The humble sandwich serves us well. It’s portable, tasty and can be filled with any number of great ingredients. In fact, the sandwich might just be the *world’s most popular form of street food (*made up fact that’s probably true).
By definition a sandwich is two pieces of bread with a filling. However, some on this list are more a bread based snack, such as a baguette. Hey, we’re not that picky here at Gone Travelling.
So, as a homage to bread and filling, these are our pick of the world’s best sandwiches, in no particular order…
OK, if ever there was a King of Sandwiches, it’s gonna be the burger right? There probably isn’t a single country in the world where you can’t pick up a burger. Well, I’ve not been to North Korea or Sudan, but I’m willing to bet they have a local version of the humble burger there somewhere. It might be beef, chicken, compacted insects or horse (yup for real, here’s an article to prove it), but there is a burger out there to suit all tastes.
For those debating whether or not its a sandwich. Well. It is.
Where to get the best one: As Londoners we have some seriously good burgers, including Patty and Bun, Bleeker and Honest. However, according to The Burger Guide, the best burger in the world is Au Cheval in Chicago. Anyone care to verify?
If you’ve ever been to France you’ve eaten one of these bad boys. Ham and cheese, served between two slices of decidedly not very French bread and coated in bechemel sauce. Although its basically just a ham sandwich, that sauce really does set it off. Want to go next level? Ask for a croque madame and you’ll get an egg on top… Even better!
Where to get the best one: A good croque monsieur isn’t hard to find anywhere in France. Pick a half decent cafe anywhere in the country and you’re sure to be satisfied. A quick search recommends Cafe des Phares in Bastille, Paris or La Danton at 103 Blvd St Germain, Paris.
As a former French colony, Vietnam has a few little Franco influences, and one of them is their use of the baguette. The banh mi is a deliciously spicy and fruity little sandwich, and a contender for one of my personal favourites. A thick layer of pork pate, barbecued pork or chicken and a fragrant coleslaw as garnish all slapped into a freshly baked and soft baguette. Honestly. If you have’t ever had a banh mi, go get one and thank me later.
Where to get the best one: In theory, any street corner in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City will serve you up a great banh mi for pennies. Here in London, places like City Caphe and Banh Mi Bay are perfect if you can’t fly to Vietnam to satisfy a craving. In Vietnam itself, Madam Phuong in Hoi An gets the thumbs up, partly thanks to the late great Anthony Bourdain. But honestly, throw a stone in any major town and you’ll find a delicious option.
This Greek wrap is similar to a shawarma, which you’ll find in every Lebanese restaurant in the world (therefore, everywhere). The big difference? It’s got chips in it (or fries for you Americans) and you can can choose a pork or halloumi version. The fluffy pitta wrap is also stuffed full of tzatziki, salad and sometimes a bit of spice, if you’re lucky. Outside of Greece the gyros is often called a souvlaki, which is technically the name for the meat skewers that go in it. The gyros gets a big fat NOM from me.
Where to get the best one: Theres a few options online. Obelix in Oia, Santorini gets praise. As does, O Kostas in Plaza Agas Irinias, Athens and Pan. Koutroumpas in Akdadamias, Athens.
Originating in Cuba (of course), but perfected in Florida, anyone who’s seen the movie ‘Chef’ probably went right out after to hunt down one of these bad boys. A crusty white bread roll is sliced in down the middle, crammed full of pork, mustard and pickles then grilled. It’s a heart attack in bread form, but oh sooooo good.
Where to get the best one: Yes, you can get a Cuban sandwich in Cuba (they just call it a sandwich). But that one from Chef is very much an Americanised version. El Cochanito in LA is the award winning option.
Rome is awesome and if you haven’t been, make it a priority. One of those reasons is, the porchetta sandwich. Honestly, you can skip the Coloseum so long as you get one of these. A deboned, heavily seasoned joint of pork is slow roasted and marinated then sliced into a sandwich. The result is a delicious, aromatic and melt in the mouth meat experience. Thank me later.
Where to get the best one: You’ll see porchetta in almost every deli cafe in Rome. The best can be found in Panifico Bonci, via Trionfale 36, Rome. Or Er Buchetto at via Viminale 2/f near Termini station.
Technically speaking, this open sandwich isn’t actually a sandwich, but a long piece of bread. But if you’re in Krakow in Poland, it’s a crime not to seek one of these out. They’re about as long as your arm, available in whatever flavour you want (meat, cheese, salad, all of the above) and drizzled with sauce. Oh and they cost about €1.50. Bargain.
Where to get the best one: The old Jewish market in Krakow is probably the only place in the world to get one of these. Book a flight. (Also Krakow is awesome).
A deep south special, the po boy is usually found in Louisiana, but has now emigrated around the world. That French influence is at play again here, with the Po Boy being a baguette usually filled with either fried shrimp, crab or lobster, or sometimes beef or spicy sausage. Sometimes you’ll get your po boy covered in gravy, sometimes just full of salad.
Where to get the best one: It’s gotta be New Orleans. Johnny’s or ACME Oyster house are your best options.
These delicacies from Colombia and Venezuela are getting to be well known in the west nowadays. A freshly roasted cornmeal roll (gluten free!) is sliced open and packed full of slow roasted meats like pork or beef, avocados, cheese and salad.
Where to get the best one: Sadly with the current state of Venezuela, the arepa is dying out at home. But you’ll still find them served on roadsides in Colombia (and London, NYC etc etc).
The Sausage Sandwich
The humble sausage makes a seriously fabulous filling for a bread roll or sandwhich. In fact, you’ll find sausage sandwiches of varying types in Poland, Germany, Czech Republic, the UK and, of course, the American hot dog. Here in the UK we make some mean sausages, I’m even tempted to say the best in the world, and if you get a Cumberland sausage sandwich I’m pretty sure you’ll agree with me.
Now, I’m going to get controversial and say get it covered in brown sauce and add and egg. The breakfast of champions. Get spare napkins.
Where to get the best one: Markets, burger stands and even cafes across Europe and America. In the UK, technically any ‘greasy spoon’, that is a slightly dodgy looking cafe, will do a top notch sausage sandwich. The best? Borough Market, or any pub in Britain. Easy.
The Sausage Sandwich (Spain)
One word. Chorizo. In bread. OK that’s three words. But the bocadillo (which is what the Spanish call a bread roll) with a freshly fried chorizo and a sprig or three of rocket is what life is all about.
Where to get the best one: Spain. Yup. Everywhere. If you see a chorizo bocadillo, just order it.
India comes through with this deceptively simple offering from Mumbai. A white bread roll comes with a fried potato croquette and lashings of coriander chutney. Although they’ve been uniquely Maharashtran for a long time, the world is waking up to the vada pav.
Where to get the best one: Almost anywhere in Mumbai. Or Shree Krishna Vada Pav in London.
Fans of Philly cheese steaks, burritos and shawarmas, sorry they didn’t make the list… But they’re awesome too though hey.