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Photograph: Katje Ford

The best sandwiches in Sydney right now

Sandwiches, sarnies, sandos, sambos, sangas – whatever you want to call them – this is a guide to the best of the bunch in Sydney.

Written by
Maxim Boon
,
Jordi Kretchmer
&
Avril Treasure
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Sandwiches? Well, they're the best thing to come out of slicing bread. Here, the criteria is pretty simple: very good things in between two very good slices of well-sliced bread. No burgers, bagels, scrolls and banh mi (they’re a league of their own). No half-hearted strings of romaine here, no siree.

Time Out Sydney critics, including Food & Drink Editor Avril Treasure, have eaten their way around carb-town (which frankly, is the most delicious place to be) to curate this list of the best sandwiches in Sydney. 'wich on, friends. 

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The best sandwiches in Sydney

  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Double Bay

I can’t overstate how good the poached chicken sambo is from Double Bay’s hot spot, Baker Bleu. Tender, slow-cooked pulled chicken is coated in a herby green goddess sauce made from tarragon, chives, parsley, creme fraiche and lemon, and layered with creamy avo, crunchy lettuce and bursts of sweet tomatoes. Add on freshly baked bread and a perfect amount of seasoning, and you’ve got yourself one of the best sandwiches in Sydney. Time Out tip: this place gets packed on the weekends, so head down before noon if you don’t want to line up for long. (The sourdough pizza slices also slap.)

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Avril Treasure
Food & Drink Editor, Time Out Sydney
  • Restaurants
  • Delis
  • Potts Point

Lady beetles. Sapphires. M&M's. It’s true that some great things in life come in small packages. And so it is the case at Small’s Deli, an eight-seater sandwich shop located on leafy Victoria Street in Potts Point. What Small’s lacks in size, it makes up for  – and more – in its mighty flavours. A must-try is the Al Green, with kale puree, avocado, iceberg lettuce, Granny Smith apple, sprouts, and a vegan green goddess dressing laid on a fresh panini. She is messy, but man she worth it. Time Out tip: there's an option to add cheddar, ham and chilli jam. Do that.

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Avril Treasure
Food & Drink Editor, Time Out Sydney
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Sandoitchi, an unsuspecting Oxford Street joint, hides an impressive range of Japanese sandwiches behind its poky exterior, with mainstay menu fixtures like nori, dashi and kombu butter. The prawn katsu sando heroes sweet, tender prawns layered in a wafer-thin crumb. It’s all about delicacy and the light touch: a smear of yuzu mayonnaise, a scattering of juicy yellow corn, all held together by pillowy soft white bread that puts up no resistance. No crusts, of course.  

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Sydney

At this CBD joint, they corn the silverside in house, resulting in a peppery, chunky beef filling. The ratio of sauerkraut, Russian dressing and Swiss cheese is wonderfully balanced, so the sandwich is packed with flavour but holds without getting too messy. It’s also filling enough to keep you trooping on throughout the day – but won’t leave you in need of a post-lunch nap.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Darlinghurst

South Dowling Sandwiches is named after the street on which the sandwich joint's sign (bearing of course, a sandwich) prompts daily queues from open till close. The warm, lemongrass-heavy Thai-style chilli chicken is a top-notch sandwich filling – the marinade on the chicken replaces a need for sauce, while white fluffy bread and lettuce pin things together nicely. Add a swipe of everything from the salad bar if you’re really hungry – and those pickled carrots have earned a reputation for good reason.

  • Restaurants
  • Marrickville
  • price 1 of 4

Yes, we know this isn’t a toastie list, but for Bourke Street Bakery’s bolognese toastie we will 100 per cent make an exception. Whether you’re hungover or just damn hungry, this hearty, savoury, delicious creation will make all your sorrows go away. And the best bit? It cost just $11.50, so if you want another, go for it. We won’t tell anyone.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Redfern

Life’s good at Good Ways Deli. Found on Redfern’s Cooper Street, the sunny corner shop has been slinging fresh sangas, retro treats and nostalgic drinks since it first opened back in 2021 – and we have gobbled them up on many occasions. If you haven’t heard about Good Ways Deli’s famous kangaroo mortadella sanga, what rock have you been under? A mighty bite, the sandwich is loaded with Whole Beast Butchery kangaroo mortadella, LP’s Quality Meats salami cotto, ham, provolone cheese, zippy pickles, white onion, iceberg lettuce and a special sauce. We reckon it is one of Sydney's finest.

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Avril Treasure
Food & Drink Editor, Time Out Sydney
The chicken salad at Malibu
  • Restaurants
  • Surry Hills
  • price 1 of 4

At Malibu, which you’ll find down a Surry Hills alley, there’s just one man, Marc Aebi, taking orders, chopping fillings and waving you off with a smile and a ginormous, foil-wrapped sandwich. Pick from an array of tins holding crunchy butter lettuce, sweet beetroot, pickles, and fresh cucumbers. A green, herby mayo forms the base of your ‘wich. Beware: structural integrity could be compromised if you play too fast and loose with additions. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Sydney
  • price 1 of 4

If there were a concept to pique the interest of gluten gluttons everywhere, it’s the idea of carbs wrapped in more substantial, structurally sound carbs. Maybe that's why, despite arguably being a toastie, the stoner-chic mie goreng sandwich at this CBD hole-in-the-wall joint has snuck onto this list. It's so much more than the sum of its parts, like any good sando should be: spicy mayo is slathered on bread, followed by a mess of spicy-sweet instant noodles, an oozy fried egg and shallots. The whole thing is gloriously bound together by a combination of mozzarella and nutty gruyere.

  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Surry Hills

Everything at Humble Bakery is a knock-out. If you haven't tried one of their pink finger buns with ribbon-like icing, you need to. But we're here to talk about the savoury numbers. Humble's sandwiches are generous, rich and bursting with all the good things in life: flavour, salt and fat. Take the salami sandwich, for example: two thick slabs of chewy, olive oil-laced focaccia encase slices of salami, marinated strips of capsicum, vinegary artichokes, salty capers, creamy ricotta and fresh rocket. It takes both hands to eat, and at least four serviettes, but dammit, it’s delicious.

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Avril Treasure
Food & Drink Editor, Time Out Sydney
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  • Bars
  • Bondi Beach

This Bondi hole-in-the-wall is a local's favourite, for good reason. It does a mean glass of red wine once the sun sets, but it's worth a look-in in the daytime, too. Choose between or white or brown bread here then get ready for your two-hand hunger-buster. The shreds of bacon in this BLT are just crisp enough and piled high, contrasted with crunchy lettuce, creamy aioli and fresh tomato slices. 

  • Restaurants
  • Circular Quay

How does one achieve happiness? It’s a question as old as time, and depending on who you ask you’re sure to get a different answer. Ancient Greek philosophy says that true happiness can be found in life’s simple pleasures, which we reckon sounds about right. And according to sandwich joint Kosta’s Takeaway, happiness is a bloody good sandwich. Now that absolutely sounds about right. Their Circular Quay store has some new additions to the OG Rockdale shop, including our favourite, the fish sandwich. Fresh ling or monk fish is fried until crisp and golden, and layered with a zingy, herby tartare, shredded lettuce and cheese. Happiness in a bite.

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Avril Treasure
Food & Drink Editor, Time Out Sydney
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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Sydney

Made with fresh, super fluffy and thick-cut Texas-style bread, June’s sandwiches are packed to the rafters with fresh salads, delicious fillings and house-made sauces. There are eight colourful creations to choose from at the sunny hole-in-the-wall café, but our favourite is the salad sandwich with cucumber, tomato, beetroot, carrots, alfalfa, mayo and vintage cheddar. Just like eating a rainbow, the sanga takes us back to our primary school days and we bloody love it.

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Avril Treasure
Food & Drink Editor, Time Out Sydney
  • Restaurants
  • Chippendale

Brickfields raised the standard or the city's bread-making game since it landed in Chippendale in 2013, and it's still going strong. This sambo veers into breakfast territory with layered, multiple slices of crispy bacon tangled with shreds of kale. The salad is slathered with a generous amount of mayo, breaking down the tough greens to make an excellent slaw. We’re huge fans of the mushroom, jalapeño and cheese toastie here too.

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  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Mediterranean
  • The Rocks

Admittedly, Le Foote is not your usual grab-and-go sandwich shop. But hear us out. If you have a bit of time, we suggest pulling up a stool at the charming bottom wine bar and kicking off with a bottle of orange vino, plus a fish sandwich, which truly is a thing of beauty. The fish comes crumbled, golden and succulent, sandwiched between pillowy white bread, shredded ’burg, a sharp tartare and topped with a guindilla pepper. Our advice? Don’t share.

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Avril Treasure
Food & Drink Editor, Time Out Sydney
  • Restaurants
  • Delis
  • Potts Point

Donato Salomone hopes to transport Sydneysiders to the sun-drenched coast of Naples with his house-made focaccia sandwiches, available from his Potts Point sandwich shop and deli, Salumerie. The sambos are all inspired by his mother’s recipes, and our pick of the bunch is the mortadella number. It comes with pistachio pesto, creamy stracciatella, fresh, peppery rocket, and crushed pistachios for some crunch, and it’s delicious. Naples, we’re coming for you.

https://media.timeout.com/images/106082023/image.jpg
Avril Treasure
Food & Drink Editor, Time Out Sydney
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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Surry Hills

Whatever you do, don’t be put off by the line at City Edge. We know it’s long and you've got places to go, things to do, and people to see on your lunch break. But it goes quickly, and trust us, it’s absolutely worth it. You really can't go wrong with anything on the menu, but if it's your first time, try the crumbed eggplant on rye bread with halloumi, beetroot, carrot, tomato and cucumber and we promise you won’t look back. Not feeling all that hungry? No worries. City Edge also offers half servings of some of their favourite sangas for just $6.

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Avril Treasure
Food & Drink Editor, Time Out Sydney
The brain and tongue at Aria Persian Fast Food
  • Restaurants
  • Merrylands

This Merrylands outfit does Persian sandwiches akin to those you’d find on the streets of Iran. Choose from six traditional sandwiches: the brain-and-tongue combo is the local favourite. Hesitation is understandable, but the sheep’s tongue is tender and the brain creamy. Slices of fresh tomato, lettuce shreds and spears of salty, pickled cucumber complete the massive roll – almost a foot long – but you can get them cut in half for easier, on-the-go lunching. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Delis
  • Darlinghurst

You’ll need both hands and about five paper towels to tackle Lenny Brisket’s epic muffuletta sandwich. A beautiful sight to behold, the sambo is jam-packed with leg ham, salami, marinated artichokes, olives, capsicum, Swiss and American cheese, parmesan and Russian dressing. It’s filling, delicious and an absolute banger.

 

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Avril Treasure
Food & Drink Editor, Time Out Sydney
  • Restaurants
  • Surry Hills

Some sandwich slingers aim to dazzle with the sheer range of options they can slap between bread. Not so at Surry Hills’ Lucky Pickle. You’ll find just four sandwiches on its concise menu, but this is more a question of perfection rather than lack of ambition. Its bánh mì inspired pork belly baguette is arguably its best-seller, but for our money, the chicken katsu is its true sando supreme. Each panko-crumbed schnitzel is fried to order, so the still-hot and perfectly crispy meat gently melds the flavours of pickled cabbage, sesame and tonkatsu sauce and fresh mayo, infusing the bread with a delicious emulsion.

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