The Most Iconic Sandwiches in America

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Few foods are as versatile or as universally beloved as the sandwich. Whether it’s a simple school lunch of peanut butter and jelly on white bread or a gut-busting Philly cheesesteak oozing Cheez Whiz, there’s a sandwich for every mood and every meal. And we’ve put together a list of 30 sandwiches that are the most iconic. 

So what, exactly, is a sandwich? The most simple definition is “anything between two slices of bread,” but it’s a little more complicated than that. An ungodly amount of ink has been spilled on an asinine debate as to whether or not burgers and hot dogs are sandwiches, and we’re not about to wade into those waters. (Yes, they’re sandwiches; they’re meat inside bread.) But for today’s purposes, we’ve left them off the list and are instead focusing on the sandwiches that remain blissfully controversy-free. All have just two things in common: bread is always involved, and they’re all undeniably delicious. (These are America’s favorite sandwiches.) 

As you travel across America, you’ll discover that there are countless regional sandwiches to discover, like the loosemeat, or tavern sandwich, which is made with seasoned ground beef and popular across the Midwest. (This is the best local sandwich to try in every state.) 

Read on to learn all about the 30 most iconic American sandwiches. Some are purely American inventions, some were inspired by the country’s long history of welcoming immigrants from around the globe, and some are so universal that it’s hard to imagine a time in which they didn’t exist. And if there are any sandwiches on this list that you’ve never tried, we suggest you add them to your bucket list.

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