Can’t believe it’s May 1st already. Happy 8th birthday to my daughter Molly!!!
It’s been a good, long while since the Toronto Food Blog has compiled a Greatest Hits album. And as the local sandwich renaissance continues to gain momentum in this great city of ours, we pause of a moment to tip our caps to some of the best hand-helds across the 6ix.
Golosita is a new spot at Yonge & Lawrence (3187 Yonge St. to be exact). They’re doing a veal panino so good that it requires no sauce. Golosita means craving in Italian, and we got a bad case after a recent visit. Loaded with mozzarella and a generous amount of sautéed rapini, it all adds up to the best hot sandwich in town.
Back-to-back Italian spots to start our list. Mattachioni (1617 Dupont St.) is known for their top-shelf ingredients. Like this stunner loaded with mortadella & fresh mozzarella on homemade tomato focaccia. Chewy, oily, salty, delicious! There’s a lot of mortadella flying around town right now. This is the best one!
Heading up to North York just somehow isn’t complete without a visit to the Mak Deli (1335 Lawrence Ave E). The name of the game here is Cevapi. These Balkan meatballs are grilled until crunchy and then served Sarajevo style… wrapped in a toasted lepina flatbread pocket and filled with diced onions and kajmak (think garlic mayo). This is an enormous sandwich for less than 10 bucks.
Lambo’s Deli & Grocery (176 Bellwoods Ave) is so hot right now. No question about it. And for good reason. They’ve put the footlong submarine back on the map. Like this Turkey & Swiss Hero w/ shredded lettuce, muffuletta and honey dijon. These subs travel really well on account of being wrapped so tightly. “Crosstown traffic, so hard to get through to you.” This dagwood is at the higher end of the price spectrum… but worth every penny.
La Salumeria (2021 Yonge St.) is an Italian specialty shop with an elevated selection of imported meats and cheeses. This is where you want to come when planning a charcuterie board. But it’s their lesser-known sandwich offerings that keep us coming back. A recent visit saw us order this colossal two-hander loaded with extra hot capicollo, Swiss, various salads & pickles. An excellent Uptown #lunchunder10bucks.
The folks over at Naan & Chai (712 Queen St. W) bake fresh naan in their tandoor all day long. Then they stuff them full of awesome fillings. Tandoori chicken, halwa, dum ka keema, murgh cholay, butter chicken (to name a few). If you’re vegetarian, this place is for you! Add some super flavorful dipping sauces and it’s an absolute party in your mouth on Queen West.
Pioneer Deli (747 Don Mills Rd) is an Eastern European hidden gem in Flemington Park where it’s still possible to get lunch for a fiver. Pick your bun, pick your meat, pick your cheese, add a righteous amount of pickles & mustard. Cheap and cheerful. What’s not to like?
Fahmee Bakery (119 Montezuma Trail) is a favorite stop during #wednesdaysinscarborough. Small but mighty, they bake their own coco bread and stuff ’em full of chewy, spicy jerk pork. We could eat our way through a stack of these sandos quite quickly. So it’s a good thing we snapped this picture when we did. That tower of power didn’t last long.
The falafel at Limon (1968 Queen St. E) is the best we’ve had since starting the blog 10+ years ago. It literally ruins all other iterations for us. Amba, hummus, Israeli salad, tahini, zhug… perfection in a pillowy pocket. An absolute must when heading to The Beach. #lunchunder10bucks and #meatlessmonday in one fell swoop!
Keeping the vegetarian train rolling, Egg Bae (189 Augusta Ave) tops our list for the best breakfast sandwich in town. Scrambled egg, chives, Muenster cheese, caramelized onions, bae sauce, fluffy egg bun. If you find yourself in Kensington Market ante meridiem, don’t sleep on this place.
Agincourt Bakery (3059 Pharmacy Ave) is stuck in a time warp. Nonna behind the counter is all business and makes one heck of a chicken parm. This place breaks from convention slightly by brushing the oil from the hot peppers onto the bun then dusting everything with grated parm. They do have other things on the menu here, but in our 20+ years of frequenting their hot table we’ve never made it further than this sandwich.
A visit to Dairy Freeze (1601 St. Clair Ave W) is like taking a trip down memory lane. When my wife & I first moved in together, we lived super close by. This spot was in regular rotation for our late-night munchies. Their steak sandwich is an absolute old-school classic. Tender AF and loaded with as many hamburger toppings as you can handle, this sandwich is the undisputed king of #CorsoItalia
Pow Wow Café (213 Augusta Ave) is another gem in Kensington Market . The name of their takeout game is Scone Dogs. I am told by chef Shawn Adler that they’re often served at Ojibway gatherings. And while it’s questionable as to whether these qualify as a sandwich, we’re definitely in hand-held territory. This is also the best corn dog we’ve ever had (by a lot), so it makes the list. Full stop! A footlong hotdog wrapped in frybread and lathered in prepared mustard. Piggies in the Bannock!!!
Jerk Chicken on Coco Bread at Tata Hot Sauce Emporium (219 Rexleigh Dr) comes stuffed to enormous proportions with peppery salad and vinegary homemade hot sauce. The perfect sandwich can be found in East York. And while this hand-held happens to reside towards the bottom of our list, it could just as easily grace the top. Keep up the good work, Odaine!
Gotta finish with dessert, right? We paid a visit to the new Harry and Heels California Donuts (832 Dundas St. W) and were greeted by the most colossal ice cream sandwich of all time. A giant honey glazed stuffed with two generous scoops of pistachio ice cream. Pick your donut and ice cream flavor to suit. The kids went bananas. This place has “repeat visit” written all over it!
How’d we do? Did we missing something? Love a sandwich not on this list? Please let us know!