23 Brunch Sandwiches Worth Waking Up For
There's no wrong time of day to eat a sandwich, but there's something especially satisfying about a brunch sandwich. Whether it's a bacon, egg, and cheese, a bagel-wich or something totally different, here are favorite morning combinations from coast to coast.
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Big Poppa at Wexler's Deli, Los Angeles
Now with three locations, this modern Jewish L.A. deli always delivers solid food, including smoked meats and classic lox. Come brunch, bigger appetites go for the Big Poppa. Piled high on a choice of sesame, plain or everything bagel (baked by seventh-generation bakers), the sandwich comes with a light layer of cream cheese, Cheddar scrambled eggs and slices of house pastrami.
Breakfast Bánh Mì at Elizabeth Street Café, Austin
On weekends, this sunny French-Vietnamese cafe serves Stumptown coffee, freshly baked croissants with housemade preserves and the Breakfast Bánh Mì. three egg-topped variations on the classic. All have house mayo, sambal, cilantro and jalapeno and a crusty baguette; the combo is most appealing over two fried eggs with pork belly, avocado and mint.
Bagel Breakfast Sandwich at Bassett Street Brunch Club, Madison, Wisconsin
Brunch knows no time constraints at the devout Bassett Street Brunch Club. There, diners fuel up, day-to-night, on morning-inspired comfort classics with a modern American spin. The house take on the classic egg sandwich combines all the basics: a fried egg, avocado, Cheddar and pesto aioli tucked into a toasted everything bagel. When they come together, it is simple and superb.
Chicken Sausage & Egg Sandwich at Love & Salt, Manhattan Beach, California
Growing up in Long Island conditioned Chef Michael Fiorelli to start his weekends with a classic New York bacon, egg and cheese. Now, at Love & Salt just blocks from the Pacific in Southern California, he crafts a tribute on a toasted brioche bun from Suzanne Goin’s The Larder stuffed with soft scrambled eggs, a savory chicken sausage patty, melted Fontina and a bright lemon-herb pesto.
Nueske's Ham & Swiss Broken Yolk at Café Patachou, Indianapolis
Runny, orange-hued eggs take center stage at Martha Hoover’s Café Patachou. An Indianapolis institution since 1989, the restaurant dedicates a giant part of its menu to eggs, with a section devoted to Broken Yolks, or egg sandwiches. Try the version with over-easy eggs and smoked salmon, or the towering Nueske’s Ham & Swiss on your choice of toast spread with grainy bacon-infused mustard.
Gravlox & Bagel at Scout PNW, Seattle
Seattle’s Pike Place Market is a destination for fresh-off-the-boat fish, and it’s where nearby café Scout sources its salmon. An array of Pacific Northwest ingredients infiltrate the menu, ideally eaten on the restaurant’s rooftop for panoramic views over brunch. Outside, under sunny or cloudy skies, diners can sink their teeth into the smoky gravlax on an everything bagel, topped with crunchy cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion and a housemade dill cream cheese.
Sausage Biscuit at Willa Jean, New Orleans
Willa Jean’s buttery homemade biscuits are darn good on their own and even better with something sandwiched between the halves. Under a section called The Biscuit Situation, the menu includes a biscuit stuffed with a breakfast sausage patty, a runny fried egg and Chef Kelly Field’s mom’s recipe for pimento cheese. The spicy spread contains extra-sharp Cheddar, sour cream and cream cheese, with jalapeños, cayenne pepper and extra heat from crushed red pepper.
Smoked Salmon Bagel at Woodford Food & Beverage, Portland, Maine
A bagel layered with silky smoked salmon is a weekend morning go-to and at Portland's Woodford Food & Beverage, the combo is especially enticing. Chef Courtney Loreg constructs her iteration with thin slices of smoked fish propped up by whipped, spreadable salmon rillettes prepared with capers, dill and grain mustard, for double the omegas. The one-two punch is topped with pickled spring onions and fried capers, on a toasted everything bagel that's hand rolled, boiled and baked in a stone hearth by local bagelry Union Bagel Co.
Burger Doughut Sandwich at BeetleCat, Atlanta
This cute Southern oyster bar does a complete 180 when it converts into a doughnut shop on Saturday mornings serving fried-to-order doughnuts by themselves and in doughnut sandwiches hot off the griddle. Combine sweet and savory with the burger. Two four-ounce Angus beef patties are tucked into a sweet doughnut that’s split in half, toasted with butter, glazed and topped with sesame seeds. It’s finished off with American cheese and bacon jam.
The Italian at Daily Provisions, New York City
Daily Provisions, Danny Meyer’s bakery café near Union Square, offers house-baked pastries and above-average sandwiches, especially at breakfast. In fact, the egg sandwiches gained such a cult following, the kitchen extended the breakfast window all the way to 4 p.m. The Italian, a top choice, starts with a moist, black pepper ricotta roll (with cheese mixed into the dough mixture), that’s split and sprinkled with even more cheese (aged provolone and fresh mozzarella) then melted and anointed with a from-scratch hot sauce. Between the bread await pepperonata (Cubanelle peppers scented with garlic and basil), crinkly spinach, and of course, a fried egg.
Breakfast Sandwich at Tusk, Portland, Oregon
As the opening sous chef at Philadelphia’s acclaimed Israeli restaurant Zahav, Executive Chef Sam Smith is no stranger to modern Middle Eastern cuisine. At Tusk, he marries those same flavors with the bounty of the Pacific Northwest. Taste the creative combination in the Breakfast Sandwich, made with lamb ham that’s locally raised, then brined in house. It’s piled onto a house-baked sweet onion roll along with goat cheese, broccoli sprouts and eggs cooked into a delicately folded omelet.
Breakfast Roti at Miss Lily's, New York City
This slice of tropical Jamaica in the middle of bustling downtown Manhattan is ideal for laid-back weekend brunch. The colorful corner oasis offers the diverse cuisine of the Caribbean island, which was greatly influenced by the influx of South Indians who arrived in the mid-1800s. One such example is roti, an unleavened flatbread of flour and water, rolled into a circle and grilled. It’s wrapped around basically anything worth grabbing, including soft scrambled eggs, Cheddar cheese and Jamaican jerk pork sausage at brunch.
The Morning Line at Coppin's Restaurant & Bar, Covington, Kentucky
This refined restaurant inside the Hotel Covington, puts a creative spin on the classic fast-food breakfast sandwich. Coppin's reinvents the grab-and-go classic with chorizo, fried egg, pimentadew (their version of the Southern staple pimento cheese) and crispy breakfast potatoes.
Egg Sammy at Doughnut Lounge, Kansas City, Missouri
Doughnuts are the name of the game at Kansas City's Doughnut Lounge, but those looking to go savory Rye or wheat? That's the questioned asked when ordering the Egg Sammy here, but it's not to should opt for the restaurant's signature Noduts instead. The sandwiches put a bread spin on doughnuts - with wheat or rye options that are the fluffy cousin to a bagel. Five combos are available, including Nashville-style hot chicken and locally beloved burnt ends. For the Egg Sammy, the Nodut is spread with creamy garlic dijonaisse, then topped with a fried egg, fresh spinach, Cheddar and crispy bacon strips.
Breakfast Torta at Little Donkey, Cambridge, Massachusetts
This global tapas bar serves inspired shareable small plates in the heart of Cambridge. But the brunch menu’s torta may cause some diners to greedily forget their sharing skills. Sandwiched between an evenly toasted sesame torta loaf (baked by Boston’s own Iggy’s Bread), the dish features caramelized lamb bacon, over-easy eggs, a healthy slab of Cheddar, housemade harissa and cilantro sprigs.
Monkey Bread Egg & Cheese at Quality Eats, New York City
Quality Eats’ buttery, sweet, sticky monkey bread makes its BEC — bacon, egg and cheese — a serious brunch obsession. The epic sandwich towers with a two-egg omelet, Nueske’s thick-cut bacon, two slices of American cheese, ripe avocado and sliced jalapeno, along with a final secret ingredient: bodega sauce. The condiment, a nod to the 24-hour corner stores beloved by New Yorkers for groceries and quick sandwiches, mixes ketchup, mayo, sriracha and Tabasco, all spread on top of a layer of garlic aioli for an added kick.
Tartine at Tartine Manufactory, San Francisco
The rustic sourdough loaves sell out within an hour of opening each day at San Francisco’s acclaimed Tartine Bakery. The loaves are the creation of legendary baker Chad Robertson, who spent years apprenticing and perfecting his country bread, with its critical fermentation process. They are also the foundation of the café’s open-faced namesake sandwiches. At Robertson’s massive Manufactory, tartines rotate daily, but are always offered in savory and sweet options, which run the gamut from roasted strawberry with hazelnuts and local chevre, to the ricotta, fig and jam.
The Breakfast Sandwich at Souvla, San Francisco
Souvlaki, Greece’s famous skewered meat, is the singular focus at this casual Fog City eatery. A tight list of spit-fired proteins (free-range chicken, pork shoulder, and lamb leg) is offered either nestled in a pita or over a bright green salad, and best accompanied by fries seasoned with lemon, parsley and cheese. On Saturday and Sunday, the menu grows by one more critical item: the Breakfast Sandwich. Served in a pita with soft scrambled eggs, cherry tomatoes, red onion, avgolemono sauce (derived from the traditional Greek soup), garlic yogurt and crumbled feta cheese, the sandwich can be topped with any charred souvlaki.
Breakfast Biscuit Sandwich at Butcher & Bee, Nashville
In lieu of standard toast, Butcher & Bee's executive chef, Bryan Lee Weaver, wanted to offer something truly unique for the Sunday Funday crowd. He came up with fried avocado, breaded in Anson Mills cornmeal with a touch of cayenne pepper and deep-fried until golden. The creamy, crunchy avocado crowns crisp, locally sourced Gifford's bacon and a sunny-side-up egg packaged on a squishy potato roll.
Honey Butter Brunch Sandwich at Honey Butter Fried Chicken, Chicago
Locally sourced, sustainably raised and entirely indulgent, fried chicken is what's on the menu at this Southern-style, single-subject eatery. Brunch-goers chow down on breakfast items like Fried Chicken and French Toast and the Brunch Chicken and Grits with crispy fried chicken strips, honey buffalo sauce, fried chicken crunchies, topped with a runny, fried egg. If you want to eat with your hands, the pièce de résistance is the Honey Butter Brunch Sandwich, with fried chicken strips, honey butter and a fried egg cradled in a freshly baked buttery biscuit.
Crispy BBQ Pork Belly Bao at Tanuki, Miami
The pork belly bao bun is a best-seller on Tanuki's dinner menu, and it transitions nicely to the brunch menu, too. Getting a little bit of a Sunday makeover, the crispy pork belly bun is capped with a poached egg and a rich kimchi hollandaise sauce thatâs balanced by vinegary shishito pepper and cabbage sauerkraut.
The Media Dia at Media Noche, San Francisco
The unofficial party food of Miami Beach after a night out dancing is the Media Noche. That should give you a clue on what to order the morning after at this lively San Francisco eatery. The Media Dia is a secret breakfast item. Featuring the same core ingredients — pork, ham, Swiss cheese, house pickles and mustard on brioche bun — this sunlight version has the additional hangover cure of a gooey fried egg and salty, crispy bacon.
Housemade Fried Pastrami Sandwich at Woodshed Smokehouse, Fort Worth, Texas
This playful spot from Texan Tim Love is all about good times and smoking as many foods as possible. Located on the bank of the Trinity River, the restaurant has a working garden, bike rentals, lawn games and a rotating selection of beef, chicken, pork, wild game, fish and veggies cooked over a plethora of woods and fire sources, giving each a distinct flavor profile. For big weekend appetites, try the housemade fried pastrami sandwich made with thinly sliced house-smoked pastrami, Swiss cheese, kimchi and pickled mayo on a squishy bun.