1. Chacarero (Chile)
A traditional Chilean sandwich of thinly sliced steak or pork on a round roll with tomatoes, green beans, and chili pepper. Green beans are a nice curveball.
2. Cemita (Mexico)
Originally from Puebla, Mexico, cemitas are avocado, some type of meat, white cheese, onions, and salsa roja on a brioche-type bun (which are also sometimes called cemitas, confusingly enough). Like a cousin to the torta.
3. Chip Butty (U.K.)
Just steak fries on bread, usually with either ketchup or brown sauce. Some of its other names are freaking delightful: chip barm; chip batch; chip roll; chip muffin; piece-n-chips. “Barkeep! One chip muffin, please!”
4. Barros Luco (Chile)
Just beef and melted cheese on a roll. It’s named after former president Ramón Barros Luco, who ordered it constantly from the restaurant in Chile’s National Congress.
5. Chivito (Uruguay)
Chivito means little goat or baby goat, but this sandwich is actually made with slices of beef with mozzarella, tomatoes, mayonnaise, black or green olives, and often also bacon, fried or hard-boiled eggs, and ham. A sloppy tower of things between pieces of bread, basically. Would eat.
6. Choripán (South America)
Invented in Argentina, this chorizo sandwich (chori + pan, get it?) is beloved all over South America. It’s usually served on a crusty roll with chopped, salsa-type condiments, such as pebre or chimichurri.
7. Donkey Burger (China)
Pretty much what it sounds like. A popular street cart food in Beijing consisting of donkey meat, often with some lettuce or peppers on crispy bread called Huoshao. In Hebei province, they sometimes say, “In Heaven there is dragon meat, on Earth there is donkey meat.” So there’s that.
8. Doubles (Trinidad and Tobago)
A popular sandwich made with flat fried bread and filled with curried chick peas. You can add mango, cucumber, coconut, and tamarind. Wikipedia says doubles are a popular late night snack, which… yup, sounds pretty much perfect.
9. Dyrlægens natmad (Denmark)
Translates to “veterinarian’s midnight snack.” This open-faced sandwich is traditional Danish rye flatbread with slices of aspic, salt beef, and leverpostej (pate). It is so damn Scandinavian.
10. Döner Kebab (Turkey)
Meat sliced from a vertical spit thrown into a pita with any number of things including tomatoes, onions, lettuce, pickled cucumber, and chili. Beloved by drunk people on the way home from the bar everywhere. And deservedly so.
11. Fischbrötchen (Germany)
Crusty rolls with fish (most commonly Bismarck or soused herring) and raw onions. Oftentimes the fish will be rollmops, which is the real name of a real thing. (It’s pickled herring rolled around a savory filling.)
12. Gatsby (South Africa)
Essentially like an American hoagie or sub, but always with french fries stuffed in. Another thing that’s essential to the Gatsby is that it’s HUGE. Huge enough to be split four ways, traditionally.
13. Katsu-sando (Japan)
A minimal sandwich with tonkatsu (Japanese breaded pork cutlet) and shredded cabbage.
14. Leberkässemmel (Germany)
Leberkässe literally translates to “liver cheese” (YIKES), but doesn’t contain liver or cheese (PHEW). It’s a meat loaf of corned beef, pork, bacon, and onions and in sandwich form it’s just thrown on a kaiser roll with some mustard, served hot.
15. Medianoche (Cuba)
Meaning “midnight,” the medianoche is a popular late night Cuban sandwich of roast pork, ham, mustard, Swiss cheese, and pickles on sweet bread. Thankfully these aren’t too hard to find in the States, because they are AMAZING.
16. Mettbrötchen (Germany)
Literally raw minced pork meat and raw onions on a roll. You crazy for this one, Germany.
17. Pan-bagnat (France)
Classy and French, this is basically a tuna sandwich with a heap of vegetables, slices of hard-boiled egg and — importantly! — olive oil, never mayonnaise. Usually served on pain de campagne (aka “French sourdough”), which is fantastic.
18. Pljeskavica (Serbia)
Pljeskavica is a burger patty made with a mixture of ground meats. According to the New York Times, butchers sometimes improvise, “adding fat from around the beef kidneys, grinding in a little pork neck, or adding baking soda or mineral water to lighten the mix.” Right, then!
Sometimes it’s served on a burger bun, but it can also show up in a pita with a pepper sauce and Serbian milk cream.
19. Pork Chop Bun (Macau)
Pork chop on a bun. THAT’S IT. Well played Macau. Anthony Bourdain knows what I’m talkin’ about.
20. Bánh mì (Vietnam)
Bánh mì is actually Vietnamese for all kinds of bread, but colloquially it refers to the popular sandwich with some kind of meat (often pork or pork liver pate), cucumber slices, cilantro, and pickled carrots. It is often cheap and always delicious.
21. Roti John (Malaysia)
A pan-fried, open-faced omelette sandwich on a halved baguette. The staple ingredients are egg and onion, but variations include some kind of meat or fish (sardines, chicken, beef, mutton). Like less-boring garlic bread, kinda.
22. Rou jia mo (China)
Literally translating to “meat burger” or “meat sandwich,” rou jia mo is a popular street snack of meat (most commonly pork, but sometimes lamb or beef depending on the region), peppers and spices in flatbread. Looks spicy and a little scary, but would definitely still eat it.
23. Kaya Toast (Singapore)
A snack sandwich centered around kaya, a Southeast Asian spread made of coconut and sugar. It’s served on thick slices of white bread and sometimes an egg is thrown in. Not sure about the coconut/egg combo, but to each their own.
24. Arepa (Venezuela)
Arepa is technically the name of the thick, wonderful corn-dough bread, but the sandwiches are also commonly called arepas. Cheese, pulled pork, avocado — whatever you throw in there is gonna be good on bread like that. swoons over bread pocket perfection
25. Toast Hawaii (Germany)
Toast Hawaii is an open-faced sandwich with ham, pineapple, a maraschino cherry and melted cheese. Apparently Toast Hawaii is to Germans as grilled cheese is to Americans. I’m not gonna lie, that makes me deeply sad.
26. Vada Pav (India)
A popular, spicy Indian snack food. It’s basically a samosa-ish potato puff on a burger bun with some chiles and spices. Anything involving a samosa (or samosa-ish thing) is objectively great.
27. Yakisoba-pan (Japan)
Basically a hot dog bun filled with Yakisoba (fried Japanese noodles) and often topped with pickled ginger and mayo. Sort of weird to have a spaghetti sandwich as a “hot dog” but Japanese cuisine is pretty visionary so it’s cool.
28. Zapiekanka (Poland)
A popular Polish fast food, a zapiekanka is an open-faced baguette with mushrooms, melted cheese, and usually some kind of meat. It’s often topped with ketchup (questionable) and chives (sure).