It’s not hard to see what makes sandwiches so popular. Whether hot or cold, sandwiches are usually quick to make and always satisfying. They can make a full dinner, a working lunch, or a fast breakfast as you hurry off to work. (Here’s a list of the best breakfast sandwich in every state.)
And you can literally pile almost anything you want between two pieces of bread or a split bun or roll, from breaded fish to barbecued pork to peanut butter with Marshmallow Fluff. Or you can serve your sandwich open-faced – the kind you need a knife and fork to eat.
Everybody has a favorite sandwich or two, but some have become so strongly identified with particular places that they can be considered iconic. Certain cities claim one (if you go to San Francisco without sampling an Original Joe or Buffalo without trying a beef on weck, you’re missing out) – but so do many states, by popular acclaim if not officially.
To compile a list of the most iconic sandwich in every state, 24/7 Tempo consulted listings in The Daily Meal, Eater, Zagat, Thrillist, Taste Atlas, Insider, and Delish, as well as numerous state-specific sites.
Although meat is the starring attraction in the majority of these, other types of protein make an appearance. In Washington State, smoked salmon is the preferred choice; in Georgia, it’s pimento cheese; and Oregon’s famous vegan burger ditches the meat altogether for a mixture of plant-based ingredients.
Despite the perpetual disagreement over whether burgers and dogs qualify as “sandwiches,” incidentally, they are included here – in a number of variations – due to their indisputably iconic status in the states in question. (Whether you agree or not, you might want to make note of the best burger joint in every state.)