Our 50 Best Sandwiches from Around the World

From the New Orleans oyster loaf to Vietnam’s banh mi, our best sandwich recipes showcase a world of innovation between two slices of bread.

The best sandwiches don’t happen by accident: You’ve got to balance moisture and crunch, weigh condiments against main components, choose bread that will make each element shine, then construct it all so that every bite delivers something far greater than the sum of its parts.

Whether stuffed with meat, eggs, cheese, or vegetables, the sandwich transcends borders, uniting cultures, peoples, and cuisines. Take, for example, Cuba’s medianoche sandwich with roast pork, ham, and Swiss cheese on a sweet egg loaf, and Vietnam’s banh mi with Chinese-style barbecue pork, fresh cucumbers, and mayo on French bread.The South’s pimento cheese, and Turkey’s kumru, a briny grilled cheese with sucuk sausage, spicy pickles, and tomatoes on a sesame roll. The world’s best sandwiches have much in common.

Chief among their shared traits? Ease. Even the most “gourmet” sandwiches remain grab-and-go food, and infinitely adaptable. Need a few new ideas for sandwiches? We’ve sliced our list of favorites down to the 50 essential sandwich recipes to try now. Feel free to follow the rules, or break them as your preference, pocketbook, and pantry allow. Your lunch (and breakfast) game will never be the same.

An oyster loaf served unadorned, the way Joe Casamento insisted it should be. Get the recipe for Casamento’s Fried Oyster Loaf Sandwich »
Pickled daikon and carrots, thinly sliced cucumbers and jalapeños, and fresh cilantro add crunch and color to this iconic sandwich.

Beet Smorrebrod

Pretty in pink beet smørrebrød

Waffle Sandwiches with Cecina, Avocado, and Arugula

Gooey cheese, salty cured meat, and avocado are pressed between crispy waffles at a modern café in Paris. Get the recipe for Waffle Sandwiches with Cecina, Avocado, and Arugula »

Roast Chicken Pan Bagnat with Olive Tapenade and Goat Cheese

This hearty twist on the classic Provençal pressed sandwich pan bagnat combines black olive tapenade, goat cheese, roasted chicken, and thinly sliced vegetables. Make it at least two to three hours before you plan to serve it to really let the flavors marry. Get the recipe for Roast Chicken Pan Bagnat with Olive Tapenade and Goat Cheese »
A riot of colors and flavors, this banh mi pairs smoky grilled chicken with creamy, cooling avocado.

Smørrebrød of Eggs, Shrimp, and Dill

Shrimp, Egg, and Dill Smørrebrød »
Cherry tomatoes are tossed with canned sardines here, along with fresh oregano, olives, capers, and a red wine vinaigrette. The whole thing is layered with thin slices of heirloom tomato between slabs of focaccia.
Thin strips of cucumber and hand-torn leaves of fresh basil are the perfect foils for smoky-sweet grilled pork in these hearty sandwiches.

New Jersey Pork Roll Meatball Sub

Two great New Jersey tastes that taste great together: juicy meatballs fortified with New Jersey pork roll (a.k.a. Taylor ham). Get the recipe for New Jersey Pork Roll Meatball Sub »
Salmon Gravlax, Apple, and Crispy Kale Smørrebrød »

Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich with Horseradish Cream and Radicchio

This sandwich is Mile End Deli’s Eli Sussman’s fun take on the fried chicken classic; the horseradish cream offsets the bitterness of the radicchio and the richness of the schnitzel nicely. Get the recipe for Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich with Horseradish Cream and Radicchio »

Open-Faced Rye, Poached Red Snapper, Pickled Radish, and Salsa Verde Sandwich

Open Faced Rye, Poached Red Snapper, Pickled Radish, and Salsa Verde Sandwich, Tasmania

Roman Braised Beef with Tomato and Onion (Picchiapò)

Beloved throughout modern trattorias and osterias in Rome, this simple, rustic dish of shredded beef braised in tomatoes and onions make a great stew and a fantastic sandwich filling. Get the recipe for Roman Braised Beef with Tomato and Onion (Picchiapò) »

Calf’s Liver, Caramelized Onion, and Tomato Sandwiches

In this classic Roman sandwich, thin strips of calf’s liver are seared, then mixed with sweet caramelized onions and tomatoes and piled on toasted ciabatta rolls. Get the ready for Calf’s Liver, Caramelized Onion, and Tomato Sandwiches »

Burrata and Marinated Cherry Tomato Sandwiches

Burrata and Marinated Cherry Tomato Sandwiches

Porchetta Sandwiches with Marinated Onions and Salsa Verde

Get the recipe for Porchetta Sandwiches with Marinated Onions and Salsa Verde »

Pecorino, Parsley, and Anchovy Sandwiches

Get the recipe for Pecorino, Parsley, and Anchovy Sandwiches »

Classic Louisville Hot Brown Sandwich

Classic Louisville Hot Brown Sandwich

The Schimmel Reuben Sandwich

Pressing down on this sandwich with a spatula while it toasts in the pan is the key to achieving the outer crispness and well-melted cheese that you want in a Reuben. Pile the meat on generously but not more than an inch or two thick or else the interior won’t get sufficiently warmed. Get the recipe for The Schimmel Reuben Sandwich »

South African Grilled Cheese (Braaibroodjie)

Braaibroodjie, grilled cheese with sweet and sour chutney.

The Ultimate Fried Chicken Sandwich

Raegan Steinberg, co-owner of Arthur’s Nosh Bar in Montreal’s hip Saint-Henri neighborhood, calls her partner chef Alex Cohen an “everything and the kitchen sink kind of cook.” Called the McArthur Sandwich, this high-piled schnitzel-filled creation adapted from the restaurant is the perfect example of his genius. Pounded and breaded chicken is topped with sweet honey, salty dill pickles, and vinegar-y iceberg slaw, then served upon crispy challah toast. The secret to the crunchy yet hearty schnitzel breading: instant mashed potato flakes mixed into the breadcrumbs. Get the recipe for The Ultimate Fried Chicken Sandwich »

Turkish Grilled Cheese (Kumru)

This specialty of Çesme, a small beach town in Turkey, is one of the world’s great grilled cheese sandwiches, in which the cheese itself is grilled before getting slipped into toasted bread with raw tomato and optional (but highly recommended) toppings of griddled sausage and pickled cucumbers and chiles. Get the recipe for Turkish Grilled Cheese »

Salvadoran Turkey Sandwich (Panes con Pavo)

Salvadoran Turkey Sandwich (Panes con Pavo)

Venetian Fried Mozzarella Sandwiches

These crisp mini-sandwiches are deep-fried and filled with molten cheese. Get the recipe for Fried Mozzarella Sandwiches »

Braised Brisket Burgers with Pimento Cheese

Brisket is braised in stout, bourbon, and soy sauce in these spicy pimento cheese-topped sliders from Edward Lee, executive chef at 610 Magnolia in Louisville, KY. Get the recipe for Braised Brisket Burgers with Pimento Cheese »

Cuban Medianoche Sandwich

With roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, and pickles, it’s almost identical to a Cuban sandwich, save for the bread, a sweet egg load that’s similar to challah. Get the recipe for Cuban Medianoche Sandwich »

Smoked Gouda and Apple Butter Sandwich

This combination is autumn on a slice of bread: sourdough spread with rich apple butter, topped with slices of mild smoked gouda and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. Get the recipe for Smoked Gouda and Apple Butter Sandwich »

Trout “Reuben”

Chef Steven Brown uses pumpernickel rolls for this “punk rock sandwich with a $25 cleaning bill;” but you could use any roll you like. Get the recipe for Trout “Reuben” »

Softshell Crab Sandwich with Slaw

A crisp collard slaw and tangy tartar and cocktail sauces top pan-fried softshell crabs in this classic sandwich. Get the recipe for Softshell Crab Sandwich with Slaw »

Chivito (Uruguayan Cheesesteak) Sandwich

Chivito sandwich

Pork Roll Breakfast Sandwich

Pork Roll Breakfast Sandwich

Alabama-Style Chicken Sandwiches with White Sauce

These hickory-smoked chicken sandwiches are served with a tangy, mayonnaise-based white sauce. Get the recipe for Alabama-Style Chicken Sandwiches with White Sauce »

Pork Schnitzel Sandwich

Pork Schnitzel Sandwich

Bel-Air Club Sandwich

Slathered with herb aïoli and enriched with a pan-fried egg and Gruyère cheese, this turkey and ham club is a decadent version of the diner staple. Get the recipe for Bel-Air Club Sandwich »

Roast Beef Sandwich with Walnut Romesco

Walnut romanesco brings out the beefiness in this sandwich.

Pimento Cheese Sandwich with Homemade Pickles

Pimento Cheese Sandwich with Homemade Pickles

Fried Oyster Po’Boys with Kale and Tartar Sauce

Get the recipe for Fried Oyster Po’Boys with Kale and Tartar Sauce »

Tomato Sandwich

This simple sandwich is a good way to use ripe summer tomatoes. Get the recipe for Tomato Sandwich »

Radish and Butter Sandwich

It’s très French to pair crisp, spicy radishes with softened, salted butter; a thin-sliced baguette is the perfect vehicle. Get the recipe for Radish and Butter Sandwich »

Ricotta and Honey Sandwich

A dollop of ricotta on earthy-sweet oat bread is delicious; add a drizzle of sourwood honey and it’s elevated to the exquisite. Get the recipe for Ricotta and Honey Sandwich »

Provençal Tuna Sandwich (Pan Bagnat)

This sandwich is effectively a salade niçoise on crusty bread. Get the recipe for Provençal Tuna Sandwich (Pan Bagnat) »

Pork Belly Gyro

By starting with a low cooking temperature and then switching to a high one, this pork belly with perfect texture. Get the recipe for Pork Belly Gyro »

Monte Cristo

This beautiful monster is a double-decker of Swiss cheese, ham, and chicken or turkey, battered, fried, and dusted with confectioners’ sugar, served with jelly on the side. Get the recipe for Monte Cristo »

Roasted Sweet Potato Sandwich with Rajas Salsa

Meaty sweet potatoes serve as the base for this vegetarian sandwich. Get the recipe for Roasted Sweet Potato Sandwich with Rajas Salsa »

Lexington Pulled Pork

In Lexington, North Carolina, pork shoulder is chopped and served with a tart tomato-based sauce. Get the recipe for Lexington Pulled Pork »

Lemon-Pepper Tuna Sandwich

Peppery arugula and zesty red onion are an ideal garnish for this flavorful, light, lemon-pepper tuna salad. Get the recipe for Lemon-Pepper Tuna Sandwich »

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich

The chicken in this sandwich gets dredged once in buttermilk and twice in flour, which ensures a crisp coating.

Fennel-Orange Tuna Sandwich

Tuna salad gets a sophisticated makeover with crème fraîche and fennel brightened by both orange zest and juice. Get the recipe for Fennel-Orange Tuna Sandwich »

Lemon-Caper Tuna Sandwich

This briny, tangy sandwich benefits from sitting awhile after assembly. The oils from the tapenade will seep into the bread, making it moist but not soggy, and the sharp flavors of pickled fennel, capers, and olives will mellow pleasantly. Get the recipe for Lemon-Caper Tuna Sandwich »