Special Report

America's Most Iconic Sandwiches

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1. Club

A staple of hotel room-service menus the world over, the club sandwich is a triple-decker that’s traditionally made with three layers of white toast stacked with bacon, lettuce, tomato, and turkey, with mayo as a condiment. Some variations will add on cheese or egg or a different deli meat like ham or roast beef, but in general the structure remains the same. Like most sandwiches, its origin remains up for debate, but most agree that it was invented in the 1880s at New York City’s Union Club.

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2. BLT

The best sandwiches are a perfect alchemy of ingredients, with the end result being better than the sum of its parts. The BLT is the perfect example: it’s just bacon, lettuce, and tomato (and sometimes a schmear of mayo) on toast, but it’s somehow also one of the most delicious foods known to man. This is one sandwich where the quality of the ingredients really matters: If you have access to a fresh ripe summer tomato, crisp lettuce, and smoky artisan bacon, this is the sandwich for you.

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3. Grilled cheese

Few things taste like childhood more than a crisp grilled cheese sandwich, oozing melty American cheese. It’s simple and perfect, and open to serious interpretation. Whether you’re a purist who prefers to keep it classic with white bread, Kraft singles, and butter or like to get creative with artisanal cheeses and cheffy add-ins (truffle oil, anyone?), you really can’t go wrong.

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4. Breakfast sandwich

Ah, the breakfast sandwich. A New York City staple, it’s usually loaded with bacon, egg, and cheese, typically on a kaiser roll or bagel, but the meat option leaves plenty of room for creativity (ham and breakfast sausage are popular additions). There are also plenty of regional variations, like Taylor ham (also called pork roll) in New Jersey, scrapple in the Mid-Atlantic, and goetta in the Cincinnati area. The pro move? Add in a crisp hash brown.

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5. Lox and cream cheese on a bagel

Another NYC staple, a bagel with lox and cream cheese, with a cup of coffee on the side, is the perfect way to start your day (or to chase away a hangover). It’s usually eaten open-faced, but can easily be closed up to eat on the go. Most bagel shops allow you to customize yours with various cream cheese flavors, but we like to keep it “plain” and just kick it up with some red onion and capers.

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