French sandwich culture is a thing of glory. 

By Maria Yagoda
July 24, 2018

France has a proud, centuries-old food culture that is considered to be the most prestigious in the world. And yet, lost in many discussions of haute cuisine is recognition of the country's humble but magnificent sandwiches. The universal form of bread, filling, bread takes unique shape in France, a country where you'll find some of the best ham, butter, and cheese on the planet, as well as baguette perfected over generations of obsession and craftsmanship.

If you're headed to France, do not leave without eating these sandwiches. If you have no immediate plans to travel to France, plan a sandwich pilgrimage.

1. Jambon Beurre

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We'll start simply, because the glory of French cooking is that simplicity lends itself triumph to when the ingredients are perfect. And so, this three-ingredient sandwich that you'll find at most boulangerie is the simplest of all: baguette, ham, butter. What more could you need? 

2. Croque Madame

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Eaten with a knife and fork, this béchemel-drenched brasserie classic is the perfect showcase for the marvel that is French eggs. 

3. Pan Bagnat

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This perfect picnic sandwich from the Provence region of France is stuffed with tomatoes, black niçoise olives, bell peppers, anchovies and tuna, making it a go-to bite in cities like Nice (where those ingredients are their best.)

4. The Sandwich at Chez Alain Miam Miam

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Argued by many to be the best in the country—nay—the world, the famous made-to-order sandwiches are served from a stall located in the Marché des Enfants Rouges, the oldest covered market in Paris. Chef Alain Roussel’s simple creations, served on fresh-baked bread, have attracted hours-long lines since opening in 2005; you choose the cheese (Comté or Cantal) and the fillings, and it's magic. 

5. Doner Kebab