Toronto is an excellent city for sandwiches and there’s no shortage of options when looking to wrap your paws around a feast built between sliced bread.
From iconic Canadian staples like peameal and smoked meat to cross-cultural cuisines and snack foods from across the globe, here are the absolute essential sandwiches that every brown bag lunch-toting Torontonian will envy.
Peameal, Egg & Cheese at Rashers
Peameal bacon is Hogtown’s signature sandwich and I’m willing to argue that no one (not even Carousel Bakery in St. Lawrence Market) does it better than these bacon specialists.
Address: 182 Ossington Avenue, Toronto
Address: 948 Queen Street East, Toronto
Montreal Smoked Beef Cheeks from When The Pig Came Home
Eat your heart out Montreal, Toronto just one-upped you at your own game. This deliciously supple pile of hand carved smoked meat comes stacked ontop Prarire Boy bread and slathered with mustard.
Address: 3035 Dundas Street West, Toronto
Beetroot Gravlax Bagel from Schmaltz
Kivas Bagel schmeared with cream cheese and layered with house-cured fish amount to thick and satisfying breakfast sandwiches.
Address: 414 Dupont Street, Toronto
Tortas from San Cosme
Mexican sandwiches hot off the griddle have become a big draw in Kensington Market. Have these telera buns topped with refried beans, meats, cheeses and more.
Address: 181 Baldwin Street, Toronto
Softshell Crab Sandwich from Fresh Off The Boat
A sandwich with claws is always a delightful sight. This one features deep fried crab loaded with lettuce, tomato and remoulade.
Address: 404 Queen Street West, Toronto
Bama White from Smoke Signals
Wood-smoked chicken, bacon and creamy, tangy white Alabama BBQ sauce is what makes this smokehouse sandwich special.
Buttermilk Fried Chicken from Porchetta & Co.
Served as a special on Dundas West, but a fixture on King Street, this fried chicken sandwich is so good, it rivals the signature pork roast as the top sandwich from this joint.
Address: 825 Dundas Street West, Toronto
Address: 545 King Street West, Toronto
Pressed Cuban from La Cubana
Ham, roasted pork and gruyere with mustard and pickles pressed thin between bread is a delicious taste of Havana in Toronto.
Address: 392 Roncesvalles Avenue, Toronto
Address: 92 Ossington Avenue, Toronto
Seared Fish Sandwich from Street Shak
Bajan style fish on a bun with pickled cabbage, lettuce, tomato and aioli is a must at this Caribbean eatery on Queen West.
Mrs. Blake’s Meatloaf Sandwich from TLP
The ultimate comfort food in handheld form is a specialty from this spin-off from Barberian’s Steakhouse.
Address: 15 Elm Street, Toronto
Phone: 416 662-3546
Banh Mi at Banh Mi Boys
Viet-style subs topped with options like grilled pork, lemongrass tofu, braised beef cheeks or five spice pork belly are popular lunch-time picks from this local change of sandwich shops.
Address: 392 Queen Street West, Toronto
Address: 399 Yonge Street, Toronto
Address: 2356 Yonge Street, Toronto
Grab & Go Sandwiches from Dundas Park Kitchen
The seasonal selection of sandwiches is always in flux, but this Roncesvalles Village bake shop always has something good (and scratch-made) ready to go for a quick lunch on weekdays.
Address: 2066 Dundas Street West, Toronto
Soy Glazed Pork Belly Sandwich from Teara Lab
Japanese sandos are what’s in store at this luncheonette located near UofT. Get the pork belly on an Ace Bakery bun dressed with mayo, lettuce, kimchi, avocado, seaweed and slabs of soy-glazed Porkbelly.
Address: 181 College Street, Toronto
Pulled Rotisserie Chicken from Flock
Chicken and salad is what Flock does best but the sandwiches should not be overlooked. The house fave is this beauty featuring pulled poultry on a soft milk bun with avocado and horseradish-beet-apple slaw.
Address: 330 Adelaide Street West, Toronto
Address: 97 Harbord Street, Toronto
Address: 67 Richmond Street West, Toronto
Address: 175 Bloor Street East, Toronto
Lobster Roll from Buster’s Seacove
The St. Lawrence Market vendor and food truck operator loads toasty split-top buns with cold, creamy lobster meat.
Fried Chicken from Sanagan’s Meat Locker
The butcher shop in Kensington Market slings drool-worthy sandwiches at its lunch counter. The offerings change seasonally, as do the garnishes, but if you ever see the Korean Fried Chicken sandwich with pickled cucumbers and kimchi. Get it! You won’t be sorry.
Address: 176 Baldwin Street, Toronto
Muffaletta from Kitson & Co.
Deli meat, provolone cheese, roasted red peppers, arugula and giardiniera are layered between Calabrese bread for one hand-stretching sandwich.
Address: 1205 Queen Street West, Toronto
Turkey Salad Club from Skyline Restaurant
The triple decker from this revived Parkdale diner is absolutely perfection. This club is crafted with creamy turkey salad, strips of bacon, lettuce and sliced tomatoes on rye.
Address: 1426 Queen Street West, Toronto
Seared Steak Sandwich from The Black Camel
Expect a line up at this popular midtown sandwich shop where the house favourites include medium rare meat on a bun dressed to order with add-ons like creamy horseradish, roasted veggies and/or fontina cheese.
Address: 4 Crescent Road, Toronto
Pulled Pork from Leslieville Pumps
Slow smoked, fork-torn meat tossed in sauce and loaded with slaw are among the delicious sandwiches served at this Leslieville gas station.
Address: 929 Queen Street East, Toronto
Hot Veal from California Sandwiches
The saucy sangwich from this local chain is a messy delight loaded with thinly pounded meat, red sauce and optional onions, peppers and cheese.
Address: 244 Claremont Avenue, Toronto
Address: 435 Yonge Street, Toronto
Steak Churrasco from Completo
Thin, griddled meats loaded onto a bun with mashed avocado, diced tomatoes, mayo, house hot sauce and roasted red pepper sauce is the thing to get at this hidden gem just north of Queen East in Leslieville.
Address: 5 Coady Avenue, Toronto
Grilled Cheese from Aunties & Uncles
This popular brunch destination doesn’t f*ck around with the classics. Order a grilled cheese here and get a perfectly golden cheddar melt with tomatoes for just $8. House made ketchup is just a bonus. Want to gussy it up? Bacon and fried eggs are the only add-ons available.
Address: 74 Lippincott Street, Toronto
Jerk Chicken from Allwyn’s Bakery
This awe-inspiring creation is like the tur-duck-en of sandwiches, featuring jerk chicken and slaw loaded into a patty then nestled into a coco bun.
Address: 81 Undehill Drive, Toronto
Doner from Otto’s Berlin Doner
Flatbread loaded with shaved meats, garlic sauce, harrisa hot sauce and a medley of fresh veggies is one of the most delicious things you can eat in Kensington Market where competition is especially fierce.
Address: 256 Augusta Avenue, Toronto
The Queen from Schnitzel Queen
Locals understandably get all #schnitfaced over this regal sandwich featuring a massive specimen of breaded chicken or pork schnitzel dressed in sauerkraut, potato salad and caramelized onions.
Address: 211 Queen Street East, Toronto
Italian cold cuts from San Remo
Crusty bread overloaded with a stack of mixed meats, veggies and fried onions make this super-thick sandwich very much worth the drive to Etobicoke, not to mention the inevitable lineups inside.
Address: 374 Royal York Boulevard, Toronto
Mindblowing Chicken from Maha’s
The Egyptian brunch spot in Toronto’s east end is home to this heaping egg bun spilling over with marinated meat tossed with parsley, onions and tomatoes, drizzled with mayo and tahini.
Address: 226 Greenwood Avenue, Toronto