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The Best Sandwiches in America

Fancy roast beef, a croque, or perhaps a PB&J? Here are the country's most-iconic sandwiches, and the one place you should try each.

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The Best Thing Between Sliced Bread

A good sandwich is as American as apple pie, spawning dozens of regional interpretations and variations from New York City to Nebraska. Here are the 98 most-iconic sandwiches in the United States, and the perfect place to try each one.

Illustration by Hello Neighbor Designs

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Photo: Goldbelly

Muffuletta: Central Grocery (New Orleans)

Long ago, Italian immigrant Salvator Lupe watched his Sicilian farmer patrons struggle to eat their traditional platters of Italian salami, olive salad, cheese, Italian ham and bread on their laps outside his Central Grocery. He realized he could drastically improve their lives — or at least their lunches — by combining all of the above into an easily held meal. With a sprinkle of freshly minced garlic and a round loaf of sesame-sprinkled bread, the muffuletta was born. That quintessential NOLA sandwich is now found on nearly every restaurant menu in the city, but the proper place to experience its magic is at the place it was created, Central Grocery.

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Photo: Staci J Perry

Hot Beef Sandwich: The Wheel Inn Cafe (Watertown, South Dakota)

This South Dakota specialty is the ultimate sandwich for lovers of meat-and-potatoes meals. The open-face dish combines mashed potatoes and hearty chunks of seasoned roast beef sandwiched between two slices of white bread, all smothered in homemade gravy that can look like it's frightfully close to running over the edge of the plate. The dish is available at diners and cafeterias throughout the state — often, unfortunately, with instant potatoes. One of the top hot-beef destinations for locals who want the real deal, made from scratch, is the Wheel Inn Cafe, which has been serving the savory treat for more than half a century.

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Photo: Sarah Jane Sanders

Benedictine: La Peche Gourmet-To-Go (Louisville, Kentucky)

Sometime in the late 1800s Louisville native Jennie Benedict mashed together cream cheese, cucumber juice, onion juice and seasonings into a spread. That simple combination has gone on to become a mainstay during Derby week, when locals chow down on it as a dip or between slices of bread. But it’s a yearlong staple at La Peche Gourmet-To-Go, which is attached to Lilly's Bistro. There, acclaimed chef Kathy Cary makes a crunchy, cucumber-rich version that’s even better than the original recipe and is especially attractive sandwiched together with some crispy bacon and crunchy lettuce.

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