There are an infinite, delicious number of ways ingredients can come together between two slices of bread. The great big world of vegan sandwiches is vast and complex, but for the sake of simplicity, we’re narrowing down the definition of “sandwich” to exclude hot dogs and burgers. In no particular order, we’ve created a bucket list of epic handholds both to buy and to try at home. From savory-sweet Monte Cristos to elevated BLTs, here are the 30 best vegan sandwiches to unhinge your jaw for.

Jump to the sandwiches

What makes a good vegan sandwich?

Those new to the vegan lifestyle may pause or raise an eyebrow at the notion of a vegan sandwich. For many, a sandwich is synonymous with meat, cheese, and bread. There are plenty of plant-based sandwiches that also fit this bill—they’re simply made with vegan meat, non-dairy cheese, and really exceptional bread. From Tofurky and Unreal deli slices to Violife’s grillable dairy-free halloumi, there are a number of vegan products to be mixed and matched with your favorite vegan condiments to craft an epic handhold worthy of any omnivore palate.

RELATED: 17 Vegan Fried Chicken Sandwiches That Are Better Than Chick-fil-A and Popeyes

What vegetables are good in sandwiches?

A sandwich can be more than the average turkey-on-rye or BLT. Sometimes, a veggie-packed sammie can be just as alluring. The key lies in the balance of flavors, textures, and ingredient ratios. Case in point: the Modern Hippie Veggie at Chef Tanya’s Kitchen, number seven on our list below. The packed-out sandwich features creamy avocado, tomatoes, shredded carrot, cucumber, purple pickled cabbage, jicama, and, of course, the everyday sandwich staple, lettuce.

VegNews.RachelAmaRachel Ama

What vegan sauces work in a sandwich?

Every sandwich needs a sauce spread “crust to crust,” as Food Network star Jeff Mauro would put it. This can be a garlicky vegan aioli, a peppery romesco, or a simple eggless mayo. If you’re making a vegan bacon sandwich, then barbecue sauce is always a good addition. For all the vegan sauce inspiration, follow our guide to the best plant-based condiments.

How can you enhance the flavor and texture of a vegan sandwich?

After you’ve chosen your sauces and your filling, next, some crunch is needed. This texture can be achieved in the toastiness of the bread, the crispness of romaine, and/or the addition of chips. Another sandwich essential is the heft—what gives this sandwich substance? Is it thick slabs of sliced and smoked tofu, paper-thin carpaccio slices, creamy avocado, or layers of gooey, melty vegan cheddar? 

When it comes to vegan sandwiches, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination (or what’s in your fridge). Get inspired by the chef-crafted creations below, then open your notes app and type up your grocery list to make any one of these tempting sandwich recipes.

RELATED: From San Diego to New York, 8 Vegan Fish Sandwiches Stealing the Spotlight

Vegan sandwiches to buy

The next time hunger strikes, opt for one of these next-level vegan sandwiches. 

Screenshot 2023-08-15 at 3.33.57 PMSeabirds Kitchen

1 Seabirds Kitchen’s Grilled Cheese 

Costa Mesa and Long Beach, CA

Chef Stephanie Morgan’s classic grilled cheese sandwich is the perfect pairing for a hot, comforting tomato soup. An Old Town sourdough is slathered with creamy cashew gruyere spread, basil avocado pesto, and American cheese for the ultimate grilled cheese.  

vegnews.herbivourousbutcherThe Herbivorous Butcher

2 The Herbivorous Butcher’s Italian Cold Cut Sandwich

Minneapolis, MN

When a vegan restaurant is featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, you know it’s got to be good. The Minneapolis-based vegan butcher made two sandwiches for celebrity chef Guy Fieri, but he absolutely raved about the Italian sub. The meaty sandwich is stacked with vegan capicola ham, pepperoni, pastrami, mozzarella, pickled cherry peppers, red onion, and mayo, all between a soft hoagie roll. Not in the Minneapolis area? The owners gifted their recipe to the people, so you can replicate it in your home kitchen.

Freesoulcaffe Panini PortobelloMaxine C./Yelp

3 Freesoul Caffe’s Panini Portobello

Tustin, CA

Freesoul flies under the vegan radar, but those who know are loyal fans. It’s not quite fair to select just one sandwich from this Old Town Tustin restaurant—they’re all fantastic—but the Panini Portobello takes something relatively simple and does it right. The humble, pressed sandwich is made with tender roasted portabello mushrooms, peppers, artichokes, mixed greens, and savory pesto spread. It’s okay to lick your fingers afterward. 


4 Whole Foods Market’s TTLA


Thank you, Tabitha Brown, for your efforts. Thanks to Brown, the irresistible TTLA is a permanent fixture on the Whole Foods sandwich bar menu. The now iconic sandwich is made with a pile of smokey tempeh bacon, generous slices of avocado, juicy tomato, lettuce, and vegan garlic aioli. If you’re looking to bring someone to the vegan lifestyle, start here. 

The Plot Hot Chicken SandoThe Plot

5 The Plot’s Hot Chicken Sando

Oceanside, CA

This garden-to-table restaurant knows its way around tofu. One bite of this crispy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside vegan fried chicken will forever change your idea of what tofu can be. The succulent chicken is glossed with habanero-shallot sauce and spicy pickles. Visit for brunch or lunch to get a bite of this handhold.

The Southern V Hot Chicken SandwichThe Southern V

6 The Southern V’s Hot Chick’n Sandwich

Nashville, TN

This Southern spot delivers with its fiery “Nashville hot” fried chick’n, chipotle mayo, red onion, lettuce, and tomato on a fresh baked bun. The restaurant recommends adding pickles to your sando for an even hotter lunchtime experience—and we couldn’t agree more. 

VegNews.ChefTanyasKitchenChef Tanya’s Kitchen

7 Chef Tanya’s Kitchen’s Modern Hippie Veggie

Palm Springs and Palm Desert, CA

Despite its rather remote locations in the scorching hot desert of Southern California, this casual micro-chain was named as the top-rated vegan restaurant in California by Yelp in 2021. While its vegan meat game is strong, we can’t help but gravitate to this veggie-forward sandwich. When something is made with “Crack Cheese,” you don’t ask questions, you just order it. 

Buffalo Chicken Run RanchNative Foods

8 Native Foods’ Buffalo Chicken Run Ranch

Palm Springs, CA; Glendale, CO; and Chicago, IL

This vegan fast-casual chain has gone through many a menu revision, but this crispy chicken sandwich has never been stricken from the offerings. This classic consists of a crispy chicken patty, ranch dressing, mixed lettuce, sharp red onions, and a slice of juicy tomato all served between a soft-yet-toasty hamburger bun. 

s385402298824987285_p28_i2_w4032Breads on Oak

9 Breads on Oak’s Muffanada

New Orleans, LA

When a restaurant makes its own bread, you have to order a sandwich, and when visiting New Orleans, you must try a muffuletta. Breads on Oak tweaked the name a bit in alignment with its vegan spin, but the end result is the same: pure joy. This handhold is hefty—it’s made with vegan Italian ham, bacon, provolone, olive salad, roasted tomatoes, and greens barely contained by two domed slices of a thick sesame levain roll. Ask for a steak knife with your order, because you will need to cut this in half. 

VegNews.PLTSluttyVegan.MadelynneBoykinMadelynne Boykin

10 Slutty Vegan’s Dance Hall Queen

Multiple locations

Yes, this vegan fast-food chain is known for its over-the-top and scandalously named burgers, and because of that, this unique handhold gets overlooked. This vegan Hawaiian bun is stacked with a Beyond Meat patty, sweet jerk plantains, lettuce, tomato, onions, cheese, and the chain’s signature Slut Sauce (more commonly known as Thousand Island-based secret sauce). The result? A sweet and savory sandwich you won’t stop thinking about. 

VegNews.VeganSandwiches.SouleyVeganSouley Vegan

11 Souley Vegan’s Ain’t Gator Po’Boy

Martinez, CA

Just under 30 miles from its original home of Oakland, CA, Souley Vegan is back after a seven month hiatus. Residents of Martinez, CA can all get a taste of Creole-based cuisine at this vegan eatery. This unique po’boy is bursting with Creole spiced-and-fried Louisiana Hot Links, onions, lettuce, and tomatoes, all drizzled with mustard and po’boy sauce and barely contained by an oblong potato roll. 



12 Ike’s Love & Sandwiches’ Meatless Mike

Multiple locations

Unlike many sandwich chains, Ike’s makes an effort to provide more than just veggies for its vegan fans. This particularly meaty handhold of vegan meatballs, marinara, and plant-based pepper jack cheese has omnivores asking for the veggie menu.

vegngews.spiraldinerSpiral Diner

13 Spiral Diner’s The Mitch Tofu Club

Fort Worth, TX

A diner is really the only appropriate place to order this triple-stacked sandwich. Spiral does it justice by spearing together marinated grilled tofu, lettuce, bacon bits, tomato, toasty bread, and chipotle mayo with an iconic frilly toothpick. 

VegNews.VeganSandwiches.LoveLifeLove Life Cafe

14 Love Life Cafe’s Egg & Cheese Croissandwich

Miami, FL

Pillowy soft and flaky, this sandwich wins in the texture department. The comforting flavors of melty vegan cheddar oozing over a JUST Egg patty will make you want to inhale this breakfast sandwich as soon as it hits your table. 

Veggie Galaxy Rachel SandwichBenedict C./Yelp

15 Veggie Galaxy’s Rachel

Cambridge, MA

For every Reuben, there is a Rachel. This similar diner-style sandwich is made vegan with grilled, thinly shaved, seitan-based corned beef; tangy green cabbage sauerkraut, Swiss cheese (ask for the vegan version), and housemade Thousand Island dressing. Sorry, Reuben, but this time, we prefer Rachel.


16 HipCityVeg’s Philly Cheesesteak

Philadelphia, PA and Washington, DC

This restaurant is beloved for a number of its savory menu items, but when in the City of Brotherly Love, a cheesesteak is calling your name. This vegan version is adorned with grilled vegan steak, grilled onions, maitake mushrooms, ketchup, and mozzarella cheese. Once you’ve wolfed it down, you can check that food item off your bucket list. 

VegNews.VeganSandwiches.ModernLoveModern Love

17 Modern Love’s Chickpea Parmesan Hero

Brooklyn, NY

If chicken parmesan was a sandwich, this would be it (minus the actual chicken, of course). A super crispy chickpea cutlet takes center stage on a toasted garlic hero, layered with marinara, pesto, arugula, cashew mozzarella, basil, and pepita parmesan. 

All Day Breakfast SandwichCity, O’ City

18 City, O’ City’s All Day Breakfast Sandwich

Denver, CO

There’s more than just standout vegan chicken and waffles at this Mile High City mainstay. The All Day Breakfast Sandwich is not to be missed. Made with fluffy Just Egg, chorizo, smoked gouda, fresno jam, arugula, and tomato this ciabatta sammie is breakfast at its finest. When ordering, be sure to specify that you want the vegan option. 

VegNews.VeganSandwiches.BeetBoxThe Beetbox

19 The Beetbox Chickless Sandwich

Oklahoma City, OK

Customize your handhold at this outstanding vegan eatery. Each Chickenless Sandwich is made with the brand’s proprietary chickenless patty, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and onions, but customers get to choose the sauce (otherwise known as the flavor bomb). First-timer? Go with the vegan ranch—it goes exceptionally well with the garlic and herb fries. 

Craw Pretzel Boy Seasoned Vegan Real QuickSeasoned Vegan Real Quick

20 Seasoned Vegan Real Quick’s Craw Pretzel Boy

New York, NY

Can’t make it to the South? Order delivery from Seasoned Vegan Real Quick. This plant-based sando is made with fried burdock root crawfish, remoulade, lettuce, and tomato all stacked on a savory pretzel bun. Complete your meal with shoestring fries finished off with Cajun seasoning. 


VegNews.SuperiorityBurgerSuperiority Burger

21 Superiority Burger’s Vegan Specials

New York, NY

As implied, vegans can find a great burger here, but we’re interested in the ever-rotating sandwich specials. Not all are vegan, but many are or can be easily modified. We can’t wait to eat our way through these plant-based handhelds. Check out Superiority Burger on Instagram for the latest updates on their specials. 

22Bang Up to the Elephant’s Bake & Chana

Denver, CO

The bread makes this sandwich. In lieu of the expected baguette, ciabatta, bun, or roll, this sammie is held together with fry bread. The filling is bursting with curried chickpeas, tomatoes, papaya slaw, and the kitchen’s signature Trini hot sauce. In one word, it’s bangin’. 

Pastrami French DipMaciel’s Plant-Based Butcher Shop

23 Maciel’s Plant-Based Butcher Shop’s The Pastrami French Dip

Los Angeles, CA

Run, don’t walk, to LA’s first full service vegan butcher. This decadent pastrami sandwich features melted provolone, pickles, and dijon mustard on a crunchy roll. Dip into the savory jus for a vegan sandwich experience unlike any other in the city.

Find it here

Vegan sandwiches to make

The next time hunger strikes, whip up one of these seriously stacked sammies. 

VegNews.TofuandPineappleAshley Madden

24 Vegan Tofu & Pineapple Sandwich

Taken out of the pages of vegan foodie Dustin Harder’s Epic Vegan cookbook, this handhold is bright, tangy, smokey, and sweet. It may not be traditional, but you’ll soon crave this earthy spiced tofu-and-tropical-slaw combination. 
Get the recipe

VegNews.VeganCroqueMadameMoore Rhys

25 Vegan Croque Madame

Just as the Reuben has a Rachel, the Croque Monsieur has a Croque Madame. This Frenchified grilled cheese gets a brunch twist by sandwiching eggy tofu, vegan deli slices, and gooey cheese with two thick slices of savory French toast. 
Get the recipe

vegnews.bahnmiWilliam and Susan Brinson

26 Vegan Tofu Bánh Mì

You really have to try a bánh mì to experience its excellence. It’s fusion food at its finest, and the combination of glazed tofu, crunchy cool pickled veggies, and a crackly baguette complement each other extremely well. One bite, and you’ll get it. 
Get the recipe

VegNews.PumpkinGrilledCheeseGina Fontana

27 Pumpkin, Pear, and Candied Pecan Grilled Cheese

The flavor combinations that work with grilled cheese are infinite, but we’re particularly fond of this autumnal creation. You could wait until PSL season or find a can of pumpkin in the middle of summer and treat yourself!
Get the recipe 

VegNews.LobsterRollsIlene Godofsky Moreno

28Easy Vegan Lobster Rolls With Hearts of Palm

You don’t see vegan lobster rolls too often (if at all, in many parts of the country), so you might as well learn to make your own. The ingredient list and preparation is simple. With a can of hearts of palm, Old Bay seasoning, and some vegan mayo, you can have a seaside treat ready in a few minutes. 
Get the recipe


29 Tempeh Sandwiches

These sturdy sandwiches are a plant-based rendition of the classic Italian American sausage-and-pepper hoagie. Marinated tempeh stands in for the meaty element, and the peppers offer texture and a bit of a kick. This handhold only gets better as it sits, so pack it for a picnic and enjoy the outdoors. 
Get the recipe

VegNews.ChickpeaSandwichAndrea Soranidis

30 Chickpea Tuna Sandwiches

Every vegan needs this basic recipe in their arsenal. Even if you weren’t a fan of fish-based tuna back in the pre-vegan days, this chickpea-and-nori-based recipe is universally loved. Our tip to you: make a large batch at the beginning of the week then use it to stuff your sandwiches, salads, and wraps all week long. 
Get the recipe

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