The most famous local sandwich from every state

The most famous local sandwich from every state
·11 min read
  • Inspired by summer road trips, we found the iconic sandwich each state is known for.

  • Indiana claims to have the best pork tenderloin sandwich in the nation.

  • Illinois is known for the Horseshoe, an open-faced sandwich topped with fries and cheese sauce.

ALABAMA: A chicken sandwich with white barbecue sauce

chicken sandwich with white bbq sauce on a paper plate
A chicken sandwich with white barbecue sauce.Jesse R./Yelp

Alabama's famous white barbecue sauce is creamy and tangy, made with mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, and ground black pepper.

ALASKA: A wild Alaskan salmon sandwich

a salmon sandwich with arugula and tomato
A salmon sandwich.Shutterstock

Alaska's salmon is said to be the freshest, pinkest salmon around.

ARIZONA: Frybread tacos

frybread tacos with salsa and sour cream
Frybread tacos.Nate Allred/Shutterstock

Also known as "Navajo tacos," these are extremely popular in Arizona. The fried dough is topped with traditional taco fillings like meat, beans, and cheese.

ARKANSAS: A deep-fried catfish sandwich

catfish sandwich with fries on a plate
A deep-fried catfish sandwich.Shutterstock

Caught locally and tucked between two buttered buns, the deep-fried catfish sandwich is best paired with a side of fries and slaw.

CALIFORNIA: An avocado club sandwich

avocado club sandwich.
An avocado club sandwich.rangtheclick/Shutterstock

Though the famed French Dip came out of this sunny state, it's best known for its avocados. Try one of California's fresh avocado club sandwiches to see why.

COLORADO: A Denver sandwich

Denver sandwich
A Denver sandwich.StockFood/Getty Images

You've heard of the Denver omelet, but have you heard of the Denver sandwich? It's a traditional Denver omelet filled with diced ham, onions, and green bell peppers, and then stuck between pieces of toast. Extra points if you add ham and hash browns.

CONNECTICUT: A Connecticut hamburger

Connecticut hamburger on a plate with two patties
A Connecticut hamburger.Jason P./Yelp

Connecticut is known for its non-traditional hamburgers, which are served on white toast with a choice of onion, tomato, or cheese, but no condiments. Try one at Louis' Lunch in New Haven.

DELAWARE: A soft-shell fried crab sandwich

soft-shell crab sandwich
A soft-shell crab sandwich.Coast-to-Coast/Getty Images

Anyone visiting this fishing Mecca should try a soft-shell fried crab sandwich topped with coleslaw and leafy greens.

FLORIDA: A Cuban sandwich

cuban sandwich cut in half and stacked on top of one another on a plate
A Cuban sandwich.Megan Betz/Shutterstock

The sunshine state is known for its Cuban sandwich with generous portions of ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard, all on two slices of Cuban bread.

GEORGIA: A fried-chicken sandwich

fried chicken sandwich on a bun with lettuce
A fried-chicken sandwich.Aly Weisman/Business Insider

Those visiting Georgia — the original home of Chick-fil-A — should partake in a classic fried-chicken sandwich with lettuce, tomato, and spicy mayo.

HAWAII: A Kālua-style pork sandwich

pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw
A Kālua-style pork sandwich.Shutterstock

Kālua-style pork is common fare at most luaus, but the slow-roasted and shredded meat is also amazing on sandwiches. Try yours with pineapple coleslaw for an extra Hawaiian punch.

IDAHO: The "Meat Your Maker" sandwich

meat your maker sandwich from idaho
The "Meat Your Maker."Emm D./Yelp

The Best Sandwich Shack in Idaho really lives up to its name. Locals swear by the "Meat Your Maker" — a combo of steak, Italian sausage, bacon, and more.

ILLINOIS: A Horseshoe sandwich

Horseshoe sandwich
A Horseshoe sandwich.Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Illinois is known for an open-faced sandwich called the Horseshoe, made with thick-sliced toasted bread, your choice of meat, and topped with french fries and a secret cheese sauce.

INDIANA: A Hoosier sandwich

pork tenderloin sandwich with tomato and lettuce on a white plate
A Hoosier sandwich.Jeff R Clow/Getty Images

Indiana claims to have the best pork tenderloin in the nation. Put it to the test by tasting a Hoosier sandwich, or a breaded tenderloin on bread. Purists insist on trying it with only a few dill pickles and some mustard, but you can also get it with lettuce, tomato, and other fixings.

IOWA: A Tavern or "loose meat" sandwich

Tavern sandwich with pickles on a bun
A Tavern sandwich.Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

This state is home to the tavern or "loose meat" sandwich. It's made with unseasoned ground beef, sauteed onions, and sometimes topped with pickles, ketchup, or mustard on a bun.

KANSAS: "Runza" or "bierocks"

runza
"Runza" or "bierocks."Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

"Runza" or "bierocks" are a bun-shaped bread pocket filled with beef, cabbage or sauerkraut, onions, and seasonings. The recipe was spread by German immigrants to the Midwest.

KENTUCKY: A Hot Brown sandwich

Hot Brown sandwich with bacon chicken and cream sauce in foil wrapper
A Hot Brown with bacon, chicken, and cream sauce.Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

The Hot Brown sandwich originated at the Brown Hotel in Louisville in 1926. The open-faced sandwich with turkey and bacon is covered in cheesy Mornay sauce, and then baked or broiled until the sauce begins to brown.

LOUISIANA: A po' boy

po boy sandwich with fried shrimp on a plate
A po' boy.Jean Faucett/Shutterstock

The po' boy sandwich is one of Louisiana's most iconic eats. The classic sub is made with French bread and roast beef or fried seafood. A "dressed" po' boy has lettuce, tomato, pickles, and mayonnaise with optional onions and hot or regular mustard.

MAINE: A lobster roll

A lobster roll and chips at Tap & Barrel.
A lobster roll and chips.Michelle F/Yelp

What else would you order in Maine but a classic lobster roll? Served on a lightly grilled bun and filled with steamed and buttered lobster, these sandwiches taste like summer.

MARYLAND: A crab-cake sandwich

Crab cake sandwich with fries
Crab-cake sandwich.eurobanks/Shutterstock

You can find some of America's freshest crabs in Maryland. Try a crab-cake sandwich on a buttered bun with lettuce, tomato, and onion.

MASSACHUSETTS: A Fluffernutter

fluffernutter sandwiches piled on top of a plate
Fluffernutter sandwich.bhofack2/Getty Images

If you've never tried the Fluffernutter sammie, you're missing out. It's made with soft white bread topped with peanut butter and marshmallow Fluff, which was invented by Archibald Query of Somerville, Massachusetts.

MICHIGAN: A corned-beef sandwich

corned beef sandwich from zingermans deli
A corned-beef sandwich from Zingerman's Deli.Triphena W./Yelp

Zingerman's Deli in Ann Arbor is known for its corned-beef sandwiches, especially the Oswald's Mile High, which is made with corned beef and yellow mustard on double-baked, hand-sliced Jewish rye bread.

MINNESOTA: A Jucy Lucy

The Jucy Lucy Matt's Bar burger
The Jucy Lucy from Matt's Bar.Tom C./Yelp

Though the war over which restaurant invented it continues, Minnesota is the official home of the Jucy Lucy — a burger cooked with cheese on the inside that oozes out at the first bite.

MISSISSIPPI: A pig-ear sandwich

pig ear sandwich
A pig ear sandwich.Ken T./Yelp

A local staple in Jackson is a pig-ear sandwich. It's two tender pig ears served on a small bun with mustard, slaw, and hot sauce.

MISSOURI: A Gerber sandwich

Gerber Sandwich on a plate
Gerber sandwich.Fanfo/Shutterstock

Feast on Missouri's famous Gerber, an open-faced sandwich with French bread, garlic butter, ham, Provolone, and paprika, and then perfectly toasted.

MONTANA: A PB&J with huckleberry jam

peanut butter and jelly sandwich halves stacked on a plate
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich.Shutterstock

Montana is known for its huckleberries, which grow in the wild during the summer and fall seasons. Try its famous huckleberry jam for a delicious PB&J.

NEBRASKA: A Reuben

reuben sandwich in newspaper wrapping with pickle on the side
Reuben sandwich.Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

The classic Reuben sandwich was supposedly invented by an Omaha grocer. It's made with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Thousand Island dressing, and is best served on rye bread.

NEVADA: A Heart Attack Grill burger

heart attack grill burger
A Heart Attack Grill burger.Megan Willett/Business Insider

Las Vegas' Heart Attack Grill is periodically in the news for its calorific burgers. Some variations contain five burger patties with bacon and, of course, a side of fries.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: A fried ham and cheese Monte Cristo drizzled with syrup

monte cristo sandwich on a plate
A fried Monte Cristo sandwich.dirkr/Getty Images

One of the proudest accomplishments for this state is its delicious maple syrup. Order a fried ham and cheese Monte Cristo drizzled with it for the ultimate breakfast sammie.

NEW JERSEY: A Jersey breakfast sandwich

new jersey taylor ham sandwich on a white background
Jersey breakfast sandwich.Ezume Images/Shutterstock

Stop by any Garden State diner and try the signature Jersey breakfast sandwich. It's thick-cut Taylor ham (or pork roll) with egg and American cheese on a hard Kaiser roll or bagel.

NEW MEXICO: A green chile cheeseburger

Green chile cheeseburger Buckhorn Tavern NM
A green chile cheeseburger.Dan H./Yelp

A cheeseburger is one thing, but a green chile cheeseburger takes it to a whole other level. This state's signature vegetable adds a major kick to this classic American dish.

NEW YORK: A bagel with lox and cream cheese

bagel with lox cream cheese and scallions on a plate
A bagel with lox and cream cheese.Carlo A/Getty Images

There's nothing more NYC than a classic bagel with lox and cream cheese. Some believe that New York City's tap water is what makes its pizza and bagels so delicious.

NORTH CAROLINA: A pulled-pork sandwich

pulled pork sandwich on a wooden board with barbecue sauce
Pulled pork.GMVozd/Getty Images

Just like Hawaii, one of North Carolina's best sandwiches is pulled pork, but make sure to smother it in a tangy, vinegar-based BBQ sauce.

NORTH DAKOTA: Smørbrød

smorrebrod sandwich
Smørbrød.izhairguns/Getty Images

This state's huge Scandinavian population love their Smørbrød, a classic open-faced sandwich commonly made with rye bread, roast beef, Gravlax (a type of salmon), butter, lettuce, Jarlsberg cheese, pickled herring, hard-boiled eggs, honey mustard, or cucumber.

OHIO: A Polish boy

cleveland polish boy hot dogs with fries on a wooden board
Polish boys.Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Not to be confused with Louisiana's po' boy, Ohio's Polish boy is a sausage sandwich native to Cleveland. It has a link of kielbasa covered with a layer of french fries, barbecue or hot sauce, and coleslaw, all on a bun.

OKLAHOMA: A chicken-fried steak sandwich

chicken fried steak sandwich
A chicken-fried steak sandwich.Gina D./Yelp

What's better than chicken-fried steak? That same breaded and fried steak on a hamburger bun with your choice of condiments.

OREGON: A falafel pita

falafel pita
A falafel pita.Deb Lindsey/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Portland is known for its delicious vegan food. Falafel pitas in particular are a popular choice, packed to the brim with veggies and hummus.

PENNSYLVANIA: A Philly cheesesteak

philly cheesesteak sandwich on a roll
Philly cheesesteak.Shutterstock

The state's most famous food by far is the classic Philly cheesesteak. Thinly cut steak handsomely topped with cheese on a roll is delicious by itself, but don't be afraid to add sautéed onions, peppers, mushrooms, mayonnaise, hot sauce, salt, pepper, or ketchup.

RHODE ISLAND: A Dynamite sandwich

dynamite sandwich sloppy joe on blue plate
A Dynamite sandwich.Charles Brutlag/Shutterstock

This tiny state is home to a very big sandwich. The Dynamite, which hails from Woonsocket, is a sloppy Joe burger made with onions, bell peppers, and celery. Be careful — it is spicy.

SOUTH CAROLINA: A tuna melt

tuna melt with crinkle fries on a plate
A tuna melt.doug m/Shutterstock

People say the tuna melt was born in 1965 in South Carolina at the Woolworth's lunch counter. Head there and see for yourself why this simple delicacy is a Charleston classic.

SOUTH DAKOTA: A walleye sandwich

walleye sandwich with fruit on the side
A walleye sandwich.wanderluster/Getty Images

South Dakota's walleye is next level, so it's no surprise that the state is known for its walleye sandwiches. When the flaky fish is fried to perfection, it will melt in your mouth.

TENNESSEE: A Fluffernutter

Fluffernutter sandwich with fluff dripping out
A Fluffernutter.Business Insider

Sink your teeth into Elvis Presley's favorite sandwich, made with peanut butter, banana, and bacon. Just be careful — the mix of salty, sweet, and savory is highly addictive.

TEXAS: A brisket sandwich

brisket sandwich on a bun with fries
A brisket sandwich.Christine J./Yelp

Barbecue brisket is the national dish of Texas, so try yours on some hardy, homemade bread with or without onions and bell peppers.

UTAH: A pastrami burger

pastrami burgers on a plate
Pastrami burgers from Crown Burgers in Salt Lake City.Tatty B./Yelp

When in Utah, it's perfectly acceptable to dig into a burger topped with a quarter-pound of thin-sliced pastrami. "Pastrami burgers," which originated at Crown Burgers in Salt Lake City, are slathered with a Thousand Island-style sauce as well as tomatoes, shaved lettuce, and onions.

VERMONT: A Vermonter

vermonter sandwich with turkey and ham on a red plate
A Vermonter sandwich.Gabriel M./Yelp

The "Vermonter" takes advantage of its state's freshest ingredients, like turkey, ham, Vermont cheddar cheese, green apples, and honey mustard.

VIRGINIA: A grilled ham and cheese

grilled ham and cheese sandwiches
Grilled ham and cheese sandwiches.Azurita/Getty Images

There's almost nothing more classic than a grilled ham and cheese sandwich, and Virginia is known for its excellent cheeses and succulent ham.

WASHINGTON: Bánh mì

banh mi pork sandwich on a baguette
Bánh mì.Shutterstock

Seattle has a large Vietnamese community and is home to some of the best bánh mì sandwiches in America. The inexpensive staple is usually made with pate, bright, crunchy vegetable slaw, fish sauce, and sliced jalapeño pepper or fresh cilantro.

WASHINGTON, DC: A chili half-smoke

chili half-smoke hot dog in a tray with potato chips
A chili half-smoke.Jon Hicks/Getty Images

Stop into Ben's Chili Bowl and order a chili half-smoke, a half pork, half beef smoked sausage served on a warm steamed bun with mustard, onions, and spicy homemade chili sauce.

WEST VIRGINIA: An apple and turkey sandwich

turkey and apple sandwich on a plate
An apple and turkey sandwich.Shutterstock

Make a delicious apple and turkey sandwich with West Virginia's Golden Delicious apples. Cheese and apples sound like a weird combo, but it's worth it.

WISCONSIN: A sausage roll or brat bun

bratwurst with sauerkraut on a bun
Grilled bratwurst with sauerkraut on a bun.Charles Brutlag/Shutterstock

This Midwestern state has a large German immigrant population, so it's no surprise that its most famous sandwich contains classic bratwurst. Eat the sausage roll topped with mustard, sauerkraut, and cheese curds — another thing for which Wisconsin is well-known.

WYOMING: A bison meatball sandwich

meatball sub with melted cheese
A bison meatball sandwich.LauriPatterson/Getty Images

Wide-open Wyoming is where the buffalo roam ... and occasionally appear on menus. Try a bison meatball sandwich when you're here to taste the state's most famous meat.

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