When we asked people to tell us about their favorite breakfast sandwich they’d ever had, suggestions poured in from every corner of the country. The formula for each is similar—all are bread-y vessels for protein, topped with flavor-enhancing extras from the simplistic (just dill) to the decadent (I mean, look at that cornucopia of a bialy). But it turns out that breakfast sandwiches are an intensely personal, infinitely customizable morning meal.
In our survey, descriptions of these morning sammies ran the gamut from “nap-inducing” to “hangover-curing” to “literally life-changing.” Across the board, they were declared the best of the best—and when it’s beloved breakfast sandwiches you’re after, that’s really saying something. They include pork belly and lemon-garlic aioli and chive oil. Or they include sharp cheddar and homemade sausage gravy and bacon. They are delicate bites that give you no reason for a napkin or they are veritable gut bombs going for broke. They will soak up every little bit of booze still in your system or they will leave you feeling nearly virtuous.
So if it’s the morning after and all you want is a bacon, egg, and cheese (and stat), or if you’ve already run twelve miles and you’re starving for carbs, or if you need to appease your hungry, filter-conscious Instagram followers, we have a few ideas.
1. The Egg & Dill from Astro Coffee, Detroit, MI: Egg and dill on ciabatta
2. Fried Chicken Gravy & Biscuit from Cafe Carrboro, Carrboro, NC: House-spiced chicken breast on a homemade buttermilk biscuit topped with house-made sausage gravy
3. Egg Sandwich from Summers, Brooklyn, NY: Cage free egg, avocado, and cheddar sriracha on a Parkerhouse roll. Bacon optional.
4. Bialy Egg Sandwich from Gjelina Take Away, Los Angeles, CA: Fried egg, arugula, harissa ketchup, and gruyere, with bacon or pork belly on a bialy
5. The Special Breakfast Sandwich from Devil’s Teeth Baking Company, San Francisco, CA: two eggs scrambled, topped with pepper jack cheese, applewood smoked bacon, and their famous lemon-garlic aioli on a homemade buttermilk biscuit
6. Egg Sandwich from Black Tree, Brooklyn, NY: cheddar-scallion biscuit, two fried eggs, cheddar, chive oil, and market greens with bacon, sausage, or oyster mushrooms.
7. Hippie Banjo from Pies 'n' Thighs, Brooklyn, NY: egg, cheddar, avocado, tomato, sprouts, and mayo (bacon, optional)
8. The Five and Dime from Maple Street Biscuit Company, Jacksonville, FL: flaky biscuit, all natural fried chicken breast, pecan wood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese topped with sausage gravy with a little kick and an egg
9. Scrapple Sandwich from Two Boroughs Larder, Charleston, SC: Scrapple with a farm egg and aged cheddar on a hard roll
10. Eggs and Greens from The Farmer’s Wife, Sebastopol, CA: Braised greens, garlic, chili, egg, and cheese on toast
11. Breakfast Torta from Mike & Patty’s, Boston, MA: two fried eggs, cheddar cheese, pickled jalapenos, potatoes, black beans, salsa and avocado on Iggy’s sesame torta roll