America’s Top 10 New Sandwiches

Forget who piles pastrami highest or fits the most varieties of cold cuts onto one hero roll. A great sandwich has come to mean more than just bigger, better and meatier. Across the country, a new breed of sandwich artisans are taking lunchtime to a whole ‘nother level. From California to New England, here are Endless Simmer’s top ten favorite new sandwiches.

10. The Spuckie — Cutty’s, Boston

spuckie sandwich cuttys

Spuckie is a term used by old-school Bostonians to identify any sub sandwich, but it’s increasingly associated with this year-old Brookline shop. It’s also probably the one sandwich that most successfully merges the old-school method of overdoing it on Italian meats with the new world of artisan, veggie-centric goodness. Super-thin slices of fennel salami, hot capicola and mortadella are layered on an oversize ciabatta, then topped with gooey, hand-pulled mozzarella and a fresh olive-carrot salad. For even less traditional sandwich-lovers, there’s also an eggplant spuckie available.

9. Bulgogi Steak Sandwich — Koja, Philadelphia

bulgogi steak sandwich

At the risk of outraging an entire city, we’re going to say it: the Philly cheesesteak is boring. With no disrespect meant to the age-old art of slathering fake cheese on top of a mound of meat, we just think this is one classic sandwich that is ready for a creative update. Enter University City sandwich truck Koja, where the chewy cheesesteak meat is replaced with bulgogi, Korea’s signature thinly-sliced, spicy BBQ beef. It’s served on a hoagie roll that’s coated in sweet chili oil and accented by sauteed peppers and onions. Koja also offers bulgogi pork and bulgogi chicken variations, but the best part is the unbelievable price — $3. Read more about this amazing sandwich at My Inner Fatty.

8.Crispy Drunken Sandwich — Baguette Box, Seattle

crispy drunken chicken baguette

Have you ever dug into a steamy styrofoam container of General Tso’s chicken and thought, “this is delicious, but it would be even tastier on a bun?” Of course you haven’t, that’s the most insane thing we’ve ever heard. But crazy is sometimes genius, as is proven at this tiny Seattle sandwich shop, where hunks of tender chicken are deep-fried and glazed in a tangy brown sauce, then served on a crispy baguette with caramelized onions and cilantro. The result is a supremely sticky, but utterly satisfying sandwich. (Photo: Sevius)

7. Cheesy Mac and Rib — The Grilled Cheese Truck, Los Angeles

cheesy mac and rib

Another new West Coast outpost that achieves genius results by thinking outside the bun, LA’s great cheese-on-wheels purveyor offers several list-worthy grilled sandwiches, but none is more awe-inspiring than this. Sharp cheddar mac-and-cheese, strands of sweet BBQ pork and caramelized onions are all stuffed into two perfectly buttered-and-fried slices of white bread. Yes, it sounds like the horrifying 3 a.m. creation of a stoned college student. Yes, it actually works. 
Grilled Cheese Truck)

6. Pibil Torta — Xoco, Chicago

XOCO Pibil

Upgrading Mexican street food has suddenly become a hot task of haute chefs around the nation, although the results often have us pining for the real thing. Not so at Rick Bayless’ Chicago sandwich shop, where tortas baked in the wood-burning oven take Mexican to levels we didn’t know existed. In this sandwich, silky strands of roasted suckling pig are served on crusty bread spread with black beans and achiote paste, then finished with a layer of pickled onions and habanero salsa. The Pibil may be one extra ingredient away from being a Top Chef disaster story, but as is, it’s perfection on bread.

Next: The top 5

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  • Borracho January 20, 2011  

    It is 8:30am and I am ready for lunch now! The Spuckie has made it onto the itinerary for a trip we are taking to Boston this summer and the New Luther may be my last meal if I ever end up on death row, simply because that would be the only safe time to try it.

  • Birdie January 20, 2011  

    I am so happy to see that two of the top ten sandwiches are from Philly! The next time I go home, I will have to sample them.

  • Cajun Chef Ryan January 20, 2011  

    Wow, seems like a lot of them are combining sweet with savory. Philly does have a hold on the sandwich market.

  • Evan January 20, 2011  

    great list. Glad you mentioned that brussels sprout sandwich, as I haven’t been there yet and now am going

  • 80 Proof January 20, 2011  

    Note to self: reading this list over an hour before lunch is not a good idea. STARVING now.

  • Nick (Macheesmo) January 20, 2011  

    I’ve had the fried chicken sandwich. That thing was the bomb. These all look amazing though.

  • dan January 20, 2011  

    Awesome list! I need to step up my sandwich game. Also I live 2 minutes from cuttys and have never tried the spuckie! whoops.

    and-I know you are using hyperbole for added emphasis, but don’t let a few poorly made cheesesteaks ruin the whole sandwich for you.

  • nadia January 20, 2011  

    awesome sandwiches! one thing though, the Meat Cheese Bread most likely features currant bread pudding and not current – though these creations are totally modern!

  • BS January 20, 2011  

    @nadia – right you are. while their bread pudding is certainly current, it is more specifically currant. correction noted.

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  • Peggy January 21, 2011  

    Everything on this list sounds freakin’ amazing! I definitely need to visit DC pronto.

  • Canada January 22, 2011  

    Now i’m hungry, If you’re ever in Orlando, FL you’ve gotta check out Pom Pom’s teahouse and sandwicheria. The Mama Ling Ling’s thanksgiving dinner sandwich is absolutely phenomenal

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  • Mike January 24, 2011  

    All these look great, but nothing beats the Steak Poutine Pita from U-Need-A-Pita in St. Catharines ON. Steak, Cheese, Fries, and Gravy all in one pita.

  • Kristen from MA January 24, 2011  

    Thanks for including one vegetarian option. 🙂

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  • Brenda January 25, 2011  

    Frankly, I think the New Luther is the most disgusting combination of foods I have ever seen. I cannot believe that not only does someone have the nerve to ask for money for such a thing, but that anyone can find this even remotely tasty!

  • L. Denise January 25, 2011  

    Welp, this tanks my Chili’s-for-Lunch idea! *le sigh*

    @BS: Grabbed this link from Huffington Post…congrats on the mention!

  • erica January 25, 2011  

    i had a sandwich a while back that touted a grilled cauliflower cutlet, with cheese and pesto. it was actually pretty good.

  • Michael K January 25, 2011  

    I’d gotten really sick and tired of seeing these lists of the country’s best sandwiches with nary a mention of any of Washington, DC’s fine eatery. Finally, a DC sandwich not only makes the list, it tops the list. Plus, it’s only a few blocks away from my office. Looks like I might have to put on a couple pounds this Sunday. 🙂

  • Belinda @zomppa January 25, 2011  

    Oh wow. I am drooling with each one! How do I get to go on a sandwich tour??

  • BS January 25, 2011  

    @Belinda – I think you may have just inspired a new business idea. Endless Tours, anyone?

  • Borracho January 25, 2011  

    I am up for some tours but seriously where would we even start?

  • Christy January 25, 2011  

    The Spuckie looks suspiciously like our New Orleans Muffeletta. 🙂

  • mariah carey January 25, 2011  

    If anyone would like to pay me for an interview regarding the Luther, I am open to offers.

  • babs January 25, 2011  

    you forgot big ass sandwiches in portland –! delicious, decadent – meat (or non-meat) on a perfectly light ciabatta with a sturdy exterior, stuffed with french fries and bechamel. sooooooooo good!!!

  • Nick January 25, 2011  

    Jin’s chicken sandwich in madison wi

  • foodies at home January 25, 2011  

    I don’t even know what to say about the last sandwich! I am for once left speechless!

  • Mike January 26, 2011  

    So many good sandwiches, but this should be on your list: the Reggie. A beautifully made biscuit sandwich built with a tender fried chicken breast, slice of cheddar, and bacon all topped with their homemade sausage gravy. Addition fried egg is optional, but recommended. If you want one, you can find it at Pine State Biscuits in Portland, OR.

  • sandwich lover January 26, 2011  

    Bahn Mi? Anyone? COME ON!!!!!!

  • TimD January 26, 2011  

    I disapprove of this list. There’s a Brussels sprout sandwich on it. Your sammich list has lost all credibility with me.

  • Jill January 26, 2011  

    You have to try the cheesteak ole’ at Tony Boloney’s in A.C. They won the cheesesteak battle this summer with Guy from DDD.

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  • Delishhh February 4, 2011  

    Ok i could eat all of them but the bulgogi is my favorite!! 🙂 With some kimchi 🙂

  • Ashley February 4, 2011  

    Thank you! I live in Seattle and haven’t had that sandwich from Baguette Box yet. Must change that. Very soon.
    Great list!

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  • b September 11, 2011  

    Very interesting list of sandwiches. However, writers (and Americans in general) tend to put the ‘NEW’ term on everything, far too quickly.

    For example, a Korean sandwich shop in Baltimore was making basically the same sandwich back in 1985.

  • Melissa September 30, 2011  

    These all look amaaaazing. And two from Philly- HOLLA!

  • chelsea October 13, 2011  

    theses are sick there all so fating eww

  • Samantha Thomas July 16, 2014  

    Wow, that brussel sprout sandwich looks amazing!

  • My Name November 5, 2014  

    Not a fan of donuts with my chicken.

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