Sandwich Inventions that Define New Jersey

Let the debate begin. DO NOT READ THIS STORY IF YOU'RE HUNGRY!!!!!! And don't forget to vote!!!!!! https://www.mrlocalhistory.org/jersey-sandwiches/ #jerseysandwich #jerseyfood #jerseyhistory #jerseyfoodie #sandwiches #bestsandwiches #taylorham #italianhotdog #sloppyjoe #tomotosandwich #subsandwich

While watching an old episode of Man vs. Food Nation, food critic and comedian Adam Richman showed some awesome sandwiches from Jersey. Adam got us thinking, what are the sandwiches that define New Jersey? We’ve reached out to the public for their advice and we’ve hit the road to find answers across the state.

Jerseyans take their sandwiches seriously!


Taylor Ham, Egg and Cheese – Salt, Pepper, Ketchup (THEC-SPK)

While the debate of pork roll vs. Taylor Ham continues, there is no doubt that the breakfast sandwich is something near and dear to Jerseyans. We’re not here to get into any debate, and there’s plenty of debate, but here’s a video of a a monster that’s known statewide as the “King of THEC-SPK – we introduce you to Slater’s Deli in Leonardo, New Jersey. Now you can get the legendary sandwich just about anywhere, and you can get it on a roll or a bagel. We like the roll as the bagel tends to squish out the goods as you eat it. You typically will be asked Salt Pepper Ketchup? Yes please.

The legendary breakfast sandwich that defines New Jersey. Taylor Ham is made right here in the Garden State. It was developed in 1856 by John Taylor of Trenton, and sold as “Taylor’s Prepared Ham” until 1906


The Jersey Sloppy Joe – West Orange, NJ

When you hear the term around the country you think about the beef and Manwich combination. Not in Jersey. There are many combinations but it’s basically a club sandwich made with a sturdy bread, like rye structured from the bottom up:

Ingredients: Bread, Meat, Cole Slaw, Cheese, Bread, Meat, Coleslaw, Cheese, Bread, and don’t forget the Russian dressing!

The sloppy joe sandwich is a culinary staple in Maplewood and South Orange, NJ. It was created back in the 1930’s at Town Hall Deli. The owner of the deli traveled to Cuba where he visited Sloppy Joe’s Bar and enjoyed a sandwich piled high with meat, cheese, coleslaw and dressing. He enjoyed it so much that he recreated it back home and the rest, as they say, is history.


The Submarine Sandwich – Atlantic City, NJ

Look no further than the White House Sub Shop in Atlantic City, New Jersey for the founder of the submarine sandwich. YES IT’S TRUE. Call it whatever you want; grinder, hoagie, hero but at the White House it’s a SUB. The White House Sub Shop was opened in October 1946 by Anthony Basile. Along with his Aunt Basilia and Uncle Fritz Sacco, the store became one of the most popular sub shops in the country. A true Jersey classic and must visit destination.


The Jersey Tomato Sandwich

Jersey is famous for its plump thick and delicious texture. So why not have the meat of the tomato on a sandwich. Jerseyans understand there is only one way to make this Jersey classic. You start with one ripe Jersey tomato. Slice it think and put it between two slides of plain white bread. Add a heap of classic mayo, little salt, and voila, you have the Jersey tomato sandwich. Pure heaven. If you want to move from the classic, you can toast it, use multigrain instead of white, or add onion. But that will change the Jersey Classic to your own. Perfectly fine IMHO.

The Jersey Tomato sandwich – A right of passage in Jersey!

The Fat Sandwich – New Brunswick, NJ

The original fat sandwich can be credited to RU Hungry, just off the Rutgers Campus in New Brunswick, which started as a grease truck operation at Rutgers New Brunswick in 1979. Their inaugural sandwich, the “Fat Cat,” daringly combined two cheeseburgers and french fries into one thick snack, saving students from pounding hangovers. RU Hungry has since scored a permanent storefront in New Brunswick but it remains that it has often been copied, but our hearts (and stomachs) go out to RU Hungry.

The Jersey Fat Cat at RU Hungry in New Brunswick.
God I love the RU Hungry Truck – A New Jersey institution. And Adam does it good!
The infamous RU Hungry food truck. Took my kids there many times.

The Italian Hot Dog – Newark, NJ

The Italian hot dog was invented in Newark in 1932 by Jimmy “Buff” Racioppi, founder of Jimmy Buff’s (Restaurant). There is a debate on whether ketchup is acceptable, but rest assured, this is one New Jersey iconic sandwich. The only question is should it be a single or a double. It’s hard to believe that it comes from one greased up hotplate, but we can be sure, THIS IS PURE JERSEY. Often imitated, but never the same as at Jimmy Buffs.

IT’s just that good! We prefer the W. Orange location but have been know to hit the Kenilworth location a few times (per month).

Now it’s your turn. Vote in the Survey – Share your favorite.

Post your favorite below.

Additional Information

The Great Jersey Comfort Food Map

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