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A Guide to America’s Most Popular Sandwich Shops

The greatest places in the country to get a delicious sandwich.

Sandwiches are the people’s food. You can rely on a good old sandwich when you’re feeling a little hungry or have some leftovers that need to be eaten quickly. Across the entire world, no matter the culture, social status, or generation, sandwiches are loved by millions if not billions. 

If you’re a sandwich lover, you probably have a favorite type. Maybe it’s a simple cheese and tomato sandwich, a tuna sandwich, or a classic BLT. Whatever sandwich you love the most, you should be able to make it at home with relative ease. Nonetheless, there is nothing quite like a sandwich from a sandwich shop. And, luckily for us, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing sandwich shops in the USA.

four sandwiches on a board

There has never been a better time to enjoy a delicious treat in sandwich stores up and down the country. Each state is home to some amazing shops that boast delectable bread and, of course, the best, and most interesting, sandwich fillers. 

Not all of us want a fancy, gourmet-style meal in an upmarket restaurant. If you’re like us at Restaurant Clicks, a simple sandwich is usually more than enough to satisfy your cravings. However, not all sandwiches are so basic these days as chefs are now creating masterpieces that are closer to pieces of art than mere sandwiches!

We live in a world with an almost endless supply of possible sandwich types. And this is not a bad thing at all! To take advantage of the best sandwiches, you should visit some of the best sandwich shops in the U.S. 

We have researched the very best sandwich shops throughout America so you can enjoy the delights they have to offer. The shops outlined below represent some of the best sandwich makings America have to offer from traditional delis to high-end counters and restaurants. Each one offers something unique but they all share the fact that they are the best sandwich shops currently in America. 

Best Sandwich Shops In America 

  1. Chacarero
  2. Cochon Butcher
  3. Zookz
  4. Meltz Extreme Grilled Cheese
  5. Duckfat
  6. Domilise’s Po Boy and Bar
  7. El Pescador Fish Market
  8. Gjusta
  9. Konbi
  10. Lardo
  11. John’s Roast Pork
  12. Enriqueta’s Sandwich Shop
  13. Lee’s Bakery
  14. Millburn Deli
  15. Masterpiece Delicatessen

Chacarero

First, we have a highly popular sandwich shop that has grown since its humble beginnings. Chacereo was founded by a Chilean native called Juan Hurtado. He began pushing a pushcart around swelling certain food items to passers-by.

From the outside, this sandwich chain may seem like a basic restaurant but if you want to experience legitimate, high-quality Chilean food, Chacereo will not disappoint. Nonetheless, this shop’s main success is its eponymous sandwiches. 

You can choose from so many items on the menu at Chacarero but before you order just anything, you must try the Chacacero. This sandwich is encompassed by pillow-soft homemade round bread that is always fresh. Inside is tender steak or chicken (we suggest getting both) that melts in the mouth. Then there are fresh tomatoes, Muenster cheese, and steamed green beans under a topping of avocado and a not-too-spicy pepper secret sauce.

If you’re around Boston, Massachusetts, you must try this sandwich! You will forever regret it otherwise!


Cochon Butcher 

New Orleans isn’t only famous for its extravagant Mardi Gras celebrations and jiving jazz clubs. No, it’s also a great place to enjoy top-quality sandwiches, especially if you visit Cochon Butcher. 

Chef Donald Link makes some of the best sandwiches you will ever experience at this bar/butcher combo. There’s no doubt that the sandwich muffuletta is the leader of all sandwiches in New Orleans. While we could argue all day which place in this great city serves the best muffuletta, we will put our money on Cochon Butcher. 

Whether it’s the classic muffuletta or a BLT, nothing comes close to the freshness of Cochon Butcher’s house-cured meats, spicy olives, cheese, and wonderfully soft chewy pieces of bread. What can be better than a quick sandwich at CB’s before enjoying some of the world’s best jazz musicians? Maybe, another sandwich? Go on!


Zookz 

Based in Phoenix, Arizona, Zookz is a vibrant and hip sandwich shop. The friendly staff at Zookz serve toasted sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, and even with pudding. 

The sandwiches are made following a special method learned by the owner Carole Meyer. She watched her grandmother make sandwiches and took it a step further by opening this popular sandwich shop. This sandwich-making technique results in rounded-shaped pieces of bread with sumptuous crispy edges. And they have become extremely popular in the region.

Each sandwich is actually numbered but one of the highlights is no. 55. This contains Nutella, peanut butter, roasted almonds, and banana. Or, you can try another favorite, no. 33. Between the perfectly toasted pieces of bread are a delicious poached egg, feta cheese, and spinach. Whatever sandwich you like, Zookz will probably have something to suit your taste buds. 


Meltz Extreme Grilled Cheese 

Meltz Extreme Grilled Cheese is located in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. As with another Cleveland iconic place, Melt Bar and Grilled, Meltz Extreme Grilled Cheese takes grilled cheese sandwiches to a whole other level. 

The main attraction on the Meltz Extreme Grilled Cheese menu squeezes cheddar, mozzarella, provolone, fontina, goat, and Gorgonzola together between two slices of bread. We told you they went to cheesy extremes! The extra cheese gets wonderfully crispy and crunchy after seeping out onto the grill.

The grilled cheese sandwiches are so good here that Meltz Extreme Grilled Cheese won the National Grilled Cheese Invitational in 2014. That is an awards ceremony we want to go to! Meltz takes their sandwiches to even higher heights with innovative grilled cheese inventions changing with every season.

Past sandwiches include a curd-filled poutine sandwich and a short rib beast topped off with Huckleberry BBQ sauce. The best thing about Meltz is that the sandwiches may differ every time you visit. You never know what you’re gonna get as one Forest Gump once said. 


Duckfat 

Located in Portland, Maine, Duckfat offers some signature grilled paninis like nowhere else. The famous Belgian fries are actually fried in duck fat within the walls of this sandwich joint. And the chef in charge is even a James Beard winner. Quite the accolade!

Although their paninis are absolute classics, they are not as basic as traditional versions. Slow-roasted Cuban pork, as well as BBQ brisket, is added to these paninis to allow customers to enjoy a panini experience like nowhere else. 

Aptly named the Overnight Duck Confit, this popular sandwich is loaded with mayo and spicy coleslaw. All you need to do is combine it with poutine and a donut hole filled with duck fat caramel and you’ll be in paradise. 


Domilise’s Po-Boy and Bar 

We visit the sandwich-packed streets of New Orleans once again as we pop by Domilise’s Po-Boy and Bar. The debate for the best po-boy can go on for weeks in New Orleans but Domilie’s has to be one of the best in the city and the country for that matter.

Found in uptown New Orleans, Domilise’s Po-Boy and Bar is inside an inconspicuous little building. Blink and you may walk right past it! Inside is a bar where you can sit back and have a full view of the owners working away over the fryers. 

When you head here, be prepared to line up for a little while as Domilise’s is a very popular establishment with both locals and tourists. But the wait is totally worth it. Each shrimp and oyster is fried to order and, of course, to sheer perfection.

If you can’t decide between a shrimp and an oyster dish, you can go half and half on the same bun. Even after a century of making top-quality sandwiches, Domilise’s Po-Boy and Bar continues to thrive and bring tradition to the forefront of modern times. 


El Pescador Fish Market 

If you’re a fish fan, you have to try the sandwiches at El Pescador Fish Market. Starting off as a tiny fish shack that was funded by some teenage surfers, this sandwich shop has evolved in the next 30 or so years into one of the best seafood markets.  

Located on La Jolla’s upmarket Pearl Street, El Pescador is a high-quality seafood market that offers communal tables. Here, you can relax and have a full view of the fish that will soon be on a plate in front of you.

While you can enjoy San Diego’s famous fish tacos here, the seafood torta is a favorite in the area. Shrimp is the most popular sandwich filler here as well as salmon and crab. You can choose from two kinds of shrimp, some house-cooked salmon, and a smooth, buttery Dungeness crab between El Pescador’s signature sourdough breaded buns.

So, in other words, whatever fresh catch there is on the day, El Pescador will serve you a seafood sandwich consisting of it. Unique but familiar, El Pescador is one of the best places to enjoy seafood in the whole of America. 


Gjusta 

Next is another Californian delight – Gjusta. Originating in a Venice Beach commissary kitchen for the owner’s Gjelina, this bakery also roasts meat, smokes fish, and creates charcuterie. When you first walk in, it looks more like a vibrant and long culinary museum thanks to its collection of tasty treats in glass cases.

The meats on display do leave you drooling at the thought of filling a sandwich with them.  Just the mere sight of the meat rotating on a spit behind the counter makes you excited about the baguette and croissant options they have. 

You can even build your own sandwich masterpiece at Gjusta with thin-shaved roast beef, layered banh mi with brisket, or mortadella. However, the star of the show is the house-smoked and rotisserie butcher sandwiches.

The prime ribs are perfectly tender and provide a symphony of spices, juice, and crunchiness in your mouth. Alongside a dash of olive oil, horseradish, and salt & pepper, your sandwich could be the best on the west coast!


Konbi  

Okay, we like what California has to offer so we’re going to show you another sandwich shop in the state. Talking about offerings, Konbi does not disappoint. Breaded cutlets such as pork or chicken dresses with tonkatsu and cabbage are served on soft, fluffy pieces of milk bread. These are, of course, Japanese-style katsu sandos. 

Located in Los Angeles, Konbi is a tiny, 10-seat joint. It may be minimalist but it serves some strong-tasting sandwiches like nowhere else. You get to walk up to the window on Sunset Strip and order something off their incredible yet small menu. We recommend the pork katsu. Just one bite of this beautifully tender and juicy pork sandwich will leave a flavor that will linger in your mouth for hours. And not in a bad way, either. 

The sandwich menu is not large with only four items to choose from. This includes eggplant katsu with burnt-onion dashi and an egg salad sandwich which is topped off with a medium-boiled egg. We wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve seen this appear on Instagram; it’s so photogenic! When it comes to vegetables, they are enough on their own. Konbi offers an outstanding potato salad with crispy okra and carrots crudite with pistachio and shishito dip. If you have heard a lot of hype about Konbi, believe it! 


Lardo 

Let’s head to Portland, Oregon, and Las Vegas, Nevada as we check out Lardo. This food-cart-turned restaurant is one of Portland’s most precious gems. As the name suggests, Lardo is proud of “bringing fat back” and they are not messing about! 

Their in-house meats dominate most dishes and sandwiches. From the old-school mortadella to the Korean pork shoulder packed with kimchi, everything is full to the brim with meaty calories. Even their dirty fries are covered in crispy pork scraps!

We adore the subtle spice of the pork meatball banh mi at Lardo as well as the lemon porchetta. Both are absolute classics. But, don’t get too comfy with a favorite sandwich at this joint as they change as much as the beer does which is a lot.

Founder, Rick Gencarelli even allows for a different chef to design a new sandwich every month and it’s all for a good cause as money made from the sandwich goes to charity. So, head to Lardo and play some sandwich roulette. Who knows what you’ll get served with! 


John’s Roast Pork 

In Philadelphia, born and raised is John’s Roast Pork. Unlike the majority of sandwich shops in Pennsylvania, John’s Roast Pork doesn’t specialize in a cheesesteak. Instead, their specialty is the, you guessed it, divine roast pork. Honestly, this is a true legend of Philadelphia. 

This iconic sandwich boasts sharp provolone, sumptuous juicy roast pork, a delicious topping of sauteed spinach. While John’s has tough competition from their sandwich shops such as Tony Luke’s and Dalessandro’s, their cheesesteaks are up there with the best. Therefore, you’re on to a winner with just about any order at this beloved sandwich shop. 

John’s Roast Pork has been feeding the fine people of Philadelphia since 1930 and their sandwiches continue to thrive. The roast pork, in particular, is the most popular and is still made with “Pop Pop’s” recipe from over 90 years ago. Just visit here any lunchtime and you will be met with a long line of eager, hungry people. This Pennsylvanian institution is not going anywhere anytime soon.


Enriqueta’s Sandwich Shop 

Now it’s time to jet off to the sun, sea, and delights that Florida has to offer. One of these delights is Enriqueta’s Sandwich Shop. Ask anyone who has tried the Cubano here and they will tell you that Enriqueta’s makes the best in the whole of Miami, maybe even the world! That is quite the feat considering the compact size of this establishment cramped into a corner of Edgewater. 

While the Cubano is mind-blowing, there are other incredible treats to try too. If you ever head to Enriqueta’s Sandwich Shop you have to try the medianoche. This contains ham, pickles, cheese, and mayo all laid out on a sweet egg dough bread. Once you try a sandwich here, you will question every sandwich you have ever eaten.

Another tasty option is the Cuban chicken sandwich. This is packed with lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, and shoestring potatoes. Okay, that’s too much choice. Just choose each sandwich and enjoy a veritable feast! Just get there early (closes at 4) as there is usually a long line of other hungry folks like you.


Lee’s Bakery 

Lee’s Bakery has been going strong for over 15 years in Atlanta. In terms of restaurant lifespans, this is ancient! While hip, new restaurants have continuously opened up, failed, and closed down, Lee’s has stood firm and become more popular every year. 

There is a reason for this success. Well, there are a few reasons but the main one is the bakery’s humble banh mi. The bread is uniquely crispy (like nowhere else we have tried) and super tasty. Of course, that’s the least you expect from a bakery but it is genuinely world-class bread.

The cherry on top of the supreme bread is the pickled vegetables and tender pork that blend together perfectly. Everything about the sandwiches here is magnificent and long may Lee’s Bakery be as popular as possible. 


Millburn Deli 

Situated in, unsurprisingly, Millburn, New Jersey, Millburn Deli sits in a state that boasts a seemingly never-ending supply of mom-and-pop delicatessens. However, this deli stands out from the rest. Although its tiny storefront can be easily mistaken for a little old house, the sandwiches have been flying out from here since 1947. And there’s no stopping Millburn Deli!

In the early 1990s, the Fluke family took over the business but have made it their mission to uphold the traditions that have made Millburn Deli so beloved by locals. One of their highlights is the Sloppy Joes sandwich.

While you may think about your school’s lunch lady slapping some ground beef and tomato sauce into a stale roll, the sloppy joes at Millburn Deli couldn’t be more different. These are triple-deckers filled with all kinds of combinations including corned beef, turkey, roast beef, Virginia ham, and so much more. 

Millburn Deli continues to bring joy to locals and visitors every year as well as the most delicious Sloppy Joes in New Jersey. The good news is that you can now find this Deli all over the U.S. So, check your local area and try their famous Sloppy Joes today. 


Masterpiece Delicatessen 

In Denver, Colorado lies a masterpiece delicatessen. Its name – Masterpiece Delicatessen! The chef in charge of running this sandwich shop, Justin Brunson, is also the proud owner of one of Denver’s most famous and important restaurants, the critically acclaimed Old Major. While his culinary skills are often put to the fore in the kitchen of Old Major, there is no lack of culinary ingenuity in his humble deli either.

Versatility is a key aspect of Masterpiece Delicatessen. The menu features a wondrous 12-hour-braised beef brisket that is smothered in a super-rich Taleggio fondue served upon a soft (or crispy) baguette. Yes, it’s simply a masterpiece.

Even their dull-sounding vegetable sandwich is mouth-watering and maybe one of the best sandwiches you’ll ever experience. It sports flavors such as wild mushrooms, fresh zucchini, and incredible piquillo peppers. These combine wonderfully with hummus, aged provolone, and tomato tapenade within a baguette. 

Then, there is the Cubano. Fully loaded with Black Forest ham, brined mojo pork, and meshed together with melted Swiss cheese. Once you try any of these sandwiches at Masterpiece Delicatessen, you will appreciate sandwiches as pieces of art from there on out.


Final Thoughts

Well, as you can see, America knows a thing or two about sandwiches. The next time you’re craving a tasty sandwich for lunch or breakfast, be sure to head to any of these amazing places listed above and you won’t be disappointed!

Did we miss any great sandwich shops? Leave us a comment and let us know so we can check it out!

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Written by Rocco Smith

Rocco is from Sanibel Island, Florida, and a recent graduate of Florida State University with a Bachelor’s in Editing, Writing, and Media. With seven years’ experience in the restaurant industry as a cook, server, bartender, and more, he is deeply passionate about intertwining his fondness for food with his love of language.