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What consumers want in a sandwich: Meat on meat; flavors from India and mushrooms

Meet the Best Sandwiches in America and the trends they represent

Every year, the editorial team at Restaurant Hospitality looks for the best sandwiches across America. We look for innovation and great flavors. And we look for themes that indicate trends in sandwich making.

The Restaurant Hospitality Best Sandwich Contest received nearly 200 submissions this year from independent restaurants across the country. Based on the sandwiches these operators were eager to show off, Americans are looking beyond the classics for new flavors, or more “sandwich-ification” of traditional entrees.

We saw a number of sandwiches that were variations in Indian street food, for example, and there were a surprising number with mushrooms as the main event, rather than a topping.

Meat eaters seem to be looking for meat with more meat on top. And the French Dip style of sandwich is back, but not necessarily with meat. It could be a result of the popularity of birria tacos, which are dipped in a little pot of stew broth, but we saw a lot of sandwiches made for dipping.

And the year of fried chicken sandwiches has turned into the decade of fried chicken sandwiches.

Here are six winning sandwiches selected to represent trends from this year’s submissions. For a look at more standout sandwiches within these categories, stay tuned at

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