By Andrea Strong
Breakfast is an important start to the day, so why not make it the best meal of the day? These breakfast sandwiches make mornings — and really your entire day — great.
Photo by Sam Egelhoff for Graze
Great Breakfast Sandwiches
No one can say for sure whether breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. But when you’ve got a hearty breakfast sandwich in hand, it can certainly be the tastiest. Whether you prefer yours stuffed with melty cheese, crisp bacon, a fried egg or all of the above, these 11 breakfast sandwiches around the country are guaranteed to enhance your morning.
Chicago: Mercat a la Planxa
When Barcelona’s famed Bikini Music Hall opened in 1953, they started serving a version of the French croque monsieur made with Serrano ham and Manchego cheese. The sandwich became so popular that locals referred to it as the Bikini Sandwich. Mercat’s version of this classic is made with truffle Manchego cheese, Serrano ham, toasted brioche and a rosemary-peach jam.
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Hermosa Beach, Calif.: Abigaile
It’s no secret that the Egg McMuffin was the inspiration for the Mc-Abigaile’s Breakfast Sando Combo. Chefs Tin Vuong and Jorge Valines of Abigaile make theirs with egg, American cheese, housemade fennel sausage and special sauce for an artisan salute to the golden arches. No fries or hash browns here, though; this dish comes with tots.
Los Angeles: Daily Dose Cafe
You’ll find the Daily Dose, a picturesque place that feels like a slice of Paris, down an old alleyway in the Arts District of LA. Owner Sarkis Vartanian uses only organic local ingredients, including duck eggs from the family ranch, which show up in the Margot breakfast sandwich: two scrambled eggs, feta cheese, avocado, jalapenos, chives, tomato and house ketchup, all on toasted ciabatta.
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Los Angeles: Stir Market
Chef Stacy Rampton of Los Angeles’ Stir Market — the California-inspired boutique food hall — combines two classic sandwiches, the egg and cheese and the BLT, into one amazing morning meal. Farm-raised eggs cooked over easy, Nueskes bacon, heirloom tomato and Gruyère cheese are sandwiched between two slices of grilled bread spread with housemade aioli. Good morning, indeed.
Photo by Sam Egelhoff
Madison, Wis.: Graze
James Beard Award-winning Chef Tory Miller was so into the breakfast sandwich he made for himself every morning that he decided to put it on the menu at his farm-to-table comfort food spot, Graze. Since then, it’s become a huge hit. Chef Tory’s Breakfast Sandwich tops a toasted English muffin with a local fried egg, Wisconsin summer sausage, cheese, avocado and tomato. Thank you, chef!
New York City: Ivan Ramen
Chef Ivan Orkin may be obsessed with ramen, but he’s also keen on breakfast. At his impossibly popular Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop in the Gotham West Market, he marries his American heritage with his love of Japanese food. The result? Slurp Shop’s Breakfast Buns ($8) — steamed alabaster buns stuffed with Japanese breakfast sausage, scallion omelet and yuzu hollandaise.
New York City: The Cecil
The open faced breakfast sandwich at The Cecil, the Afro-American brasserie adjoining Minton’s jazz club in Harlem, is a serious meal. Chef de Cuisine Joseph “JJ” Johnson tops grilled multigrain bread from Hot Bread Kitchen with duck-fat mayo, layers of cured salmon, fried eggs and mizuna. It’s served at brunch, and it’s a sandwich built for Bloody Marys.
Photo by Laura Mason
Northampton, Mass.: The Roost
At the Roost, a sweet neighborhood cafe in Northhampton, Mass, regulars pop by every morning for Rooster Rolls, made on the Roost’s homemade bread; they’re kind of a cross between a ciabatta roll and an English muffin. In addition to the classic bacon, egg and cheese, there are day starters like the Itty Bitty (egg, pesto, goat cheese and tomato), The Gringo (egg, pico de gallo, avocado and Cabot cheddar), The Red Rooster (egg, bacon, and rooster sauce, a Sriracha-based hot sauce) and The Williston (egg, apricot jam, whipped Gorgonzola and arugula).
Photo by Jason Varney
Philadelphia: High Street on Market
The problem you may have with the breakfast sandwiches at High Street on Market in Philadelphia is choosing which one to eat. The Hickory Town gets together Lancaster bologna, farm egg, Amish horseradish cheddar, gherkin mayo and fried red onions. The pastrami hash includes shaved pastrami, spiced hash, roasted peppers and onions, farm egg and a swipe of Russian dressing. Chef Eli Kulp’s Forager Sandwich will put your veggie friends in a great mood all day: seared king oyster mushroom, braised kale, farm egg, Green Meadow young Swiss and black trumpet mayo. All come on housemade kaiser rolls. You try to decide.
Portland, Ore.: The Original Dinerant
The Monte Cristo is one of the great sandwiches: ham and Swiss, pan-fried until gooey. At The Original Dinerant, a restaurant-meets-diner mash-up in Portland, the Croissant-e Cristo Sandwich riffs on the original, substituting a buttery homemade croissant and adding marionberry preserves and a good shake of powdered sugar. Dijon mustard cuts through the sweetness and gives the sandwich the savory bite every morning needs.
Washington, D.C.: Red Apron Butcher
This new-school butcher shop from charcuterie wizard and chef Nathan Anda is all about the meat but doesn’t ignore the other food groups — carbs, for example. Red Apron’s killer breakfast sandwiches are built between housemade rounds of tigelle, a pressed flatbread with origins in Italy that’s crisp on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside. Try the Buenos Dias, stacked with egg, spicy chorizo, cheddar, pickled onion and sour cream. It’s decadent enough to make a satisfying brunch, but this compact meal also can be justified as an on-the-go weekday breakfast. Luckily, it’s available every morning at the D Street NW location.
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