The Most Iconic Sandwich in Every State

What sandwich is your state known for, and is it on this list?
Updated June 25, 2024
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What makes for an iconic sandwich? It could be an over-the-top sandwich filled with everything you can think of, or it may be a tried-and-true favorite.

These are sandwiches that people know and love, the type of comfort food that can fill you up and get you back to your day.

So buckle and grab your top travel credit card as we take you on a delicious journey across the USA, exploring the most iconic sandwich in each state to find the perfect bite.

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Alabama: Braised Brisket at Brick & Tin (Birmingham)

antoniotruzzi/Adobe brisket sandwich with cucumber

At Brick & Tin, you’ll find a mouthwatering braised beef brisket sandwich covered in freshly prepared caramelized onions with a white barbecue sauce.

Served on flatbread, it’s a meal in itself. Brisket is definitely a top choice in Alabama, and this location does it best.

Alaska: Halibut Sandwich at White Spot Café (Anchorage)

fudio/Adobe ultimate fish burger

Halibut (along with salmon) makes for some of the best sandwiches in Alaska simply because of how fresh they are. The Halibut Sandwich at White Spot Café does not disappoint.

This sandwich features fresh fish battered and fried to a golden color, iceberg lettuce, American cheese, and freshly made tartar stacked on top.

Arizona: Southwestern at The Panini People (Phoenix)

MSPhotographic/Adobe southwestern chicken panini

You’ll need to track down this food truck, but the Southwestern is the perfect Arizona sandwich. It’s sliced chicken with roasted red peppers, a spicy chili chipotle aioli, fresh spinach, and melted, goody pepperjack cheese.

The flavor is exactly what you would expect from Arizona’s Tex-Mex-inspired cuisine.

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Arkansas: Fried Bologna at Johnny B’s (El Dorado)

Brent Hofacker/Adobe homemade fried bologna sandwich

For something very classic, check out the Fried Bologna at Johnny B’s. The well-priced diner is known for its hearty meals.

This sandwich is one of the best because it’s so old-school. Made your way with the toppings you grew up with, it’s going to hit the spot.

California: French Dip at Philippe The Original (Los Angeles)

JJAVA/Adobe french dip

A noted historic deli, Philippe The Original is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a perfected sandwich.

The French Dip is ideal, with soft beef on a lightly toasted roll. If you prefer, you can also choose roast pork or leg of lamb. It’s all tender and hearty.

Colorado: Scarlet at Grateful Deli (Aspen)

fahrwasser/Adobe pesto turkey sandwich

Grateful Deli, inspired by the Grateful Dead, offers a huge menu of hot paninis, but the Scarlet is a notable way to warm up, according to locals.

The sandwich features either ham or turkey, along with roasted red pepper, red onion, chipotle mayo, and provolone on a grilled focaccia roll.

Connecticut: Turkey Ham Cheese Club Melt at Nardelli’s (Waterbury)

ismishko/Adobe grilled sandwich with cheese

An Italian deli, Nardelli’s is also noted for its freshly prepared sandwiches. Established in 1922, this third-generation shop has locations throughout the state

An iconic choice here is the Turkey Ham Cheese Club. It has everything you want on it, including roasted turkey, ham, bacon, your choice of cheese, olives, hot sauce, and more.

Delaware: Fried Soft Shell Crab Sandwich at Kathy’s Crab House (Delaware City)

fkruger/Adobe seafood po boy sandwich

When you visit a location like Kathy’s Crab House, you expect fresh, and the fried soft shell crab sandwich is the perfect example of fresh, flavorful, and time-tested traditions.

The location, which offers scratch-made foods, serves this sandwich made the way you like it with fries.

Florida: The Original Cuban Sandwich at Columbia Restaurant (Tampa)

Maridav/Adobe woman holding cuban sandwich

The Original Cuban Sandwich is made the authentic way (which they’ve been doing since 1905) at Columbia Restaurant.

It is layered with ham, roast pork, salami, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard. Good bread is a must, they note!

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Georgia: The Conquistador at Zunzi’s (Savannah)

Ezume Images/Adobe italian chicken cutlet sandwich

The Conquistador is perhaps the most noted of Savannah’s sandwiches. Prepared at Zunzi’s, this monster sandwich starts with French bread.

It has chicken, provolone, lettuce, and tomato, along with their house-made sauce. You can also get it on a pita if you prefer.

Hawaii: Turkey and Avocado at Pai’s Deli (Honolulu)

DAVID/Adobe turkey club sandwich

The Turkey and Avocado sandwich at Pai’s Deli is more than just that. It has shredded carrot, Japanese cucumber, tomatoes, and spinach on it.

You can also have sliced pineapple added to the side. This classic location is noted for its over-the-top sandwich sizes, too.

Idaho: Dirty Joe at Twin Falls Sandwich Company (Twin Falls)

jeanpierre/Adobe brisket sandwich with sweet pepper

The Dirty Joe is an excellent and fitting sandwich for the hardworking people in the community. It’s served on a hot hoagie and will fill you up.

The sandwich is hot roast beef with sauteed onions, peppers, and mushrooms, which also happens to include jalapenos, tomatoes, melted pepper jack, and cheddar cheese.

Illinois: Italian Beef at Portillo’s & Barnelli’s Chicago (Chicago)

StockphotoVideo/Adobe Italian beef sandwich

An iconic sandwich shop itself, Portfolio’s & Barnelli’s Chicago is an exceptional place to visit when you need a good, hearty Italian Beef.

The deeply marinated and thinly sliced beef, cooked for four hours before being ready to serve and then dipped in a secretly spiced gravy, makes this sandwich exceptional.

Indiana: The Dagwood Supreme at Dagwood’s Deli (Bloomington)

MSPhotographic/Adobe giant sub sandwich

The Dagwood Supreme is made with roast beef, ham, turkey, provolone, and Colby cheese, along with all of the fixings.

You’ll also find that the Dagwood’s Special Sauce takes this sandwich to the next level. It’s a must when you’re in town and the most popular option on the menu for a reason.

Iowa: Loose Meat Sandwich at Canteen Lunch in the Alley (Ottumwa)

Joshua Resnick/Adobe sloppy joe sandwich

The Loose Meat Sandwich, also known as a “sloppy joe” in other areas, is a tried-and-true choice for Idaho, especially the version at Canteen Lunch in the Alley.

This destination has been serving the very best in home-like meals for decades, and the rich sauce and tender meat of this iconic sandwich make it the best version available.

Kansas: Burnt End Sandwich at Burnt End BBQ (Overland Park)

fahrwasser/Adobe pulled pork sandwich

Kansas is all about the barbeque, and the Burnt End Sandwich is the perfect option for decadent flavor and a nice bite.

At Burnt End BBQ, you’ll find this one served up simple, with just your beef or pork burnt ends on a nicely toasted bun.

Kentucky: The Hot Brown at The Brown Hotel (Louisville)

xander21/Adobe sandwiches with bacon

The Brown Hotel gets credit for the creation of the Hot Brown sandwich, one of the most notable Kentucky-themed meals.

This well-known sandwich is very good (with sliced roasted turkey breast and big cuts of Texas toast), but the story behind it is even more fascinating.

Check it out at the hotel where it was served to patrons in the early morning hours after hours of dancing in the 1920s.

Louisiana: Oyster Po’Boy at Olde Tyme Grocery (Lafayette)

Brent Hofacker/Adobe fried oyster po boy sandwich

There’s a small grocery shop in the town of Layfeete called Olde Tyme Grocery that serves up the state’s most iconic sandwich: the Oyster Po’Boy.

It may be because of how fresh it is or the huge size, but people rave about the decadence of this treat.

Maine: The Lobster Roll at The Travelin Lobster (Bar Harbor)

rebecca/Adobe maine lobster roll

When in Maine, you have to eat lobster, and the Lobster Roll at The Travelin Lobster is one of the best choices out there.

The lobster is piled high, and the mayo dressing is light. It also comes with the toppings you want. You choose the style (hot roll, classic roll, plain roll, slaw roll… and many other options).

Maryland: Corned Beef Sandwich at Corned Beef King (Rockville)

fkruger/Adobe american corned beef sandwich

Corned Beef King has made a name for itself, especially when it comes to the piled-high Corned Beef Sandwich.

It’s always available on fresh rye bread with mustard, though you can change it up with various additional options if you really want to stray from the original.

Massachusetts: Atomic Meatloaf Meltdown at All Star Sandwich Bar (Cambridge)

Oran Tantapakul/Adobe meatloaf sandwich

The Atomic Meatload Meltdown is packed with grilled meatloaf, red onion jam, and jack cheese. It’s then covered with Inner Beauty hot sauce, All Star Sandwich Bar’s iconic sauce.

Served in grilled sourdough, this is a big sandwich for those who are hungry.

Michigan: Zingerman’s Reuben at Zingerman’s Delicatessen (Ann Arbor)

Peter Kim/Adobe traditional reuben sandwich

The Zingerman’s Reuben is so iconic that they’ve made sandwich kits that you can take home to create your own.

This sandwich features Swiss Emmental cheese, corned beef that’s made fresh, and the Brinery sauerkraut. They also make Russian dressing by hand.

Minnesota: The Shore Lunch at Blue Ox Sandwich Factory (Burnsville)

MSPhotographic/Adobe fish sandwich and fries

The Shore Lunch is a fantastic walleye filet sandwich made with a deep fried-to-order piece of fish. It’s slathered with tartar sauce and placed on a big hoagie.

At Blue Ox Sandwich Factory, it’s always going to be fresh and tasty.

Mississippi: Pig Ear Sandwich at Big Apple Inn (Jackson)

fahrwasser/Adobe beef brisket sandwich

It may not be something most people think about when they want a sandwich, but in Mississippi, the Pig Ear Sandwich is an excellent treat.

The Big Apple Inn is noted for having one of the best. Everything here (including the other smoked meats) is made in-house in a small location on North Farish Street.

Missouri: Homemade Hot Salami at Gioia’s Deli (St. Louis)

chirapbogdan/Adobe toasted salami sandwich

Gioia’s Deli has met the needs of locals looking for a good sandwich since 1918. The best on the menu here or across the state is the Homemade Hot Salami.

The original, they claim, has thinly sliced, fresh-to-order salami topped with anything you want.

Montana: Pork Chop Sandwich at Pork Chop John’s (Butte)

timolina/Adobe katsu sando

The Pork Chop Sandwich is certainly an iconic choice in Montana, and Pork Chop John’s is said to be the best.

It comes with all of the fixings you want and is prepared fresh when you order it. Locals recommend ordering two, one for the road, if you're traveling.

Nebraska: Breaded Pork Tenderloin at Cabin Bar and Grill (Omaha)

Gonzalo/Adobe gourmet sandwich

Cabin Bar and Grill’s Breaded Pork Tenderloin sandwich is notable across the state. It is a huge cut that is lightly breaded. It’s dressed with simple fixings and served on a big bun.

Those who rave about it love the crisp crunch of the exterior and the juicy meat inside.

Nevada: Pastrami Burger at Sammy’s Pastrami & Burgers (Las Vegas)

bbivirys/Adobe burger with pastrami and fries

Sammy’s Pastrami & Burgers is a noted local diner that doesn’t seem like much more than a hole in the wall. Inside, their Pastrami Burger is legendary, though.

It’s a massive ½ pound of pastrami on top of a ¼ pound burger. The melted provolone makes it.

New Hampshire: The Senator Calef Club at Calef’s Country Deli (Barrington)

Denise Torres/Adobe sliced roast turkey

The Senator Calef Club is the Calef’s Country Deli take on the best maple turkey sandwich. It’s made with very thinly sliced honey maple turkey, topped with smokey bacon, and then covered in ranch dressing (scratch-made, of course).

Served on a soft whole wheat bund with ed onion, Snappy Old Cheddar, and other condiments, it’s a filling, flavorful bite.

New Jersey: American Italian at Dolce & Clemente’s (Robbinsville)

Sławomir Fajer/Adobe toasted panini with ham

The American Italian is a notable sandwich throughout New Jersey, and Dolce & Clemente’s is one of the best around.

The Italian deli’s version loads up the ham, Genoa salami, picante provolone for some heat, and roasted peppers for some sweetness.

It’s served with a red wine vinaigrette and packed with flavor.

New Mexico: Southwest Chipotle Chicken at Mucho Gourmet Sandwich Shop (Santa Fe)

MSPhotographic/Adobe southwest chipotle chicken wrap

The Southwest Chipotle Chicken sandwich at Much is an excellent example of local flavor. Grilled chicken breast is topped with a spicy chipotle ranch dressing. To add the heat, Mucho’s adds ghost pepper jack cheese.

This sandwich also features bacon, lettuce, and tomato, and it's all on ciabatta bread.

New York: Pastrami Sandwich at Katz’s Delicatessen (New York)

jonas/Adobe pastrami smoked meat sandwich

Katz’s Delicatessen, which was first established in 1888, is not a frilly, gourmet destination. It’s a simple deli known for its incredible food.

The Pastrami Sandwich is no different. In fact, how much flavor and juice this sandwich has is legendary. Add what you want to it or nothing at all for the best of the best.

North Carolina: Pulled Pork Sandwich at Skylight Inn BBQ (Ayden)

fahrwasser/Adobe pulled pork sandwich

Pulled pork is easily the most recognized sandwich in North Carolina, thanks to the area’s incredible barbeque culture. The version at Skylight Inn BBQ makes it one of the best.

The location offers whole hog barbecuing, and it earned a James Beard Award for the quality of its products.

North Dakota: Hot Beef Sandwich at Charlie’s Main Street Café (Minot)

msheldrake/Adobe cheesesteak sandwich

The Hot Beef Sandwich is a stick-to-your-ribs type of sandwich. One of the best in the region is at Charlie’s Main Street Café.

This version features roast beef served with gravy in an open-style sandwich. The Swiss cheese melts into it, and you can add mushrooms and onions. It’s served with mashed potatoes.

Ohio: Polish Boy at Mabel’s BBQ (Cleveland)

Jacek Chabraszewski/Adobe hotdog bun with sausage

The Polish Boy is an Ohio favorite, and the version at Mabel’s BBQ in Cleveland (called the Polish Girl, depending on the style) is one of the best.

It’s kielbasa, with classic or spicy options, topped with a Cleveland BBQ sauce, coleslaw, and pulled pork. It’s all nestled into a hoagie roll.

Oklahoma: Steak Sandwich at Del Rancho (Oklahoma City)

Gonzalo/Adobe sandwich with chicken fried steak

The Steak Sandwich at Del Rancho makes this iconic sandwich the best, according to locals.

It’s a simple chicken-fried steak sandwich with lettuce, tomato, and mayo, but it’s made fresh every time.

Oregon: The Bunk Cubano at Bunk Sandwiches (Portland)

Brian Yarvin/Adobe classic cuban sandwich

The Bunk Cubano incorporates pork belly with ham and shoulder roast to create an intense flavor profile. You’ll also find it topped with Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard.

Order it your way, but the version at Bunk Sandwiches makes this an iconic sandwich on its own.

Pennsylvania: Philly Cheesesteak at Pat’s King of Steaks (Philadelphia)

Thanasith/Adobe philly cheesesteak with onions

This is a very hotly contested decision, but there’s no doubt that Pennsylvania’s most iconic sandwich is the Philly Cheesesteak. It’s just where you buy it that matters.

Pat’s King of Steak is notably one of the best options, with nearly 90 years of serving freshly made sandwiches in the area. They also claim to be the inventor of the sandwich.

Rhode Island: Italian Grinder at Tony’s Colonial Food (Providence)

fahrwasser/Adobe italian meat sandwich with salad

Tony’s Colonial Food is a deli known throughout the region. Its claim to fame is the Italian Grinder, a sandwich sought after throughout the state.

The Italian Grinder features any cold cuts you want, including capicola, salami, soppressata, and more. It’s topped with an oil and vinegar dressing and served with banana peppers.

South Carolina: Oyster Po Boys at The Sea Shack (Hilton Head Island)

warren_price/Adobe shrimp and oyster po boy sandwich

Oyster Po Boys are a popular option in South Carolina, thanks to the oceanfront living here. The Sea Shack does it the best, according to locals.

The Oyster Po Boys here are overstuffed, but what makes them so good is just how fresh they are.

South Dakota: Pheasant Salad Sandwich at Pheasant Restaurant (Brookings)

chas53/Adobe chicken salad sandwich

One of the most talked about sandwiches in South Dakota is the Pheasant Salad Sandwich. It’s much like a chicken salad sandwich but with, as the name shares, pheasant.

You’ll find the version at Pheasant Restaurant features cranberries, apple, roasted pecans, and a melted Swiss cheese over the top.

Tennessee: Monte Cristo at Rae’s Gourmet Sandwich Shoppe (Nashville)

Brent Hofacker/Adobe homemade monte cristo sandwich

The Monte Cristo at Rae’s Gourmet Sandwich Shoppe includes some of the best honey-smoked turkey you’ll find topped with deli ham.

It’s also served with bacon, a luscious cheese sauce, and tomato. You could say there are other spicy versions of sandwiches popular here, but this one is sought after by many locals.

Texas: Sliced Brisket Sandwich at Joseph’s Riverport Bar-B-Q (Jefferson)

rebecca/Adobe texas barbecue sandwiches

Brisket is certainly the most sought-after sandwich in the state. At Joseph’s Riverport Bar-B-Q, you can choose to have it chopped or sliced.

No matter which version you choose, the meat is super tender, and the portion is huge.

Utah: East Side Sloppy Joe at Feldman’s Deli (Salt Lake City)

hodagmedia/Adobe rachel ruben sandwich turkey

The East Side Sloppy Joe is a more unusual version than others in the area, but it’s still packed with flavor.

At Feldman’s Deli, this sandwich includes turkey, roast beef, thousand island dressing, and coleslaw on a Jewish rye bread.

Vermont: The Rachel at Zoey’s Deli & Bakery (Manchester Center)

markskalny/Adobe turkey reuben sandwich rye

The Rachel is a sandwich with options. Choose between turkey or pastrami. It then comes with Swiss cheese and house-made coleslaw.

This is a huge sandwich that’s served on fresh marbled rye bread.

Virginia: Fried Chicken Sandwich at Neighbor’s Place (Lynchburg)

vaaseenaa/Adobe chicken sandwiches with coleslaw

The Fried Chicken Sandwich is a classic option in many areas, and the version at Neighbor’s Place is excellent.

It’s covered in a Panko crust that’s then pan-fried. The sandwich is served on a brioche bun with mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion, and cheddar cheese. Don’t forget the bacon.

Washington: Corned Beef at Antique Sandwich Co. (Tacoma)

rebecca/Adobe reuben sandwich

The Corned Beef sandwich at Antique Sandwich Co. is one of the best out there. It’s baked fresh every day at the shop.

All sandwiches include the toppings you like, and your choice of dark rye, gluten free, or honey wheat bread.

West Virginia: Lady Bird at Secret Sandwich Society (Fayetteville)

stevem/Adobe chicken turkey sandwich

The Secret Sandwich Society names their sandwiches after famed politicians and others. The Lady Bird is a roasted chicken breast sandwich not easily found throughout the state.

It features chipotle mayo with Society pickles, red onion, lettuce, and tomato on a potato roll.

Wisconsin: Ham and Swiss at Crostini Sandwiches (Madison)

MSPhotographic/Adobe grilled ham and cheese sandwich

It’s a simple sandwich but a good one. The Ham and Swiss Café features lettuce, tomato, and mayo. You choose the bread you desire at Crostini Sandwiches.

You’ll find it’s easy enough to change up what’s on your sandwich here, too.

Wyoming: Smoke Stack at The Breadboard Sub Shop (Lander)

Brent Hofacker/Adobe turkey and bacon club sandwich

The Smoke Stack is a big sandwich featuring smoked turkey and bacon. It has provolone cheese and any of the toppings you want added to it.

Served up at The Breadboard Sub Shop, It’s hard to go wrong with the fresh ingredients and good service here.

Bottom line

Syda Productions/Adobe eating salmon panini sandwich

Iconic sandwiches range widely throughout the US. If you’re not sure what to try the next time you want to step up your travel game, this list can be the perfect starting point.

Don’t stop there, though. Ask the locals what they love. They may surprise you.

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Michael Kurko Michael Kurko is a Syndication Editor at FinanceBuzz and has a B.A. in English Literature from Hartwick College. His primary areas of interest include investing, real estate, budgeting, and financial literacy.