Best Sandwiches 2016

24 Best new sandwiches

Toronto chefs keep finding inventive new ways to put the fun between buns. Here, our ranking of the top 24 new sandwiches (and tortas and döners and bao and banh mi). Move over, sliced bread—you’re no longer the best thing.

24. Nam’s Beef Banh Mi

Nam makes a mean banh mi, particularly the pear-infused grilled beef version. The juicy meat is layered in a squishy white baguette with sweet pickled carrots and daikon, cucumber, and cilantro. $6. 874 Queen St. W., 416-551-0625., @namsandwichshop

23. Completo’s Churrasco

For this ode to Chilean street food, a fluffy white bun with a swipe of mayo and two house sauces (hot and sweet red pepper), envelops thinly sliced beef, mashed avocado and chopped tomato. $9. 5 Coady Ave., 416-901-9233,

22. The Wren’s Mr. Pong

A leaning tower of sweet-and-sour fried chicken, complemented by grilled peppers, onions and pickled jalapeños, is topped with watercress pesto and creamy queso fresco aïoli. $14. 1382 Danforth Ave., 647-748-1382,

21. La Cubana’s Pressed Cubano

It’s the ultimate grilled cheese: buttery house-made bread, slow-roasted pork shoulder and ham, dressed with dijon, mayo, melty gruyère and zesty pickles. $11. 392 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-538-7500; 92 Ossington Ave., 416-537-0134,

20. Kanpai’s MC Lyte Bao

A vegetarian’s dream snack, the steamed bun bursts with deep-fried sweet potato, pickled cukes and crunchy green cabbage, all slathered with house-made Thousand Island dressing. $6. 252 Carlton St., 416-968-6888,

19. Dundas Park Kitchen’s Turkey Intern

Super-moist roast turkey breast is the key to this creation—but the bacon, caramelized onions, sweet corn mayo, red onion jam and house-made dill pickles don’t hurt either. $10.25. 2066 Dundas St. W., 647-351-4793,

18. Teara Lab’s Braised Short Rib

Japanese sandwich joint Teara Lab riffs on boeuf bourguignon with this sandwich: red wine–braised short rib covered in melted havarti, sautéed mushrooms, lettuce, tomato and fried onions. $13.99. 181 College St., 416-835-8330,

17. Knuckle Sandwich’s Portobello

This veggie option features juicy charred portobello mushrooms, roasted eggplant, goat cheese, olive tapenade, tomato, arugula and a hint of herb oil, all on a multi-grain roll. $9. 969 Coxwell Ave., 647-748-7999,

16. Little Fin’s Lobster Roll

The Financial District’s bustling lunch spot knows its rolls: creamy lobster salad is tucked into a sesame seed bun along with iceberg lettuce, and finished with a sprinkle of fresh herbs. $16. 4 Temperance St., 647-348-7000,

15. Porchetta and Co’s Fried Chicken

This iteration of the shop’s buttermilk fried chicken special tops the juicy bird with lettuce, pickles, hot sauce and creamy herb dressing. $9.45. 545 King St. W., 647-351-8844; 825 Dundas St. W., 647-352-6611,

14. Forno Cultura’s Eggplant

For the bakery’s excellent melanzane, paper-thin slices of zucchini and grilled eggplant are layered with fior di latte, peppery arugula, black kale, mint and aïoli on fantastic house-made herbed focaccia. $8.50. 609 King St. W., 416-603-8305,

13. Peoples Eatery Fried Tongue

This tongue slider packs a big punch. A tasty slab of fried beef tongue is topped simply with French’s mustard and sliced pickle on a salt-crowned pretzel bun. $7 each. 307 Spadina Ave., 416-792-1784,

12. Sea Witch’s Pickerel

Deep-fried in beef drippings, the fillet of battered pickerel on an Ace Bakery panino hits just the right balance with a mess of tangy tartar sauce and a whack of tart house-pickled onions. $13. 636 St. Clair Ave. W., 647-349-4824,

11. Brock Sandwich’s BBQ Smoked Jackfruit

Brock Sandwich’s smoky barbecued jackfruit is a very convincing vegan version of pulled pork. It’s barely contained by a white roll spilling over with cabbage slaw and tangy barbecue sauce. $10. 1260 Bloor St. W., 647-748-1260,

10. Maha’s Pharaoh’s Po’ Boy

Cairo meets New Orleans at this popular east-end brunch spot: pita-like baladi bread brimming with battered shrimp is drizzled with tahini, and given a refreshing hit of lime and parsley. $9. 226 Greenwood Ave., 416-462-2703, facebook

9. Bar Begonia’s Pâté

This gloriously porky Parisian-style sandwich starts with an aïoli-smeared baguette, which is stuffed with rich pâté and thinly sliced ham, and decorated with spiralled pickled carrots. $24. 252 Dupont St., 647-352-3337,

8. Mattachioni’s Mortadella

House-made rosemary- and tomato-flecked focaccia is the shining star of this whopping sandwich; it’s filled with nothing but fatty mortadella and fresh mozzarella. $8.50. 1617 Dupont St., 416-519-1010,

7. Torteria San Cosme’s Cubana

Kensington’s torta shop starts with a custom-made white roll from Blackbird Baking Co., then adds layers of smoked ham, bacon and adobo pork, piled with mashed avocado, tomato and gouda. $12. 181 Baldwin St., 416-599-2855,

6. Bar Fancy’s Fried Chicken

This rapture-inducing sandwich uses a coconut milk–infused bun as a vessel for Bar Fancy’s addictive fried chicken, dressed with sweet house-made pickles, honey mustard and kewpie mayo. $12. 1070 Queen St. W., 416-546-1416,

5. Hanmoto’s Katsu Bun

At Leemo Han’s Dundas West izakaya, a few big bites of slow-cooked, panko-crusted pork belly are cut with iceberg lettuce and finished with a drizzle of soy remoulade. It’s worth ordering two—so you don’t have to share. $7. 2 Lakeview Ave., no phone, @hanmoto_

4. Flock’s Rotisserie Chicken

Cory Vitiello’s signature rotisserie chicken is pulled, then heaped on a soft milk bun decked out with crunchy apple, beet and horseradish slaw, creamy avocado, crispy onions, and romaine lettuce. $9. Multiple locations,

3. Otto’s Berlin Döner’s Lamb Döner

Otto’s serves pick-your-protein versions of this German street snack. We love the one overflowing with tender lamb, topped with a plethora of veggies, herbed yogurt, garlic aïoli and fiery hot sauce. $9.99. 256 Augusta Ave., 647-347-7713,

2. Carver’s Porchetta

Rob Bragagnolo’s rosemary-tinged, slow-roasted pork, piled on the Drake’s house-baked focaccia with pickled onions, apricot mostarda and crispy crackling, is porcine perfection. $8.49. 101 Peter St., 647-748-1924,

1. Maker Pizza’s Meatball

The mammoth sub is a hot mess of meatballs drowning in tomato sauce, packed with pickled pepperoncini, rapini, roasted red peppers, mozzarella and parm on a crusty ciabatta bun. $13. 59 Cameron St., 416-782-2000,


September 6, 2016

Editor's note: The list printed in September's issue of Toronto Life included The Cure's reuben at No. 16. The Cure permanently closed after the magazine went to press; rankings for this version of the story have been adjusted accordingly.