The Most Popular Sandwich From Every Decade
What sandwich was in your lunchbox as a kid? Take a stroll through time with us as we eat our way through the most popular sandwiches throughout the years.
1900s: Club sandwich
While the exact origins of this famous sandwich are debated, most agree that it first became popular at Private Men's Clubs at the turn of the century.
1910s: Curried egg sandwiches
The desire for exotic foods and flavors in the 1910s led to the creation of this tasty sandwich. Who would have guessed that Americans in 1910 realized curry and eggs were a fantastic combination? It's a classic just like these recipes grandma used to make.
1920s: Po'boy sandwiches
This southern staple became popular in the 1920s when Benny and Clovis Martin, owners of Martin Brothers Grocery, served up these tasty sandwiches free of change to striking streetcar workers in New Orleans.
1930s: Breadless sandwiches
Despite becoming popular during the Great Depression, breadless sandwiches were created to be fancy, not thrifty. Often presented as elegant rolled hors d'oeuvres, these "sandwiches" were highly popular among upscale diners during this decade.
1940s: Sloppy Joes
Originally called "loose meat sandwiches" in the 1930s, these saucy sandwiches reached their height of popularity in the 1940s thanks to ground beef's accessibility and affordability.
1950s: Monte Cristo
Regarded as a simple variation for France's Croque Monsieur sandwich, America's Monte Cristo was first served in the 1950s in Southern California and quickly rose in popularity. Life inside and outside of the kitchen was different in the 1950s.
1960s: Fast-food chicken sandwich
It shouldn't come to a surprise that we can thank Samuel Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick-fil-A, for the Chicken Sandwich's popularity in the 1960s. He opened the very first Chick-fil-A in Atlanta's Greenbriar Mall in 1967 and the rest is history.
The gyro rose to prominence in New York City during the 1970s when it was marketed as a new fast food option to adventurous eaters who were looking for something different to eat at lunchtime. Tzatziki is key to a good gyro, and it's one of the secret ingredients you haven't been putting on your sandwiches—but should.
1980s: Veggie burger
Created by London-based natural-foods restaurant owner, Gregory Sams, his recipe for a plant-based burger patty revolutionized burger menus in the 1980s and paved the way for veggie burger brands like Gardenburger and Boca Burger. Another more meat-centric sandwich is one of the most delicious foods from every state.
1990s: Panini sandwich
Popular in Europe for centuries, these tasty grilled Italian sandwiches didn't catch on in the U.S. until the 1990s when trendy cafes and bistros started adding them to their menu as a new, hip food offering.
Even though White Castle did it first decades earlier with its 5 cent burger, it wasn't until around 2007 when chefs turned the slider into a whole new dining experience by offering creative, upscale options for modern diners.
2010s: Avocado toast
Despite their rising prices, avocados became the "it" food this past decade. Previously only thought of for guacamole, today it's hard to visit any cafe or restaurant without seeing some delicious adaptation of avocado toast on the menu. If these sandwiches are your favorite, you need to know how to ripen an avocado in under 10 minutes.