The best sandwiches in Sydney

Forget the sad contents of your childhood lunch boxes – these winning combos are the best things since sliced bread
Photograph: Anna Kucera
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It may be one of the most simplest lunches but when you find a good sandwich, it’s worth shouting from the roof because a delicious one can make your day. The criteria is pretty simple: sliced bread with excellent, fresh fillings. We bypassed toasties (because that’s a whole other list) and bánh mì (they’re a league of their own) and stuck with the original version to bring you seven of the best in Sydney.

After hot sandwiches? Check out our guide to the best burgers in Sydney.

In the mood for a more formal lunch? Here's our guide to the best business lunches in Sydney.

The best sandwiches in Sydney

1
Food at South Dowling Sandwhiches
Restaurants, Cafés

South Dowling Sandwiches

icon-location-pin Darlinghurst

There’s a good reason for the daily queue that snakes out of this family run sandwich shop. The list of fillings is one (the classic salad sandwich here has a whopping 14 different veggies including stringy caramelised carrots, red roma tomatoes, green beans and grilled eggplant) and the speciality options are the other (on our visit the two specials are named after the boys from Flight Facilities).

Order the: Chilli chicken on white

This warm lemongrass heavy Thai-style chicken is a top notch sandwich filling – the marinade on the chicken replaces a need for sauce, and white fluffy bread and lettuce pin things together nicely. Add a swipe of everything from the salad bar for $3 if you’re really hungry.

2
brickfields-01.jpg
Photograph: Oscar Colman
Restaurants

Brickfields

icon-location-pin Chippendale

Most Sydney menus will state when they use Brickfields’ bread, and for good reason – the chewy, seed-laden slices are the perfect, tasty foundations for a good sandwich.

Order the: Bacon and kale

This sambo veers into breakfast territory with countless slices of crispy bacon, tangled with shreds of kale. The salad is seasoned with loads of mayo, breaking down the usually tough greens, making it an excellent slaw. We’re also huge fans of the mushroom, jalapeño and cheese toastie here too.

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3
Shop and Wine Bar
Photograph: Anna Kucera
Bars, Wine bars

Shop and Wine Bar

icon-location-pin Bondi Beach

This tiny Curlewis street café is a well oiled machine and the foil wrapped sangers are the lunch time star. They also tap out great coffees too.

Order the: BLT

Choose between or white or brown bread here then get ready for your two-hand hunger-buster. The shreds of bacon are just crisp enough and piled high, contrasted with crunchy lettuce, creamy aioli and fresh toms.

4
Rutland Street Sandwiches
Photograph: Supplied
Restaurants, Cafés

Rutland Street Sandwiches

icon-location-pin Surry Hills

This Surry Hills sambo spot is the sort of place that you wish was a stone’s throw from your office. A tenner will get you white or wholemeal bread, which is like school sandwich-style instead of anything fancy, but it really works.

Order the: Chicken schnitzel sandwich on brown bread

This classic combo combines crumbed chicken with extra carbs, with great results. The schnitty is juicy but not oily and has nice crisp edges. The savoury creamy mayo blends with just the right ratio of salad to bring you back from the brink of lunchtime overindulgence and the soft brown bread pins everything neatly in place.

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5
Shift Eatery Surry Hills
Restaurants, Cafés

Shift Eatery

icon-location-pin Surry Hills

This vegan café and delicatessen peddle plant-based takes on classic sandwiches, dairy-free sweet treats and solid coffee.

Order the: Join the Club

This vegan sambo piles up “chicken” schnitzel, “turkey” slices  and “cheddar cheese”. If that feels like a few too many air quotes, we’re with you. After a chat with our waiter we find out the peppery turkey is made in house using seitan (also known as wheat gluten or wheat meat) and the schnitty is soy and potato-based, made by Fry’s Family Food. The vegan aioli really makes an argument for passing on its eggy counterpart – it adds creaminess and zest. The bright orange slices of cheddar boast a very similar consistency to a Kraft single while the avo, tomato and lettuce do what they do best. The only thing missing is a chutney or salsa to really make this a banger sanga, but we're not missing the meat.

6
Proper sandiwches
Photograph: Suppled
Bars, Pubs

The Dolphin

icon-location-pin Surry Hills

This wine bar steps up their lunchtime game with a series of rotating sandwiches. Can’t decide or want to try two different sandwiches? Ask for half-and-half and you can make like Hannah Montana and get the best of both worlds. Also, unlike most sandwich shops in the area (which don't have seating) you'll find plenty of places to kick back and enjoy your lunch.

Order the: Go Getta Porchetta

Rounds of soft pork fill out this indulgent lunchtime banger sanger, with bits of sneaky crackling hiding in between the Brickfields bread. Bonus points for the side of crisps and the fact it comes wrapped and tied up like a gift – which is suitable considering it’s the perfect lunchtime treat for yourself.

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7
Brooklyn Bridge Deli
Photograph: Supplied
Restaurants, Cafés

Brooklyn Bridge Deli

icon-location-pin Sydney

This subterranean sandwich shop pumps out New York deli inspired sandwiches. Along with pastrami, Philly cheesesteak and Reuben sandwiches, you’ll also find coffee that comes served in blue and white Anthora paper cups.

Order the: Reuben

They corn the silverside in house here, resulting in a peppery, chunky beef filling. They nail the ratio of sauerkraut, Russian dressing and Swiss cheese too, 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.

Want more?

Poached eggs at Sean's Panaroma
Photograph: Anna Kucera
Restaurants, Cafés

The best breakfasts in Sydney

The great café breakfast has earned us global cred on the morning meal front, so if you're up for a leisurely start to the day, treat yourself to one of Sydney's best breakfasts. 

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