The Best Sandwich in Every State

The Best Sandwich in Every State

 


"All of humankind has one thing in common—the sandwich," renowned late-aughts philosopher Liz Lemon once theorized, on NBC's 30 Rock. "I believe that all anyone really wants in this life is to sit in peace and eat a sandwich."


We want a lot of things right now, but most days we'd settle for some peace, quiet, and absolutely a sandwich. The former can be tricky, but the latter—small mercies—is not hard to find. Roughly as old as the country and invented by the Earl of Sandwich, an Englishman who never seemed to have time for a proper sit-down meal, Americans have spent the entirety of our nation's existence seeking to perfect the humble art form.


And what work we have done, drawing on our heritage to create a sandwich culture as vast and diverse as we are. By now there are many countries that do at least one sandwich well; not to brag or anything, but we've got dozens, from the muffaletta, created by Sicilian immigrants in New Orleans, to lobster rolls made with the day's catch in Maine. There's Italian beef in Chicago, roast pork in Philadelphia, pork tenderloins in the Midwest, Cuban-style sandwiches (and a lot of arguing about who makes it best) in Florida—we've got it all.


Not that we really needed to be reminded, but after a year of countless quick meals, of park picnics, of standing around eating off the trunk of the car, our appreciation for the sandwich has certainly been refreshed. What better time for a pause, a look back at the very best of the bunch?


On this list, you will not necessarily find the most fashionable or visually appealing—all we wanted were icons and legends, the sandwiches that have stood the test of time. We wanted the ones with an extreme sense of belonging, the sandwiches people would fight for, and possibly over.


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