Bread Winners

Any way you slice it, these are the best sandwiches in the city right now

Toronto might be pigeonholed by the peameal sandwich as far as tourists are concerned, but you can’t swing a submarine sandwich in this city without also hitting an incredible torta, muffuletta or banh mi. Here’s our countdown of Toronto’s best sandwiches right now, including both old (yes, there’s some peameal on this list) and new favourites.

Blackbird Baking Co.’s Ham and Pimento Cheese

25 The Kensington bakery paints its airy house-baked focaccia with a bright-orange layer of tangy pimento cheese before adding thinly sliced ham and a crunchy thatch of arugula. $7.50. 172 Baldwin St., 416-546-2280, blackbirdbakingco.com

Photo by Vicky Lam
Egg Bae’s Eh Bae Bae

24 Kensington’s all-day breakfast boîte tops a cloud of scrambled organic eggs with house-cured bacon, Muenster, tomato, arugula, pickled shallots and tangy Bae Sauce on a golden-brown brioche bun. $9.50. 189 Augusta Ave., 647-243-1571, eggbae.ca

Flock’s Rotisserie Chicken

23 These poultry purveyors serve up tender rotisserie chicken on a squishy milk bun, topping it with romaine, avocado, crispy onion and a Pantone-pink beet-apple-horseradish slaw. $9. 67 Richmond St. W., 416-368-6767, plus four other locations, eatflock.com

Godspeed Brewery’s Katsu Sando

22 If you’re only coming here for the beer, you’re missing out on Japanese edibles like this panko-breaded pork cutlet sandwich on soft milk bread, slathered with tangy-sweet tonkatsu sauce. $15. 242 Coxwell Ave., 416-551-2282, godspeedbrewery.com

Roywoods’s Jerk Chicken

21 Not long ago, the best sandwich you could find at Union Station came with a “Mc” prefix. But now you can get jerk chicken with spicy mayo, tomato, pickled onion and slaw, all in a coco bun. $10. 65 Front St. W., plus two other locations, roywoods.ca

Photo by Vicky Lam
When The Pig Came Home’s Peameal

20 You can order house-cured peameal by the pound at this Junction deli, or you can get it on a bun with kale, tomato and maple aïoli. For a bit extra, add cheddar and a strip of double-smoked bacon. $5 and up. 3035 Dundas St. W., 647-345-9001, whenthepigcamehome.ca

Photo by Vicky Lam
Forno Cultura’s Melanzana

19 A pillowy slab of sesame-covered focaccia is the linchpin of this pairing: thinly sliced roasted eggplant and zucchini, with creamy pucks of fior di latte, tangy emmental and plenty of zesty arugula. $10.50. 609 King St. W., 416-603-8305, fornocultura.com

Completo’s Classic Churrasco

18 Extra napkins are needed for this sensationally sloppy grilled steak sandwich. The bun is smeared with mashed avocado and super-tangy mayo, plus chunks of fresh tomato and house-made hot sauce. $8.40. 5 Coady Ave., 416-901-923, completo.club

Porchetta and Co.’s Porchetta

17 Chili-laced rapini is the perfect foil for slow-roasted pork with crispy cracklings. Add creamy mozzarella and each bite triggers every pleasure sensor on the palate. $10.15. 825 Dundas St. W., 647-352-6611, plus three other locations, porchettaco.com

Adamson Barbecue’s Brisket

16 A brisket sandwich is more manageable than a full barbecue platter, and the tender beef is just as tasty. Adamson chops it up and slaps it on a house-baked bun with slaw, raw onion and pickle slices. $11. 176 Wicksteed Ave., 647-559-2080, adamsonbarbecue.com

Rose and Sons’ Pastrami Reuben

15 The classic corned-beef Reuben is cranked up a notch with peppery house-smoked pastrami layered with Swiss cheese, Russian dressing and just the right amount of sauerkraut on rye. $14. 176 Dupont St., 647-748-3287, roseandsons.ca

Rose’s Banh Mi

14 The platonic ideal of the Vietnamese classic comes on a soft baguette, chock full of cold cuts, pâté, pickled veg, cilantro and optional slivers of jalapeño that balance the richness and linger long after. $3. 601 Gerrard St. E., 416-406-9906, no website.

Maha’s Mind-Blowing Chicken Sandwich

13 Believe the hype. A regulation-size egg bun fails to contain the gargantuan mess of juicy marinated chicken, tomato, onion and parsley, drizzled with mayo and Egyptian tahina. $16. 226 Greenwood Ave., 416-462-2703, mahasbrunch.com

White Lily Diner’s Meatloaf

12 Riverside’s darling diner shoves a wodge of meatloaf between slices of country white and tops it with tomatoey house-made sauce, mayo, bread-and-butter pickles and, for an extra $1.75, a fried egg. On the side: gravy for dunking. $17. 678 Queen St. E., 416-901-7800, whitelilydiner.ca

La Cubana’s Short-Rib Medianoche

11 Tender beef is braised and tossed in a guava barbecue sauce, with a zippy chimichurri, crunchy red cabbage slaw and even crunchier strings of crispy onion on a soft bun. $11.99. 92 Ossington Ave., 416-537-0134, plus two other locations, lacubana.ca

Beach Hill Smokehouse’s The Austin

10 There’s no culinary reason for this already excellent, sauce-slathered brisket sandwich from one of the city’s best-kept barbecue secrets to have a spice-rubbed spare rib tacked to its roof like a weather vane. But we aren’t complaining. $12. 172 Main St., 416-792-8275, beachhillsmokehouse.com

Black Camel’s Roasted Veggie

9 We’re fans of this Rosedale counter’s veggie creation: Roma tomato, red pepper, eggplant and arugula on a Portuguese bun. We like adding fontina and their charamoula, a smoky, garlicky, heavenly sauce. $8.25. 4 Crescent Rd., 416-929-7518, blackcamel.ca

Sea Witch’s Pickerel

8 At this popular fish-and-chip shop, a fillet of flaky pickerel wearing a coat of crispy, golden-brown batter, comes on a Swiss panini slathered with tangy house-made tartar sauce and topped with a tangle of translucent pink pickled onion ribbons. $15. 636 St. Clair Ave. W., 647-349-4824, seawitchfc.com

Tenoch’s Tenoch Torta

7 For its monster Mexican sandwich, Tenoch stuffs a telera bun with breaded steak, roast chipotle pork, ham, pastrami, egg, refried beans, tomato, onion, avocado, mayo, mozzarella and—wait for it—a couple of gosh-darn hot dogs. $16. 933 St. Clair Ave. W., 647-345-0165, tenochrestaurant.com

Mattachioni’s Mortadella

6 Delicately spiced cured pork pairs perfectly with fresh mozzarella. But the star of the show is this Junction bakery and restaurant’s irresistible focaccia, slick with olive oil and flecked with oregano and tomato. $11. 1617 Dupont St., 416-519-1010, mattachioni.com

Donna’s Roast Beef

5 It sounds simple, but the roast beef at this Lansdowne restaurant is anything but. It’s marinated in beef fat and honey and served on a Portuguese roll with parsnip, watercress and horseradish sauce. $14. 827 Lansdowne Ave., 416-536-1414, donnas.ca

Photo by Vicky Lam.
Sanremo’s Muffuletta

4 Mimico’s favourite bakery does a fantastic take on New Orleans’s famous sandwich, layering Genoa salami, ham, mortadella, provolone, mozzarella and pickled veg spread on freshly baked olive focaccia brushed with olive oil. $9.99. 374 Royal York Rd., 416-255-2808, sanremobakery.com

Illstyl3 Sammies’s Philly Cheesesteak

3 This take on Philadelphia’s signature foodstuff combines finely chopped AAA rib-eye steak with melted provolone and caramelized onion on a 10-inch Italian baguette—along with chef Germain Marshall’s exceptionally bright house-made hot sauce, made with fresh chilies. $12. 300 Richmond St. W., 416-205-9627, illstyl3sammies.com

Photo by Vicky Lam
PG Clucks’s Jalapeño and Honey Fried Chicken

2 A sweet stack of crunchy, honey-dipped bird is complemented by the sting from a layer of pickled peppers and a dousing of ranch and fermented jalapeño sauces. $9. 610 College St., 416-539-8224; 384 Bloor St. W., 416-901-2788, pgclucks.com

Mustachio’s Veal Godfather

1 This one-and-a-half-pounder at the Atrium on Bay’s Italian hot table—a spinoff of St. Lawrence Market’s Uno Mustachio—is as much a challenge as a meal. Get the veal with everything (mozzarella, tomato sauce, caramelized onion, roasted red pepper, sautéed mushroom, jalapeños) and, for an extra buck, godfather it up with a slice of fried eggplant. $10.75. Atrium on Bay, 595 Bay St., 647-352-8325, @mustachio_to