfort sammie over the top. $7.

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Red Hook

Mile End Sandwich

Critics' pick

Bacon might not be a traditional Jewish deli ingredient (to say the least), but co-owners Noah and Rae Bernamoff, who grew up eating the stuff, deploy a damn fine version for this morning munchie. Berkshire pork belly, cured in-house with brown sugar and coriander, is smoked for six hours and divided into thick, salty slabs. The meat joins pungent aged Quebec cheddar and a crisp fried egg between slices of caraway-spiced rye sourdough—a bold, tasty counterpoint to the city’s ubiquitous egg-on-a-roll variants. $9.

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Northern Spy

Critics' pick

Chomp into this locavore brunch favorite—made with chicken thighs and eggs from Lancaster, Pennsylvania—and marvel as the gorgeous yolks gush into a powdery Orwasher’s roll. The juicy dark meat is offset by a zippy chimichurri sauce—an enlivening mix of fresh parsley, spicy chili flakes and bright white wine. $12.

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East Village

Smith Canteen

At Kerry Diamond and Robert Newton’s sunny Brooklyn café, a buttery everything croissant—inspired by the better-known bagel studded with salt, sesame, mustard and poppy seeds; and garlic—is stuffed with fluffy scrambled eggs. The pair piles on the richness with oozing New York cheddar and sweet slices of mildly smoked Berkshire ham. $6.

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Carroll Gardens