The Serious Eats Guide to Sandwiches

Dagwood

"Is there anything more American than a Dagwood sandwich?" asked Serious Eats Chicago editor Nick Kindelsperger. The Dagwood, named for Blondie protagonist and legendary sandwich-maker Dagwood Bumstead, can be identified by how closely it resembles one of Dagwood's overheaped creations.

Seriously, though, because there's no real definition. The Dagwood is defined by its form, not its filling, and even then loosely. Saveur called it a "catchall for whatever ingredients you might have on hand." Webster's mandates only that it be "many-layered," with multiple meats and a few grab-bag toppings.

The pictured version includes 3 slices of rye, 4 types of meat (ham, bologna, salami, and turkey), 2 types of cheese, mustard, mayonnaise, lettuce, dill pickles, tomato, and, of course, a couple of toothpicked olives for a garnish. That sounds like a Dagwood to us.

Read more: The Dagwood Sandwich recipe

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

To honor National Sandwich Month we've put together this epic glossary of sandwiches. If you weren't already convinced, this should prove to you how much we obsess over sandwiches. Herewith the American sandwiches, and check out the international edition over here.

These sandwiches are all iconic somewhere, though they range in national fame from the grilled cheese to the horseshoe (wait, what's a horseshoe?). Many of these we've eaten before; some were new to us. And though we divided them regionally, they can of course be found in any number of cities across the country. See them all in the slideshow!

Since we didn't catch every single sandwich out there, please chime in with any we missed.

The Classics

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Nick Kindelsperger

BLT
Breakfast Sandwich
Club
Cold Cuts
Dagwood
Elvis
Grilled Cheese
The Melts
PB&J
Pilgrim a.k.a. Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich
Reuben (and Rachel)
The Salads: Egg, Tuna, Chicken
Sloppy Joe

Northeast

Bagel and Lox
Ben Fishner

Bagel and Lox
Beef on Weck
Cheesesteak
Falafel
Fluffernutter
Hero
Hoagie
Maine Italian
Lobster Roll
New Jersey Pork Roll (a.k.a. Taylor Ham) / Jersey Breakfast
New York Deli Sandwich
Roast Pork
Shawarma (cousin of the Kebab and Gyro)
Spiedie
Spuckie
Submarine

South

Barbecue Sandwich
James Boo

Barbecue
Cuban
Hot Brown
Muffuletta
Po' Boy
Pimento Cheese

Midwest

Italian Beef
Daniel Zemans

Grinder
Horseshoe
Italian Beef
Jibarito
Loose Meat Sandwich
Mother-in-Law
Polish Boy
Pork Tenderloin
Primanti's Fry-Loaded Sandwich
St. Paul

West

Dutch Crunch
Carrie Vasios

Dutch Crunch
French Dip
Monte Cristo