Where To Find The 20 Best Breakfast Sandwiches In America

The breakfast sandwich, in many ways, is a blank canvas. With a few simple, key ingredients — typically involving some combination of eggs, cheese, meat, and bread — the sky's the limit. America certainly isn't lacking in quality, with plenty of delicious breakfast sandwiches. Across the country, the morning staple takes many forms, from Middle Eastern-inspired creations and McMuffin riffs to vegan alternatives and lox-filled bagels.

A breakfast sandwich goes from good to great with proper technique and inventive steps. Whether using classic Southern-style biscuits as a buttery base or opting for fluffy English muffins and stacking sausage patties or crispy hash browns on top, the pathways to sandwich success are limitless. While some cafes and restaurants pay homage to Americana nostalgia with their takes, others veer in unexpected and exciting directions, adding everything from labneh and pesto to prosciutto di parma and feta butter. If you want to shake up your morning meal routine, find your way to the best breakfast sandwiches in America.

1. Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Egg Simit at Elephantine Bakery

Nestled down a brick-lined alley in Portsmouth, a quaint New Hampshire harbor town, one of the most unexpectedly epic and inventive breakfast sandwiches awaits. Elephantine Bakery is a pint-sized cafe with a European bistro vibe — and a robust menu of globally inspired sweets and savories, from Egyptian bread pudding to lamb kofta sandwiches. When it comes to sandwiches, though, the show-stopper is the egg simit.

A Middle Eastern-inspired sandwich through and through, the $12 creation is so named for simit, a kind of Turkish street food bread (via King Arthur Baking Company) that's typically yeast-risen and cooked in molasses-sweetened water before baking and getting dredged in nutty sesame seeds. The bread is complex and rich, but then you add jammy eggs, hummus, beet and pistachio labneh, za'atar-spiced feta, and baby spinach for vibrant Turkish texture and flavor, all held together by the perfect roll.

2. Portland, Oregon: Yolko Ono at Fried Egg I'm In Love

After originating as a successful food cart — and amassing a considerable following – Fried Egg I'm In Love has grown into a veritable mini-empire of breakfast sandwich supremacy in Portland. Nowadays, there are two carts — one at Pioneer Courthouse Square and one at Prost! Marketplace, with outdoor seating at both. There's also a brick-and-mortar restaurant on Hawthorne (open for both takeout and dine-in). It offers casual on-site dining in a space filled with bright yolk-yellow hues.

Much of its success is due to its signature sandwich, the adorably dubbed Yolko Ono. It features an over-medium egg, succulent sausage patty, fresh pesto, and parmesan cheese served on toasted sourdough from Portland French Bakery. There's also a secret ingredient. All breakfast sandwiches feature a spice blend called "magic egg dust." As mysterious as that sounds, the magical sandwich, which costs $8, certainly merits the moniker.

3. Beacon, New York: English Muffin Breakfast Sandwich at The Beacon Daily

While innovation and exoticism with sandwiches can be fun, sometimes it's hard to top a well-mastered classic — and mastery is what they've accomplished at The Beacon Daily, a charming and casual cafe in Beacon, New York. With an inviting facade that looks like a cottage, it's not surprising that the food is as comforting and soul-stirring as the atmosphere. For proof, swing by in the morning for one of their customizable and perfectly classic English muffin breakfast sandwiches.

A prime example of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," The Beacon Daily takes a familiar breakfast favorite, an English muffin sandwich, and elevates it through a laundry list of optional add-ons. The English muffins are fluffy and buttery, with enough texture to hold everything together, no matter how many ingredients you add. In addition to two farm-fresh eggs and American cheese, options include classics like bacon, ham, and breakfast sausage. Get creative with extras like smoked turkey, red chili tofu, and chicken blueberry sausage. The restaurant also has a particular penchant for fried chicken, which is a surefire way to kick this thing up a notch (via Hudson Valley). Depending on what you add to the sandwich, prices range between $6 and $12.

4. Santa Fe, New Mexico: Breakfast Croissant at Dolina Santa Fe

In the land of breakfast burritos, it takes a great breakfast sandwich to rival the traditional morning ritual in Santa Fe, per Only In Your State. Indeed, at the casually chic cafe Dolina Bakery & Cafe, there's a sandwich that does just that. This place is one of the top cafes in town, thanks to the owner's Slovakian roots and her emphasis on Eastern European influences throughout the menu. Her innovation stands out on the menu's sole breakfast sandwich.

A buttery and flaky croissant is the bread of choice, which makes sense considering the cafe's excellent array of pastries and baked goods. The croissants are sliced in half length-wise and layered with organic scrambled eggs, crispy strips of bacon, avocado, radish sprouts, and in a nod to Santa Fe's geography, asadero cheese, a mild cheese from Northern Mexico (via On The Gas). Everything is local and sustainable, and the cafe partners with a nearby farm for many of its ingredients. Snag one of these for $13, and you'll forget all about breakfast burritos (at least until tomorrow).

5. Columbus, Ohio: Egg & Cheese at The Lox

Bagels and lox go together like peanut butter and jelly or burgers and fries. When both the bagel and the lox are perfect on their own, pairing them together is truly the breakfast of champions. Such is the success story at The Lox Bagel Shop, a hip counter-service cafe in Columbus' Short North that commands a well-deserved line every day.

Folks queue up for some of the most lauded bagels in America, where the focus is on quality over quantity (via Food & Wine). There are only four flavors of housemade bagels to choose from: everything, plain, sea salt and herb, and sesame. From here, the deliciously chewy and well-seasoned bagels are the anchor for a few breakfast sandwiches. The primary flavor bomb is the egg and cheese, a medley of creamy and scrambled eggs with a condiment called simply egg sauce. It's an exciting mix of mustard, mayo, chipotle, and honey (via Columbus Monthly). That combo, which costs $8, is epic in and of itself, but adding the cafe's namesake lox — in all its salty glory — for an extra $4.75 is well worth every penny.

6. Portland, Maine: Breakfast Sandwich at Tandem Coffee Roasters

Biscuit sandwiches are a rite of all-American passage, especially in the South. It might be surprising to learn that one of the most decadent biscuit breakfast sandwiches resides in Portland, Maine, a town more known for lobster and whoopie pies than buttermilk baked goods. However, Tandem Coffee Roasters is full of pleasant surprises, and nowhere is this more apparent than their breakfast sandwich.

With two locations in Portland, including the main roastery in East Bayside and a full-blown bakery in a former gas station, you'll need to head to the latter to chow down on Tandem's pastries, pies, and savory fixings. It's hard to outshine the staple breakfast sandwich, which takes a fluffy-soft egg and gooey American cheese, smears on smoked paprika mayo, and smooshes it all between a flaky buttermilk biscuit. It sounds relatively simple, but every element of this buttery treat is baked, cooked, and piled with precision and care — plus, it only costs $6.

7. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: BLT at Neon Coffee

Coffee and donuts are a classic breakfast ritual, but they're typically not in breakfast sandwiches. However, Neon Coffee, an artsy and bright gallery-like cafe in the Plaza District, is mixing things up. Here, the whimsical minds behind nearby Empire Slice House turn their talents to breakfast sandwiches and doughnuts by combining the two.

There are a few comforting sandwiches to select from but opt for the BLT for a crisp and crunchy taste of summer. It has the standard formula of bacon strips, juicy tomato slices, fresh butter lettuce, and mayo. It's as perfect as any good BLT, but then you serve it all on doughnut bread, and things become extraordinary. Essentially a less-sweet donut, it's got the same fluffy-soft texture of a glazed donut, minus the treacly undertones, and it does an ace job of structuring your bacon fix. Each sandwich goes for $5.

8. Austin, Texas: Better Half Breakfast Sandwich at Better Half Coffee & Cocktails

It takes talent to run an all-day cafe as adept at breakfast fare as evening cocktails, burgers, and dessert. Better Half Coffee & Cocktails is just such a place. The stylish cafe includes a sprawling patio perfect for laptop workers mixing business with comfort food pleasure, happy hour, and date night. Comfort food doesn't get any better than the Better Half breakfast sandwich.

A golden, freshly baked English muffin is the bread of choice, layered with a Jenga-like tower of toppings. You'll find crispy hash brown patty, smoked paprika aïoli, peppery arugula, and a fried egg that's so farm-fresh its molten yolk oozes a vibrant orange on this baby. From here, you can choose bacon, breakfast sausage, avocado, or Beyond Sausage, all of which are welcome supplements and textural enhancements. A Better Half beauty will cost you $11.

9. Milwaukie, Wisconsin: Vegan Brekky Sammy at The National Cafe

With a focus on eggs, cheese, and meaty elements like sausage patties and bacon strips, breakfast sandwiches aren't typically a go-to meal for vegans. However, The National Cafe in Milwaukie's Walker's Point neighborhood is reinventing the carnivorous wheel for its vegan version.

The funky, lofty cafe is all about the fine details, from sourcing ingredients as locally as possible to decking out its industrial-chic dining room with twinkling bulb lights. It's an ethos that applies to its outside-the-box approach to cooking, especially at breakfast. Case in point: the $11 Vegan Brekky Sammy skips the eggs in favor of a crispy hash brown patty, vegan sausage patty, melted vegan cheese, guacamole, and smoky chipotle sauce, all stacked on a toasted pretzel bun and served with a fresh fruit cup (because, you know, healthy). It's a meaty meal sans meat, and you won't even notice the difference, especially with Mexican-inspired add-ons like guac and chipotle.

10. Atlanta, Georgia: Egg Sammie at Little Tart Bakeshop

Any time an artisanal, scratch-made bakery tries its hand at savories, the results are illuminating. Atlanta's The Little Tart Bakeshop is a prime example. While primarily known for its sweets and pastries, like chocolate pistachio croissants and peach galettes, the bakery is just as adept in the savory department, applying the same diligent attention to detail as any fine pastry.

The modestly named Egg Sammie may not look or sound original, but every element of this deceptively simple feat shows an impressive level of craft. For starters, it's all served on homemade, buttered English muffins, which are pillowy-soft. Along with Thomasville Tomme, a creamy and earthy semi-soft cow's milk cheese (via Sweet Grass Dairy), the sandwich levels up with a souffléd farm egg to attain an impossibly fluffy, airy quality. Downright ethereal in its light texture, you can try one for $6.50 at the flagship Grant Park location or at outposts in Summerhill and Krog Street Market.

11. Washington, D.C.: Breakfast sandwich at Colada Shop

With its focus on cheese, meat, and bread, Cuban cuisine lends itself well to next-level breakfast sandwich cookery. That's because epic sandwiches are just par for the course, as seen at Washington, D.C. mini chain Colada Shop, a colorful and trendy smattering of fast-casual eateries in the city and Potomac, Maryland, and the Mosaic District in Fairfax, Virginia. In addition to exemplary lunchtime fixtures, like Cuban sandwiches and Guava BBQ Lechon, the breakfast sandwiches are well worth getting up early.

A lot of its popularity has to do with the bread. Cuban bread is a yeast-risen loaf that gets its chewy texture from bread flour and its tender, fluffy body from lard (via Savor the Flavor). That pork fat pairs well with sandwich toppings like mojo pork and ham, optional morning additions, and standard fillings of egg tortilla and gooey Swiss cheese. If you're looking to lighten it up, there's a spinach and egg white version. All versions go for $10.

12. Chicago, Illinois: The Spinning J Breakfast Sandwich at Spinning J

Known for its superb seasonal pies, milkshakes, cookies, and other nostalgia-inducing sweets, Spinning J Bakery and Soda Fountain is just as skilled with saltier ingredients. The adorably charming bakery and cafe is a modern homage to vintage soda shops. Perched at a prime corner in Humboldt Park, it scratches that old-school itch with a full menu of perfectly executed desserts and sandwiches. In the morning, the standout attraction is the Spinning J Breakfast Sandwich.

The cafe's namesake nosh stands out for the absolute perfection of its English muffin. It's baked fresh in-house and astonishingly rich, buttery, and fluffy. It would be delicious purely on its own, but when you add soft scrambled eggs and sharp white cheddar — or opt for extras like locally sourced bacon or sausage — it's perfect. Customers can swap out the English muffin for a biscuit (buttermilk or blue cheese) or get a little more creative with the roasted poblano and chipotle version, which adds pepper sauce and garlic kale to the mix. The standard sandwich goes for $8.

13. Virginia Beach, Virginia: The Hecky at Three Ships Coffee

When you can count the list of ingredients on a single hand, said ingredients must be top-tier to stand out. The breakfast sandwiches at Virginia Beach's Three Ships Coffee Roasters, especially The Hecky sandwich, are a beacon of pure quality over quantity.

With locations in Norfolk, Virginia, and the Hilltop area of Virginia Beach, the hip, nautical-themed cafe has its flagship outpost in the Vibe District, a few blocks from the beach. It's a vibey space to hang out, get some work done, chill on the patio, and chow down on ham-filled breakfast sandwiches. The Hecky is a biscuit sandwich that uses a generous heap of Edward's Ham, a smoky country ham from Surry, Virginia, and then accents that with scrambled egg and Vermont cheddar cheese for a high-quality home-run. The sandwich costs $8.55. The other sandwiches, which include The Becky, The Sec, and the DIY Buttermilk Biscuit, are also delicious.

14. Winter Park, Florida: Egg MeatMuffin at Orlando Meats

Part butcher shop, counter-service restaurant, and mini-market with locally sourced vittles and sundries, Orlando Meats is a multi-talented business. It does a lot of things well — especially meat and playful cooking. The vibrant, bustling eatery is the kind of place with whimsical innovations like chicken and brownie waffles, pineapple-laced chicken ramen, and ranch-seasoned pork rinds. However, the biggest highlight is perhaps a riff on a McDonald's McMuffin.

McMuffin variations are known as the end-all-be-all of breakfast sandwich perfection. Here, the aptly dubbed Egg MeatMuffin is like a high-quality twist on the fast-food icon, with all the same fixings that make the McMuffin so crave-able, albeit elevated. Made on a slightly spicy Szechaun-seasoned bun, the $10 MeatMuffin comes with eggs slathered in melted cheddar, plus your choice of ham or bacon (sourced locally and butchered in-house, naturally), and a creamy smear of garlic aïoli.

15. Los Angeles, California: Sweet Egg at Egg Tuck

It helps when a menu item includes descriptors like fluffy, creamy, cheesy, and in some rare cases, ultra-premium. All adjectives are par for the course at Egg Tuck, a Los Angeles cafe with locations in Koreatown and Hollywood. It draws inspiration from Korean egg sandwich traditions to achieve a glorious new level of fluffy and creamy perfection.

Korean egg sandwiches — made with soufflé-like fluffy eggs, buttered bread, cheese, and mayo sauce — are the driving force behind the sandwiches at Egg Tuck (via Drive Me Hungry). All sandwiches feature thick and doughy brioche buns, as soft and tender as a slab of French toast, which the cafe describes as "ultra-premium." They feature a heap of soft cage-free scrambled eggs, snipped chives, Sriracha aïoli, and a drizzle of signature mayo-like egg sauce. Though some sandwiches bump up the indulgence with supplements like short rib patties and smoked ham, the classic option here is the Sweet Egg sandwich, which nails the ideal combination of texture and flavor with its creamy scrambled eggs, chives, Sriracha, and egg sauce, for $7.99.

16. Nashville, Tennessee: Prosciutto, Egg & Smoked Mozz at Milk & Honey

The incredible edible egg takes top billing at Milk & Honey, a crafty cafe in Nashville's hip Gulch neighborhood. The daytime spot is open for breakfast and lunch and serves eggs in shakshuka, mushroom toast, and quinoa breakfast bowls. The brunch sandwiches, though, are the mighty mainstays.

With so many options on the menu, the breakfast sandwiches at Milk & Honey offer a variety of choices, each one more extravagant than the next. Some come on sourdough and slathered in red-eye gravy, while another pairs horseradish mayo and applewood-smoked ham on a toasted croissant. Then there's the $12 Prosciutto, Egg & Smoked Mozz sandwich. Essentially a glorified ham and cheese sandwich, it features thin slivers of buttery prosciutto di Parma, scrambled egg, and smoked mozzarella. It comes with your choice of sourdough bread or a biscuit. However, this is the South, so you know what to do.

17. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Geno's Egg Sandwich at Sofra Bakery & Cafe

Any time a full-service restaurant goes casual and opens a spin-off cafe, it bodes well for your next breakfast fix. That's the case with Sofra Bakery & Cafe, a charming shop in Cambridge from the minds behind nearby Oleana. While the latter specializes in meticulous, contemporary interpretations of Middle Eastern flavors with dinner plates, Sofra offers a casual approach with an array of Turkish-oriented flatbreads, shawarmas, meze, savory pies, Syrian shortbread, and sandwiches.

The signature breakfast sandwich is large in flavor for such a small cafe. Geno's Egg Sandwich, which costs $8, features an over-easy egg with halloumi cheese, feta butter, tomato concasse, and zhoug on a tender brioche bun. Every element is a far cry from standard American breakfast sandwiches, including the tangy chew of the halloumi cheese to the salty punch of the feta butter. Tomato concasse, a technique that involves dicing tomatoes with no seeds or skin, lends some lush sweetness (via Bluejean Chef). Zhoug is a spicy cilantro sauce that brings the Middle Eastern emphasis full circle — and full flavor (via Cookie and Kate).

18. Las Vegas, Nevada: B-Fast Sammie at The Goodwich

The whimsical sandwich-stackers at The Goodwich, a quirky and colorful Arts District shop decorated with superhero swag and Pixar characters, take a self-described "Stacked-Rite" philosophy to cooking and presentation. That means attention to detail and quality with every step and element along the way — as evidenced by the menu's tasty breakfast sandwich and other delights.

After originating as a casual takeout-only kiosk in a dive bar parking lot, the brand enjoyed enough success to pave the way to a vibrant storefront stacked with flavor. In the morning, try the B-Fast Sammie, a sandwich that looks more like a burger than your typical breakfast snack. The bread of choice is a sesame seed bun, and the sausage patty is so hefty it looks like a burger. Scrambled eggs, American cheese, and chipotle mayo add smokiness and flavor. You can snag one for $11.

19. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Classic Breakfast Sandwich at Middle Child

Decked out like a posh, trendy diner, Middle Child is a far cry from your standard American cafe or coffee shop. The contemporary counter-service joint is chic and Instagrammable. It describes itself as an homage to Italian hoagie shops, Greek diners, and Jewish delis, so sandwiches reign supreme — including some over-the-top breakfast sandwiches that are well worth the inevitable napkin-strewn mess.

The classic breakfast sandwich may be classic with its ingredients, but tradition stops there. Firstly, the massive wedges of creamy baked eggs are so mighty and fluffy that it takes this sandwich into sky-scraping territory. The ratio of egg to everything else in this sandwich is basically nine to one. Atop the eggs sits a layer of melted sharp American cheese and a bed of zingy arugula, all smooshed together on toasted potato bread. You can order one for $7.50.

20. Denver, Colorado: Broseph at Olive and Finch

Never underestimate the power of made-to-order scratch cooking, wholesome ingredients, and classic recipes that get a glow up with a little extra care. Those are the humble, admirable origins at Olive & Finch, a hip Denver cafe in Uptown and Cherry Creek, where recognizable American dishes get kicked up a notch with tangy sauces, smoky meats, and fluffy bread.

The Broseph is a burly breakfast sandwich that looks more like a barbecue feast than a standard morning meal. This creation hits all the right notes with two scrambled eggs, tender pastrami, jalapeños, and caramelized onions. Horseradish aïoli adds more spice, and Swiss cheese melts over the whole happy mess. It's all sandwiched on a toasted brioche bun and served with fruit, English muffin, or a novel creation called a crognet, a croissant-beignet hybrid. Just in case this pastrami-packed sucker punch of a sandwich wasn't epic enough. You can grab one of these massive plates for $17.50.