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Lu’s Sandwiches
Photograph: Courtesy Lu’s Sandwiches

The best sandwiches in America

From classic pastrami on rye bread to spicy pork banh mi and Italian subs, here are the best sandwiches in America

By Lauren Rothman

When it comes to snacking, meal times and everything in between, there’s one thing Americans can all agree on: the sandwich is king. Whether these stacked-bread behemoths are served up at the best breakfast restaurants in America, the best BBQ restaurants in America or are some of the secret  menu items across America, we can’t get enough bacon-egg-and-cheeses, beef briskets, Italian subs, classic pastrami on rye bread or spicy pork banh mi. So, the next time the craving strikes, hit up these spots to indulge in some of the best sandwiches in America.

Best sandwiches in America

Katz’s Delicatessen
Photograph: Courtesy Katz’s Delicatessen

1. Pastrami at Katz’s Delicatessen in New York, NY

5 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Delis Lower East Side

Don’t we all feel like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally when eating one of these babies? Perhaps the most classic sandwich in America, Katz’s juicy, sliced-to-order pastrami has been perfected over more than a century, since back in 1888 when the classic Lower East Side deli was founded. Slathered with mustard, perched on chewy rye and accompanied by sour pickles, this is a NYC must-eat. $19.95 

Photograph: Erwin Chuk

2. Roast Beef 1000 at Cutty’s in Brookline, MA

5 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Sandwich shops

Located just outside of Boston, this beloved sandwich shop crafts drool-inducing creations such as the Spuckie (salami, capicola, mortadella and mozzarella layered on ciabatta) and a Saturday-only roast pork with broccoli rabe and provolone on a seeded roll. Our favorite is the impressively sized Roast Beef 1000, rich slices of brioche stuffed with rare-roasted beef and sharp cheddar, slicked with housemade Thousand Island dressing and sprinkled with crispy shallots. $9.95 

The People’s Pig
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp I V.

3. Pork shoulder at The People’s Pig in Portland, OR

5 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Barbecue Boise

This Portland BBQ joint is perennially packed with pork-lovers who seek out various preparations of expertly smoked cuts: dry-rubbed ribs, sliced shoulder and ham. Its sandwiches, served on excellent sourdough rolls, are fantastic: our favorite features those juicy slices of pork shoulder, stacked with braised greens and shot through with spicy vinegar. $10 

The Swinery
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/The Swinery

4. Swinery Spectacular at The Swinery in Seattle, WA

5 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Genesee

This Seattle butcher shop certainly knows its way around meat, which shows in an excellent roster of sandwiches graced with the likes of crispy pork belly, house-smoked ham and pulled pork. We’re partial to the over-the-stop Swinery Spectacular, a pork-glorifying triple dose of all those aforementioned meats, plus melty Swiss cheese, creamy Dijon aioli and briny house pickles. $13.50

Giordano Bros.
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Kristine T.

5. Hot capicola at Giordano Bros. in San Francisco, CA

5 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Sandwich shops Mission Dolores

The conceit behind this Mission sandwich shop is genius: all ‘wiches are served “Pittsburgh style,” heaped with coleslaw and fries in between the bread. The Italian-American spot specializes in all manner of Old World meats but we’re partial to the spicy capicola, layered, along with provolone, between two slices of an excellent Italian load. $8.50

Torta Grill
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/L J.

6. Carlito at Torta Grill in Denver, CO

4 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Mexican City Park West

Denver is graced with no shortage of excellent Mexican food, among which Torta Grill’s overstuffed sandwiches stand out. These bad boys tend to double down on rich meats such as breaded fried steak and pork loin, but the Carlito keeps it simple: just excellent, tender carnitas (pork braised in its own fat), anointed with creamy avocado salsa. $8.33

Donkey’s Place
Photograph: Courtesy Donkey’s Place

7. Cheesesteak at Donkey’s Place in Camden, NJ

4 out of 5 stars

Hang your head in shame, Philadelphia: the best cheesesteak in the country is whipped up across the Delaware in Camden, New Jersey. Served on a soft, poppy-seed-sprinkled Kaiser roll, the sandwich features tender, griddle-sizzled steak and plenty of soft caramelized onions and melty American cheese. Buyer beware: you might need to devour more than one. $8

Bite Into Maine
Photograph: Courtesy Bite Into Maine

8. Lobster roll at Bite Into Maine in Portland, ME

4 out of 5 stars

This seasonal food truck parks itself in Portland’s beautiful coastal Fort Williams Park each spring and summer, serving up fresh Maine lobster that’s pristine and perfectly cooked. Three types of lobster rolls are available, and they’re all unimpeachable: Maine style, with fresh chives and just a bit of mayo; Connecticut style, with hot butter; or picnic style, with hot butter, fresh coleslaw and celery salt. $17.49

Parkway Bakery and Tavern
Photograph: Brian Jarreau

9. Fried shrimp po’boy at Parkway Bakery & Tavern in New Orleans, LA

4 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Bayou St. John

Though po’ boy loyalty is fierce in NOLA, many residents and tourists alike agree that one of the very best is found at Parkway, a family-run spot that’s been crafting excellent, seafood-piled po’ boys since 1911. It’s hard to decide between the fried oyster and fried shrimp iterations, but we usually go for the latter, the plump crustaceans outfitted in a crisp golden crust and piled into an airy loaf “fully dressed” with lettuce, tomato, pickles and mayo. $7.85

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