A sandwich is handheld. It’s familiar. And it’s a vehicle for a number of main courses that could ordinarily (or, boringly) be put on a plate. Nothing beats a sandwich. You know it, we know it, and all the restaurants adding them to their menus know it. Which is why we’ve put together this list of London restaurants who are putting exciting new things between two slices.
A sloppy joe with house ‘Old Buoy’ spicing, a vegan aubergine parmigiana, and fennel roast pork belly with five spice mayo are all on the menu at the latest reincarnation of Bodega Rita’s in Farringdon. These are messy, filthy, moreish subs that require a pile of lemon fresh wet wipes and slow zig-zagging meander to a more comfortable seat afterwards. ‘The Second City’, featuring au jus-dipped beef and a brilliantly burger-like combination of provolone piccante and American mustard, as well as chilli oregano pangrattato is a delicious car crash of flavours and textures. That’s the remit of Bodega Rita’s.
When does a sandwich cease to become a sandwich? It’s a question many have asked and even more have failed to find an interesting answer for. The definition of a sandwich is arbitrary. Which is why a lobster roll, for all intents and purposes a board-short-wearing-pescatarians hotdog, is a sandwich. And it’s why Hideaway’s lobster roll is one of the best sandwiches around right now. It’s packed with sweet and moist lobster in a not-insignificant brioche roll, and sure, it’s £18. But considering the recent surge in lobster rolls prices back in its home states - yes, seriously, it’s decent value for an excellent 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 beige-obsessed community like a molten cheese wildfire. So it’s no surprise then that their weekly changing sandwiches have the same effect. Yep, arguably London’s best sandwich-maker is producing new sandwich takes every, single, week. Just check their Instagram to see what’s between oily focaccia at the mo.
Secret Sandwich Shop
Nobody likes to consider themselves a mug but we are more than ready to plead guilty in that department. Because when a Japanese-influenced sandwich shop opens with an aesthetic and feel that is, so plainly, iNsTa-bAit - instead of scoffing at it, we just want to scoff. And it turns out our natural intentions were correct. Secret Sandwich Shop isn’t just one for the ’gram, it’s one for your gob. The enormous egg salad, in particularly, stuffed with a gooey Burford Brown, watercress, diijon, and Kewpie is something everyone will like. A lot.
After the best part of 18 months closed, Max’s Sandwich Shop is back. A majority of the menu is not new, we admit, but for anyone new to the London sandwich game, or looking to refamiliarise with one of the OGs of the sandwich-as-a-meal genre - then Max’s is essential. It’s been too long since anyone had their big, pavement-slab-sized focaccia whoppers, filled with ham hock, gooey egg, piccallilli and shoe strong fries, or roast guinea fowl and tarragon salsa. And you’ll want to look out for some lesser seen fillings, like ‘How Am I Samosa Know’ (a samosa sandwich with tinned peaches, lime pickle, and black bean mayo).