The Best Sandwich Shop in Every State (OK, and D.C.)
Cured meat. Sliced veggies. Ample condiments. Sure, they’re perfectly fine on their own. But there’s something about putting it all between two pieces of bread that creates a whole so much greater than the sum of its parts. And the U.S. has no shortage of shops serving masterful creations. Here, the best sandwich shop in every single state and D.C. (in our humble opinion).
Alabama: Panini Pete’s
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what the thing to order is at Panini Pete’s. Yep, you guessed it--hot pressed paninis. First time there? Stick with a classic: Pete’s Famous Muffaletta Panino.
Multiple locations; paninipetes.com
Arizona: Pane Bianco
James Beard Award-winning chef Chris Bianco opened this shop as an offshoot of his original Pizzeria Bianco. Turns out, sandwiches are definitely another of his specialties. Try the Caprese, filled with creamy homemade mozzarella.
4404 N. Central Ave., Phoenix; 602-234-2100 or pizzeriabianco.com
Arkansas: Green Submarine
Put on your beret and bask in the glory that is the Bang Pow Chicken--pan-seared chicken breast with Sriracha aioli, lettuce, tomato, cucumber and sprouts.
3315 W. Wedington Dr., Fayetteville; 479-287-4588 or greensubmarinefayetteville.com
California: Bakesale Betty
Bakesale Betty has earned a cult following for one thing and one thing only: buttermilk fried chicken sandwiches, served on a bed of vinegary coleslaw garnished with jalapeños.
5098 Telegraph Ave. (at 51st), Oakland; 510-985-1213
Colorado: Masterpiece Delicatessen
This Denver deli with two locations uses only the finest ingredients, from artisan bread to homemade condiments. Among the rotating list of specials, the braised brisket and Reuben sandwiches are two must-try items.
1575 Central St., Denver; 303-561-3354 or masterpiecedeli.com
Connecticut: Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough
This waterfront spot near Mystic draws huge crowds in the summer. So grab a spot in line and order the famous hot lobster roll: a quarter pound of hot, buttery lobster meat stuffed on a toasted hamburger bun. It’s what summer dreams are made of. OK, it’s what all dreams are made of.
117 Pearl St., Noank; 860-536-7719 or abbottslobster.com
Delaware: Ioannoni’s Specialty Sandwiches
The roast pork sandwich at this always-busy New Castle shop competes with any version you’d find in Philly. Yep, we went there.
624 E. Basin Rd., New Castle; 302-322-5000 or ioannonis.com
Florida: Las Olas Café
Cash-only. No-frills. This South Beach staple dishes out the best cubanos in town. Grab one from the take-out window and head back to the beach.
644 Sixth St., Miami Beach; 305-534-9333 or yelp
Georgia: Star Provisions
At this market, set in front of Bacchanalia restaurant, gourmands can find anything from foie gras and truffles to seafood and cheeses. But the main event at Star Provisions is the sandwich offerings, like the classic shrimp po’boy and prosciutto and Parmesan on baguette.
1460 Ellsworth Industrial Blvd., Atlanta; 404-365-0410 or starprovisions.com
Hawaii: Earl: A Sandwich Experience
Honolulu has been the site of quite the sandwich revival. Earl: A Sandwich Experience is the best of the bunch. The spicy Caprese, served on spicy butter ciabatta, is a must-try.
1137 11th Ave. #102, Honolulu; 808-200-4354 or earlhawaii.com
Idaho: Best Sandwich Shack
You may not think to order a Philly cheesesteak in Idaho, but this food truck knows how to make them right.
518 E. Best Ave., Coeur d'Alene; 208-625-0629 or facebook
Think: Tortas filled with chorizo and Jack cheese or braised short rib with pickled jalapeños warmed in a wood-burning oven. Oh, you should probably save room for churros and chocolate. We love you, Rick Bayless.
449 North Clark St., Chicago; 312-661-1434 or rickbayless.com/restaurants/xoco/
Indiana: Goose the Market
Ask any Indianapolis native where to find the best sandwich in town and the response will be unanimous. “The Batali”--layers of sopressata, spicy capicola, provolone, marinated onions and tomato preserves--is the stuff of legends.
2503 N. Delaware St., Indianapolis; 317-924-4944 or goosethemarket.com
Iowa: Gateway Market & Café
Inside Gateway Market, Des Moines’s very own culinary superstore, you’ll find this casual café whipping up excellent classic sandwiches and wraps.
2002 Woodland Ave., Des Moines; 515-243-1754 or gatewaymarket.com
Kansas: Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que
Fill up your gas tank--the restaurant doubles as a gas station--and then chow down on the must-have Z-Man Sandwich, which is BBQ-inspired: sliced smoked brisket, smoked provolone, onion rings and barbecue sauce on a kaiser roll.
3002 W. 47th St.; 913-722-3366 or joeskc.com
Kentucky: The Brown Hotel
Louisville’s Brown Hotel isn’t your run-of-the-mill sandwich shop, but it’s home to the legendary Hot Brown sandwich: Open-face turkey on Texas toast smothered in buttery mornay sauce and bacon. Forgive us for using a fork and knife.
355 W. Broadway, Louisville; 502-209-7346 or brownhotel.com
Louisiana: Cochon Butcher
A casual sandwich counter, wine bar and butcher in one, this NOLA hot spot makes sandwiches with a Cajun slant. Order the Muffaletta, which is sliced capicola, mortadella, salami and provolone on a fluffy sesame seed bun.
930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans; 504-588-7675 or cochonbutcher.com
Come for the duck confit panini, stay for the Belgian fries and a milkshake.
43 Middle St., Portland; 207-774-8080 or duckfat.com
Maryland: Faidley’s Seafood
No trip to Maryland is complete without a soft-shell crab or jumbo-lump-crab-cake sandwich at this famous Baltimore establishment.
203 N. Paca St., Baltimore; 410-727-4898 or faidleyscrabcakes.com
This Ann Arbor staple isn’t a deli; it’s an institution. Everything is made in house, including fresh bread from Zingerman’s bakeshop, meat from the roadhouse and cheese from the creamery.
422 Detroit St., Ann Arbor; 734-663-3354 or zingermansdeli.com
Minnesota: Manny’s Tortas
Everything you order from this Mexican sandwich shop comes with cheese, tomato, lettuce, onion, avocado, jalapeño peppers, refried beans, chipotle pepper mayo and chips. Our top rec? The Manny Special that has all the above plus steak and ham.
Multiple locations; mannystortas.com
Mississippi: Big Bad Breakfast
Two words: breakfast sandwiches. This Oxford café takes breakfast to the next level with creations like the Southern Belly Sandwich, made with pimento cheese, slaw, bread and butter pickles, tomato and bacon on toast. And make sure you get a side of grits.
719 N. Lamar Blvd., Oxford; 662-236-2666 or citygroceryonline.com
Missouri: Fozzie’s Sandwich Emporium
Both “B”s in Fozzie’s BABLT stand for bacon….all of which adds up to a half a pound in total. In other words, it’s not your typical BLT.
Montana: Staggering Ox
Who said a sandwich had to be square? These cylindrical loaves of bread are a welcome twist to a classic.
Multiple locations; staggeringox.com
Nebraska: Danny’s Downtown Deli
“Quality meats--quality cheeses--no baloney” is the slogan at this family-run mainstay in Lincoln…so maybe go with the pastrami.
941 O St., Lincoln; 402-438-9410
Nevada: Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop
Thanksgiving is all year round with Capriotti’s The Bobbie--homemade turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing and mayo--the overwhelming favorite.
Multiple locations; capriottis.com
New Hampshire: Popovers on the Square
At this popular Portsmouth brunch spot, you’ll find light and doughy popovers stuffed with everything from scrambled eggs and cheese to buttery lobster. So pop on over! (Sorry, had to.)
Multiple locations; popoversonthesquare.com
New Jersey: White House Subs
No trip to Atlantic City is complete without a stop at this legendary sub shop. Follow the retro neon signs to the boardwalk and order the enormous Italian sub piled high with deli meats. Your hangover will thank you.
Multiple locations; whitehousesubshop.net
New Mexico: Bocadillos Slow Roasted
That’s Spanish for sandwich, by the way. This Albuquerque favorite is known for its “5-0 Filthy,” made with shredded chicken, bacon, mayo and the works. Just ask Guy Fieri.
200 Lomas Blvd NW Suit #110 ABQ, NM; 505-243-3995 or bocadillos505.com
New York: Alidoro
The original, tiny Soho storefront opened a slightly larger Midtown location. The cash-only, grab-and-go establishment draws massive lines for its enormous Italian sandwiches. But the wait is worth it.
Multiple locations; alidoronyc.com
North Carolina: Neal’s Deli
UNC students flock from Chapel Hill to get their hands on Neal’s pastrami served on a freshly baked biscuit. Mmm…
100 E. Main St., Carrboro; 919-967-2185 or nealsdeli.com
North Dakota: Bonzer’s Sandwich Pub
Sorry, kids. You have to be 21 to grab a sandwich in this pub-style shop. Can't decide what to order? Play it safe with a "pub club"--a triple-decker filled with ham, roast beef, turkey and bacon--then wash it down with a cold beer.
420 Demers Ave., Grand Forks; 701-775-0365 or bonzerspub.com
Ohio: Melt Bar & Grilled
Grilled cheese is the name of the game, and you can get it in about half a dozen styles like the Mighty Macaroni, made with deep-fried macaroni layered with melted cheddar.
Multiple locations; meltbarandgrilled.com
Oklahoma: The Mule
Hot melts are the specialty at this hip spot in Oklahoma City’ Plaza District. The classic grilled cheese pairs perfectly with the signature creamy tomato soup.
1630 N. Blackwelder Ave., Oklahoma City; 405-601-1400 or themuleokc.com
Oregon: Bunk Sandwiches
This Portland-based sandwich sensation serves the classics, but everything is done exceptionally well. The basic egg and cheese on a hard roll never disappoints, nor does Bunk’s take on the meatball Parmesan hero.
Pennsylvania: John’s Roast Pork
The much-adored Philly Cheesesteak is the second-best item on the menu after the restaurant’s namesake: the Roast Pork, which is seasoned and grilled with cheese and onions.
14 E. Snyder Ave., Philadelphia; 215-463-1951 or johnsroastpork.com
Rhode Island: Geoff’s Superlative Sandwiches
Grab a spicy pickle from the huge barrel and order any of the eclectic creations from this quirky sandwich shop located right at the foot of Brown University’s College Hill. Remember, Tuesday is buy-one-get-one-free day.
401 S Main St., Providence; 401-751-2248 or yelp
South Carolina: Butcher & Bee
No sandwich roundup would be complete without a mention of this Charleston institution. Butcher & Bee expanded to a new uptown space with a beer, wine and cocktail list as well as killer sandwiches. This hot-spot also serves lunch, including its famous roast beef sandwich with chimichurri and smoked onion jam.
1085 Morrison Dr., Charleston; 843-619-0202 or butcherandbee.com
SOUTH DAKOTA: Ode to Food & Drinks
Dear South Dakota, Thank you for Mount Rushmore and the Swiss Patty Melt and the Turkey Avocado Club at Ode to Food & Drinks.
300 N. Cherapa Pl., Sioux Falls; 605-275-6332 or odetofoodanddrinks.com
Tennessee: Mitchell Deli
Head to this East Nashville deli and order the best-selling Turkey, Avocado and Bacon. It’s simple perfection.
1306 McGavock Pike, Nashville; 615-262-9862 or mitchelldeli.com
Texas: Franklin Barbecue
This Austin hot spot doesn't open until 11 a.m, but you'll have to line up outside at around 9 to get your hands on a legendary Tipsy Texan from Franklin Barbecue. Sink your teeth into this heaping pile of brisket with coleslaw, pickles and slices of sausage on a bun.
900 E. 11th St., Austin; 512-653-1187 or franklinbbq.com
Utah: Even Stevens
Since this shop donates a sandwich every time it sells one, you can feel good about ordering seconds of that roast pork dip sandwich topped with jalapeño jelly.
Vermont: Vermont Country Deli
This gourmet market in Brattleboro has a homey, New England feel. Make a pit stop on your way to Stratton for The Annihilator, made with bacon, pulled pork and mac and cheese.
436 Western Ave., Brattleboro; 802-257-9254 or vermontcountrydeli.com
Virginia: Bayou Bakery
This NOLA-themed sandwich shop and bakery in Arlington specializes in muffalettas--which typically layer ham, capicola, salami, mortadella, provolone and peppers or olives.
1515 N. Courthouse Rd. Arlington; 703-243-2410 or bayoubakerydc.com
As the name of this Pioneer Square favorite suggests, Salumi stands out for its cured meats. It’s owned by Gina Batali (yep, Mario’s sister), which explains why people wait in line to get their hands on the massive Italian sandwiches and meats by the pound.
309 Third Ave. S., Seattle; 206-621-8772 or salumicuredmeats.com
Washington D.C.: Bub and Pop’s
This small Dupont Circle family-run joint is known for its Italian hoagie. That being said, anything on the menu, from the beef brisket to the chicken Parm, will blow you away…and then will make you take a nap.
1815 M St. NW; 202-457-1111 or bubandpops.com
West Virginia: Secret Sandwich Society
Show off your patriotism by ordering the Fillmore or Lincoln. All of the sandwiches are named after U.S. presidents at this speakeasy-type joint.
103 Keller Ave., Fayetteville; 304-574-4777 or secretsandwichsociety.com