The Most Famous Sandwich From Every State [MAP] (2024)

The Most Famous Sandwich From Every State [MAP] (1)

With its prominence in cafeterias, delis, and diners across the country, sandwiches are one of the most common dishes in the United States. According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), approximately half of all American adults eat at least one sandwich on any given day.

Given the immense popularity of the dish, you could road trip across the nation and eat a new sandwich each day: Some may be towered high with regional ingredients, and others may be simple yet iconic creations from a local mom and pop. And considering the incredibly loose definition of the word “sandwich,” some regions have adopted avant-garde dishes as their signatures (read: Arizona’s Sonoran Hot Dog).

That’s why we looked at the most famous sandwich from each state in the U.S. — and we discovered a few common themes. In the South, barbecue sandwiches dominate the conversation, while deep-fried selections are common in the Midwest. To little surprise, seafood sandwiches are most popular in the Northeast, where two states claim the lobster roll as their most iconic offerings.

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Check out our map below to discover VinePair’s comprehensive guide to the most popular sandwich in each state.

Alabama: Pulled Chicken With White Sauce

This messy delicacy is believed to have been created in Decatur in 1925 by railroad worker Big Bob Gibson. As the story goes, Gibson constructed an in-ground smoking pit in his backyard to prepare food for friends and family, with his own pulled chicken and white barbecue sauce sandwich being a crowd-pleaser. Restaurants around the area caught on and started serving versions of their own. Traditionally, the sauce — typically consisting of some combination of mayo, vinegar, sugar, cayenne pepper, and horseradish — is slathered on top of a heaping pile of pulled chicken and served on a bun.

Alaska: Alaskan Salmon Sandwich

Considering Chinook salmon is Alaska’s state fish, it’s no surprise that the state’s most famous local sandwich makes it its star. While it can feature any of the salmon species native to the region, the dish is almost always served with mayo and lettuce on bread with optional tomato, onion, or pickles.

Arizona: Sonoran Hot Dog

Is a hot dog a sandwich? While the internet may be unable to confirm or deny, in Arizona, the answer is a resounding yes. Enter: the Sonoran Hot Dog, which also happens to be the most popular hangover food in the region. Created at the University of Sonora in Hermosillo, Mexico, for night owls and hung over students, the dish consists of a hot dog wrapped in bacon and topped with pinto beans, raw and grilled onions, green salsa, mushrooms, tomatoes, cheese, mayo, and guacamole.

Arkansas: Fried Bologna Sandwich

Most popular in Little Rock and southern Arkansas, fried bologna sandwiches have been a staple in locals’ diets for decades. To make it, slices of bologna are crisped up in a pan before they’re placed between two slices of white bread, often accompanied by yellow mustard and standard toppings like mayo or cheese.

California: French Dip Sandwich

While some sandwiches have remained central to their home regions, others, like the French Dip, have expanded their reach nationwide. Two Los Angeles-based eateries, Philippe’s and Cole’s, claim to have created the hot roast beef sandwich, which is served on a long French roll with a side of au jus for dipping.

Colorado: Fool’s Gold Loaf

Also known as the Elvis Sandwich due to the singer’s love for the dish, the Fool’s Gold Loaf was created at the Colorado Mine Company, a now-shuttered restaurant in Denver. The recipe calls for an entire jar of both peanut butter and jelly and a pound of bacon, all piled on a hollowed-out loaf of bread.

Connecticut: Hot Lobster Roll

Distinct from the mayo-laden, cold-style lobster rolls of the Northeast, Connecticut’s native style sees its lobster meat warmed in hot butter. Served on a hot dog bun, the hot lobster is sometimes accompanied by scallions or chives for some added crunch.

Delaware: The Bobbie

Created at local chain Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, the Bobbie is essentially Thanksgiving leftovers stuffed into a baked roll. The sandwich was named after the chain’s founders’ Aunt Bobbie, who would make the enormous sandwiches on Black Friday to clear out space in the refrigerator. Today, the Bobbie is made with slow-roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, homemade stuffing, and mayo.

Florida: Cuban Sandwich

First made in Cuba over 500 years ago, this now-iconic lunch staple migrated to Florida in the late 1800s as Cuban immigrants arrived in Tampa and Key West to work in the tobacco industry. Made with ham, pork, Swiss cheese, mustard, and pickles, the sandwich first appeared on Tampa cafe menus around 1900 and became a symbol of the working class.

Georgia: Pimento Cheese Sandwich

Pimento cheese is a beloved staple of Southern cuisine, and you’ll find it slathered on anything from crackers to burgers. But in Georgia, the preferred way to serve the stuff is between two slices of white bread. The sandwich even earned a spot on the concessions menu at the Masters Tournament in Augusta.

Hawaii: Kalua Pork Sandwich

Kalua-style roast pork is traditionally served at luaus, where a whole pig is salted, wrapped in banana leaves, and left to cook in an underground coal oven. This sandwich starts with the meat before Asian-style coleslaw or kimchi are added for some vinegary crunch.

Idaho: Peanut Butter and Huckleberry Jam Sandwich

Huckleberries grow in abundance in Idaho, so much so that they’ve been named the official state fruit. Considering the fruit’s similarity to blueberries, it’s no surprise that Idahoans typically reach for huckleberry jam when making PB&J sammies.

Illinois: The Horseshoe

Reportedly created in 1928 at Springfield’s Old Leland Hotel, the Horseshoe is an open-faced sandwich that allegedly gets its name from the shape of the ham used in the original. Today, the sandwich can be made with any type of meat piled atop two slices of Texas toast before it’s submerged beneath a pile of french fries and cheese sauce.

Indiana: Pork Tenderloin Sandwich

Sometimes referred to as the Hoosier, the pork tenderloin sandwich is a cornerstone of the Indiana diet. Its thinly sliced, breaded, and fried pork tenderloin is served on a bun — usually with the edges hanging off — with lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, and ketchup or mustard.

Iowa: Loose Meat Sandwich

The loose meat sandwich (or better said, the tavern sandwich) is beloved across Iowa. Also the state’s regional burger style, the sandwich is made by adding a heaping pile of ground beef, cheese, onions, tomatoes, and ketchup to a bun.

Kansas: Burnt Ends Sandwich

When you’re smoking a brisket, the ends of the meat tend to cook much faster than the middle sections, leading to crispy, smoky, burnt bits that make for a great sandwich. In Kansas, this classic can be found across the state and is typically served on a bun or sliced bread with BBQ sauce and optional red onions.

Kentucky: Hot Brown

The Kentucky Hot Brown is another dish that was created to help intoxicated people soak up the alcohol in their systems after a long night. First introduced in 1926 at Louisville’s Brown Hotel — a hot spot for dancing — the Hot Brown is served open-faced on Texas toast with turkey, bacon, tomatoes, and cheesy Mornay sauce.

Louisiana: Po’boy

A mainstay on menus across Louisiana, the po’boy was created in New Orleans in 1929 to feed striking streetcar drivers for free. The classic can be made with any number of proteins, from sausage and roast beef to shrimp, oysters, and catfish, but the only true defining characteristic is the use of French bread. If you order yours dressed, expect it to come with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and mayo.

Maine: Lobster Roll

While lobster rolls are common throughout New England, there’s nothing like those from Maine. They’re made with lobster salad — a creamy blend of chopped lobster, mayo, celery, and scallions or chives — piled on a split roll toasted with butter.

Maryland: Crab Cake Sandwich

The coastal state is famous for its crab — and crab cakes — so this is a no-brainer. The minimalist Maryland-style crab cake — which tends to contain only sweet lump crab, Panko bread crumbs, egg, and Old Bay — joins lettuce, tomato, and onion in a bun.

Massachusetts: Fluffernutter

The kid with the fluffernutter is often the envy of every child at the elementary school lunch table, and the sweet treat is surprisingly old: Created in 1918 by Massachusetts native Emma Curtis, the peanut butter-and-Marshmallow Fluff concoction was the result of the U.S. government encouraging citizens to ration their meat intake during World War I. Curtis, who referred to the sandwich as the Liberty Sandwich, promoted the dish on recipe pamphlets and it became a beloved staple of Massachusetts cuisine.

Michigan: Detroit Ham Sandwich

The straightforward Detroit Ham Sandwich was popularized by blue-collar factory workers who brought it for lunch. Many eateries across the city are also known for their versions; at Mike’s Famous Ham Place, ham, cheese, pickles, and mustard are smashed between two slices of bread.

Minnesota: Walleye Sandwich

A walleye is a flaky white fish abundant in the northern regions of Minnesota, so it isn’t uncommon to see this sandwich on menus at the area’s many fishing lodges. Served on a hamburger bun or French loaf, the fish is fried or grilled before it’s topped with lettuce, tomato, and tartar sauce.

Mississippi: Shrimp Po’Boy

While the po’boy is native to Louisiana, the Mississippi version is strictly made with shrimp. While some versions of the sandwich include fried shrimp, the majority are made with grilled shrimp marinated in garlic sauce with lettuce, tomato, and mayo.

Missouri: The Gerber

The Gerber was created at Ruma’s Deli in St. Louis in 1973, though it has since been adopted by other purveyors in the city. Traditionally, Italian or French bread gets topped with garlic butter, ham, and provel cheese (a combination of Swiss, cheddar, and provolone) and it’s all served open-faced.

Montana: Pork Chop Sandwich

Pork chop sandwiches were allegedly created in Butte in 1924 to feed mine workers. Today, the sandwich is a classic in the western state, where deep-fried, thin-sliced pork tenderloin is served with onion, lettuce, pickles, mayo, or mustard.

Nebraska: The Reuben

Created by Reuben Kulakofskuy at the Blackstone Hotel in Omaha, the sandwich was so beloved that it made its way onto the permanent menu at the Plush Horse, the Blackstone’s restaurant. Now popular nationwide, the sandwich is made with rye bread, thin-sliced corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing.

Nevada: Patty Melt

Another sandwich that has moved beyond its original borders is the Patty Melt. While most accounts say it was created in Los Angeles, some argue that the burger variation actually got its start at Las Vegas’s Golden Gate Hotel & Casino. Regardless, the smashed combination of burger meat, melted Swiss cheese, and caramelized onions on rye bread remains extremely popular in the gambling city.

New Hampshire: Roast Beef Sandwich

Roast beef is adored across New England, especially in New Hampshire. Practically every deli in the state sells its own version of this simple sandwich, the majority of which are piled high with thin-sliced roast beef and cheese.

New Jersey: Taylor Ham, Egg, and Cheese Sandwich

Often served on a hard roll, this flavor bomb is an iconic breakfast staple across the Garden State. Served at basically every single deli and diner, the sandwich stars salty, crispy Taylor ham (or pork roll, depending on whom you ask) and is sure to give you a morning pick-me-up — especially on your most hung over days.

New Mexico: Green Chile Cheeseburger

This southwestern staple was reportedly created for the scientists working on the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos. The physicists working on the project would allegedly head to San Antonio’s Owl Bar and Café for cheeseburgers regularly, requesting a side of green chile sauce to accompany the sandwich. When containers for the chile sauce ran out, one cook simply added the green chiles to the burger itself, and the sandwich was born. Today, the burger variation can be found anywhere from bars to fast-food establishments.

New York: Pastrami on Rye

An iconic staple at New York City’s Jewish delis — especially Katz’s Delicatessen — the pastrami on rye is widely considered to be a Manhattan icon. The sandwich is piled high with pastrami and often served with mustard and dill pickles.

North Carolina: Pulled Pork Sandwich

North Carolina barbecue is no joke, so of course the most famous sandwich in the state is a BBQ staple. To prepare it, pork is dry-rubbed and smoked until it can be delicately pulled apart and stacked on a bun. They’re typically served with coleslaw and extra BBQ sauce.

North Dakota: Sloppy Joe

The Sloppy Joe, sometimes known as a slush burger or simply “the barbecue,” was allegedly created by a Sioux City cook who once added tomato sauce to his ground beef sandwich. The now-beloved childhood staple is often served with onions, mustard, and pickles on a hamburger bun.

Ohio: The Polish Boy

Cleveland has a flourishing Polish community, which has given the state its most famous sandwich. Its history is murky, but some suggest it was created by Whitmore’s Bar-B-Q owner Virgil Whitmore in the 1940s before other establishments adopted a version of their own. Similar to a hot dog, the Polish Boy consists of a kielbasa sausage loaded with french fries, vinegar-based coleslaw, and a squirt of barbecue sauce.

Oklahoma: Chicken-Fried Steak Sandwich

Oklahomans love their chicken-fried steak — the dish has been one of the state’s official meals since 1988. The battered and deep-fried beef is equally as popular when stuffed inside a bun, usually with lettuce and mayo or white gravy.

Oregon: Fried Chicken Biscuit Sandwich

At Portland’s Pine State Biscuits, where it’s been popular since 2006, the biscuit sandwich is prepared with fried chicken, bacon, and cheese before it’s doused in gravy. If you want to take things a step further, order yours deluxe, which adds an egg to the mixture.

Pennsylvania: Cheesesteak

Native to Philadelphia, the cheesesteak was created by brothers Pat and Harry Oliveri, who were looking for a new menu item for their hot dog stand. With its grilled beef and onions with cheese on a roll, the sandwich was an immediate hit — and continues to be one today.

Rhode Island: Dynamite Sandwich

Often likened to a Sloppy Joe with the addition of grilled peppers and onions, the Dynamite is most popular in Woonsocket, where it’s served on a torpedo roll. The history of the sandwich is murky at best, though versions of all kinds are now served in homes and at community events.

South Carolina: Pulled Pork With Gold Sauce

Just like its northern neighbor, South Carolina also claims the pulled pork as its most iconic. However, the S.C. version is slightly different thanks to its gold sauce, a South Carolina-style BBQ sauce made with mustard, vinegar, brown sugar, and spices.

South Dakota: Pheasant Salad Sandwich

The pheasant is South Dakota’s state bird, and hunting the bird for sport is a common hobby there. As such, it’s often prepared similarly to chicken salad before it’s served on a sandwich. While many pheasant salad recipes exist, the majority are made with mayo, hard-boiled eggs, carrots, celery, and onions.

Tennessee: Hot Chicken Sandwich

Tennessee has a reputation for its hot chicken, so it’s no shock that the spiced-up meat gets the spotlight here. Nashville-style hot chicken sandwiches are typically served with coleslaw, mayo, and pickles on a toasted brioche bun.

Texas: Brisket Sandwich

Barbecue brisket is beloved far and wide in the Lone Star State, as is this sandwich. Made with smoked brisket, this popular lunch item is typically served on white bread or Texas Toast and accompanied by slaw, pickles, and BBQ sauce.

Utah: Pastrami Burger

Also the most famous burger in Utah, the pastrami burger was created by restaurant owner James Katsanevas in Los Angeles. When Katsanevas moved from L.A. to Salt Lake City, the burger skyrocketed in popularity in his new home, where it remains popular today. It includes equal parts beef patty and sliced pastrami topped with American cheese, Thousand Island dressing, lettuce, and tomato.

Vermont: The Vermonter

Defining the Vermonter sandwich is a challenge, as it tends to be whatever you make of it. But typically, it’s a grilled sandwich with cold cuts (usually ham or turkey), cheddar cheese, sliced apples, and mustard. Some even replace the mustard with a drizzle of Vermont maple syrup.

Virginia: Country Ham Sandwich

Virginia is celebrated for its cured ham, which stars in its most famous sandwich. It includes thick slices of ham and mayo piled atop white bread, and while some recipes call for cheese, the meat provides enough flavor that it’s not entirely necessary.

Washington: Bánh Mi

Washington is home to a flourishing Vietnamese community, which the state has to thank for its stellar Bánh Mis. Made with pork belly or grilled pork on a baguette, it’s usually topped with a combination of cucumbers, pickled carrots, cilantro, and scallions.

West Virginia: Sausage Biscuit Sandwich

This classic is exactly what it sounds like: a sausage patty served on a biscuit with a side of white gravy. While straightforward in its traditional presentation, other versions include egg, cheese, and even potato salad.

Wisconsin: Bratwurst Sandwich

There are some strong German roots in Wisconsin, so bratwurst has been central in the state’s cuisine for decades — and this sandwich is one of its most iconic presentations. The sausages are typically grilled and soaked in beer before joining butter, onions, and mustard in a hot dog bun.

Wyoming: Trout Sandwich

Trout is kind of a big deal in Wyoming, with the state being one of the world’s top fly-fishing destinations. As such, trout sandwiches are a commonalityin the region, with the fish typically fried or smoked before it’s added to bread with lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles.

*Image retrieved from Will Ma via Unsplash

The Most Famous Sandwich From Every State [MAP] (2024)
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