There’s nothing more comforting to the sleepy morning senses than a steamy bun cradling egg, cheese, and bacon. Breakfast sandwiches exist in every imaginable form across the nation, and it is undeniable they help millions of Americans start their day. Here’s a look at the best spots in every state, based on high ratings from customers and food critics alike, and what makes each unique.
Alabama: Cahawba House
The classic sandwich at Cahawba House couldn’t get more Southern: It features pimento cheese, fried green tomatoes, and bacon, and it is served on a fresh biscuit. But if you are looking for something heartier, you can go for the Smothered Pig, which adds local Conecuh sausage.
Alaska: Kriner’s Diner
At Kriner’s Diner you can get a classic egg, cheese, and sausage on an English muffin loaded with reindeer sausage instead of the more ubiquitous pork. Don’t fret, you can always put it off by poking around at the side of hash browns. Kriner’s has been around for more than 20 years, run by the same proud family.
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Arizona: Zookz Sandwiches
Zookz Sandwiches really lives up to its name — or at least really knows its sandwiches. Its Arizona-influenced breakfast sandwich includes two poached eggs, avocado, chorizo, potatoes, and a spicy buttermilk sauce. It ensures guests have gluten-free options, and servers are happy to adjust ingredients based on dietary preferences.
Arkansas: Little Bread Co.
What is most surprising about Little Bread Co. is not an unusual choice of ingredients — it sticks to classics such as egg and cheese or avocado and bacon — but bread choice. The most popular sandwiches come on croissants or bagels, such as The Kramer, featuring avocado, red onion, sprouts, bacon, and herb cream cheese. While it may not be Arkansas-specific, we’re not complaining.
California: The Sycamore Kitchen
Perhaps the foodiest of states, it’s hard to choose just one crowning breakfast sandwich in California, but The Sycamore Kitchen scores pretty high with its scrambled egg and chorizo sandwich. The perfectly golden bun paired with sweet caramelized onions, tomato spread, and spicy sriracha mayo really set this one off. And besides, Sycamore has a case full of fresh-baked pastries you can snack on while waiting, or sneak home.
Colorado: Rise & Shine
Rise & Shine offers fully customizable biscuits for a budget-friendly breakfast option. Starting off at $1.35 for a plain, unadorned, biscuit, most sandwiches go hardly over the $5 mark — so if you had a particularly late night, there’s no guilt involved in getting two or three biscuits to get you through a rough morning. And if you’ve got a sweet tooth, it offers a biscuit cinnamon roll with optional frosting.
Bagels are to be expected in the Northeast, but fried chicken? Goldberg’s, where locals line up for bagels daily, serves the Mother Clucker! for breakfast — a simple but tremendously satisfying fried chicken, egg, pepper jack cheese, and chipotle mayo combination. You can get it on a bagel of your choosing, or on specialty breads that include gluten-free options.
Delaware: The Drip Cafe
Hockessin and Newark
"The Cali" might suggest we’re on the wrong coast, but this sandwich at Drip Cafe makes you feel like you are on a luxurious vacation. It combines a fried egg, mozzarella, avocado, arugula, and basil aioli on sourdough toast, with an option for bacon or smoked salmon to make it an extra decadent experience.
District of Columbia: The Florida Avenue Grill
The Florida Avenue Grill opened in 1944, so it knows what it’s doing. This iconic D.C. diner serves an egg sandwich for $3.50, but you can add bacon, sausage, or scrapple and pay $5, or get a Halfsmoke — a smoked sausage sandwich — for a little more. You may have to wait in line to snag a table here, but it will be worth it.
Florida: Marlene’s Original
Marlene’s Original gets rave reviews for a generous array of breakfast sandwiches. Its classic egg, ham, and cheese is served on a croissant and slathered in the housemade, secret Zesty Sauce. But it also has a handful of hearty sandwiches served on cuban breakfast rolls and piled high with a variety of meats and cheeses. This place is not for the faint of heart.
Georgia: The General Muir
Borrowing its looks from classic New York delis, The General Muir is a celebrated spot with a signature breakfast sandwich served on griddled rye and featuring pastrami, eggs, american cheese, and Russian dressing. But like any good diner, the options are varied and accommodate any guest.
Hawaii: Kaimuki Superette
Kaimuki Superette sources ingredients locally to ensure its offerings are packed with flavor. Its classic breakfast sandwich includes soft scrambled eggs, cheese, and tomato chutney on a bolillo roll, a kind of mini-baguette hailing from Central America. But if you wake up late and get there after 10 a.m., it offers a more adventurous octopus sandwich on a buttered hoagie roll. There’s a place for everyone at this table.
Idaho: Stanley’s Baking Co.
Tucked away in the Sawtooth mountains is a little bakery and cafe filling the air with the sweet smells of baked breads and pastries. What makes the breakfast sandwich at Stanley’s Baking Co. Idahoan — seeing it has one of the largest Basque communities in the United States — is the option of adding Basque-style chorizo.
Illinois: Do-Rite Donuts
While Do-Rite is typically thought to be a doughnut shop, its breakfast sandwiches have a cult following. The Vera Cruz is the standout option, with jack cheese, avocado, jalapeño, crispy tortilla strips, and mayo. If you have a sweet tooth or are the kind of person who drizzles maple syrup on bacon, you can put your sandwich on a doughnut for just $1 extra.
Indiana: Gallery Pastry Shop
Gallery Pastry Shop allows you to build the breakfast sandwich of your dreams, and on the flakiest of croissants. One of its suggested arrangements involves smoked salmon and a local fresh cheese on a mixed herbs croissant. There’s also a handful of pastries you can carry home to sweeten your day, as well as a careful selection of locally roasted coffee and creative espresso drinks.
Specializing in all-day sandwiches, Nodo has a breakfast classic for less than $4, but also tons of other creative options. Some tantalizing options include grilled banana and peanut butter and a housemade banh mi with tamari-marinated pulled pork.
Kansas: Heirloom Bakery
The biscuit breakfast sandwich at Heirloom Bakery is a true whirlwind of flavor, with eggs, caramelized leeks, sharp cheddar, peppered bacon, and apricot jam nestled inside a tender cheddar chive biscuit. Heirloom also has avocado toast that looks to die for.
Kentucky: Brown Hotel
Kentucky was the birthplace of a breakfast sandwich that stirred a nation: the Hot Brown, conjured in the Brown Hotel in the 1920s after a long night of dancing. Essentially, it is an open-faced turkey and bacon sandwich drenched in a creamy cheese sauce. And it can still be found at the Brown Hotel (which generously offers a recipe on its website) to this day.
District is the kind of spot you could hang out at all day, from that first morning coffee to that after-dinner espresso. Its current breakfast sandwiches are served in the form of kolaches, a kind of Eastern European empanada. Tender, brioche-like dough is stuffed with bacon, scrambled eggs, and cheese to make the perfect, worry-free, to-go option.
You would expect a small, locally owned sandwich shop to have a devoted following, and Punky’s helps you understand why. Its made-to-order breakfast sandwiches are very traditional, and very satisfying, with an egg that’s always cooked perfectly, cheese that’s always melting, and bacon that’s crispy but tender.
Maryland: Miss Shirley’s Cafe
Annapolis and Baltimore
There’s no denying Miss Shirley’s Cafe has cornered the breakfast and brunch market across Maryland. It has two signature breakfast sandwiches — one Southern themed, with fried green tomato, bacon, and avocado, the other Cuban influenced, stuffed with ham, pulled pork, eggs, and cheese. If you’re trying to keep it Chesapeake-themed, there’s a tantalizing crab cake eggs Benedict.
With its quirky name and lines out the door, Bagelsaurus became the established breakfast destination immediately upon opening in 2014. While it has a range of breakfast sandwiches, one of its most mouth-watering is the Eggspañola: free-range egg, feta, paprika aioli, and parsley gremolata. You can throw avocado on for a small fee.
Michigan: Honest John’s
Honest John’s covers all kinds of breakfasts, from traditional to extravagant, and its sandwich selection reflects that. It certainly serves the egg, sausage, and cheese you crave, but also has hearty vegan options and a hunking breakfast burrito to refuel those who had a late and wild night.
Minnesota: Sun Street Breads
The perfect biscuit is tender yet has bite, is flaky but holds together, and is buttery but light. Sun Street Breads knows what it’s doing with its biscuits, and offer a variety of sandwiches to satisfy any diner, with an intriguing vegetarian option involving sliding a mushroom crepe inside.
Mississippi: Pig & Pint
Think of the fried bologna and egg sandwich at Pig & Pint simply as the appetizer for that pile of barbecue you are about to devour. Served on the tenderest of brioche buns, and a side of B&B pickles to balance out that bologna, this sandwich is what you eat at the crack of dawn while you wait for the smoked meat to be done.
Missouri: Grace Meat + Three
Grace Meat + Three stuffs an English muffin as full as it can with two sausage patties, a fried egg, cheese, and delectable pepper jelly to round it all out. This establishment is also said to have the best fried chicken in Missouri, so if you want to call fried chicken and a slice of white bread a breakfast sandwich, we won’t stop ya.
Montana: Whole Hog Sandwiches
Whole Hog Sandwiches stays true to its name by piling "The O.G." high with bacon, ham, and sausage on a plain bagel with American cheese. For those trying to stay away from meat, there’s the "Hog-Friendly," a simple and classic egg and cheese on that same plain bagel with American cheese.
Nebraska: Culprit Cafe
Doubling as a bakery, the Culprit Cafe serves breakfast sandwiches on freshly baked bread and accompanies them with still-warm croissants. Its sandwich is served on a soft brioche stuffed with baked frittata, melted gouda, sumac aioli, pickled onion, and grilled ham or bacon. This is a studied arrangement of salty, tangy, sweet, and savory to start the day off right.
Nevada: Bros Breakfast and Lunch
New Hampshire: Bennett’s Sandwich Shop
The signature breakfast sandwich at the iconic Bennett’s Sandwich Shop puts steak, egg, and cheese on a roll — with no messing around, because Bennett’s specializes in sandwiches and has the experience to pull off the most classic of breakfast sandwiches in its timeless iterations. Go with the "Wicked Steak" to make things spicy.
New Mexico: The Grove
New York: Absolute Bagels
This is sure to be controversial, because New York is arguably the birthplace of breakfast sandwiches. That’s why we have two nominations — the first being the breakfast sandwich at any corner bodega. But the bacon and egg bagel at Absolute, a bagel mecca with a constant line out the door, takes the prize for price-to-deliciousness ratio at $3.
North Carolina: Laurel Market
Laurel Market is a neighborhood favorite. While it offers a long list of options, it’s not afraid to let guests build their dream sandwich with what might be the largest variety of bread choices we have seen. It even has a sandwich called "Green Eggs and Ham" — a wrap involving eggs, ham, scallions, and lettuce.
North Dakota: Bernbaum’s
Delicatessen-inspired but sporting international offerings, Bernbaum’s serves a popular bacon, egg, and cheese bagel, but its specialty breakfast sandwich replaces bacon with Romanian sausage and horseradish schmear. Bernbaum’s also has all-day latkes, knishes, and vegan Reubens.
Ohio: Emmett’s Cafe
Emmett’s Cafe is the new kid on the block, but it’s drawing crowds by paying homage to what might be the nation’s most lauded breakfast sandwich: the McMuffin. At Emmet’s, they call it the One-Handed, and jazz it up by adding crispy prosciutto to an English muffin with egg, cheese, and rosemary aioli.
Oklahoma: Shartel Cafe
Oregon: Vivienne Kitchen & Pantry
Locally made ciabatta, farm greens, housemade aioli — these all scream the Northwest, home of all things local and organic. Vivienne’s is the place to go for a luxurious breakfast sandwich made even more tantalizing by a generous spread of brie. If you’re a little extra hungry, add bacon or prosciutto.
Pennsylvania: Middle Child
Middle Child has a following like no other when it comes to sandwiches, and often sells out before noon. Its breakfast sandwich is served on a locally made potato loaf and stuffed full of eggs, sharp American cheese, and arugula. The rest of its seasonal and rotating sandwiches are just as good.
Rhode Island: Amy’s Place
At Amy’s Place you want The Hangover — which comes with bacon, egg, cheese, spinach, onion, guacamole, and hot sauce on a bolo. What’s a bolo, you ask? It’s like an English muffin hailing from Portugal, so the perfect thing to nurse a rough morning.
South Carolina: Page’s Okra Grill
It’s hard to choose between the Fried Chicken Biscuit and the Cowboy Sandwich at Page’s Okra Grill. Both are suited to that balmy Southern air: The biscuit is exactly what it sounds like, with fried chicken between two halves of a perfect buttery biscuit for only $3.50; the Cowboy Sandwich is a little more hefty, with two sausage patties, melted pepper jack, scrambled eggs, and jalapeños. Yee haw!
South Dakota: Josiah’s Coffeehouse & Cafe
Josiah’s Coffeehouse & Cafe dishes up all kinds of wonderful baked goods and pastries, and one of its specialties is flatbreads. But it has a classic breakfast sandwich of fried eggs, cheese, and bacon on a toasted English muffin, which comes with a side of fresh fruit to help cut through those carbs.
Dose has gotten well deserved national recognition for its breakfast and coffee programs. Its offerings don’t break the mold, but bring life to old classics, including a breakfast rosemary biscuit with eggs, ham, and remoulade sauce. Sometimes it is better to keep things simple.
You could spend a lifetime scouring Texas for the best breakfast tacos, but the best breakfast sandwich can be found at Paperboy, a stationary trailer slinging goods under the hot Texas sun. Its B.E.C. includes thickly cut bacon, pimento cheese, and a sunny side up egg on a buttered buttermilk bun. Yum. If you’re looking for more heft, it serves a maple sausage biscuit sandwich with a side of perfectly golden potato wedges.
Utah: Sweet Lake Biscuits & Limeade
Salt Lake City and Draper
If you’re going to spend a day in the Utah mountains, you need the right kind of fuel. Sweet Lake, which started out as a small family limeade stand at the local farmers market, knows what it’s doing with breakfast too. Its signature sandwich, The Hoss, is served on a biscuit layered with fried chicken, egg, bacon, local sausage gravy, and green onion. Maybe take a nap before you hit the slopes.
Vermont: Kountry Kart Deli
Sometimes the perfect breakfast sandwich is not about the flawless culinary execution, but more about the place wrapping it in paper and foil for you. That’s where Kountry Kart Deli comes in. One of its most notable sandwiches is the Montreal Smoked Meat, which includes just that imported from Canada with Swiss cheese, tomatoes, onion, and dijon on rye.
Virginia: Moore Street Cafe
While Richmond is experiencing a renaissance of Americana cuisine, Moore Street Cafe has been holding down the fort for years, and its experience shows. Its Breakfast Club has it all, and is large enough to share: It’s a triple stack of Texas toast layered with eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, cheese, and the regular lettuce, tomato, and mayo for $9.
Washington: The Crumpet Shop
The Crumpet Shop fits right in with the fog and rain. The crumpet, a kind of mash-up between a pancake and an English muffin, hails from England, and its craggy holes offer the ideal hiding place for butter, cheese, and everything nice. One of the most tantalizing breakfast sandwiches on offer here is the egg and smoked salmon spread. But don’t sleep on the Green Eggs & Ham, which blends organic eggs with pesto.
West Virginia: The Grind
Every college town needs a go-to breakfast and coffee spot for students stumbling out of bed and on to class. Here it’s The Grind, with a traditional bacon, egg, and cheese without any fuss or much expense. The Grind has also been a hip hangout for coffee and lunch on weekends or days off.
Casetta takes inspiration from Italian deli cuts to provide a sandwich that transports eaters to lands of olive groves and vineyards. Its bread is baked in-house, and its signature sandwich features mortadella, provolone, egg, and deli mustard. An exercise in simplicity and delicate balance.
Wyoming: Sweet Cheeks Meats
There is no establishment more trustworthy when it comes to breakfast sandwiches than a butcher shop. Not only does it know its product inside and out, but can also guarantee premium freshness and quality. Sweet Cheeks Meats has a rotating breakfast sandwich that may be a burger one day, a Reuben the next, or a maple sausage and cheese. What holds them all together is outstanding quality and exquisite flavor.