50 States of Breakfast Sandwiches
Whether you're craving fried chicken on buttermilk biscuits or buttery brioche buns stuffed with bacon, eggs and cheese, these are America's best breakfasts between bread.
Photo By: Joseph Martori II
Photo By: Jason Little Photography
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Zingerman's Delicatessen in Ann Arbor, Michigan
This Ann Arbor institution is a bakery, a creamery, a coffeehouse, a candy manufactory and the source of a popular national food catalogue. But above all else, Zingerman's is and always will be known as a destination for excellent Jewish deli fare. Just ask the Ann Arbor locals who have enjoyed the fresh sesame bagels since the early 1980s. Founded by longtime restaurant professionals Paul Saginaw and Ari Weinzweig, Zingerman's has grown into a gourmet food empire with several divisions across the state of Michigan. Still, the deli holds claim over its original site at the intersection of Detroit and Kingsley. According to Weinzweig, "The parking is still bad, the location [is] still hard to find, but the neighborhood is now considered a great place to live." And, as loyal customers will tell you, Renee's Kitchen Magic is still a great sandwich to order up in the morning. It stars a glorious trio of applewood-smoked bacon, two eggs and Vermont cheddar on one of Zingerman's signature sesame bagels.
Even Stevens Sandwiches in Salt Lake City, Utah
During its first six months of operation, this café with a conscience donated more than 30,000 sandwiches to local people in need. Today, that number exceeds 1 million. Serial entrepreneur and Even Stevens founder Steve Down wanted to inject the local food scene with his pay-it-forward ethos. So, for every item sold at Even Stevens, a sandwich is donated to a local hungry person. Although it was hard to find investors willing to commit to the risky business model at first, the ever-growing throng of eager fans quickly convinced doubters. But enough about conscious capitalism. We're here to talk about breakfast, and the Even Stevens' breakfast sandwich is the best in the area. This maple-glazed sammy comes with two eggs, cheddar and a choice of bacon, ham, sausage, pork belly or avocado on a sweet Hawaiian bun. (Get the pork belly.)
Eggslut in Los Angeles, California
Is it the bold name that attracts meteoric crowds on weekday mornings? The locally made breads delivered fresh daily? Or is it simply the 'grammable allure of a golden, runny yolk cascading down a hillside of melted Cheddar, griddled bacon and a shiny brioche bun? Eggslut masters all of the above, compelling fans to endure two-hour lines for OG Grand Central food stall's hip take on the basic breakfast sandwich formula. With four locations in Southern California and one in Las Vegas, the Eggslut empire is rising. Try the Fairfax, a classic bacon, egg and cheese, or a burger, topped with an over-medium egg.
Mildred’s Coffeehouse in Kansas City, Missouri
There are so many ways a well-intentioned breakfast sandwich can go wrong — improperly timed eggs, unbalanced ratios, sloppy composition. But the sammies at Mildred’s Coffeehouse are basically flawless. Their secret? They flash steam their eggs. Yes, Mildred’s has not one but two espresso machines—one for coffee of course, and a second machine in the kitchen solely for steaming eggs. There’s no butter or oil involved. In fact, the special process requires no additional fat whatsoever. The end result is feather-light and fluffy scrambled eggs that are ideal in a sandwich. The Standard Breakfast Sandwich, known to many as the ultimate breakfast sandwich in Kansas City, is the perfect delivery vessel. The steamed eggs join forces with bacon, American Swiss and pepper-dijon mayo on a choice of wheat, sourdough, marble rye, jalapeno bread or ciabatta.
BernBaum's in Fargo, North Dakota
Hidden inside a mid-century antique furniture shop, this Scandinavian-Jewish fusion bagel concept brings a taste of old New York to Fargo, North Dakota. Modeled after the cozy lunch counters of NYC's Lower East Side, BernBaum's abides by the New York bagel method, too: They start their sourdough during the day, shape it in the evening and let it cool and ferment overnight. The next morning, the bagels are boiled, baked and served fresh with toppings such as Icelandic lox, pickled onions, fennel, cucumber, capers and chevre cream cheese. The initial idea for the cafe began to germinate when husband-and-wife team Brett Bernath and Andrea Baumgardner realized they weren't utilizing all of the space that their furniture shop afforded. Both had previous food industry work experience, so they mashed up their surnames and BernBaum's was born. Another similarity to New York's bagel shop culture: BernBaum's seats just 17, so be prepared to take yours to go.
Lake Zoar Drive-In in Monroe, Connecticut
Typically, it's the award-winning burgers and chili dogs that attract diners to this clandestine roadside shack on one of Connecticut's largest lakes. But a bold-named sandwich called the Hangover Buster might be locals' sleeper favorite. Constructed using four slices of bacon, two eggs, two slices of cheese and a hash brown patty, the Buster truly is a hero on a hard roll for anyone trying to get through a rough morning. For the uninitiated, this iconic drive-in can be difficult to find, but it's definitely worth a detour. It's the kind of quintessential New England establishment where you order at the counter — maybe you debate whether to tack on one of the super-thick milkshakes — before savoring that hefty bacon, egg and cheese right on the hood of your car.
Cahawba House in Montgomery, Alabama
This downtown Montgomery restaurant only opened in 2017, but it's already gotten a reputation for superlative Southern fare, including a biscuit bar at breakfast. Custom creations start with Cahawba's fluffy $1 biscuits. From there, diners can pile on all sorts of fillings, like scrambled eggs, fried green tomato, sausage gravy, pimento cheese, and meat options such as sausage, bacon or a boneless fried chicken breast. Make it a real feast and pair your sandwich with a side of the cinnamon apple fries.
Callie's Hot Little Biscuit in Charleston, South Carolina
Anyone living in or around Charleston will tell you there's just one place to go for a quintessential Southern breakfast sandwich: Callie's. Owner and creator Carrie Money and her team of expert biscuit bakers are responsible for churning out a million of their signature cream cheese-laced biscuits each year by hand. The single-concept joint offers its biscuits with essential Southern breakfast toppings, like country ham, black-pepper bacon and Carolina honey. Not up to the task of creating your own? Don't worry: Carrie has you covered with one of her own creations, sausage, egg and pimento cheese on a biscuit. And, if you happen to miss standard breakfast hours, don't fret. Callie's stays open until 2 p.m. on the weekdays; the shop even does late-night service on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m.
Waffle Champion in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
What could a waffle joint possibly know about breakfast sandwiches? Quite a bit, at least at OKC's Waffle Champion, which wraps bacon, eggs and cheese in hot, buttery waffles for a new spin on the savory-meets-sweet breakfast concept. Diners are given a choice between a classic buttermilk waffle breakfast wraps and a sweeter Belgian-style option, which is used in the restaurant's open-faced creations. Fillings run the gamut from fried buttermilk chicken tenders with crispy leeks and Tabasco honey to your standard egg scramble with bacon and cheese. For a one-of-a-kind breakfast experience, go for the Monte Cristo. It's smoked ham, Gruyere and strawberry-anise compote served between two of the classic buttermilk waffles.
Stanley Baking Co. in Stanley, Idaho
Open from mid-May through October, this little log cabin on Idaho’s Salmon River has churned out fresh breads and baked goods since 2000 to locals and tourists who head to the idyllic space between the White Cloud and Sawtooth Mountains. For fuel before a hike, try the Crag Sandwich, a ciabatta roll packed with egg, your choice of meat and cheese, and grab some pastries, like an almond bear claw or pecan sticky bun, for the trail.
BEC in New York, New York
New York City may be best-known to out-of-towners for its dollar slices and dirty water dogs. However, one of the most popular locally beloved staples is the bacon, egg and cheese on a roll. It’s not an exaggeration to say that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of excellent BEC found at bodegas and delis throughout the city, whipped up in under a minute. For a grand take on the morning mainstay, head to the fittingly labeled BEC. The Chelsea fast-casual joint offers made-to-order organic egg sandwiches accented with locally sourced meat and dairy. The BEC Classic combines two over-easy eggs with applewood-smoked bacon and New York sharp cheddar on a bacon- and cheese-crusted brioche bun.
Zookz in Phoenix, Arizona
With five unique, stuffed-to-the-brim breakfast sandwiches all clocking in under $6, Zookz has become a breakfast mainstay in downtown Phoenix. The price-to-portion ratio isn’t the only thing to marvel at: The sandwiches have a rather unique aesthetic. Each sandwich is sealed and cooked, creating a crispy bread pocket loaded with eggs — typically poached, for maximal oozing — along with hearty breakfast meat, zingy sauces and melted cheese. They’re inspired by the sandwiches that owner Carole Meyer’s grandmother would make using what Meyer calls "a crude stove-top sandwich cooking device." After 18 months of trial and error, Meyer succeeded in re-engineering the nostalgic, creative concoction.
Luke in New Orleans, Louisiana
Locals and visitors alike flock to this Creole-inspired brasserie located on world-famous St. Charles Avenue, just steps from the French Quarter, for the lively atmosphere and menu of comforting Southern breakfast and brunch fare. Sandwich lovers can dive into the classic Boudin Benedict on an English muffin, or the BLTAE - double-smoked bacon, arugula, avocado, tomato and sunny side up eggs on toasted sourdough. The Crispy Chicken Biscuit, topped with bread and butter pickles and Tabasco honey, with a side of grits, is the regulars' clear favorite.
Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen in Chapel Hill, North Carolina
You don't even need to leave your car to procure the biggest, fluffiest biscuits North Carolina has to offer. This award-winning drive-through Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen has two locations, in Louisburg and Chapel Hill. Owner Dave Allen credits his grandmother for the biscuit recipe. According to Allen, "Her biscuits helped give her the stamina to give birth to 17 children and live to almost 100." Take that, kale. So, what's the best thing to order with them? Hands down, the fried chicken breast with bacon, eggs and cheese. Here's a pro tip: Order a side of hash browns, slip it out of its paper pouch and slide it right in there between the bacon and the top biscuit for an extra element of crunch.
Persephone Bakery in Jackson, Wyoming
Kevin and Ali Cohane, the husband-and-wife team behind Persephone Bakery in Jackson have cultivated a dedicated following of breakfast aficionados with their picture-perfect baked goods. Every morning, there’s a regular queue lined up to score specialty coffee drinks and baked goods, like their locally famous chocolate chip-walnut cookies with sea salt. Don’t leave Cowboy Country without trying the egg sandwich, either. It’s two organic eggs, Gruyere, a choice of ham or bacon and dijon aioli on a traditional French croissant prepared with 100% European butter — the closest you’ll get to France in Wyoming. For a taste of the housemade levain, order the Croque Madame, which piles Gruyere, ham, mornay sauce and a sunny egg on top of the tangy sourdough.
Mike & Patty's in Boston, Massachusetts
It didn’t take long once Mike and Patty opened their namesake sandwich shop — on a quiet corner in Boston’s Bay Village — for it to become an instant neighborhood fixture. Claustrophobes, take note: The storefront is tiny, with hardly enough room to turn around during the breakfast and lunch rushes. But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in genius menu creations between bread. The Fancy flies off the griddle at high speed every morning. It’s easy to see why: Eggs and thick-cut smoky bacon meet creamy avocado, sharp cheddar and red onion, all on slightly sweet multigrain bread with a spread of house mayo. The Banana Og X Fluff #2, a sweet creation featuring bruléed banana, Nutella and marshmallow fluff on buttered brioche, is the best morning sugar rush.
Buffalo & Bergen in Washington, D.C.
This retro brunch spot in Washington's Union Market specializes in handcrafted sodas, classic egg creams and ice cream floats, but the bagel breakfast sandwiches deserve a special shout out. Inspired by the classic New York soda shops of yesteryear, Buffalo & Bergen churns out bagels with that crusty-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside texture that’s tough to find outside the Big Apple. We’re partial to the In Your FACE!, a mighty flavor combo consisting of fresh mozzarella, hot soppressata, pesto and a sunny-side-up egg, all brought together by the loving embrace of a housemade bagel. While you’re at it, treat yourself to a handcrafted soda made with one of 16 different flavored syrups, all made in-house. Nursing a hangover? No problem: You can chase it away by adding booze to any of their soda fountain creations.
Miss Shirley's Cafe in Baltimore, Maryland
Miss Shirley's Cafe is a culinary institution. Crowds flock here for the decadent eats that reflect the Southern-inspired vision of late owner Eddie Dopkin, and are upheld by Eddie's son, David. The Southern Slammer Sandwich, a house favorite, features fried green tomato, applewood-smoked bacon, mashed avocado, cheddar and a fried egg piled on pumpernickel bread. Choose between stone-ground grits with diced bacon or shredded hash browns for your side. (Get the grits.) So, you've heard all about Maryland's unparalleled crab and want to see what the hype is about? Try the Crab Happy Chesapeake Chicken Sammy. A jumbo English muffin unites sweet lump Chesapeake crab cakes and hearty chicken sausage from nearby Logan's Sausage Company, along with a fried egg, cheddar, fried pickles and tomato.
Culprit Cafe in Omaha, Nebraska
The first person who built a breakfast sandwich using cornbread was a genius. Though Culprit might not have been the first (Who can really be sure?), the fruits of this discovery are on full display at the quaint Omaha cafe. Exhibit A: The Egg White Sandwich. A far cry from diet food, silky egg whites are drenched in Mornay sauce and stuffed between two slices of blue cornbread, along with fresh dill and greens. The Whole Egg Sandwich - frittata, smoked fontina and grilled ham or bacon on brioche - is another customer favorite. Owner Luke Mabie handles the bakery and all things sweet; he's also the mastermind behind Culprit's blue cornbread. After a few years of operation, Mabie decided to bring in Chef Ben Jordan, formerly of Le Bouillon, to manage the savory side of things, launching Culprit Cafe from a quiet coffee hub to a full-blown brunch destination.
Folk Art in Atlanta, Georgia
Known for its comorting Southern favorites like chicken and waffles, eggs any style and biscuits loaded with housemade jelly, this all-day diner is obligatory eating when visiting The A. Unsurprisingly to Southerners, the jumbo biscuits star prominently in many of Folk Art’s best breakfast sandwiches. Take, for instance, the Folk Southern Fried: It’s fried chicken, a fried egg and sausage gravy piled onto one of those big old griddled biscuits. Not up to the task of taking down a fried chicken sandwich first thing in the morning? Go with the slightly tamer turkey sausage, egg and cheese on a biscuit, asiago bagel or English muffin.
University Library Cafe in Des Moines, Iowa
Under new management since 2012, this gem has been a Drake neighborhood institution for decades. Known for its eclectic mix of pub grub, including award-winning nachos, University Library Café also has 40 beers on tap, including hard-to-find craft beers and Iowa microbrews. Customer-acclaimed breakfast offerings include Midwestern bacon-and-eggs staples like the Texas Melt — bacon, eggs and cheese on Texas toast served with a side of country potatoes. Looking for something completely different? Try the Hummus Melt. It features fried egg, havarti cheese and hummus from Des Moines’ own The Grateful Chef, served on Texas toast with a side of country potatoes.
Blue Dog Bakery and Cafe in Louisville, Kentucky
Bread is anything but just a vessel at this Louisville bakery. Fresh-baked loaves attract carb connoisseurs from near and far. Owners Kit Garrett and Bob Hancock recently ventured into the world of whole-animal butchery at their new butcher shop, Red Hog. These two worlds collide on Blue Dog Cafe’s menu, where perfectly balanced creations like the free-range fried egg, bacon and avocado sandwich remind diners of what breakfast can and should be. For a creation that’s rustic in its simplicity yet sophisticated in its ingredients, try the poached eggs on levain with serrano ham, spinach and Parmesan.
Hot Suppa in Portland, Maine
Hot Suppa is the final expression of brothers Moses and Alec Sabina’s epic Southern food tour. In 2004, the Sabinas embarked on a culinary excursion, eating their way through America’s finest diners, barbecue fests, soul food joints and fish fries. Their goal was "to learn how a good neighborhood restaurant becomes a food institution; the type of place that a friend tells a friend not to miss." Since 2006, they’ve served American classics inspired by their best road trip eats, using local ingredients wherever possible. This is true even for the restaurant’s humble (but mouthwatering) breakfast sandwiches. Warm up with the Corned Beef Egg Sandwich, an over-medium egg, gruyere, pickled red onion and spicy brown mustard on marble rye. Or, roll up your sleeves for the Pulled Pork Egg Sandwich on sourdough, complete with smoked cheddar and South Carolina barbecue sauce.
Ten Sandwiches in Westerly, Rhode Island
Supporting other Rhode Island businesses is a huge priority for this beachy cafe, which sources all of its ingredients from local purveyors. Plan a visit for gourmet coffee drinks, inventive cocktails and an impressive raw bar. Locals will tell you that the eponymous 10 sandwiches are the biggest reason to become a regular. Order the number three off the breakfast sandwich menu; it’s "soupy" — local-speak for soppressata — and prosciutto with a farm egg, fresh mozzarella, basil and red onion on ciabatta. The shop is just a stone’s throw from Watch Hill Cove, meaning there’s no better place to stop for a breakfast sammy to tuck in your picnic basket before a long day of soaking up the sun.
Phillips Avenue Diner in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
There's something for everyone at this vintage diner just steps from Big Sioux River. The omelets, the waffles and the classic eggs Benedict are all top-notch. The A.M. Croissant Sandwich, however, offers up a certain Paris-meets-Midwest charm that puts it at the tippy-top of Phillips Avenue's greatest-hits list. Bacon, spinach and two over-hard eggs are served on a flaky croissant with a generous swipe of sriracha-ranch dressing. If you tend to like "all-American" ingredients in your morning meal, go for the straightforwardly titled Breakfast Sandwich. It's two hard-fried eggs, American cheese and a choice of applewood bacon, sausage patty or ham on grilled sourdough bread.
Handy's Lunch in Burlington, Vermont
This third-generation Burlington icon is famed for its Texas dogs topped with fiery beef chili, but the breakfast sandwiches are something of a local legend as well. Residents of the Green Mountain State have been known to wax poetic when naming the virtues of the $4.50 McHandy, a no-fuss egg and cheese on a twice-toasted English muffin with a choice of bacon, ham or sausage. Inspired by the formidable appetite of a former UVM student and regular customer, The Super G is a real triple threat. Composed of ham, bacon and sausage, this hefty sandwich piles all that meat plus two eggs and white American cheese onto a round roll from neighboring bakery Koffee Kup. Owner Earl Handy always stabs a fork through the center before delivering The Super G to any of his customer. "If you don't," he explains, "it’s gonna fall apart."
Icehouse in Minneapolis, Minnesota
This two-story fixture is located in what was originally the loading dock to the old Minneapolis Cedar Lake Ice & Fuel Co., where more than 75,000 tons of ice were harvested each year and shipped as far away as St. Louis. The building has had many iterations since then, including the current restaurant, bar and live music venue. Thanks to a never-ending rotation of local artists and bands, the Icehouse is firmly cemented as a late-night destination for Minneapolitans, but the weekend brunch offerings should not be overlooked. The P&E Sandwich, featuring a fried egg and locally adored pastrami from nearby B'Wiched, gets a fiery kick from roasted chiles; milder palates should go for the Loaded Biscuit.
La Sandwicherie in Miami Beach, Florida
Since 1988, this quick-serve sandwich shop has fueled South Beach partygoers with French bread from Le Chic Bakery and all kinds of Eurocentric toppings like Camembert and saucisson. In fact, the popularity of these French-influenced creations led to the opening of a second shop amid the glittering business towers and luxury condos of Miami’s financial district in 2011. When breakfast service starts at 7 a.m., locals converge — possibly straight from nearby nightclubs — for flaky croissant sandwiches filled with egg and melted mozzarella. The hot croques, either with roast beef or smoked salmon, are excellent, too.
Husk in Nashville, Tennessee
True to the Southern culinary ethos that launched the original Charleston location of Husk to super stardom, the Tennessee sister restaurant attracts customers with its low-country classics like chicken-fried steak and eggs smothered in white gravy. Serving only the freshest fare from regional producers, the restaurant changes its menu almost daily. But you can almost always count on some variation of a breakfast sandwich, whenever you stop by. Past offerings have included a fried soft-shell crab Monte Cristo and a build-your-own-breakfast-sandwich platter featuring black-pepper biscuits, dijonnaise, pickles and 24-month-aged country ham.
MTO Cafe Downtown in Las Vegas, Nevada
Located just a poker chip’s throw from the Burlesque Hall of Fame, this Arts District gem pays homage to Sin City’s most-notorious performer with one zany breakfast creation. The Fat Elvis offers up all of The King’s favorite sandwich ingredients — bacon, bananas and peanut butter — with the addition of Nutella and fresh strawberries. The bread? Two slabs of griddled French toast. For anyone skeptical of this incredible flavor bomb, try the equally satisfying B.L.T.A.E. It has all of the standard B.L.T. components, plus avocado, a sunny-side-up egg, basil pesto and mayo on grilled brioche.
Allenwood General Store in Allenwood, New Jersey
Any native New Jerseyan will tell you that pork roll, also known as Taylor ham, is one of the best bites the Garden State has to offer — second only to its pizza, of course. Made with a mix of salt, spices, preservatives and a sugar cure, the processed pork is smoked, then packaged; you'll find it listed on diner menus, alongside bacon, ham and sausage. Though it's nearly ubiquitous, the version sold out of Allenwood General Store in tiny Allenwood, New Jersey is worth a journey. The good folks behind the counter might have gotten a little carried away when creating the P&L Custom, a mountain of pork roll, egg, cheese, sausage and bacon on a hard roll. If that's too much for you, stick with just a basic pork roll, egg and cheese sandwich.
Café Lush in Albuquerque, New Mexico
This husband-and-wife-owned American café is only open for breakfast and lunch, but it's a local favorite, especially on warm days, when locals grab a spot on the patio to eat the Croissant Sandwich. Choose from ham, bacon or the homemade green chile turkey sausage, with eggs, cheese and tomatoes on a flaky croissant.
Eckerlin Meats in Cincinnati, Ohio
If you’re ever in Cincinnati, you’ve absolutely gotta try the goetta. "The what," you say? The goetta — a German meat-and-grain sausage that’s been considered a Cincy delicacy since the first German immigrants brought it upon arrival almost 200 years ago. It’s primarily composed of pork, beef, oatmeal, onions and spices formed into a loaf and cooked slowly. Tucked inside of Findlay Market, trusted local meat shop Eckerlin Meats serves a $3.50 goetta, egg and cheese on a bun at the butcher counter. Fourth-generation owner Bob Lillis makes "Eckerlin's Best Goetta" himself every day from a family recipe over 100 years old. The texture, the subtle spice and heft behind this classic German sausage produces a truly one-of-a-kind breakfast sandwich experience that should not be missed.http://eckerlinmeats.com
Doo-Dah Diner in Wichita, Kansas
Bologna may conjure images of school cafeterias. However, the Fried Bologna and Egg breakfast sandwich at the unpretentious Doo-Dah Diner is cause for resurrecting the processed deli meat. The cooks envelop the thick, crispy slab of bologna in runny fried egg, gooey Cheddar and toasted wheat berry bread. It's helped Doo Dah gain such a loyal following, locals have voted it Wichita's Best Breakfast three years in a row.
Drip Cafe in Hockessin, Delaware
By working with local farmers who favor sustainable agricultural practices, Drip Cafe is on a mission to foster a stronger link between the community and the sprawling farmland surrounding Hockessin. Customers can feel good knowing the ingredients on their breakfast sandwich are hyper-fresh and responsibly sourced. The Cali, a nod to organic-obsessed West Coasters, features a fried egg, mozzarella, avocado, arugula and basil aioli on sourdough toast. Craving something meatier? You need the Brunch Burger, an eight-ounce beef patty served on grilled sourdough along with smoked bacon, fried onions, sliced tomato, green chiles, smoked gouda and an over-medium egg.
Fried Egg I'm In Love in Portland, Oregon
Those with special diets need not fear exclusion when visiting this quirky food truck: All sandwiches can be made vegetarian or gluten-free. (This is Portland we're talking about here.) Owner Jace Krause was long revered by friends and family for his killer fried egg sandwiches. It was only a matter of time before he set out to share his eggy, cheesy talent with the world. The Yolko Ono, a sandwich consisting of fried egg, homemade pesto and Parmesan, is the signature dish. Starved? Upgrade to the Yolko Zeppelin, which adds double egg and double sausage. All sandwiches are served on toasted sourdough from Portland French Bakery. The eggs, sourced from nearby farms, are cooked over-medium as a rule and sprinkled with a special, secret spice blend dubbed Magic Egg Dust.
Love Handle in Indianapolis, Indiana
At Love Handle, diners know to expect the unexpected. The menu at this no-frills mom-and-pop Indy sandwich shop explores uncommon ingredients in fantastic pairings. Tendons, tongue, belly and heart are all fair game for Chef Chris Benedyk, who has spent a large part of his career transforming these overlooked cuts of meat into sophisticated creations. The menu changes frequently, but recent breakfast sandwich options have included a pulled chicken hot brown with egg, and a biscuit slider with pork belly and roasted beet pimento cheese.
Cateye Cafe in Bozeman, Montana
If your time in Montana includes a stop at this sassy cafe (and we think it should), keep in mind there are rules to follow. Rule #1: "Order off the menu - that's why we have one." Poached eggs are a no-go, so please don't ask for them. "If you have a fork then you don't need a spoon to stir your coffee," is easily our favorite reminder. And remember to always, always, always finish your coffee - or prepare to catch some serious side-eye from your server. But it's all worth it for a taste of the Tom Cat, a third-of-a-pound local Arthun Ranch beef burger topped with a fried egg, Gouda cheese and tomato jam. Served on a giant English muffin, this breakfast burger comes with a side of the cafe's excellent crispy taters. Pro tip: Wear your own pair of cat-eye glasses throughout your entire meal and enjoy a 50-cent discount. "Add a cowboy hat for 50 cents more," the menu advises.
John's Roast Pork in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
John's Roast Pork has long been a favorite of South Philadelphians, but ever since the James Beard Foundation named it an American Classic in 2006, this low-key sandwich shop has gained widespread acclaim as making one of the best cheesesteaks in the City of Brotherly Love. The best part? You don't need to wait until lunch hours to try it. John's all-day breakfast sandwich menu offers the coveted cheesesteak and eggs on one of Philly's signature long Italian hoagie rolls. The scrapple, eggs and American cheese with a side of cherry peppers is yet another delicious way to soak up last night's booze. (We would be remiss not to mention that the Roast Pork Sandwich, though not a breakfast item, is widely regarded as the best in the country.)
Cafe Marie Jeanne in Chicago, Illinois
Chef Michael Simmons and his wife, Val Szafranski, are the tireless team behind this cozy mom-and-pop French cafe and wine bar just blocks from Humboldt Park. Szafranski runs the front of house, which is cheerful and bright for reading the paper while enjoying coffee and the beloved breakfast sandwich. It consists of egg, cheese and any two of nearly three-dozen toppings, ranging from the expected (lox, various smoked fish, bacon, duck confit) to the novel (calf brains, shad roe and fried chicken livers). Sandwiches are served on toasted country wheat bread or an English muffin. Feeling overwhelmed by the possibilities? Ask your server for advice on killer ingredient combos and he or she will happily assist.
The Pig and Pint in Jackson, Mississippi
The Pig & Pint is known first and foremost as a destination for first-rate barbecue, but it's also the site of Mississippi's best breakfast sandwich. Located in the historic Fondren District, the laidback gastropub has dozens of local, domestic and imported beers to pair with its comfort food. Stop by when the restaurant opens at 11 a.m. for the incredible Fried Bologna Sandwich, thick-cut housemade bologna on a golden brioche bun, with an over-easy fried egg, American cheese, specialty "comeback" dressing and bread and butter pickles. Since this is a barbecue joint, the sides are also awesome, including smoked tomato coleslaw.
Denver Biscuit Company in Denver, Colorado
Back in 2009, Ashleigh and Drew Shader, owners of the original Atomic Cowboy on Colfax Avenue, decided that Denver desperately needed biscuits. On a quest to create an authentic Southern breakfast experience, the Shaders used the kitchen at Atomic Cowboy to test recipes, even opening the bar at 8 a.m. to serve their signature biscuits and gravy to hungover patrons. After a few months, lines stretched out the front door and wait times hovered around an hour for hedonistic creations like the Dahlia (fried egg, sausage patty and apple butter) and the Winona (buttermilk fried chicken and housemade pimento cheese)? Even after the Biscuit Bus food truck hit the road, the Shaders continued serving biscuits from their brick-and-mortar store. Dubbed the Denver Biscuit Company, it has since expanded to Aurora and beyond.
The Fancy Biscuit in Richmond, Virginia
Home-cooked Southern staples like shrimp and grits and fried green tomatoes dominate the menu at this cozy Richmond bakery and cafe. Roll up your sleeves for the signature biscuit sandwiches, because even a fork and knife can't save you from the delicious toppling mess the kitchen creates. First, there's the Got Your Goat, a sweet-and-savory sandwich consisting of fried chicken, pepper jelly, a mound of soft goat cheese and a sweet balsamic reduction. But despite the restaurant's Southern roots, their most-popular breakfast order pays homage to the Big Apple, both in name and in grandiosity. It's fried chicken smothered with apple butter barbecue sauce, Granny Smith slaw and house made bleu cheese vinaigrette, all sandwiched between biscuit halves. It's edible Southern hospitality.
Biscuit and Bean in Seattle, Washington
Don't sleep too late if you plan on making a sandwich run to Biscuit and Bean. This bustling breakfast hub has been known to sell out of biscuit flavors by the early afternoon. Classic buttermilk, cheddar-chive and a rotating special biscuit are on offer every morning, and any of the three can be used in one of the cafe's five breakfast-sandwich options. The Classic is perfect in its simplicity. The flagship white cheddar from Seattle's famed Beecher's makes an appearance on this incredible bacon, egg and cheese sandwich, which the chefs finish with a swipe of sweet tomato jam. The Signature goes above and beyond the call of breakfast sandwich duty; it's prosciutto, smoked Gouda and a buttery fried egg under a canopy of pickled pepper aioli from Mama Lil's Peppers. The chefs throw some spinach on too, probably just to mitigate some of the guilt.
The French Goat in Lewisburg, West Virginia
Come for historic Lewisburg relaxed-country atmosphere and stay for the Croque Madames. Set inside of Maison Marcel, a 19th-century manor house that’s now a bed and breakfast, this bistro specializes in classic French cuisine with a modern twist. The Croque Madame begins with a base of tangy sourdough and subs the usual ham for Italian prosciutto. From there, the more traditional croque ingredients follow: Gruyere, mornay sauce, a fried egg and salad or frites on the side. You can walk it off on the garden terrace afterward.
Italian for 'little house,' Casetta Kitchen is Madison's local go-to for porchetta and all things pork. For the uninitiated, porchetta is slow-roasted boneless suckling pig. The good folks behind the counter are partial to thinly slicing it and serving it on focaccia with only the most Italian of ingredients: Provolone, hot giardiniera and, of course, a fried egg, because this is breakfast we're talkin' about here. Don't let your cardiologist catch you munching on the meaty mortadella brunch sandwich, topped with egg, provolone and mustard. But if you decide to treat yourself, we certainly won't spill the beans.
Koko Head Cafe in Honolulu, Hawaii
Koko Head chef and owner Lee Anne Wong left New York City's frenetic culinary scene back in 2013, where she opened this adorable island-style brunch house in Honolulu. A celebrity chef with stints in many top restaurants and on several shows, Wong is enough of a draw, but so are her breakfast sandwiches. The brunch menu includes a brief section for "Hand Food," which has just two items: The Egg Handwich and Elvis' Revenge. The former features two scrambled eggs, New York cheddar, bacon, local greens and maple tabasco on a classic Hawaiian sweet bun. The latter, an homage to the King of Rock and Roll's favorite flavor combo, stars peanut butter, banana tempura, billionaire's bacon, local honey and toasted coconut, also served on a sweet bun.
@ the Corner in Little Rock, Arkansas
With its red patent leather booths and a neon "@" sign hung squarely over the bar, this lively Little Rock restaurant marries vintage and modern sensibilities in both its decor and its menu. Classic diner plates like biscuits and gravy are available alongside 21st-century creations, like the superfood-packed Energy Bowl. This old-meets-new ethos is visible in the restaurant’s breakfast sandwiches, too. On weekday mornings, opt for the Breakfast Bologna. The old-school lunch staple is topped with a fried egg, pickled red onion, smoked gouda, beef bacon jam and lemon-thyme aioli. It comes on fresh ciabatta with a side of #browns. If you’re stopping by for the weekend brunch, the P.C. BLT is practically mandatory. Pimento cheese spices up a classic bacon, lettuce and tomato, with a sunny-side egg and sandwiched between toasted country white, and a side of home fries.
Noble Sandwich Co. in Austin, Texas
This casual Austin eatery takes a clever approach to breakfast by presenting familiar ingredients — think housemade bacon, chorizo, biscuits and breads — in winning combinations. Though Noble opened its doors in September of 2010, it dates back conceptually to when owners John Bates and Brandon Martinez met in culinary school, in their native Corpus Christi, in 1998. Their joint business venture produced the PBLT, a testament to the success of their collaborative efforts. Big, bold and flavorful, just like its creators’ home state, the PBLT features smoked pork belly, romaine, roasted tomato and garlic mayo, with an optional fried egg. You should always add the fried egg.
Sandwich Deck in Anchorage, Alaska
For fifteen years, this modest sandwich shop has served as a reliable breakfast and lunch hub, earning praise for its authentically Alaskan eats. In the summer months, tourists who flock to the city have options like the Halibut Burger and the Reindeer Breakfast Sandwich - pretty exotic fare for those new to The Last Frontier. Go for the latter. This oversized creation features scrambled eggs, American cheese and juicy sausage on toasted bread. Not feeling particularly adventurous? Don't worry-you can swap out the reindeer for more familiar protein options, like bacon or pork sausage.
Banners Restaurant in Conway, New Hampshire
It's no surprise that New England — a region prized for its maple syrup — has a serious obsession with Monte Cristos, the classic ham-and-cheese sandwich wrangled together by two crispy slabs of French toast. The award for "best" could go to this little roadside diner at the foot of New Hampshire's Mount Washington. For $10, diners can feast on the Mighty Monte Cristo, which includes Swiss cheese plus thin-sliced ham and oven-roasted turkey breast, for the best of both worlds. The hearty combo is grilled on Texas-style French toast and served with home fries and a side of real maple syrup, because New Hampshirites wouldn't have it any other way. It's great fortification before an excursion through Mount Washington Valley.