Two loaded sandwiches from Stefanino Panino in Collingwood.
Photograph: Leah Glynn
  • Restaurants | Cafés
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  • Collingwood
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Stefanino Panino

4 out of 5 stars

As the Melbourne sanga scene heats up, this Collingwood panini bar cements itself as a serious contender for the carb crown

Leah Glynn

Time Out says

If you live in Melbourne and have TikTok, chances are you’ve heard of Stefanino Panino. That’s how the deli-style shop first landed on my radar, via multiple drool-worthy videos showing loaded sandwich cross-sections and lines snaking out the door. It was salivation through the screen at its finest, and I knew as a dedicated sliced bread specialist that I had to find out whether this family-run business (founded by mother-son duo Diana and Stef Condello) lived up to the hype.

I visit the new-ish digs (Stefanino Panino moved from its OG location on the Brunswick East end of Lygon Street in November 2023) in Collingwood Yards with my husband on a chilly Saturday morning. We skipped brekky in favour of starting the day with a carb-loading sesh, and have arrived early to snag our sanga of choice, lest it sells out – which, on the weekend, is not unusual.

Having already studied the menu before arriving, our choices are clear: the Bologna (mortadella, stracciatella, pickled peppers and olives) and the L’Australiana (prosciutto, provolone, tomato, rocket, onion, mayo and dijon mustard). But with 12 sandwiches on offer, plus rotating specials and the option to build your own, this is a place that demands a return visit or two – after all, who doesn’t want to say they clocked Stefanino Panino’s sandwich line-up?

True to form (aka all the TikToks I’d seen), there was already a line out the door upon our arrival mid-morning. We poke our heads inside the busy venue and glimpse the wood-panelled walls, bench seating and open sandwich bar – the vibe is cosy and slightly chaotic, but in the best way possible. There isn’t room to take a perch, but the beauty of the Collingwood Yards location is the adjoining outdoor square with plenty of tables, chairs and milk crates (this is the inner north, after all). 

There’s a ten-minute wait in the queue followed by a ten-minute wait for our buzzer to go off – not bad for peak hour on a Saturday. My husband and I are going halves (duh) and I start with the Bologna. Full disclosure: on a trip to Matera in Italy last year, I had possibly the best panini of my life; loaded with at least eight slices of mortadella, it was one of those meals that stay with you long after the holiday glow has evaporated. 

The first bite not only satisfies my cravings, but also my expectations. There’s a nice little kick from the peppercorn in the mortadella, which is remedied by the creaminess of the stracciatella. It’s thick – I count at least four slices of meat – and there’s a solid smattering of green olives and peppers for extra zest. It’s simple, sure, but when the ingredients marry together so beautifully, why add elements that could detract?

Onto the L’Australiana, and we opt for the fennel salumi at the behest of the staff member who took our order. It’s quite punchy, and paired with the heat of the mustard and the sweetness of the tomato it creates a bangin' party in your mouth. The layers aren’t as dense on this sanga though, and it could benefit from a few more slices of provolone to really elevate its flavour profile further.

Some words of warning about the bread: the ciabatta rolls (supplied by Nature Tucker Bakery in Carlton North) are super powdery, and you will get the white dusting all over your face, hands and clothes. They are also on the crunchy side, with the hard shells providing a sturdy vessel for housing all those lavish fillings.

As far as viral sandwich spots go, the TikToks (and the snaking queues) don’t lie about Stefanino Panino – here’s a place slinging some pretty damn tasty sandos for a reasonable price. We’ll definitely be back to work our way through the rest.

Time Out Melbourne never writes starred reviews from hosted experiences – Time Out covers restaurant and bar bills for reviews so that readers can trust our critique.

Hungry for more carbs? These are the best sandwiches in Melbourne.


Collingwood Yards
Unit 4/30 Perry Street
Opening hours:
Tues-Fri from 9am; Sat & Sun from 10am
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