Doorstop sandwiches to aubergine sabichs, and everything in between. In between bread, that is.Less
In a world full of towering, TikTok-ready sandwiches and frankly weird cheese-injected fillings, there is something heartwarmingly straightforward about the sliced white or wholemeal triangle sandwiches from Paul Rothe. The Marylebone deli has been around since 1900 and one can only assume that workers have relied on it for buttery bacon baps and coronation chicken-smeared lunches ever since.
There must be science behind why canapé and slider-sized bites are often so satisfying. Maybe it’s because they’re two, maybe three mouthfuls, and they’re gone. But it also relies on them being as delicious and as flavourful as the menu from Shree Krishna Vada Pav. The Maharashtrian mini-chain, with locations in Hounslow, Ilford, and Harrow, specialises in deep-fried bits in doughy white bread baps, alongside whacks of chilli and coconut chutneys.
An ale-focused serving baps with half a pig in them sounds extremely ye olde England, but The Southampton Arms exists very much in the now. Aside from this little pub being both excellent and just five minutes from Hampstead Heath, it also serves one of the best sandwiches around. Its roast pork bap, complete with crackling and apple sauce, is a thing of tear-inducing, pint-soaking beauty.
Going to a pizza place and not ordering pizza is very wrong, unless you’re going to Theo’s and getting a panuozzo, in which case it’s very right. Both their Camberwell and Elephant and Castle locations offer a choice of delicious £5 panuozzi, which are basically sandwiches made out of pizza base, which is basically the smartest thing we’ve ever heard. Their take on a tuna melt is a go-to, or their sausage with provolone is also great. As is that chilli sauce on the table.
We’re not sure what exactly the secret is about this Notting Hill spot, but we don’t care when the sandwiches taste this good. This Japanese-influenced place has colourful walls, black booths, and a menu with 10 hefty sandwiches. They're aesthetically pleasing, perfectly formed blocks of Tokyo milk bread, with the perfect ratio of filling—whether that’s tuna mayo and lettuce, or the T.L.T (turkey, lettuce, tomato).
The chip butty from Norman’s is one of London’s lesser talked-about great side dishes. Beans on toast? Chippy butty on the side. Battered sausage with brown sauce? Throw in a butty while you’re at it. The bap is soft and crusty, the chips crunchy and fluffy—you can’t go wrong. The chicken escalope sarnie with melted red Leicester is also a must and, the simple things like a bacon sarnie or a hash-brown stuffed muffin aren’t just done right, but perfectly.
Catalyst’s menu switches up regularly but its magnificent sandwiches always remain. A classic bacon number wedged between doorstop slices of pain de mie bread is a ketchup-sodden breakfast of the traditionally British variety, with a little onion and dill relish thrown in as well. But there are other things too: a homemade take on a familiar fish filet sandwich, only this one features chunky goujons, a tangy homemade coleslaw, and a creamy slice of American cheese.
We’ll be the first to admit that recommendation websites have biases. Everyone has favourites, after all. So you’ve more than likely heard or read or even consumed the falafel pita from Pockets little stall in London Fields at this point. But that doesn’t mean we won’t stop going on about it, nor eating one on a weekly basis. Living nearby helps, but we can’t stress enough how worthwhile the queue or journey for this gorgeously layered, heavily sauced, springily soft falafel pita is.
If you’ve never eaten a sandwich that felt more like a warm embrace, then you may not be able to understand our excitement about this spot inside Shepherd’s Bush Market. This kiosk is serving up Algerian street food in the form of sandwiches filled with your choice of lamb’s liver, merguez, marinated chicken, fish fillet, or minced meat. All the meats are cooked to order, and as well as the meaty filling, each sandwich is stuffed with chips, a fried egg, the perfect amount of salad, and harissa.
You won’t know that you’ve needed a corned beef hash sando all your life until the moment you take your first bite of Panadera’s corned beef hash sando. It’s soft and crunchy, thanks to the deep fried corned beef patty, with lovely little chunks of potato flecked throughout. The sweet bread combined with a tart sauce, a wipe of mayo, and a bit of lettuce that’s there in spirit, combines to make a truly warming, generous double doorstop sandwich.