12 Road Trip-Worthy Sandwiches

March 11, 2024

Sandwiches are the ultimate road trip fuel. With all their infinite possibilities, from the bread to the filling and everything in between, they’re as diverse as they are delicious, with varieties out there for literally everyone. Be it an eggy breakfast sandwich, a buttery lobster roll, or a creative riff on an Americana staple, like egg salad or fried chicken, the possibilities are truly endless. The next time you hit the road, here are 12 travel-worthy sandwiches to add to your edible itinerary.

Looking for The Best Sandwiches? These 12 Are Worth Road Tripping For

Closeup of egg salad sandwich on whole grain bread on a plate.

1. Egg Salad at Lil’s Kitchen in Covington, Kentucky

When adorable, LGBTQ-owned Lil’s Bagels closed in Covington, just across the river from Cincinnati, it left a sandwich-shaped void in the community. Fortunately, though, the welcoming brand rose anew as Lil’s Kitchen. Located inside an indie bookshop, Lil’s 2.0 beefed up its menu with an expanded selection of Middle Eastern-inspired fare, like tahini smoothies and couscous salad, but the egg salad remains the star. A holdover from Lil’s Bagels, the egg salad sandwich is just as delish as ever — featuring a healthy medley of creamy, chilled egg salad with crisp butter lettuce and pickled green tomatoes on salted rye bread.

Nearby KOAs
Lebanon / Cincinnati NE KOA Holiday

A sandwich cut in half with beef tartar.

2. Cannibal Sandwich at peasants FEAST in Solvang, California

Nestled in the charming town of Solvang, a Danish-influenced community in the wine-centric Santa Ynez Valley, peasants FEAST is a restaurant rooted in seasonality and contemporary American innovation. It’s evident across its vast menus, but perhaps especially at lunch, when cheffy sandwiches like Kobe French dips really shine. Then there’s the Cannibal Sandwich, a meaty indulgence that features hanger steak tartare as the meat of the meal, along with zesty sauce gribiche, shaved red onion, cured egg yolk, and Dijon on fluffy pain de mie bread. For dessert, save room for a sweet sandwich in the form of the peanut butter ice cream sandwich.

Nearby KOAs
Avila / Pismo Beach KOA
Santa Margarita KOA Holiday

Close up of a woman holding two halves of cheesesteak.

3. Philthy Cheesesteak at The Beacon Daily in Beacon, New York

In the bucaolic town of Beacon, perched along the Hudson River, The Beacon Daily is the kind of restaurant that beckons like, well, a beacon — the kind of community cornerstone that appeals universally to the masses. Sandwiches, both of the breakfast and lunch variety, are a through-line of that sentiment, with plenty of indulgent, playful offerings to choose from. One particularly unique example is the Philthy Cheesesteak, a Philly ode that uses meltingly tender roast beef as the steak of choice, along with creamy pimento cheese, shredded mozzarella, cheddar, peppers and onions, and a crusty hoagie roll. The most famous sandwich here, the aptly dubbed Original, is well worth ordering too: a masterful medley of fried chicken, honey butter hot sauce, pickles, shredded lettuce, and ranch pimento on a cheddar scallion biscuit.

Nearby KOAs
New York City / Newburgh KOA Holiday

Lobster roll. Maine lobster mixed with mayo, celery, onions, garlic, scallions, chives, lemon juice. Lobster roll on toasted hotdog bun w/ lettuce, tomato, garlic mayo seasoned salt & pepper. Classic American restaurant or diner lunch sandwich favorite.

4. Lobster Roll at Stone’s Throw in York, Maine

Lobster rolls don’t come any fresher than those at Stone’s Throw, a boutique beachfront inn and restaurant where seasonality and locality reign. Only open spring into fall, the eatery naturally specializes in fish and seafood, served on an oft-rotating menu based on availability. This includes the lobster roll, a frequent summertime fixture comprising plump lobster meat heaped inside a buttery, griddled roll, and served chilled with a quick toss in mayo.

Nearby KOAs
Lebanon KOA Holiday on Salmon Falls River
Strafford / Lake Winnipesaukee South KOA Holiday

A sandwich on a white background piled high with collard greens and melty cheese.

5. Collard Green Melt at Turkey and the Wolf in New Orleans, Louisiana

Collard greens are a staple ingredient in Southern cookery, but rarely are the star ingredient in a dish. Unless, of course, you’re snagging a sandwich at Turkey and the Wolf, a wildly popular — and wildly imaginative — sandwich restaurant in the Lower Garden District. Much of the menu changes regularly, with rotators like fried bologna and vegan “chicken,” but one mainstay is the collard green melt, an unassuming spectacle made with slow-cooked collard greens piled on toasted thick-cut rye bread with Swiss cheese, pickled cherry pepper dressing, and coleslaw. You’ll never look at collard greens the same way again.

Nearby KOAs
New Orleans KOA Holiday

A breakfast sandwich on a sesame bun with cheese and latke inside.

6. Latke Breakfast Sandwich at Deli Desires in Orlando

Tucked away in a nondescript, tiny shopping plaza, Deli Desires is a modest breakfast spot serving takeout fare and bracing coffee. True to its name, deli requisites — like smoked whitefish, lox, and cream cheese — are all present and accounted for, mostly used to stuff and schmear bialys and sesame seed buns. Breakfast sandwiches are the crux of the menu here, like the exceptional latke sandwich, which uses a thick, crispy potato pancake like a giant hashbrown for a sandwich with American cheese and Duke’s mayo.

Nearby KOAs
Orlando / Kissimmee KOA Holiday
Orlando NW / Orange Blossom KOA Journey
Orlando Southwest KOA Holiday

A bagel sandwich with bahn mi toppings.

7. Bon Mi at Big Bon Bodega in Savannah, Georgia

Whereas Deli Desires specializes in bialys, driving a few hours north will shift the spotlight to housemade bagels at Savannah’s Big Bon Bodega. The quirky, colorful eatery serves their bagels straight-up, with cream cheese schmears, and as stacked sandwiches. For something totally unique, one standout signature is the Bon Mi, one that borrows inspiration from Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches with roasted pulled pork, cilantro, pickled carrots, cucumber, jalapeño, and spicy mayo on a poppy seed bagel.

Nearby KOAs
Savannah South KOA Holiday

A cozy farmhouse restaurant.

8. Tempeh Salad Wrap at Table + Tonic in North Conway, New Hampshire

As quaint as it is wholesome, Table + Tonic is the quintessential community market and cafe, where visitors can shop for esoteric, locally sourced groceries, and/or stop off for breakfast or lunch. In the morning, that means A+ breakfast sandwiches made with free-range local eggs, but stick around for lunch to discover true-blue originals like the tempeh salad wrap. Made with oven-baked shredded tempeh, a vegetarian protein derived from fermented soybeans, it’s mixed with carrots, onions, celery, vegan mayonnaise, and spices, then rolled in a wheat wrap with organic lettuce.

Nearby KOAs
Chocorua KOA Holiday
Twin Mountain / Mt. Washington KOA Holiday

An open-faced sandwich topped with crinkle fries and cheese.

9. The Horseshoe at Tribecca’s Sandwich Shop in Chicago, Illinois

When it comes to originals, though, it doesn’t get much more singular then The Horseshoe at Tribecca’s Sandwich Shop. Essentially an open-faced burger, inspired by— and named after — a sandwich tradition in the Illinois capital of Springfield, it’s a meaty beast of two beef patties layered on Pullman bread with crinkle-cut fries piled right on top. It’s all finished with pepper Jack cheese sauce, making this more of a fork-and-knife sandwich than a handheld one, but one that you won’t soon forget.

Nearby KOAs
Chicago Northwest KOA Holiday

Sandwich with friend mushrooms on a toasted bun.

10. Green Chile Fried Mushroom at Ursula in Brooklyn, New York

It’s a taste of New Mexico by way of Brooklyn at Ursula, where owner Eric See pays homage to his upbringing with nostalgic dishes and ingredients inspired by dishes more commonly seen in Santa Fe. This means items like green chile are prevalent, employed on wholly unique sandwiches like the green chile fried mushroom. Here, oyster mushrooms are brined with green chile and fried until crisp, then served with tomatillo slaw, green chile jam, and pickles on a bun.

Nearby KOAs
Delaware Water Gap / Pocono Mountain KOA Holiday
New York City North / Newburgh KOA Holiday

Enjoy a taste of Iowa with a crisp, juicy, mouthwatering breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches.

11. Iowa Tenderloin at Quinton’s Bar & Deli in Des Moines, Iowa

The pork tenderloin sandwich is basically Iowa’s answer to schnitzel, seen on menus throughout the state, and especially in around the capital of Des Moines. Typically made with giant slabs of breaded and fried pork tenderloin, in portions so large that they spill beyond the bread, they’re a veritable rite of passage for any Iowan, and a bucket list-worthy sandwich for any American road trip. Of the many iterations on menus, the signature Iowa Tenderloin at Quinton’s Bar & Deli stands out as an exemplar of the form — hand-cut pork tenderloin, seasoned, breaded, and fried until golden brown and crispy, topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and mustard on a brioche bun.

Nearby KOAs
Des Moines West KOA Holiday
Newton / Des Moines East KOA Journey

Classic breaded chicken sandwich on a red tray.

12. Butterbird Classic at Butterbird in Madison, Wisconsin

Fried chicken is the star of the show at Madison’s recently opened Butterbird, from the same folks behind local sensation, The Harvey House. Here, chef Joe Papach goes casual with a comfort food menu anchored by fried chicken. The standout sandwich is the Butterbird Classic, which stacks crispy chicken thigh meat with shredded lettuce, dill pickles, and dill-infused ranch. If you prefer to go meat-free, the eggplant parmesan sandwich is not to be missed.

Nearby KOAs
Milton KOA Holiday

Born and raised in New Hampshire, Matt Kirouac grew up with a love for camping and the outdoors. Though he’s lived in Chicago since 2006, he’s always on the lookout for new adventures. He writes about travel and food for outlets like TripExpert, Money Inc, Upventur, DiningOut, Food Fanatics magazine, Plate Magazine and Zagat, and he currently serves as Chicago editor for What Should We Do?! He’s the author of The Hunt Guides: Chicago (2016) and Unique Eats & Eateries of Chicago (2017).

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