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London's Christmas sandwiches ranked worst to best

Like it or not, lunchtime is about to get a whole lot more festive. Here’s our run-down of the Yuletide sarnies to savour and swerve

christmas sandwiches, pret christmas lunch
By Time Out London Food & Drink |

Christmas Sandwiches. These days, they’re more synonymous with this wonderful winter holiday than attempted infanticide and passing out half-cut in front of ‘The Great Escape’. And, my God, are there a lot of them kicking around.

To save you wasting valuable calorie allowance on some cheer-free, anaemic excuse for an Xmas sanger, we’ve done the decent thing and performed a taste test of 11 of them: because nothing screams ‘Christmas’ like piling the contents of an entire festive lunch into a carbohydrate wrapper. Hark! We’re going to be sick. 

RECOMMENDED: For more festive fun read our guide to Christmas in London

Christmas sandwiches ranked

christmas sandwiches, M&S turkey wrap
© Andy Parsons

M&S: Turkey Wrap Sandwich


Given that Christmas is all about over-indulgence, eating a tortilla wrap does not exactly scream: ‘Break out the sherry! IT’S JESUS TIME!’ That said, this is a herby, colourful attempt at a Christmas wrap with a decent amount of filling.

christmas sandwiches, tesco turkey and trimmings
© Andy Parsons

Tesco: Turkey and Trimmings Sandwich


The alarming way this glistens suggests that it has just been used as a mattress by a troupe of slugs, but it’s actually a solid, sausage-heavy meat-fest that’s like the meeting point between Christmas and a greasy spoon. A dirty sandwich, but one we kind of enjoyed. Oh, and it's now gluten free.

christmas sandwiches, sainsburys turkey feast
© Andy Parsons

Sainsbury’s: Turkey Feast Sandwich


‘Fine’, ‘normal’, ‘standard’: these were the comments of our tasting panel on a sandwich that is perfectly okay to eat. Not exciting, but not bad either.

christmas sandwiches, pret brie and cranberry baguette
© Andy Parsons

Pret: Brie and Cranberry Baguette


Ah, Christmas: that special time of year when people stuff bits of pistachio into French cheese then slather them with cranberry sauce. Right guys? No? Us neither. Still, this combo of creamy brie, tangy cranberry and the pleasing crunchiness of pistachios is pretty nice – if not particularly festive.

christmas sandwiches, sainsburys cranberry and brie
© Andy Parsons

Sainsbury’s: Brie and Cranberry Sandwich


For some people, nothing says Christmas like a perfectly fine cheese sandwich. Or at least that’s what we assume the rationale is behind this brie-based sarnie being classified as a Christmas product. Decent, but not hugely exciting.


Pret: Christmas Lunch Baguette


Basically, this is the poor man’s version of Pret’s iconic Christmas lunch sandwich (except it’s 50p more expensive). It’s got all the same ingredients (turkey stuffing and juicy cranberry), it’s just in a baguette – which means those ingredients are a tiny bit overpowered by too much dough. It’s still delicious though. A modern classic.

Giles Christopher

Paul: ’Tis the Vegan


A sesame-specked baguette bursting with lovely al dente grilled carrots, houmous and peppers – this doesn’t taste remotely like Christmas but it’s nice so who cares? If you’re animal-free, baby Jesus just sent you a miracle.

christmas sandwiches, eat turkey and cranberry sandwich
© Andy Parsons

Eat: Butter-basted Turkey and Cranberry Sandwich


Call the newspapers! We’ve found some turkey that actually tastes of something! It’s also packed with a generous layer of zingy cranberry sauce and more greenery than Snoop Dogg’s ganj bag. Clean, fresh and flavoursome.

christmas sandwiches, m&s turkey feast
© Andy Parsons

M&S: Turkey Feast Sandwich


This throws festive treats at you like an absent parent trying to bribe its kids with prezzies. Hefty layer of turkey? Yep. Generous helping of stuffing? Sure. Bacon, mayo and chutney? Yip. Gift-wrapped and left under a Christmas tree? Sadly not. But that’s the only thing we can find to dislike about this fat, meaty, squidgy mouthful.


Eat: Festive Full Works on Malted Wheat Baguette


All the usual suspects (turkey, stuffing, bacon, cranberries) plus spinach – the thing that makes this sanger stand out is that it comes in a wholesome brown baguette. And while brown bread isn’t exactly a classic Christmas snack, it'll only take one office party into the season before you need something to make you feel whole again.

christmas sandwiches, pret veggie christmas lunch
© Andy Parsons

Pret: Veggie Christmas Lunch Sandwich


If we ran the ‘Veggies Against Grim Ingredients at Noël Awards’, we’d give Pret a lifetime achievement gong for their efforts in making Christmas meals a less crappy affair for vegetarians. Every year we love the riot of flavours involved in teaming roasted butternut squash, crispy onions and Christmas nut pesto with a yogurt dressing. Admittedly, we’ll never run the aforementioned committee, mainly because its acronym would be ‘Vagina’.

christmas sandwiches, pret christmas lunch sandwich
© Andy Parsons

Pret: Christmas Lunch Sandwich


This bread-based turkey treat is such a reliable bringer of festive joy is that it’s basically the Father Christmas of sandwiches. We also cannot express how much we love those crispy onion bits. We’d say that this sandwich has left us thinking about adding them to our actual Christmas dinner, but we’d be lying.

Giles Christopher

Paul: The Festive Hock Feast


If you’re into ham it really doesn’t get much better than this: impossibly soft, pink meat spangled with cranberries and lashings of what tastes like horseradish (this sounds rogue but really isn’t). This is sandwich heaven, tucked into a superior sage and onion baguette.

christmas sandwiches, paul dinde de noel
© Andy Parsons

Paul: Dinde de Noël Baguette


In case you’re not tipped off by the £4.65 price tag and a name that sounds like something Hercule Poirot would shout when angry, this is one posh sandwich. It is also absolutely delicious: the beautiful artisan baguette is studded with cranberries and the turkey is pepped up with smoky bacon and a lovely spot of horseradish sauce. The finest festive sandwich in London bar none. Encore, s’il vous plait!

Read even more on festive food


All of Pret’s Christmas specials ranked worst to best

Remember that time we ranked all 32 Pret-A-Manger sandwiches from worst to best? It was a big day for the internet, but this pioneering piece of journalism didn’t pass without upset. Among the major complaints was that we’d left out the Christmas specials, a concern voiced by people who'd clearly put no thought towards the logistics of taste-testing a Christmas sandwich in the middle of bloody spring. Well, today we’re putting that oversight right, by rating not only Pret’s seasonal sarnies, but all their other festive foodstuffs, too. So have at 'em, and leave us a comment to let us know about the Christmas specials you rate and hate. 

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