On its own, steak is pretty high up there on the list of foods that make you look like a boss, whether you’re searing it to a perfect medium rare or just feasting on its flesh and juices. But then there’s steak sandwich, which demands that you up your game and revert to your most primal instincts. You grab it with your hands and bite directly into your hunk of beef (this isn’t the time for forks and knives), swallowing it all down just like your mighty hunter-gatherer ancestors once did. Pretty gnarly, I’d say.
Not that steak sandwiches are an excuse to act like a caveman at your next picnic or barbecue, but they’re ideal for serving at either occasion. Here are nine standout recipes that will whet your carnivorous appetites.
1. Easy Philly Cheesesteaks
The gooey cheese, the sizzling beef—the Philly cheesesteak just one of those things that makes any meat lover weak at the knees. In an ideal world, we’d hustle over to Pat’s or Geno’s whenever a craving strikes. In the meantime, we’ll take a stab at greatness at home with this loaded rendition. Get our Easy Philly Cheesesteaks recipe.
For the uninitiated, the chivito is an Uruguayan sandwich that throws in everything and the kitchen sink. All you need to know, however, is that at its core is a layer of seared steak, which is what takes this bad boy from over-the-top to outrageous. Get the recipe here.
3. Lemongrass Steak Banh Mi with Fried Egg
Steak is a fantastic meat to plop on a banh mi. Its deep robustness finds a perfect foil in the usual toppings: lightly pickled veggies, cilantro, and slivers of jalapeño. Get the recipe here.
4. Korean Bulgogi Cheesesteak
OK, so it might make a Philadelphian (or Seoulite) shudder, but the garlicky flavor of bulgogi seriously meets its match in oozy, melty cheese and a sloppy mess of pepper and onions. Get the recipe here.
5. Steak and Bean Torta
Steak and beans doesn’t just have to be left to the burritos. With this Mexican-style torta, you get all the fixings on a soft and bready sandwich roll, no wrapping or rolling required. Get the recipe here.
6. Steak Sandwiches With Caramelized Onions
This one is for the traditionalists. With cheddar, bacon, and caramelized onion on sourdough, these sandwiches don’t strive to be out there or in your face. They’re just classy and satisfying, like a sandwich should be. Get the recipe here.
7. Chimichurri Steak Sandwich
There’s nothing wrong with Argentinian chimichurri steak as it is—the combo of meat and fresh herbs puts full focus on the flavor of each ingredient. But somehow, things like these just taste better when you plop it onto a piece of bread and eat it with your hands. Get the recipe here.
8. Steak Bomb
Get out the napkins: the steak bomb is a sandwich that revels in sauce-dripping, finger licking glory. Piled high with peppers, mushrooms, steak, cheese, and more before getting bathed in red sauce, this one is not for the faint of heart. Get the recipe here.
9. Bourbon Steak Sandwich
Sandwiches are a great way to turn last night’s steak into tomorrow’s lunch. If you’ve made our Bourbon Steak for dinner, just top it with some provolone and peppers for a winning leftovers combo. Get our Bourbon Steak Sandwich recipe.
Miki Kawasaki is a New York City–based food writer and graduate of Boston University's program in Gastronomy. Few things excite her more than a well-crafted sandwich or expertly spiced curry. If you ever run into her at a dinner party, make sure to hit her up for a few pieces of oddball culinary trivia.