Pulled pork sandwiches dripping with savory juices, slices of perfectly pink porchetta, or just a simple ham and cheese. Delicious pork awaits all over the country, so check out our picks for the country's best pig-and-bread combos.
Spicy Capicola from Parisi Bakery (NYC)
If you've been let down by the muted heat of supposedly "spicy" salumi elsewhere, give the Spicy Capicola at Parisi Bakery a try. The capicola is liberally rubbed with bright ground chili and piled high on a fresh Parisi hero roll. The heat will sneak up on you, but it's a great, bright burn; it's the punchy counterpoint to the buttery, almost provolone-like tangy fat of the meat.
Chopped Barbecue from Lexington Barbecue (Lexington, NC)
Lexington's chewy, smoky chopped pork, crowned with a scoop of sweet and tart barbecue slaw and stuffed into a factory-made hamburger bun, is a classic handful of American barbecue.
Pig-n-Fig from Earl's Gourmet Grub (Los Angeles, CA)
Studded with walnuts and hazelnuts, the bread is toasted to give it a dense crunch. Layer upon layer of smooth prosciutto di parma is laid atop fig hash, which lends just enough sweetness to set off the prosciutto's savory bite. The blue cheese and aioli add creaminess without heaviness, and last but not least, there's a generous handful of spicy arugula.
Cuban Roast Pork from Paseo (Seattle, WA)
Like most of Paseo's signature sandwiches, the Cuban roast is bound with a swipe of fragrant aioli, striated with piquant pickled jalapenos and topped with rings of plump, sweet roasted onions, and an obligatory stalk of crisp romaine lettuce. Said ingredients are proudly sandwiched between a superbly crusty and satisfying toasted baguette.
The Super Secret Pork Belly Slider from the Bar at the Palm Court (Cincinnati, OH)
Made with Dean Farms pork belly, savoy cabbage, carrots, and sesame aioli, the perfectly cooked piece of pork sits on a buttered and toasted bun, with large, housemade seasoned potato chips partitioning each of the three sliders.
The Pork Rabe Saturday Special from Cutty's (Brookline, MA)
If you haven't noticed yet, we're big fans of Cutty's, husband and wife team Charles Kelsey and Rachel Toomey's sandwich shop in Brookline. Their roast beef sandwich may get most of the attention ("I should have called this place Cutty's Roast Beef," says Charles), but we also can't get enough of their Saturday-only slow-roasted Pork Rabe. It starts with pork shoulder that's cured overnight in a salt and pepper rub before being slow-roasted. Charles then lets it cool and rest for another night in its own liquid—an important step, as the fat and juices are reabsorbed into the meat, only to be slowly released again as they warm up while you eat your sandwich.
Pan con Lechon at El Palacio de los Jugos (Miami, FL)
The roasted flavor pulls through, with the onion offering a break in texture and some tangy bite. With everything warmed up from the grill, the sandwich is quite comforting and more than enough for a morning meal.
Pulled Pork at Gatlin's BBQ (Houston, TX)
The sandwich is piled with shreds of pork and crunchy bits. The bun is flavorful, and had that soft but sturdy nature that keeps the sandwich together.
Grilled Harrington's Ham Sandwich at Henrietta's Table (Cambridge, MA)
Leave it to Henrietta's Table executive chef Peter Davis to upgrade an ordinary ham and cheese sandwich from lunch-box fodder to high-class restaurant fare ($14). Known for his commitment to locally sourced ingredients and from-scratch cooking, Davis layers thin-shaved Harrington's corncob-smoked ham and Grafton Farm's smoked cheddar between slices of his house-baked Anadama bread, and coats the salty-smoky combo in his sweet bourbon barbecue sauce.
Pulled Pork from Slow's Barbecue (Detroit, MI)
A sandwich of totally unreasonable proportions. Piled with a massive amount of slow-smoked Niman Ranch pork shoulder, it jumps right past snake-jaw territory and goes straight into need-a-surgeon-to-be-able-to-take-a-bite land. It's a good 5 to 6 inches tall, even when you opt for the thinner slices of toast instead of the poppyseed Kaiser roll they recommend.
Pan-Seared Porchetta at Laurelhurst Market (Portland, OR)
Best known for its status as one of Portland's best and most reasonably priced steakhouses, Laurelhurst Market also features a butcher shop with a front case packed with one delicious slab of sausage and house-cured meat after another. Having eaten their steak before, we can attest to the quality of the meat here, and the moist, savory porchetta did not disappoint.
Chopped Pork Sandwiches from Payne's (Memphis, TN)
Payne's Bar-B-Q, a family operation that has been in business since 1972, serves some of the best pork barbecue in Memphis, if not the country. In sandwich form you can get the slow-smoked pork shoulder pulled, sliced, or chopped, and topped with red barbecue sauce. The pork is stuffed into a bun with a scoop of slaw.
Chorizo Torta at Xoco (Chicago)
There are breakfast sandwiches born of convenience, and then there are breakfast sandwiches that are worth getting up early for. It shouldn't surprise anyone who's eaten at Rick Bayless's Xoco that the Chorizo-Egg Torta ($7.50) is one of the latter. Soft scrambled eggs, ripe, buttery avocado, and two kinds of cheese (totally melted jack and salty, crumbly queso fresco) form the sandwich's creamy core. But they're all just there to highlight the mind-blowing chorizo, commingling with roasted poblanos, falling apart into a soft stew of cinnamon and vinegar-laced meat.
The Ninja Deluxe at Katsu Burger (Seattle, WA)
The Ninja Deluxe pairs the Japanese tonkatsu-style pork (brined, panko-coated and of course, deep-fried) with the Western sandwich-enhancing superstars cheddar cheese and bacon. Forget ketchup or mustard; here you're getting Japanese mayonnaise and tonkatsu sauce on your bun.
Pork Belly at Cochon Butcher (New Orleans, LA)
The meat is rubbed generously with whole spices and is crispy on the outside and meltingly tender on the inside, as pork belly should be. The white toast gets a smear of chili-lime aioli, and it's topped with a pile of cool, refreshing cucumber mint salad.
Whole Hog Barbecue at the Skylight Inn (Ayden, NC)
The Skylight Inn's sandwich consists of chopped whole hog and a light, mayo-based cole slaw on a plain hamburger bun. The meat is served after 14 hours over live wood coals in a brick-and-sand pit.
Braised Trotter, Salsa Verde, and Carciocavallo at Salumeria (San Francisco, CA)
A nose-to-tail take on a Sloppy Joe, this messy, greasy braised trotter sandwich stole the show at our recent Salumeria sandwich feast. The sweet, meltingly tender trotter was spilling out of the sandwich at first bite, left to be scooped up by fingers and forks.
Torta Ahogada from Cook's Tortas (Los Angeles, CA)
Hulking bites of soft, slightly salty pig are piled high, after receiving their own splash of salsa. No worries about construction here; this is a knife and fork affair from the start. Pickled onions cut through all the fattiness with some pungency, but they ultimately wither in the face of the salsa, salt, bread, and pork. Toss on a few avocados (because, why not) to cool down the palate, and you've got yourself one serious reason for a siesta.
The Arista from Paesano's (Philadelphia)
If you don't know the place, Paesano's can fool you. The scrappy lunch counter aesthetic has you thinking you're at an old-school eatery—until you notice the house-made condiments and chickpea fritters on the menu. But none of that matters once you bite into the Arista, a re-thinking of the classic Philly roast pork sandwich. It's suckling pig they use, not dry roast pork, and it falls apart into a soft puddle of meatiness that's like the essence of baby pig, cut by the bitterness of broccoli rabe and sharp provolone. Don't even bother taking it to go—it'll dissolve the bread right through. But eaten in the moment, it's the most delicious piggy pile of food you can imagine
The Cubano from Union Bear (Dallas)
Sweet, house-cured ham (they use pork butt) takes an authoritative lead role, though the pickled jalapenos give it a distinctiveness all its own. The spicy calabrese salami adds a deep meatiness to the rest of the components. A couple slices of melted provolone and a tart, crunchy house-made pickle slice also manage their way in between the two halves of the French-style bread.
Italian Roast Pork at DiNic's (Philadelpha, PA)
Sitting inside a foot-long hoagie roll are slices of freshly cut provolone hidden beneath layers and layers of tender, succulent roast pork. Topped with sweet peppers and/or greens, either way you'll savor every bite of this sandwich.
Pulled Pork Sandwich at Eli's BBQ (Cincinnati, OH)
Smoked pork, brushed with a vinegar mop sauce on the grill, is served with just the right amount of tangy, slightly sweet barbecue sauce on a buttered, toasted bun. You will be asked if you want coleslaw on your sandwich, and the only correct answer is "yes, please."
The Cubanita Torta at La Condesa (St. Helena, CA)
Smoked Berkshire ham, slow-roasted kurobuta pork belly, arugula, Swiss cheese, habanero mustard, pickled jalapeños, and toasted garlic are piled and pressed on ciabatta, with the spicy mustard and vinegary tang from the pickles and onions dominating.
Pork Roll from New Jersey
The Pig Mac at Crop Bistro (Cleveland, OH)
The Pig Mac comes with three different kinds of pork on a glistening, toasted, eggy challah bun. The top half of the sandwich includes two pig parts, pork loin and bacon, along with the requisite special sauce, pickles and lettuce. The bottom half delivers braised pork, a melted mound of Monterey Jack cheese, and chopped onions that are definitely not of the rehydrated variety.