Sandwiches are back and in a big way. Over the last few years, we’ve seen a desire for a good sandwich — unlike the ones your mum used to pack in your lunch box. These sandwiches are layered with gourmet meats and cheeses, melted to perfection, or sandwiched between two soft pieces of white bread. Sandwiches come in all sizes, shapes, flavours, and styles.
Whether you’re hankering for a lunchtime banh mi, a cheese toastie, or a 10-layered meat monster, follow our guide for the best sandwiches in Sydney.
Circular Quay and Rockdale
Until recently, Kostas Takeaway was the south Sydney sandwich king, but ever since opening a second outpost in Circular Quay, it has quickly become a Sydney-wide favourite. The sandwiches are classic but not boring. Think deli meats stacked between two fluffy, soft slices of bread and drowned in sauces, vegetables, pickles, and more. The shnitty sandwich on an olive bun is a favourite, but believe us when we say you could order a sandwich every day for weeks and never be met with the same sandwich.
Mrs Palmer Sandwich has five sandwiches on its menu, so there’s no need to panic order. You will find a chicken sandwich with your choice of poached, crispy, or chickenless, crispy pork belly, spicy BBQ beef brisket, falafel, cured meats, and the palmer Jana, which has crispy chicken pieces. Of course, there is the option to double the meat, double everything, or add extra sauce, pickles, and other condiments. Each massive sambo is squished between two slices of hand-cut fresh-baked bread from Sonoma.
This next-gen sandwich and salad joint recently opened and sold 150 ‘S’WICH Schntiz’ on their first day. Clearly, people are loving the thick-cut packed sandwiches. Although university graduates Jordan Abram and Jay Fink do more than just make sandwiches. The menu boasts inventive salads such as herby tuna with wild rice and pickled fennel. They don’t serve coffee, but you can find a Japanese cold brew. Even the uniform oozes 70s retro leisurewear. They’re open for lunch, dinner and everything in between. The sandwiches are a highlight, and the sweet potato crisps are the perfect accompaniment to any salad or sandwich.
Good Ways Deli takes us back to the old days of suburban milk bars. This corner shop is simple, only has a handful of sandwiches, but people line up to wrap their hands around one. Every day, you will find six sandwiches on the menu, each stuffed with deli meats, chicken, or veggie options. The main idea is to take away, but you can stand outside the deli and eat if you wish.
Situated in the heart of the CBD and on the cusp of Barangaroo is Tiny’s Sandwich Bar, a style-saturated bar and restaurant serving tiny cocktails and big sandwiches. While the cocktails are definitely worth a try, the sandwiches here are the show’s star. Expect thicc (with two cs) cut white or brown bread—extra soft—and mouth-watering fillings. You can get anything from crumbed chicken breast to New York-style pastrami, 12-hour slow-cooked lamb, shaved ham, and salmon gravlax. Most sandwiches are $14-16, which is super affordable. They also have huge sandwiches, which feed four to five people. You can stop by for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Penny is a self-diagnosed curd nerd at the forefront of the specialty cheese sector. If you’re hankering for a cheese toastie, Penny’s Cheese Shop is the place to go. Apart from the multiple kinds of cheese you can get from the fridge, be sure to give the cheese toastie ago. The menu changes all the time, but it’s a guaranteed winner every time.
Darlinghurst, Kent Street, and Alexandria
South Dowling is a name synonymous with long queues and mind-blowingly good sandwiches. Apart from being the best value for money, South Dowling loves to load up sandwiches to the point they’re exploding. You can build your own sandwich by picking the bread a filling or try a creation by the sandwich artists. You can pick up a classic chicken schnitzel or a smoked salmon with lemon chive mayo. They also have a chilli chicken sandwich, tuna, vegetarian, and a classic leg ham sandwich. Each sandwich ranges from $9 to $14, depending on the filling.
Named after the man who is believed to be the reason for the lunchtime staple, John Montagu is a little sandwich shop serving good sandwiches. Whether you want to take away or eat inside, you’ll find a small menu of sandwiches, including 12-hour beef cheeks one, with cheese, rocket, horseradish mayo, secret sauce, and toasted to a warm, crunchy texture. The other sandwiches you can expect to see include a chicken katsu, falafel, and classic B.L.T toasted. The sandwiches here range from $16-$21.
For something a little different, try Boon Cafe. This Thai-inspired cafe produces some pretty tasty and quirky sandwiches. Expect chicken cashew sandwich with smoked chilli jam and a mushroom and holy basil sandwich with a fried egg. The chicken, squid and holy basil sandwich is definitely worth a try. All their sandwiches come on sourdough only and cost around $15.
Fabbrica is a pasta shop, a wine bar, a restaurant, and a deli, so if you ever need anything, then this is a one-stop shop. Their sandwiches are also worth a visit because they do them old-school Italian style, packed with gourmet meats, the best cheeses, and fresh vegetables. Think porchetta, peppers, and rocket. It’s always changing, but you can bet you will find something tasty on the menu daily.
If you love a good New York-style bagel sandwich, head to Bondi’s Lox, Stock and Barrel. They’re experts in Jewish comfort food. Expect smoked lox, including a smear of cream cheese, capers, and pickled onions. The menu also includes chopped liver bagel, egg and herb mayo, and avocado with lemon, cucumber, tomato, rocket, and smoked lox. They also have a Reuben made of wagyu corned beef, swiss pickles, and sauerkraut. The Reuben is $19, and the bagels range from $14 to $17.
As you might know, Two Chaps is a little hole-in-the-wall cafe with a loyal local fan base. They’re known for their breakfast food, but they also smash out some pretty spectacular sandwiches, including a fried egg ciabatta with beetroot relish, roasted mushrooms, and grilled halloumi. Another sandwich they offer is a poached egg ciabatta with lemon aioli, cabbage slaw, and fresco cheese. Each sandwich is $14, which is a steal considering how good these sandwiches are.
For meat-filled, old-school baguette sandwiches, visit Harvey’s Hot Sandwiches. You can make your own roll on your choice of bread, or you can try one of Harvey’s favourites, including a brisket or pastrami roll, either simple style (mustard and cheese) or sloppy (Russian dressing, slaw, and cheese). There’s also a selection of signature subs, including a Philly cheesesteak, classic subs, and brekkie rolls, because sandwiches aren’t just for lunch.
Darling Square and Circular Quay
Craving a pork roll? There’s no better than Marrickville Pork Roll, the cult-favourite bakery, serving its award-winning pork rolls to hungry customers lined up outside. You will find traditional pork, barbecue pork, and pork belly rolls on the menu. If you’re a traditionalist, opt-in for the pork roll and fill it with all your favourite ingredients. They also have a meatball roll that seems to be a crowd-pleaser any time of the week.
Darling Square and Chatswood
Toastie Smith only makes toasted sandwiches, and they’re glorious; also a great way to start the day. Expect fluffy scrambled eggs, cheese, slaw, bacon, or ham, or wagyu, sandwiched between two thick-cut slices of brioche. It’s the melt-in-your-mouth kind of sandwich. For $8 to $13 a toastie, this funky sandwich shop is a great to-go option on your way to work.
The sandwiches at Small’s Deli are only available from 11 am, but they’re worth the wait. They offer a range of sandwiches, including roast pumpkin on a panini, an all-green panini with kale puree, avocado, granny smith apple, and alfalfa. For meaty options, try the mortadella with black fig and ricotta. The Florence and aubergine offer something slightly different from a fennel and garlic salami, eggplant, walnut paste, and creamed pecorino served fresh on a panini.
This Japanese cafe puts all your favourites between bread, including thick-cut white bread or crunchy rolls. Expect a pork katsu sando or banh mi, a buttermilk fried chicken sandwich, and a prawn sando with yuzu mayo and mustard between two thick-cut slices of white bread. The fish katsu burger is also a fan-favourite and comes on potato bread for that extra carb hit. They also make a mushroom toastie and miso eggplant sandwich with Sichuan pepper.
The team behind Hinchcliff House has opened a New York Deli-style sandwich and doughnut bunker. Located on the corner of Bridge and Philip Streets, This Way Canteen slings generous sandwiches with bread from Grana Bakery and a selection of doughnuts to go with house-made sodas. Expect seasonal salads, drunken chicken sandwiches, Philly Cheesesteaks with shaved wagyu, and even tater tots or potato scallops.
Self Raised packs together New York-style deli sandwiches in this pocket-sized retro deli. Mornings are for milk bun egg sandwiches and lunch; the hoagies will keep you full all day. Expect hoagies stuffed with anything from schnitzel to mortadella and salami and a healthy heap of veggies. If you’re after something sweet, the croissants are legendary.
If you haven’t had a sandwich and a martini at Continental Deli, can you say you’re a Sydneysider? Just kidding. It’s a right of passage, though, for some. When it comes to the most popular and famous choice, the fish and chip sandwich takes the ranks. Think sardines, pickles, house-fermented chilli, and potato chips stuffed in a roll.