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Food & DrinkThe 18 best sandwiches in the world right now

The 18 best sandwiches in the world right now

Is anything better than a sandwich? From budget-friendly options to sandos packed of high-end ingredients, people love getting their gnashers round a good ’wich all over the world. After all, if you haven’t tried a city’s national sandwich, have you even really been?

So, in an homage to the ancient act of cramming some cracking cheese, meats, fish, or vegetables into two slices of bread, we’ve compiled a list of the world’s very best sandwiches right here – and there’s no wraps, tacos or hotdogs to be seen. Without further ado, sink your teeth into our carby, crunchy roundup. Here are the world’s best sandwiches (according to us).

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The best sandwiches in the world

Mie Goreng toastie from Dutch Smuggler | Sydney

Photograph: Anna Kucera

1. Mie Goreng toastie from Dutch Smuggler | Sydney

What’s on it? Mie goreng noodles, fried egg, shallots, mozzarella and gruyere on white bread

If there were a concept to pique the interest of gluten gluttons everywhere, it’s the idea of carbs wrapped in more substantial, structurally sound carbs. The stoner-chic mie goreng sandwich at this CBD hole-in-the-wall joint is so much more than the sum of its parts, like any good sando should be: spicy mayo is slathered on bread, followed by a mess of spicy-sweet instant noodles, an oozy fried egg and shallots. The whole thing is gloriously bound together by a combination of mozzarella and nutty gruyere. It’s basically the uni student dream, but legitimised – even the city’s pressed-linen-wearing, briefcase-toting bankers are lining up around the block of Dutch Smuggler to get one.

🥪 Discover more of the best sandwiches in SydneyDivya Venkataraman

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Panino con tartare di tonno from Pescaria | Polignano a Mare

Photograph: Courtesy Pescaria

2. Panino con tartare di tonno from Pescaria | Polignano a Mare

What’s on it? Tuna tartare, burrata, tomato, caper oil and basil pesto on a roll

Look, no one’s denying that fried fish sandos are a beautiful thing, but this raw number seriously ups the ante. Loaded with 100 grams of premium, ruby-red tuna tartare, this massive sandwich gets bonus points because it’s served seaside in the coastal town of Polignano a Mare, Italy. This isn’t just some poke bowl slapped between bread though – a thick layer of oozy burrata seeps into every nook and cranny, while a dollop of basil pesto lends a burst of earthy freshness. You’ll be tempted to devour it on the spot, but take the five-minute walk from Pescaria to the water for unparalleled views of the Adriatic Sea while you nosh.

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Beef katsu sando from Live Twice | Singapore

Photograph: Courtesy Live Twice

3. Beef katsu sando from Live Twice | Singapore

What’s on it? Panko-crusted wagyu beef, Japanese mayo and tonkatsu sauce on white bread

Few things hit better than a fast-food burger after a long night of drinking. In Singapore, instead of stumbling to the nearest golden arches for a forgettable patty, the savviest barflies opt for this celebrated katsu sando from Live Twice. Marbled wagyu is brined before it’s crusted in crispy, crunchy panko and deep-fried to a golden hue. From there, the meat is slathered in tonkatsu sauce and premium kewpie mayo before it’s nestled between two slices of crustless white bread. Sure, it’s a bit more costly than your typical cheeseburger, but at least you’ll remember it long after your hangover wears off.

🥪 Discover more of the best sandwiches in SingaporeDelfina UtomoEditor, Time Out Singapore

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Jambon beurre from Le Petit Vendôme | Paris

Photograph: Courtesy @kinamitopan

4. Jambon beurre from Le Petit Vendôme | Paris

What’s on it? Ham and craft butter on a baguette

What do Mark Zuckerberg, a broke intern and supermodel Kate Moss all have in common? They’ve all trodden the vintage tiles of this authentic Parisian bistrot, which is a relic of the ’60s. Le Petit Vendôme is decorated in yellow and red formica, there are cheesy piggy banks everywhere, and obscene amounts of ham and sausage hang on the butcher’s fangs. It’s hell for vegans and heaven for us meat-lovers. Here, jambon beurre (ham and butter sandwich) is a piece of art. They’re made to order and prepared in front of you using Julien Bakery’s award-winning baguettes, gobs of super-fresh craft butter and ribbons of ham straight from the bone. It puts the tasteless pink stuff from the supermarket to shame. If you could eat, feel and smell the City of Lights, this would be it.Tina Meyer

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Rod’s Original Whole Hog Pork Sandwich from Rodney Scott’s Whole Hog BBQ | Charleston

Photograph: Angie Mosier

5. Rod’s Original Whole Hog Pork Sandwich from Rodney Scott’s Whole Hog BBQ | Charleston

What’s on it? Pulled pit-cooked pork, Rodney’s sauce and fried pork skins on white bread

There’s a reason why famed pitmaster Rodney Scott calls this sandwich ‘The King of the Menu’. Two slices of Martin’s old-fashioned white bread are splayed out and covered in 6 ounces of pulled, pit-cooked whole hog. The mess of meat gets a mouthwatering jolt of energy from Scott’s house sauce, which is a vinegary, peppery condiment worthy of namesake recognition. The finishing touch? A smattering of impossibly crispy, perfectly seasoned pork skins. The best way to get after it is to pick up one of those slices, fold it and chow down. Position the other end of your tray so that you don’t lose a single shard of Scott’s award-winning hog.

Sandwich “La Perla” from El Mercado | Lima

Photograph: Courtesy El Mercado

6. Sandwich “La Perla” from El Mercado | Lima

What’s on it? Fried silverside fish and tartar with yellow pepper on a roll

No matter when you visit El Mercado, the tables at this dreamy Peruvian cevicheria will be dotted with candy-colored cocktails and mounds of raw fish slicked in lemon juice or tiger’s milk. But after your second Paloma, you might crave something that can sop up the tequila and mezcal – enter the sandwich ‘La Perla’. This small but mighty handheld finds a gaggle of deep-fried pejerrey (small silver fish) swimming in the brightest, most addictive yellow pepper-infused tartar sauce. A nest of razor-thin red onions and chilis acts as a crunchy crown. It’s the kind of thing you’ll want to order two of, so save your server the extra trip and double down.

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Brocoli Sandwich on sourdough from Boulenc | Oaxaca

Photograph: Liv Kelly for Time Out

7. Brocoli Sandwich on sourdough from Boulenc | Oaxaca

What’s on it? Sautéed tenderstem broccoli, goats cheese, tomatoes, spicy mayonnaise and a fried egg. 

A vegetable sandwich? Compared to all the sumptuous meaty sarnies on this list, that might sound a bit lackluster, but don’t be fooled. Boulenc’s ‘brocoli’ sandwich is every bit as tasty and flavoursome as a reuben or a bacon bap. Tenderstem broccoli is lovingly sautéed with fresh thyme and garlic, and slapped on top of a bed of succulent Mexican tomatoes and spicy mayonnaise for a hot, zesty bite. The goat’s cheese adds a wonderfully tangy, creamy element to the sandwich, and holds it all together between some lightly toasted, in-house baked sourdough. There’s even the option to whack a fried egg on top – why not? This sarnie was the first thing I ate when I arrived in Oaxaca, and it marked a cracking start to our days of eating our way around Mexico’s glorious capital of food.Liv KellyContributing Writer

Club sandwich from Rajasthan Rifles | Hong Kong

Photograph: Courtesy Rajasthan Rifles

8. Club sandwich from Rajasthan Rifles | Hong Kong

What’s on it? Chicken tikka, celery, white sauce, masala omelette, tomato chutney and cheddar on white bread

This super-stacker is an ode to the Anglo-Indian mess halls of the 1920s, where two conflicting cultures – along with their cuisines – came together and sat down for lunch. The kitchen at Rajasthan Rifles flips the script on the classic club and brings together British and Indian provisions in a fellowship of flavors. Spiced chicken tikka meets creamy white sauce, and a fluffy masala omelette gets a boost from tangy chutney. Welsh cheddar – sourced from Lord Newborough’s Rhug Estate – glues everything together (as cheese often does). The thick-cut chips offer an excuse to slow down between bites.

🥪 Discover more of the best sandwiches in Hong KongFontaine ChengFormer Section Editor, Time Out Hong Kong

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The Three Cheese Bikini from Dot | Madrid

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9. The Three Cheese Bikini from Dot | Madrid

What’s on it? Asturian cheese, edam, cheddar and chutney on brioche

When María Formoso and José Cifuentes Ros moved from Barcelona to Madrid, they knew they wanted to bring the bikini with them. The classic ham and cheese sando is the backbone of their cozy restaurant Dot, where they also serve specialty coffee, irresistible pastries and natural wines. The duo takes great pride in sourcing ingredients from local suppliers, creating a food chain that can be best experienced by ordering the Three Cheese Bikini. The cheeses are procured from Rafa (a trusted butcher and delicatessen in the neighborhood), the brioche is baked fresh at nearby Panadarío, and the pineapple-habanero chutney is crafted with care by Brutal Terrific Jams. Oh, and if you want to take it one step further, ask to add an egg from the happy hens in the Madrid mountains. It doesn’t get more local than this.Gorka ElorrietaEditor Comer y Beber, Time Out Madrid

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The Tainted Larb from Mondo Sando | London

Photograph: Jess Hand for Time Out

10. The Tainted Larb from Mondo Sando | London

What’s on it? A larb sub filled with vegan soy mince, hydrated in a Northern Thai-style spicy curry paste. Mixed with herbs, LOADS of lime juice and finished with a black bean mayonnaise and a pickled green bean salad.

Mondo Sando is a team of trendy sandwich-heads selling based at south London boozer The Grove House Tavern, Camberwell. 

🥪 Discover more of the best sandwiches in LondonRosie HewitsonNewsletter and Events Editor, Time Out London

Newman’s Jewban from Kush Hialeah | Miami

Photograph: Miranda Cruse

11. Newman’s Jewban from Kush Hialeah | Miami

What’s on it? Pulled pork, corned beef, swiss cheese, pickles, sauerkraut, yellow mustard and Russian dressing on grilled rye

As far as mashups go, Kush Hialeah’s Newman’s Jewban blows it out of the water with this sinful only-in-Miami creation. The winning combo marries the best parts of a classic, deli-style reuben – corned beef, swiss cheese, pickles, sauerkraut – and the only part that matters in a Cuban pan con lechón, the juicy roasted pork. It’s all stacked high on a couple of pieces of grilled rye bread – a vibrant and earthy alternative to the simple white Cuban baguette – and dressed with yellow mustard and Russian dressing, which is a real treat for folks who like their sandwiches on the saucier side. This one is drippy; it’s the kind of two-hander you can’t even take your pinky off of without the chunks of tangy meat cascading back onto your plate. If all else fails, fork and knife it. There’s no way you’re leaving one bite of this Jewban behind.

🥪 Discover more of the best sandwiches in MiamiVirginia GilUSA Editor

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Pork jowl sandwich from Sants Es Crema | Barcelona

Photograph: Maria Dias

12. Pork jowl sandwich from Sants Es Crema | Barcelona

What’s on it? Pork jowl, achiote and lettuce on focaccia

There’s only one piggy part that’s tastier and more tender than the belly. Yes, we’re talking about the jowl. Leave it to the barbecue experts at Sants Es Crema to do justice to the super-juicy, wonderfully flavorful cheek meat. The Covid-born sandwich concept is the first of its kind in Barcelona, and the kitchen uses a robata grill to evoke smoky flavors from all kinds of carnivorous bits. But no trip is complete without this pork jowl handheld, which melds sweet fat and crunchy meat with a hit of earthy achiote and a swath of crisp, farm-fresh lettuce. It’s a study in textural balance that hits all the right notes.

🥪 Discover more of the best sandwiches in BarcelonaRicard MartínEditor de Menjar i Beure, Time Out Barcelona

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Prego clássico from Prego da Peixaria | Lisbon

Fotografia: Arlindo Camacho

13. Prego clássico from Prego da Peixaria | Lisbon

What’s on it? Tenderloin steak and herb butter on bolo do caco bread

There isn’t a Lisbonner out there who doesn’t enjoy a good prego, a traditional Portuguese steak sandwich. Designed to be devoured at any time of the day – after a seafood platter or a football game, on a quick lunch or a long snack, and always with a cold beer to chase it – this simple but beefy sando is an undisputed icon. Best of all, you’ll find them everywhere, from cervejarias and taverns to fine-dining hotspots. But Prego da Peixaria – with four restaurants in Lisbon plus a corner at Time Out Market – is dedicated solely to the prego, offering several variations of the dish on its menu. As tempting as it is to mix it up, we can’t get enough of the clássico, with succulent tenderloin steak and addictive herb butter stuffed inside bolo do caco, a pillowy flatbread from Madeira Island.Vera MouraDirectora Editorial, Time Out Portugal

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Blue panini from Bubada Club Sandwiches and More | Istanbul

Photograph: Courtesy Bubada Club Sandwiches and More

14. Blue panini from Bubada Club Sandwiches and More | Istanbul

What’s on it? Blue cheese, chestnut mushrooms, veal bacon, veal cheek, rocket, lettuce, rosemary, tomatoes, capers and club sauce on focaccia

Sandwich mania has taken Istanbul by storm, and there’s boundless creativity bursting from the tiniest of shops, especially in the restaurant-obsessed neighbourhood of Kadıköy. Though the area presents some stiff competition, we can confidently say that Bubada is making the best handhelds in town. In particular, there’s one sandwich on the menu that we can’t help but order again and again – even though we know we should branch out. The heavenly Blue Panini is unlike anything we’ve ever tried before: Bubbly housemade focaccia acts as a vehicle for meaty mushrooms, smoky veal bacon and a smattering of veggies. It’s the funky, umami-rich blue cheese that pulls everything together and launches this sando into the stratosphere.

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The Verde at The Sandwich Revolution | Cape Town

Photograph: Courtesy The Sandwich Revolution

15. The Verde at The Sandwich Revolution | Cape Town

What’s on it? Avocado, cherry tomato, pumpkin seeds, wild rocket, basil pesto and balsamic glaze on sourdough

Tired of the sandwich being brushed off as a cheap, unhealthy afterthought, Aidan Mautschke and Günter Boisits sought to revolutionize the handheld using the freshest ingredients, including artisan breads and locally sourced produce from South African farms. The fruits of their labor are eight sandwiches that borrow inspiration from across the globe – from a Florida-homaging cubano to an ode to Portugal’s prego. But the Verde is a new original that acts as a vegan vehicle for the area’s freshest veggies. Creamy avocado and cherry tomatoes come to life thanks to a swath of basil pesto and a splash of balsamic glaze. But it’s the pumpkin seeds that really seal the deal, adding an unexpected crunch that we can’t get enough of. Check out the Sandwich Revolution next time you’re in the city. 

Roasted pork leg sandwich from Casa Guedes | Porto

© DR

16. Roasted pork leg sandwich from Casa Guedes | Porto

What’s on it? Roasted pork leg, sheep milk cheese and house sauce on rustic bread

Modesty aside, Porto knows how to make a phenomenal sandwich. What helps this one stand out from the bunch? Casa Guedes’s secret is knowing how to make simple regional ingredients sing. The pork leg is roasted slowly and rendered tender before it’s sliced to order, soaked in sauce and laid to rest on toasted rustic bread. It’s perfect as is, but that shouldn’t stop you from adding a slice of creamy, slightly funky sheep milk cheese, which melts under the heat of the sauce. The staff will recommend pairing it with a glass of sparkling wine, but we prefer an ice-cold beer to wash it down.Steffany Casanova

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Roast sirloin sandwich from Plus61 | Marrakech

Photograph: Nicole Francesca Manfron

17. Roast sirloin sandwich from Plus61 | Marrakech

What’s on it? Roast sirloin, eggplant relish, onion and chili on grilled sourdough

When Austrailians Cassandra Karinsky and Sebastian de Gzell opened their serene dining room in Marrakech, they knew they wanted to bring a taste of home to the Red City. Their twist on an Aussie steak sandwich has found a permanent spot on their rotating hyper-seasonal menu, which embraces the local melting pot of cultures. This jaw-stretcher is flanked by hearty slices of grilled housemade sourdough and stuffed with juicy slow-roasted sirloin, tangy eggplant relish and a mess of onions and chilies. You won’t find many sandwiches in Marrakech, but this one from Plus61 is worth seeking out.

The Turkey Leg sandwich from Henry Public | New York

Photograph: Henry Public

18. The Turkey Leg sandwich from Henry Public | New York

What’s on it? Turkey and thinly-sliced fried onions.

New York City is known for its sandwiches. Stroll in any direction and you’re likely to find iconic pastrami, classic chopped cheese, fantastic falafel, model bánh mì, parm several ways, and that perennial favorite, “baconeggandcheese.” And listen, if you’re here for one day you’re probably going to visit Katz’s for the former and go on to lead a happy life. If you’re here for 26 hours or more, head to Henry Public in Cobble Hill. Its turkey leg sandwich fits the entirety of that titular protein between two slices of toast, and even squeezes in some finely-sliced, crispy onions for dynamic texture. There’s little else like it in the five boroughs, and Henry Public’s located in a cinematically quaint part of brownstone Brooklyn a short distance from beautiful Brooklyn Bridge Park adds to its destination dining status.

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