Food by VICE

30 Delicious Sandwich Recipes to Save You from Your Sad Desk Lunch

No offense to ham and cheese, but you can do better.

by Munchies Staff
Mar 20 2018, 7:00pm

Photo by Heami Lee

If there is one thing you should never be too intimidated to experiment with, it's the sandwich. Good bread, maybe some vegetables of some sort, a substantive filling, the condiments of your choosing—and pickles. Don’t forget the pickles—pretty much every sandwich is better with something pickled tucked inside. That increases to a solid 100 percent with vegetarian sandwiches. Sandwiches are, perhaps, the easiest canvas on which to learn to experiment with your food. It’s almost impossible to screw up, and the possibilities are endless. Here are 30 of our favorite sandwiches to inspire you to lunchtime greatness. Have your chips on standby.

This simple sandwich takes the vibe of the lobster roll, but swaps in a heck of a lot of Alaskan King Crab. We’re not saying you should try to make your whole office jealous, but this will do that for sure.

If your week of meal-prepped salads has gotten boring, this easy sandwich will help you eat all your veggies in a new format. Homemade focaccia takes it to the next level, but we’re not judging you for store-bought either.

There is so much acid going on in this sandwich—vinegar, tomatoes, pickled onions, sauerkraut—you’re going to really appreciate topping this up with crunchy, salty potato chips and spicy caraway seeds.

You know what’s less weird than the perfectly square piece of soggy breaded fish you get on a fast food fish sandwich? A perfectly square piece of tempeh. It’s made to be molded into whatever shape your little heart desires. And you’re going to want it to be slathered in this vegan tartar sauce, too.

Skirt steak and salsa verde go together like peanut butter and jelly. Turn this classic combo into the steak sandwich of your dreams with garlic-rubbed torta rolls.

Forget the mushy mess you’re calling an egg salad sandwich. With cucumbers, avocado, and a crusty baguette, this version will get you stoked on the bagged lunch classic all over again.

There’s only one way to eat a Wise Sons corned beef Reuben, and that’s with your sleeves rolled up to the elbows—because you’re gonna have Russian dressing and sauerkraut juice running allllll over the damn place.

Whether you’re vegetarian or just trying to cut down on your meat eating, this sandwich packs in all your favorite parts of the Reuben so you won’t even miss the corned beef.

Chickpeas and shrimp, for the gains. Use a soft roll here, so you can stuff as many crispy chickpea fritters into your hungry maw as humanly possible.

This is kind of like eggplant parm in sandwich form? Breaded and fried eggplant with half a pound of buffalo mozz, arugula and tomato sauce is a winning combo.

Baltimore folks get SO AMPED on crab cakes, and that’s because they know the best ones are made from 100 percent jumbo lump crab meat. No filler as far as the eye can see. Don’t forget your Old Bay.

Make sure you’ve got vegan barbecue sauce, and you’ve just found your perfect alternative to pulled pork barbecue sandwiches this summer. Slaw is mandatory.

If you thought The Pizza Show host Frank Pinello only knew pizza, you’d be wrong. He also knows quite a bit about the simplest but most delicious pillar of Italian-American food—the Italian combo hero. Four types of cured meats, oil and vinegar, red onions, and provolone. Fuhgeddaboutit.

Don’t let the plain appearance of this fried fish sandwich deceive you. Peruvian chef Mitsuharu Tsumura runs Maido, currently sitting comfortably in the top 10 on the list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. None of Tsumura’s food, not even a humble fish sandwich, is anything close to boring.

The best way to eat soft shell crabs is fried crispy with lots of lemon and aioli. Slap ‘em on a Martin’s potato roll with some slaw, and you’ve got a perfect beach snack that all the seagulls will annoy the crap out of you for.

Alvin Cailan of LA’s beloved Eggslut can show you the way to a never-fail breakfast sandwich so hearty and perfect you’ll want to eat it any time of day.

There’s a lot of fancy-ass specialty ingredients in Action Bronson’s steak sandwich here, but the philosophy is really simple—whatever scraps of meat you (or your butcher) have left over, on good crusty bread with your favorite condiments.

Sandwiches are always missing something acidic or spicy to take them from sad desk lunch to unnfffff. This breaded chicken sub has horseradish sauce and quick pickled cucumbers for a swift kick to your sinuses and your taste buds.

With roast pork neck, cracklings, and homemade buns, this is not your average roast pork sandwich.

This Mexican sandwich, from the state of Jalisco, is quite literally drowning in spicy guajillo-tomato sauce. And don’t be a hero—use a knife and fork.

This sandwich is one of London chef Jeremy Lee’s signature dishes at the Blueprint Café, and its arguably the best version of the city’s iconic working-class lunch staple.

Watch Matty Matheson make this Vietnamese classic—homemade pate included—on IT’S SUPPERTIME!

Buttery lobster on buttery brioche buns with mayo and lemon juice is basically summer on a roll.

Take it from New England to New Orleans with a classic shrimp po’boy. Don’t skimp on the spicy mayo or the pickled red onions.

Never underestimate the power of a well-prepared tartar sauce and a toasted, buttery potato roll to perfect your fish sandwich game.

If you’re looking for a coma-inducing sandwich, look no further than Curtis Stone’s fried green tomato, foie gras, and steak monster.

You can watch Guy Fieri get out of bounds with our Test Kitchen Director Farideh Sadeghin while he teaches us not to fear the pressure cooker and make these classic barbecue brisket sandwiches.

Not gonna get into the semantics of “sandwich,” because this lamb souvlaki is too good to bicker over. Slather it up with some herby yogurt and you’ve got lunch covered.

As with most things relating to bread and cheese, the French really nailed this one. The good folks from LA’s Terrine offered us their take, complete with thinly sliced ham and runny egg yolks.

Of all of the uses of tempeh in a sandwich, making it a vegan alternative to bacon is definitely the tastiest. Pile it high with lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado, and you won’t miss the pork one bit.

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