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Sandwich vs. Burger — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on July 8, 2024
A sandwich consists of fillings between slices of bread, while a burger typically refers to a patty (often meat-based) between bun halves. Though both are handheld foods, they differ in composition and origin.
Sandwich vs. Burger — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Sandwich and Burger


Key Differences

A Sandwich is a versatile food item where various fillings, be it meats, vegetables, or spreads, are placed between slices of bread. Its origins trace back to England, named after the 4th Earl of Sandwich. Sandwiches can be made with different types of bread, such as whole grain, white, or rye, and can be served cold or hot. On the other hand, a Burger, in its most traditional form, refers to a ground meat patty, usually beef, placed between the two halves of a bun. Originating from Germany but popularized in the U.S., burgers have become synonymous with fast food.
Broadly, both Sandwich and Burger serve the purpose of providing a convenient, often handheld meal. They both cater to the idea of combining multiple ingredients into one cohesive dish that's easy to eat. Their popularity across the world is testament to their adaptability, with regional variations existing for both.
However, it's essential to note that while all burgers can be considered a type of sandwich because of the basic concept of fillings between bread, not all sandwiches are burgers. The distinction lies in the specific components and the traditional definitions of both these beloved foods.

Comparison Chart

Basic Definition

Fillings between slices of bread
Patty between bun halves


Germany, popularized in the U.S.

Main Component

Various (meat, veggies, spreads)
Typically a meat patty

Serving Temperature

Can be cold or hot
Typically served hot


Broad (e.g., club, grilled cheese, PB&J)
More focused (e.g., cheeseburger, veggie)

Compare with Definitions


Something in a compressed form between two other entities.
The city is a cultural sandwich of old and new influences.


A meat or vegetable patty served in a bun.
He ordered a cheeseburger with extra pickles.


A dish with fillings between slices of bread.
I made a turkey and cheese sandwich for lunch.


A sandwich similar to a hamburger but made with a different meat or vegetarian patty.
The menu included a spicy chicken burger.


A sandwich is a food typically consisting of vegetables, sliced cheese or meat, placed on or between slices of bread, or more generally any dish wherein bread serves as a container or wrapper for another food type. The sandwich began as a portable, convenient finger food in the Western world, though over time it has become prevalent worldwide.


A dish originating from the U.S., typically made of ground beef.
The classic American burger is a global favorite.


An item of food consisting of two pieces of bread with a filling between them, eaten as a light meal
A ham sandwich


A fast-food item consisting of a cooked patty and various toppings.
The veggie burger is an alternative for vegetarians.


Relating to a sandwich course
The degree includes a sandwich year


A term used to denote various filled or stuffed food items resembling a beef burger in preparation.
The fish burger had a crispy patty and tartar sauce.


Insert or squeeze (someone or something) between two other people or things, typically in a restricted space or so as to be uncomfortable
The girl was sandwiched between two burly men in the back of the car


A flat round cake of minced beef that is fried or grilled and typically served in a bread roll; a hamburger.


Two or more slices of bread with a filling such as meat or cheese placed between them.


A sandwich consisting of a bun, a cooked beef patty, and often other ingredients such as cheese, onion slices, lettuce, or condiments. Often used in combination
A cheeseburger.


A partly split long or round roll containing a filling.


A similar sandwich with a nonbeef filling. Often used in combination
A crab burger.
A tofu burger.


One slice of bread covered with a filling.


(informal) A hamburger.


Something resembling a sandwich
She layered a scoop of vanilla ice cream between two cookies to create a sandwich.


A similar sandwich or patty.


To insert (one thing) tightly between two other things often of differing character or quality. "She showed me her wedding band, which was sandwiched on the same finger between two prettier, fancier rings" (Dan Leone).


A stereotypical well-off Pakistani aspiring to a westernized lifestyle.


To collide with or crash into (a person, for example) with impacts on opposing sides
The quarterback passed the football just before he was sandwiched by two linebackers.


An American.


To make room or time for
Sandwiched a vacation between business trips.


A dish or foodstuff where at least one piece, but typically two or more pieces, of bread serve(s) as the wrapper or container of some other food.


Any combination formed by layering one type of material between two layers of some other material.


(UK) A layer cake or sandwich cake.


(archaic) A sandwichman one who wears a sandwich board.


To place one item physically between two other, usually flat, items.


(figuratively) To put or set something between two others, in time.


(sex) To double penetrate


To feed sandwiches.


To eat sandwiches.


(US) Of a meal or serving size that is smaller than a dinner. en


Two pieces of bread and butter with a thin slice of meat, cheese, or the like, between them.


To make into a sandwich; also, figuratively, to insert between portions of something dissimilar; to form of alternate parts or things, or alternating layers of a different nature; to interlard.


Two (or more) slices of bread with a filling between them


Make into a sandwich


Insert or squeeze tightly between two people or objects;
She was sandwiched in her airplane seat between two fat men


Two or more slices of bread with a layer of food between them.
She enjoys a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.


A layer of food between two other layers of food.
A biscuit and ice cream sandwich is a favorite dessert.


An item of food made by placing a filling between two outer pieces.
The sandwich was stacked with fresh vegetables and sauces.

Common Curiosities

Is a burger always made of beef?

No, burgers can be made of chicken, fish, vegetables, and other ingredients.

Can a sandwich be hot?

Yes, sandwiches can be served hot, like a grilled cheese sandwich.

Can a sandwich be made without bread?

Traditional sandwiches use bread, but there are variations like lettuce wraps.

Which came first, the Sandwich or the Burger?

The sandwich concept is older, originating from England.

What is a club sandwich?

A club sandwich typically has three slices of bread with fillings like chicken, bacon, lettuce, and tomato.

What is the most common topping on a burger?

Lettuce, tomato, onions, and pickles are among the most common toppings.

Are all burgers considered sandwiches?

Yes, because they consist of fillings between bread or buns.

Are there vegetarian burgers?

Yes, there are veggie burgers made from plants, legumes, or other non-meat sources.

Are burgers unhealthy?

It depends on the ingredients and preparation. Some can be high in calories and fat, but healthier options exist.

How did the sandwich get its name?

It's named after the 4th Earl of Sandwich, who wanted food he could eat without leaving his gaming table.

Can sandwiches be dessert?

Yes, like ice cream sandwiches made with cookies or biscuits.

What's a slider?

A slider is a small-sized burger, often served in pairs or more.

Is a hot dog a burger?

No, a hot dog is distinct, using a sausage in a split roll, but it's often debated if it's a type of sandwich.

Are wraps and rolls the same as sandwiches?

They're similar but use a single piece of bread or tortilla wrapped around fillings.

Do all sandwiches have two slices of bread?

Most do, but some variations like open-faced sandwiches use just one.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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