In many respects, the breakfast sandwich is a blank canvas. With a few simple, essential components — often a combination of eggs, cheese, meat, and bread — the possibilities are endless. With an abundance of delectable breakfast sandwiches, the United States is not lacking in quality. The morning staple takes different forms around the nation, including Middle Eastern-inspired dishes, vegan options, and lox-filled bagels.
With perfect technique and creative approaches, a breakfast sandwich moves from excellent to great. Whether using buttery Southern-style biscuits as a base or choosing fluffy English muffins and stacking sausage patties or crunchy hash browns on top, there are countless ways to create a successful sandwich. While some cafés and restaurants pay homage to Americana nostalgia with their interpretations, others take unexpected and intriguing turns, adding labneh, pesto, prosciutto di parma, and feta butter, among other ingredients. If you want to switch up your morning meal routine, seek the best breakfast sandwiches in the United States.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Egg Simit at Elephantine Bakery
In a brick-lined lane in the picturesque New Hampshire port city of Portsmouth, one of the most unexpectedly massive and imaginative breakfast sandwiches can be found.
The Elephantine Bakery is a small cafe with a European bistro atmosphere and an extensive menu of globally inspired sweets and savory treats, like Egyptian bread pudding and lamb kofta sandwiches. When it comes to sandwiches, though, the egg simit steals the stage.
Middle Eastern in every way, the $12 sandwich is called for simit, a type of Turkish street food bread (via King Arthur Baking Company) that is traditionally yeast-risen and boiled in molasses-sweetened water before being baked and strewn with sesame seeds. With jammy eggs, hummus, beet and pistachio labneh, za’atar-spiced feta, and baby spinach for lively Turkish texture and flavor, all held together by the ideal roll, the bread is complex and delicious.
Portland, Oregon: Yolko Ono at Fried Egg I’m In Love
In Portland, Fried Egg I’m In Love has expanded from its humble beginnings as a successful food cart to become a true mini-empire of breakfast sandwich supremacy. Currently, there are two carts with outside seating, one in Pioneer Courthouse Square and the other at Prost! Marketplace. Also, there is a brick-and-mortar restaurant on Hawthorne (open for both takeout and dine-in). It offers casual on-site dining in a vibrant egg-yellow-colored area.
Its popularity is largely attributable to its signature sandwich, the adorable Yoko Ono. Over-medium egg, delicious sausage patty, fresh pesto, and parmesan cheese are served atop toasted Portland French Bakery sourdough. In addition, there’s a hidden component. All breakfast sandwiches contain a combination of spices known as “magic egg dust.” As cryptic as that may sound, the $8 miraculous sandwich surely deserves the moniker.
Beacon, New York: English Muffin Breakfast Sandwich at The Beacon Daily
While creativity and exoticism with sandwiches can be entertaining, it can be difficult to match a well-mastered classic, which is what The Beacon Daily, a lovely and easygoing cafe in Beacon, New York, has accomplished. It’s unsurprising that the food is as soothing and soul-stirring as the quaint cottage-like exterior, as it is not surprising that the food matches the ambiance in terms of coziness. For evidence, stop by in the morning and order one of their flawlessly classic and customizable English muffin breakfast sandwiches.
The epitome of the adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” The Beacon Daily enhances a traditional breakfast favorite, the English muffin sandwich, with an extensive choice of alternative toppings. No matter how many things you add, the English muffins have enough firmness to keep everything together. They are light and buttery. In addition to two farm-fresh eggs and American cheese, mainstays such as bacon, ham, and breakfast sausage are also available. Consider adding smoked turkey, red chili tofu, and chicken blueberry sausage to your dish. The restaurant’s predilection for fried chicken is a definite method to take this to the next level (according to Hudson Valley). Based on the sandwich’s toppings, costs range from $6 to $12.
Santa Fe, New Mexico: Breakfast Croissant at Dolina Santa Fe
According to Only in Your State, in the home of breakfast burritos, it takes a terrific breakfast sandwich to compete with Santa Fe’s customary morning ritual. In fact, there is a sandwich at the casually trendy Dolina Bakery & Cafe that offers just that. Due to the owner’s Slovakian heritage and her menu’s concentration on Eastern European elements, this is one of the best cafes in town. Her concept distinguishes the sole breakfast sandwich on the menu.
The bread of choice is a buttery and flaky croissant, which makes sense given the cafe’s great selection of pastries and baked products. The croissants are sliced in half lengthwise and stacked with organic scrambled eggs, bacon, avocado, radish sprouts, and asadero cheese, a mild cheese from Northern Mexico, as an homage to Santa Fe’s geography (via On The Gas). The cafe partners with a nearby farm for the majority of its ingredients, all of which are local and sustainable. At $13, this will make you forget all about breakfast burritos (at least until tomorrow).
Columbus, Ohio: Egg & Cheese at The Lox
Bagels and lox are as complementary as peanut butter and jelly or hamburgers and french fries. When both the bagel and the lox are wonderful on their own, combining them is a true champion’s breakfast. This is the success story of The Lox Bagel Shop, a trendy counter-service cafe in Columbus’ Short North that attracts a daily line for good reason.
People wait in line for some of the most acclaimed bagels in the United States, where quality is prioritized over quantity (per Food & Wine). There are just four options available for housemade bagels: everything, plain, sea salt and herb, and sesame. The flavorful, chewy, and well-seasoned bagels serve as the foundation for several breakfast sandwiches. Egg and cheese, a mixture of creamy and scrambled eggs with a condiment called egg sauce, is the primary flavor bomb. It consists of mustard, mayonnaise, chipotle, and honey (per Columbus Monthly). This $8 combo is magnificent on its own, but adding the cafe’s signature lox — in all its salty deliciousness — for an additional $4.75 is definitely worth every penny.
Portland, Maine: Breakfast Sandwich at Tandem Coffee Roasters
Biscuit sandwiches are an American rite of passage, particularly in the South. One of the most sumptuous biscuit breakfast sandwiches can be found in Portland, Maine, a city better known for its lobster and whoopie pies than its buttermilk baked goods. But, Tandem Coffee Roasters is full of delightful surprises, and nowhere is this more evident than in their breakfast sandwich.
Tandem has two locations in Portland, the primary roastery in East Bayside and a full-fledged bakery in a former gas station, but you must go to the latter to indulge in its pastries, pies, and savory accompaniments. It’s difficult to top the classic breakfast sandwich, which consists of a fluffy-soft egg and gooey American cheese, smoked paprika mayonnaise, and a flaky buttermilk biscuit. It may sound simple, but every component of this buttery dessert is baked, fried, and stacked with precision and care, yet it only costs $6.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: BLT at Neon Coffee
Coffee and doughnuts are traditional breakfast foods, however, they are rarely included in breakfast sandwiches. But, Neon Coffee, an artistic and vibrant cafe in the Plaza District that resembles a gallery, is shaking things up. Here, the creative geniuses behind the nearby Empire Slice House combine their talents for breakfast sandwiches and donuts.
There are several cozy sandwiches to choose from, but for a taste of summer that is crisp and crispy, try the BLT. The basic ingredients include bacon strips, tomato slices, fresh butter lettuce, and mayonnaise. It is as excellent as any other BLT, but when served on doughnut bread, it becomes amazing. Essentially a less-sweet donut, it has the same fluffy-soft texture as a glazed donut, minus the syrupy undertones, and it does an excellent job of providing structure for your bacon fix. Each sandwich costs $5.
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