Breakfast comes in many different shapes and sizes, but the king of them all is the breakfast sandwich. It rules over the realm of morning meals, incorporating whatever ingredients it damn well pleases. The only bounds it knows are its book-ending slabs of carbohydrates.

The breakfast sandwich is thus a powerful canvas for creativity (and bacon!), but also a perfect vessel in which to deliver a concentrated combo of traditional AM ingredients (especially bacon!). To celebrate this great unifier of eggs, cheese, and other stuff, we've compiled a list of the 21 very best breakfast sandwiches in the country. You can thank us after your mid-morning nap.

Dave Baldwin/Thrillist

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The Fancy

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Mike & Patty's

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3047571

Mike & Patty's

Boston, MA

You can't go wrong with any of the sandwiches at beloved six-seat Boston institution Mike & Patty's, from the breakfast torta to the sa-tĂ©-sauced PBGC to the caramelized Banana OG on brioche (with Nutella!). But our advice is to go Fancy. Multigrain bread is the canvas, painted with two yolk-bulging fried eggs, cheddar, bacon, avocado, red onions, and just the right amount of house-made mayo. It's truly a work of art.

Ess-a Bagel

New York City

New Yorkers still mourn the loss of the original Gramercy location of Ess-a, but the folks responsible for the city's thickest and fluffiest bagels are thankfully still pumping perfect bacon, egg, and cheeses out of their Midtown sequel. Perhaps the largest BEC in New York, this behemoth comes packed with a double layer of cheese (as all breakfast sandwiches should). Plus, you need not (and should not) toast the bagels -- they're always fresh out of the oven. Even if you go with sesame seed instead of everything, these bagels are everything.

Andy Kryza/Thrillist

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The Reggie Deluxe

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Pine State Biscuits 

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3191927

The Reggie Deluxe

Pine State Biscuits 

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Portland, OR

Look, we love the PDXWT with duck bologna at Portland Penny Diner and the wonderful breakfast sandwich at Bunk -- but our hearts, or what's left of them, belong to this Stumptown classic. The namesake biscuits don't stand a chance against a slab of fried chicken smothered in sausage gravy, smacked with melted cheese, and crowned with bacon and a runny egg. Is it excessive? Hell yes, it is. But this hangover isn't going to murder itself.

Mac 'N Hash Sammy

Mac Mart

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Philadelphia, PA

The mobile mac daddies behind this Philly operation are currently pivoting from food truck to brick and mortar. So they might be hard to track down (check for them at some of the city's best events), but follow the macaroni trail and you'll be greatly rewarded with the most mutant sandwich on this list: an artery buster with hash browns as buns, a thick layer of homemade buttermilk ranch, and an egg-cellent alternative to huevos, their signature macaroni and cheese.

Rebecca Dickerson

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Bacon & goat cheese

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The Blind Dog Cafe

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3905852

The Blind Dog Cafe

Washington DC

There are few things sadder than a disabled animal, but the owners of The Blind Dog honor their sightless mutt Baxter with one of the country's greatest morning meals: a flakey croissant jammed with farm-fresh local ingredients. Instead of complicating things with a grocery list of toppings, your choices are simple: bacon & goat cheese, chorizo & cheddar, pimento (the caviar of the South!), or crimini mushrooms & goat cheese, all topped with a frittata made using eggs from nearby Lancaster County's Kreider Farms.

The Silver Skillet

Atlanta, GA

Since the only person who can make breakfast better than your mom is her mom, we at Thrillist are serious suckers for grandmothers' recipes. The buttermilk biscuits at The Silver Skillet date back to the current owner's mother (who took over the restaurant in the '60s), and although SS doesn't boast the artisan pedigree of some of the spots on this list, you can't argue with simplicity that's this fluffy, especially when it's stuffed with country ham.

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The Princess

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Biscuit Love

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3947111

Biscuit Love

Nashville, TN

Tennessee is all about hot chicken, and if you're eating it in the AM, there's no better option than Biscuit Love. The Airstream operation became a farmers market institution, then went brick and mortar with a destination where hungry patrons flock to pay their respects to the Princess: a cayenne-crusted fried hunk of fowl on a thick biscuit made with flour from a nearby Kentucky watermill. The requisite pickles and mustard almost veer this into lunch territory, but a drizzle of sweetness in the form of warm honey makes it taste just like waking up.

Frank's Deli

Ashbury Park, NJ

Picking one Garden State breakfast sandwich is a tall order. New Jersey prides itself on flying the flag of Taylor Ham, and although every corner dive will sling an excellent iteration (like G&S Deli in Newton or Tick Tock in Clifton), our in-house Jersey Girl swears by Frank's, a Bourdain-lauded beachside joint that takes salty slices of the state's signature meat and sandwichifies them to perfection.

Devil's Teeth Baking Company

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Special Breakfast Sandwich

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Devil's Teeth Baking Company

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3557444

Devil's Teeth Baking Company

San Francisco, CA

San Francisco is a brunch town, not a breakfast-sandwich town, but apparently everyone lined up at Devil’s Teeth in the foggy wilderness of Outer Sunset didn't get the memo. They're all there for the 7x7's best early morning breakfast handheld: two scrambled eggs, cheddar, pepper jack, avocado, lemon-garlic aioli, and applewood-smoked bacon on a fluffy homemade buttermilk biscuit that steals the whole show.

Blue Collar Restaurant

Miami, FL

It's only fitting that in a city where a good percentage of the population isn't getting out of bed until noon, the first meal of the day -- "breakfast" if you will -- is only available at lunch. But time is a relative concept in Miami, so don't worry about it too much and just dig into this Portuguese muffin with two eggs over easy, bacon, cheddar, a touch of garlic aioli, and a potato latke wedged Big Mac-style in the middle. We're lovin' it and promise you will too.

Sean Cooley/Thrillist

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Sausage biscuit

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Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits

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3044260

Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits

Chicago, IL

When your breakfast stop is a pie shop that bakes with leaf lard -- the highest grade of pork lard known to man -- you know you're in good hands. Bang Bang's small-batch sour cream biscuits are every bit as high quality as its slate of pies. Your entry point is the far-from-basic sausage biscuit, which stacks soft-as-clouds biscuits with sage sausage, sawmill gravy, seasonal jelly, and a poached egg (which is a must-add).

Koppa’s Fulbeli Deli

Milwaukee, WI

Gather around, you curdless sprites, and we shall tell you of the Hodag, a mythical Wisconsin beast with the head of a frog, the tail of a stegosaurus, and the body of a bull. Also, between the Milwaukee's Best and long winters, Wisconsinites have a lot of time to hallucinate weird monsters. Anyway, Hodag is also the name of the breakfast sandwiches at this deli/grocery/beer store, and it, too, is the stuff of legend. Because you build your own Hodag based on the menu card, it can be anything. Want it on a croissant with bacon and egg? Yours. English muffin with ham? Absolutely. A hoagie with sausage? Actually, do that, because it's the best. Stegosaurus meat? Maybe if you roll in on the right night during January. Because legend has it...

Lee Breslouer/Thrillist

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The Dahlia

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Denver Biscuit Company

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3485153

Denver Biscuit Company

Denver, CO

The only problem with Denver Biscuit Company's Dahlia sandwich is that it's bound to be the highlight of your day. It's all down hill from here, in a good way, thanks to a steaming-hot biscuit elevated with an unconventional pairing of breakfast elements: an over-easy egg, maple syrup, apple butter, and a house-made sausage patty. The magic is in the contrast -- the spicy kick of the sausage is the perfect complement to the sweetness of the syrup and a fruity punch of apple butter.

Doughboys

Los Angeles, CA

So we realize that every Angeleno reading this will scream at us for not picking Eggslut, but here's the thing: brioche is not the best bread to sop up egg drippings. And Eggslut doesn't cover its breakfast sandwich with cheese and then re-bake it so the whole thing is a gooey, delicious mess. Doughboys does, and even does the kindness of serving it at dinnertime.

Brad Foster/Thrillist

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Fried egg sandwich with Dungeness crab

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Seatown Seabar & Rotisserie

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3037854

Seatown Seabar & Rotisserie

Seattle, WA

Located at the edge of Pike Place Market in the space that actually housed the original Starbucks, this seafoodery/raw bar from Tom Douglas isn't as famous as the super-chef's old-school spot, Etta's, but it deserves a serious rep for the fried egg breakfast sandwich alone. It starts with a buttery roll spread thick with avocado, then they add rich Beecher's cheese -- made just down the street -- and a heaping pile of rich Dungeness crab, making this a quintessential way to start the day in Seattle. Especially if you want your day to end, like, immediately afterward.

J.J. Hapgood General Store and Eatery

Peru, VT

J.J. Hapgood is the oldest continually running general store in the state of Vermont, and if Baby Boom taught us anything, it's that Vermont is full of general stores! That tidbit might make you think the provisions err towards the basic, but there's so much going on with their breakfast sandwich that they literally had to draw a diagram. Everything's local, from the eggs to the sausage to the bacon to the cheddar, and you best believe they don't skimp on produce like garden-fresh leafy greens. But the real star of the show is the homemade biscuit, which continues the homegrown theme by using flour, butter, and buttermilk all sourced in the Green Mountain State.

Sara Norris/Thrillist

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House-made cinnamon roll sandwich

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Sea & Smoke (address and info)

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3276838

Sea & Smoke (address and info)

Del Mar, CA

Nutmeg, cinnamon, and so, so much butter supercharge Sea & Smoke's cinnamon rolls into a beautifully gooey meal unto themselves, but they reach superlative status when split and tossed on the grill with cheese-encrusted ham, two strips of bacon, and a perfectly fried egg. If that wasn't enough, a layer of cream-cheese frosting on top means your eyes aren't the only thing glazed over. 

Bagel Gourmet Ole

Providence, RI

Mexican hangover cures are typically confined to the realms of huevos rancheros, menudo, and breakfast tacos, but the very friendly Mexican family behind Bagel Gourmet Ole has taken a bite out of the Big Apple's breakfast traditions and created the bacon, egg, and cheese bagel of RISD students' dreams. Providence Magazine called it the best bagel north of NY, our ex-pat source called it his go-to hangover cure, and we're calling it one of the very best in the country.

Andrew Zimmer/Thrillist

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The Ship's Biscuit

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Saltie

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3488333

Saltie

Brooklyn, NY

Before tasting the Ship Biscuit at Saltie's, our NYC editor considered meatless breakfast sandwiches to be horrible abominations incapable of combating even the most amateurish of hangovers. But he ate his words, and a ton of these sandwiches, due to the magical way the creamy scrambled eggs mingle with soft ricotta on herb-crusted focaccia. It's one of the few breakfasts in New York City that doesn't need to fall back on bacon or a bagel, and for that we salute it.

Coffee House Cafe

Dallas, TX

First, make French toast out of challah bread cut as thick as Texas toast. Then top it with cheddar, charred sticks of bacon, an egg over medium, more cheddar, and finally another slice of that French toast. The cheese glues it all together, and the experience of this gluttonous bomb making love to your taste buds is worth every year that it takes off your lifespan.

Dan Gentile/Thrillist

Chorizo and egg with cheddar and salsa picante

Noble Sandwich Co.

Address and Info

Austin, TX

Sandwiches take a backseat to breakfast tacos in Austin, so it's fitting that the city's finest sandwich slingers would take a cue from their neighbors to the south. Chorizo is the star of the show here; a hearty layer of cuminy pork that's chunkier and less greasy than most of its counterparts. The spices pair excellently with a fried egg and thick, devilishly congealed slab of cheddar. Bacon bread is optional, but might as well be mandatory. Unfortunately, this sandwich is only available on weekends, but luckily absence only makes the mouth grow fonder. And allows the heart to heal a little.

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Dan Gentile is a staff writer at Thrillist. He lives in the breakfast taco capitol of the world, Austin, TX, but doesn't discriminate when it comes to carb-based breakfast vessels. Follow him to biscuit glory at @Dannosphere.

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1. Mike & Patty's 12 Church St, Boston, MA 02116 (Bay Village)

Though both Mike and Patty have gone the way of Elvis and left the building, before they did they managed to pass the keys and name of their popular Bay Village lunchery on to one of their longtime sandwichiers, who -- with the help of some friends -- has reopened the doors and brought back all the original meat-friendly classics.

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2. Ess-a-Bagel 831 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10022 (Midtown)

Ess-a-Bagel is known for its deliciously dense, hand-rolled bagels and classic spreads, as well as a great mix of meat and fish add-ons. While its not the original (RIP), this Midtown location is still doing God's bagel work and often has lines out the door.

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3. Pine State Biscuits 2204 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211 (Alberta Arts Dist)

Pine State Biscuits uses ingredients taken straight from the farm to make biscuit creations that'll satisfy every comfort food craving.

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4. Mac Mart , Philadelphia, PA

Philly's only mac and cheese truck serves up unique one-of-a-kind cheesy creations like their heart attack mac with bacon, caramelized onions, and parmesan panko bread crumbs. With over 20 different mac combinations to choose from you will not be disappointed after a visit to this truck.

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5. Blind Dog Cafe 944 Florida Ave, Washington, DC 20001

If you start your day with a buttery croissant piled high with chorizo and cheese, plus Blind Dog’s signature drink — a "Black Moses" — your day is bonded and insured to be the best. The "Black Moses" combines three shots of espresso in a chai chocolate cappuccino. Located inside Darnell’s neighborhood bar, BDC is an example of a "plop-up." That’s when a pop-up is so awesome that it makes it 2+ years. You’re drinking Vigilante Coffee and noshing on what they jokingly call "above average cookies," baked fresh throughout the day. Pay attention to the day of the week if you’re a music lover: there’s Country Western Mondays, local music Tuesdays, and Reggae Thursdays.

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6. The Silver Skillet 200 14th St NW, Atlanta, GA 30318 (Home Park)

This is the great-granddaddy of Atlanta breakfast spots with lots of famous characters like Ron Burgundy (and some real life celebs like Clint Eastwood, Dave Chappelle, and Guy Fieri) who have eaten here. The signature dish is the country ham with eggs, and biscuits with their “red eye” gravy.

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7. Biscuit Love 316 11th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203 (The Gulch)

The offshoot of a one-time food truck, the beloved Biscuit Love is a fast-casual breakfast mecca in the Gulch. The specialty is all in the name: biscuits are at the forefront of the menu, served just out of the oven with butter and honey, with fried chicken and gravy, as buns for a burger, as “Bonuts” (fried biscuit doughnuts), and more. Enjoy your flaky, buttery biscuit any way you want it, for breakfast or lunch, every day of the week.

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8. Franks Deli & Restaurant 1406 Main St, Asbury Park, NJ 07712

This no-frills restaurant serves of mouth watering home-style deli classics like turkey clubs and pastrami sandwiches. Also, they make hearty breakfast items that are sure to fill you up for the rest of the day.

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9. Devil's Teeth Baking Company 3876 Noriega St, San Francisco, CA 94122 (Outer Sunset)

The breakfast sandwich at this Outer Sunset cafe and bakery is legendary -- a fluffy homemade buttermilk biscuit is topped with two fresh scrambled eggs, cheddar, pepper jack, avocado, lemon-garlic aioli, and applewood-smoked bacon, creating one of the finest handheld breakfast experiences you'll find anywhere. Of course, don't sleep on killer lunch options like a textbook BLT or a vibrant chicken curry, plus all manner of sweets and pastries to be washed down with Bicycle coffee.

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10. Blue Collar Restaurant 6730 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33138

Blue Collar's mission is to give off a true neighborhood hang-out vibe, which it successfully does with a huge menu of comfort food staples. Every day, the kitchen serves a different rib dish (baby back, short ribs, spare ribs, etc), parmesan dish (chicken, veal, pork, eggplant, etc), and a braised dish (brisket, pot roast, ox tails, pork shoulder). There's a whole chalkboard of vegetable sides to counter the meaty entrées, and appetizers like definitely-order-or-you'll-regret-it potato latkes. Don't even get us started on brunch -- just make sure you get there early.

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11. Bang Bang Pie Shop 2051 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Logan Square)

Logan Square's Bang Bang Pie Shop is a reminder of a simpler time, when everyone's favorite neighbor Ethel would let her pies cool on the windowsill. The pies at this bright and buzzy corner bake shop are handmade daily using the freshest seasonal ingredients, and their comforting scent alone will have you floating through the entrance. There are classics like key lime and apple, plus unique recipes like butterscotch meringue and maple bourbon pecan. You won't want to miss the small-batch sour cream biscuits either, which are served with ginger-sage sausage, gravy, a poached egg, and a side of seasonal jam.

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12. Koppa's Fulbeli Deli 1940 N Farwell Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202

The Hodag sandwich is basically like a local legend. Meaning if you haven't eaten it, you aren't a really from the MKE.

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13. Denver Biscuit Company 141 South Broadway, Denver, CO 80209 (Southwest)

South Broadway has gained another great late night spot thanks to the second location of the Denver Biscuit Company, meaning that you can now enjoy freshly made biscuits stuffed with fried chicken and honey mustard after a show at the Hi-Dive.

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14. Doughboys 8136 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048 (Mid Wilshire)

This classic, monster-portion cafe features eats like, aptly, The Monster (open-faced grilled focaccia w/ Swiss, onions, mushrooms, roast beef, and horseradish sauce), red flannel hash (braised beef, potato, sweet potato, onion, and roasted beet topped w/ eggs), and the 3-cheese grilled cheese/tomato soup "After-School Special".

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15. Seatown Snack Bar 2010 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

Opened right next to his Market mainstay Etta's, the latest vittlery from James (and actual) Beard'd chef Tom Douglas is a 40-seat raw/seafood spot slinging fresh-from-the-market cold/precooked eats, and boasts a clam-shaped room-dominating bar surroundin

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16. JJ Hapgood General Store & Eatery 305 Main St, , 05152

JJ Hapgood is a very relaxed, very American, eatery and general store (in fact, it's the longest continuously-running one in the state). The establishment offers lunch and dinner (think pancakes, sandwiches, and wood-fired pizzas) along an assortment of goods and gift baskets.

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17. Sea & Smoke 2690 Via de la Valle, Del Mar, CA 92014 (Del Mar)

An American brasserie with a menu of vegetarian specialties, seafood, and responsibly sourced meats.

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18. Bagel Gourmet Olé 286 Thayer St, Providence, RI 02906

This Providence spot doles out fresh bagels, Mexican food, and stacked breakfast sandwiches. Start your day with a bacon, egg, and cheese—it won't disappoint.

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19. Saltie 378 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211 (Williamsburg)

You can get a sandwich at almost any bodega, but it’s hard to come by complex creations like the ones at Caroline Fidanza's nautical-themed hole-in-the-wall. Saltie's speciality is salt-dusted focaccia sandwiches filled with briny meats and pickled vegetables, but the all-day menu also includes house-made sweets like caraway and pumpkin seed oatmeal cookies and fruit galettes. Sandwich-wise, go for the Balmy, which tastes ethereal in any weather and is filled with a vinegary symphony of chicken liver pate, ham, jalapeños, pickled vegetables, and mayonnaise.

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20. Coffee House Cafe 6150 Frankford Rd, Dallas, TX 75252 (Far North Dallas)

More than just a cafe, this coffeehouse/restaurant/caterer provides an extensive menu of health-conscious plates for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, in addition to a full-service espresso bar and other energizing libations. A spacious outdoor patio and regularly scheduled live music, speaking series, and happy hours are added bonuses of this local favorite. The convenient drive thru window for breakfast items and coffee is an additional plus if you're on the go and craving joe.

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21. Noble Sandwich Co. 4805 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78756 (Rosedale)

This is the popular sandwich shop's second location, accessible to central Austin fans of the between-the-bread innovators. Try out breakfast in the form of their Oxtail Waffle (a potato and leek waffle topped with braised oxtail and an over-easy egg), and come back later for the Pecan Smoked Beef Brisket.

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