Unique Sandwiches We'd Cross the Country For

Grilled apple pie with chicken sandwich? Oh, yes. A PB&J with goose bacon and jalapeños? Mmm, hmm. Fried clam and pig ear sandwich? That’s right. Check out these fresh takes on the classics that are definitely worthy of a food pilgrimage.

Photo By: Photographer: Scott Harris

Pig's Head Cuban: The Cannibal, Los Angeles and N.Y.C.

With a name like The Cannibal, it shouldn’t be surprising that this butcher-and-beer-based restaurant has a sandwich called the Pig's Head Cuban. Meat lovers will lose their heads over this take on the Caribbean classic with its griddle-pressed pig head terrine with gruyere and pickles.

Broccoli Classic Sandwich: No. 7, Ace Hotel, N.Y.C.

An homage to his favorite childhood sandwich, this hero packed with mom-approved roasted broccoli, and more grown-up ingredients including lychee muchim, feta cheese and fried shallots, is just of No.  7 chef Tyler Kord’s meatless creations.

Hot Pressed Gelato Sandwich: Bucket & Bay, Jersey City, N.J.

This artisanal grass-fed milk gelato maker in Jersey City, Bucket & Bay Craft Gelato Co., is already known for mixing things up with their seasonal and spirits infused flavors, such as Strawberry Port and Bourbon Peach. Don’t leave here without trying the Hot Pressed Gelato Sandwich, filled with housemade jam, and served on a French croissant babka roll from neighboring Choc-O-Pain bakery.

Full-Bellied Pig Sandwich: Café Patachou, Indianapolis, Indiana

Toasted wheat bread, peanut butter, strawberry jelly--- reminds you of your childhood lunches, right? What about adding Smoking Goose bacon, fresh jalapeños to that PB&J? This sandwich innovation is what Café Patachou calls this their Full-Bellied Pig Sandwich.

Grilled Apple Pie With Chicken Sandwich: Treylor Park, Savannah, Georgia

Why wait for desert when you can eat it with your dinner? Savannah’s Treylor Park serves two American favorites simultaneously with its grilled apple pie with chicken sandwich, mixing sweet and savory in one big mouthwatering bite.

Fried Clam and Pig Ear Sandwich: Loyal Nine, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Loyal Nine offers a creative spin on New England cuisine with its Fried Clam and Pig Ear Sandwich. This local favorite features crispy Vermont Ossabaw bacon, frisée and fried whole-belly clams — shucked right at the restaurant — and battered with IPA, corn meal and corn flour. If that isn’t enough for your taste buds, a fried egg on top is optional.

Chicken and Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich: Coolhaus Trucks, Los Angeles, California, New York City, N.Y. and Dallas, Texas

We know, you’ve heard of the fried chicken and waffle sandwiches, but this one is filled with ice cream and pressed in two snickerdoodle cookies, too. Ice cream pioneer Coolhaus has mobile trucks in LA, NYC, and Dallas, dishing out this sweet-meets-savory ice cream sandwich that will satisfy all cravings in one bite.

Swamp Thing: Black Dolphin Inn, New Smyrna Beach, Florida

Swamp Thing … We think we love you. Inspired by Black Dolphin Inn chef’s home state of Florida, The Swamp Thing is BBQ brisket drowning in two local specialties: fried okra and coleslaw. (No crocodiles in this one, we promise.)

Pulpo Octopus Roll: Boqueria, Washington, D.C. and N.Y.C.

Boqueria takes the lobster roll and replaces it with octopus, and adds some Spanish flare! Made with 3 ounces of cooked octopus, the Pulpo Roll is packed with celery, purple and white cabbage, jalepeno, pickled red onions, spicy pimenton de la vera, citrus aioli, salt and lemon, all on a potato bun.

Banh Mi: Mercantile and Mash, Charleston, S.C.

Gourmet food emporium Mercantile and Mash plays with the Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich with its Charleston version that includes Hoisin pork belly, chicken liver mousse, carrots, radish, jalapenos and cucumbers.

Malted Waffle Sandwich: The Normal Diner, Tempe, Arizona

For those breakfasts when you just can’t decide what you want, order the Malted Waffle Sandwich at (not-so) Normal Diner in Graduate Tempe hotel. Ham steak, scrambled egg and aged cheddar are sandwiched between two malted waffles. Even better? This all-in-one breakfast sandwich is served all day at this re-imagined American diner.

Reindeer Sandwhich: Embers Ski Lodge, Nashville, Tennessee

Reindeer in a bun? Apres-ski-inspired Embers Ski Lodge is known for its 50/50 Remix sandwich that comes with an even mix of reindeer meat (flown in from Alaska!) and Andouille sausage, along with sautéed red peppers and onions, served in a toasted New England-style hot dog bun.

Charmery’s Ice Cream Donut Sandwich: Baltimore, Maryland

There’s nothing old school about this ice cream sandwich. Baltimore’s Charmery partners with Center Cut Doughnuts to create this ice cream concoction: a Challah-nut donut, stuffed with Malty Chip ice cream, balsamic glazed strawberries and hot fudge.

Tequila-Infused Surf and Turf: Barley Mash, San Diego, California

Barley Mash, a San Diego restaurant that integrates bar staples beer and bourbon into their cuisine, offers an alcohol-infused Surf & Turf "Between the Buns" sandwich. Their signature spin on the Surf & Turf includes a grilled beef patty, cream cheese, añejo tequila 'n' butter-poached Maine lobster meat, baby arugula, whiskey-caramelized onions and white truffle aioli.

Pierogi Melt: Melt Bar and Grilled, Cleveland, Ohio

Cheese lovers will devour Melt Bar and Grilled's Parmageddon: A monster melt stuffed with sharp cheddar, Napa vodka kraut, two potato and cheese pierogies, and sautéed onions. This grilled cheese creation is named after owner Matt Fish's hometown, Parma, Ohio.

I Heart Mac and Cheese Sandwich: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

What could be more comforting that a dish of Mac and Cheese smothered in bread? I Heart Mac & Cheese, a fast-casual concept by Chef Michael Blum, pays homage to the comfort food with limitless made-to-order combinations and toppings (hello, Black Truffle Salt.) There's even a mac & grilled cheese-baked sandwich filled with starchy/cheesy goodness.

Muffuletta: Central Grocery, New Orleans, Louisiana

Home of the original Muffuletta, New Orlean’s Central Grocery created this legendary sammie in 1906, in order to make a traditional Sicilian lunch more portable. Versions of this old-world creation, a round sesame bun stuffed with layers of salami, ham, cheese, marinated olives and pickled vegetables, can now be found all over the country, but you need to taste the original, right? Right.

Brain Sandwich: Schottzie's, St. Louis, Missouri

Once a popular, inexpensive delicacy in St. Louis’ days of being a meatpacking mecca, cow’s brain sandwiches are nowadays not as easy to find. Andrew Zimmern tracked down of the last places still serving brains sandwiches (now made with pork) in St. Louis, Schottzie’s, for a taste of the old-time organ meat treat.

Shop This Look