The dictionary defines “sandwich” as “two or more slices of bread with a layer of meat, fish, cheese, etc., between them.” That’s a pretty simple definition. What happens when this simple dish rises to a level of culinary creativity and deliciousness that it demands a rewrite of its definition? Here at azbigmedia.com, we define those dishes as the best sandwiches in Arizona — and beyond.
READ ALSO: VOTING IS LIVE — HERE’S HOW TO VOTE
In honor of the upcoming March madness — or, as we now call it, “Munch Madness” — we have also redefined the Sweet 16. Here are 16 of the best sandwiches in Arizona. Have a favorite? Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook and vote for your favorite, because this Sweet 16 bracket will crown a new No. 1 sandwich in Arizona from this list. Let’s call it the “road to the Final Fork.”
Here are 16 of the best sandwiches in Arizona, listed in alphabetical order by sandwich name.
Bad Mutha Clucka from Dog Haus Biergarten Tempe
One of the greatest names among the best sandwiches: A crispy fried or grilled chicken sandwich served with lettuce, pickles and miso ranch. $8.99
Beckett’s Original Grilled Cheese from Beckett’s Table & Southern Rail
This Valley favorite is stuffed with fontina, manchego, white cheddar and crispy pancetta. And, the bread itself has scrumptious asiago cheese baked into it, putting it over the top in flavor. It’s also paired with a roasted red pepper tomato soup, which is perfect for dunking. $10
Chula Swordfish Cubano from Chula Seafood Uptown
The Monday Swordfish Cubano features mojo smoked Chula swordfish, sliced ham, gruyere, house dill pickles and mustard on Noble Bread ciabatta. This amazing sandwich is available on Mondays at Chula Seafood’s Phoenix location. $17
Classic Club Sandwich from Pedal Haus
While Pedal Haus’ take on the club sandwich is as classic as it gets, it’s certainly not ordinary with its generous portions of smoked ham, turkey and bacon topped with swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise on freshly baked sourdough bread. $14
Donut Sandwich from Merkin Vineyards Old Town Scottsdale
Only one of the best sandwiches in Arizona could pull off bringing a donut into the mix: Alien Donut’s glazed donate filled with eggs, bacon, cheddar cheese, shaved smoked ham, Pecorino cheese, Hollandaise sauce and topped with a poached egg. $12
Effin’ Huge English Muffin Sandwich from Hash Kitchen
Not only is this one of the best sandwiches, but it’s also one of the biggest. Get all the bang for your buck with this giant, savory breakfast option — you’ll be thinking about it for days afterward. The sandwich is in between two giant english muffins and contains carved brown sugar ham, crispy hash browns, fried eggs and American cheese. The meal comes with a side of hollandaise sauce to perfectly complement the flavor of the dish. $16
Housemade Mozzarella Sandwich from Pane Biano
The star of this sandwich is the focaccia bread that is baked to order in a wood-fired oven. Legendary chef Chris Bianco has created the perfect meal with this split focaccia sandwich filled with homemade mozzarella, wood-roasted peppers, basil, and extra virgin olive oil.
Humble Dip from Humble Pie
This sandwich features braised and roasted tender carnitas topped with melted, creamy provolone cheese, caramelized onions, and house jalapeno crema between homemade sourdough bread. Served with a rich side of au ju made from the braised carnitas juices. $14
Korean Fried Chicken Sandwich from CRUjiente Tacos
This sandwich contains gochujan (an authentic Korean condiment), compressed cabbage, house made pickles on a Noble Bread buttermilk bun. The sweet and savory taste melts in your mouth– it’s definitely worth the order. $11
Market Veggies Sandwich from Zinqué
Looking for a healthy sandwich that doesn’t taste like you’re eating a healthy sandwich? Zinqué has you covered. The restaurant’s Market Veggies sandwich contains carrots, avocado, marinated pepper, tomato and pesto — this sandwich packs a flavorful punch using only fresh and healthy ingredients to give you the satisfaction of a delicious and nutritious meal. $13
Meatball Sandwich from The Sicilian Butcher
If there is anything that has made The Sicilian Butcher as legendary as it is in the Italian culinary scene in Arizona, it’s the restaurant’s authentic Italian meatballs. Luckily for all of us, The Sicilian Butcher offers a savory meatball sandwich that features Tomaso Maggiore’s famous meatballs, fresh tomato herb sauce, mozzarella and basil. $15
Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich from Belle’s Nashville Kitchen
If you’re looking for an authentic Southern sandwich, this hot chicken sandwich is guaranteed to satisfy your cravings. This sandwich contains Nashville hot crispy chicken breast, lettuce and dill pickles on a brioche bun. $14
Rachel’s Motown from Chompie’s
This colossal sandwich is piled high with a choice of pastrami or corned beef, layered with Swiss cheese, stacked with crispy coleslaw, drizzled with 1000 Island dressing and served on grilled rye for a mouthful of deli-style deliciousness.
Short Rib Grilled Cheese from Gabriella’s Contemporary American Cuisine
Gabriella’s Short Rib Grilled Cheese, with white cheddar and thinly sliced crispy onions on sourdough bread, is served with a side salad or crispy fries and answers the call for comfort food, with a side of elegance.
The Dough Cristo from Short Leash Hotdogs & Rollover Donuts
Both the doughnut and the classic Monte Cristo sandwich get an upgrade here. Both sweet and savory, this sandwich hits all the right notes. First, a fresh brioche doughnut is sliced in half and stuffed with black forest ham, oven roasted turkey and Havarti cheese. Once assembled, the entire sandwich is dipped in a house made batter and fried. Served with a dash of powdered sugar and raspberry jam, this sandwich is the perfect marriage of two all-time favorites. $9
Twin Lobster Rolls from Angry Crab Shack
Tender chunks of succulent, sweet lobster with a dash of Cajun and topped with green onions and a squeeze of lemon served on two toasted New England rolls with a side of hot butter to lather on top. $19
ROUND 1 VOTING (Ended March 7, 2021)
Bad Mutha Clucka vs. Twin Lobster Rolls
Beckett’s Original Grilled Cheese vs. The Dough Cristo
Chula Swordfish Cubano vs. Short Rib Grilled Cheese
Classic Club Sandwich vs. Rachel’s Motown
Donut Sandwich vs. Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich
Effin Huge English Muffin Sandwich vs. Meatball Sandwich
Housemade Mozzarella Sandwich vs. Market Veggies Sandwich
Humble Dip vs. Korean Fried Chicken Sandwich
ROUND 2 VOTING (Ended March 14, 2021)
Twin Lobster Rolls vs. The Dough Cristo
Chula Swordfish Cubano vs. Classic Club Sandwich
Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich vs. Meatball Sandwich
Housemade Mozzarella Sandwich vs. Humble Dip
SEMIFINAL VOTING (Thru March 21, 2021)
Twin Lobster Rolls vs. Chula Swordfish Cubano – VOTE HERE
Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich vs. Humble Dip – VOTE HERE
On the bubble of the best sandwiches … the Super 6
El Mesquite Reuben at Tortilla Flat Superstition Restaurant and Saloon
The Superstition Restaurant and Saloon’s signature El Mesquite Reuben is a comforting, classic sandwich made with a generous portion of smoked brisket and sauerkraut topped with Thousand Island dressing and melted swiss cheese served on toasted marble rye bread.
New Yorker at Miracle Mile Deli
It is served on a Kaiser roll with hot pastrami topped with homemade coleslaw and Miracle Mile dressing. Amazing flavor combinations.
Oldtown Stack from Daily Dose
Shaved top sirloin steak, Swiss cheese, horseradish mayo and red chili slaw, served with a side of au jus on a toasted pretzel bun for $13.75.
Shrimp Po-Boy at Liberty Station American Tavern and Smokehouse
A little taste of this “N’awlins” specialty will have diners feeling as though they’ve been transported to the Big Easy — featuring crispy Rock Shrimp, coleslaw, tomato and remoulade sauce on a traditional po-boy roll served with friends, coleslaw or BBQ dusted house chips.
Smokey BLT Club Sandwich at 24 Carrots
Vegan dining has never been so daring! This botanically inspired version of a classic features house vegan bacon, avocado, onion, greens, tomato and garlic aioli on ancient grain sprouted bread for a powerhouse of flavors that will leave even the most carnivorous eaters satisfied.
Tonkatsu Sando at Nanaya Japanese Kitchen
Deep fried pork cutlet with cabbage and tonkatsu sauce. This is such a simple but delicious sandwich — the white bread with the crunch of the pork cutlet and the sweetness of the sauce make this a perfectly balanced sandwich.