Staying at home all the time and not being allowed to go outside except for essential activities such as doing grocery shopping comes with many challenges, and one of them is how to stay away from the fridge. Whether you are hungry or just bored, the result if often the same — you make yourself a snack. Oftentimes, that snack is a sandwich.
According to one study, we consume as many as 300 million of them a day — a remarkable number, considering that the U.S. population is only about 330 million. We eat them for lunch, sometimes for dinner, frequently for breakfast. (This is the best breakfast sandwich in every state.)
We eat sandwiches cold and hot, filled with meat, seafood, cheese, and more. Some are borrowed from other cultures, such as Vietnam’s bánh mì, or at least inspired by them, like the Cuban or the Italian beef. Some are all-American, like peanut butter and jelly.
According to the international research data and analytics firm YouGov, the most popular sandwich in America last year was the grilled cheese, with some 79% of survey respondents reporting that they “somewhat like” or “really like” it. (A mere 69% felt the same about the BLT, and only 48% favored the Reuben.) These are 20 of America’s most popular sandwiches.
The nice thing about sandwiches is that, unlike many other kinds of food, they’re usually easy to make if you have the right ingredients. You probably have everything you need for some of them, like PB&J or grilled cheese, in the house right now. Others might require a little targeted grocery shopping, but with only a few exceptions, they’re just standard ingredients arranged between two pieces of bread or in a roll.
What some people might consider the two most popular American sandwiches of all, incidentally — the hot dog and the hamburger — weren’t considered by that YouGov survey, perhaps for good reason: Despite the fact that they would seem to fit the basic definition of a sandwich, many people seem to believe that they belong in a category of their own. The matter has even inspired a “Change My View” Reddit thread headed “Hotdogs and hamburgers are not sandwiches.”
24/7 Tempo has assembled a list of two dozen sandwiches that have become truly iconic in America — childhood favorites, regional specialties, diner essentials, and more — adding up to a vivid, flavorful picture of our sandwich-eating habits. You’ll be able to order a lot of them in for home delivery right now if you want to, but you can also make most of them yourself.