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).
The Best Sandwich Shop in Every State (OK, and D.C.)
1. 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
3. 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
5. 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
6. 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
7. 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
10. 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
12. 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
13. Illinois: Xoco
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/
14. 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
16. 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
17. 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
18. 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
22. Michigan: Zingerman's
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
23. 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
24. 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
25. 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.
27. 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
28. 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
30. 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
31. 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
34. 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
36. 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
37. 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.
39. 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
40. 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
41. 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
43. 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
44. 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.
47. Washington: Salumi
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
48. 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
Bonus: 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