Doorstop sandwiches to aubergine sabichs, and everything in between. In between bread, that is.Less
Towpath is a seasonal canal-side cafe for seasoned table grabbers but if you come here on a sunny day, the sun gleaming and the water rippling, you realise why it’s so busy. Regardless of whether you’re pitching up or on the move, get a sandwich. The sausage sandwiches are gigantic things, reminiscent of Prince Charles’ fingers, only Spanish and full of hits of garlic and paprika. Our brunch move is ordering the fried eggs and a sausage sandwich ‘for the table’.
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.
Bánh Mì Hội-An makes bánh mì that we enjoy so much we wrote a love letter to one. The little Hackney Central spot is only open in the week for takeaway, but whichever option you go for, you’ll find that the char siu is sweet, the pork belly chunky, and the bread itself the perfect equilibrium between soft and chewy and crisp and flaky.
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.
We once had the best egg mayo sandwich of our lives at Bodega Rita's and you may well have a similar experience. Both the regular chopped beef and sloppy joe are complete and utter messes—these are the kind of sandwiches that keep the lemon wipe empire gleamingly rich—and, it regularly has guest chef sandwich enthusiasts in to create their own delicious, two-handed creations.
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.
Much of what comes out of 40 Maltby Street is talked about in hushed, excited whispers. Word of cauliflower croquettes being on the menu will spread across London’s burgeoning community like a molten cheese wildfire. It’s no surprise then that their weekly changing sandwiches have the same effect. Whether it be pork schnitzel and artichoke, or pumpkin fritter, braised kale and ricotta - there’s always one meat and one veg, and you’re always guaranteed to one of best sandwiches in London.
The sub is an unappreciated sandwich-type on this side of the pond. More often than not, there’s only one way to have a sub in London, and it’s not the best possible way. You’ll realise this once you eat from Dom’s on Hackney Road. There’s ‘The Cold Cuts’ loaded with bresaola, salami, provolone, tangy peppers and more. There’s ‘The Grapow’, a Thai-inspired sub that caused us to almost unintentionally amputate our right (sandwich-gripping) thumb.