When it comes to sandwich-based excellence, Melbourne has an option for everyone. Sandwiches can often be overlooked as a staple lunchtime treat, especially when considering the vast array of alternatives that are now on offer.
However, it is undeniable that they be can an incredibly versatile and hearty option.
Melbourne certainly hasn’t neglected its deli scene, and with more and more sandwich spots appearing across the city, you’ll be hard pressed to miss one of these fabulous shops. Read on to find out the fifteen best sandwich spots in the whole of Melbourne City.
Locations: 100 Kerr St, Fitzroy, VIC 3065 & 535 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne, VIC 3000 Ph: (03) 9670 4517 & 1 Piera St, Brunswick East, VIC 3057
Nico’s serves only the classics and is the perfect spot for your lunch hour. Whilst there are only five options to choose from, this evades any over complication and you can even choose a luxurious shake to accompany your sandwich.
Incidentally, their range of melts are also excellent.
Their ice-cream sandwich is to die for if you have more of a sweet tooth.
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 8 am – 3 pm
Location: 1/94 Buckingham St, Richmond, VIC 3121 & 253 Coventry St, South Melbourne, VIC 3205
You know that a sandwich shop has reached cult status when it opens a second outlet in around the corners from foodie favourite, South Melbourne Market. Well, such is the case with the Hector’s Deli.
There’s nothing over embellished about this deli. This local sandwich shop opened in 2017 and has become a much-loved favourite amongst Melbournians. The beauty of this sandwich shop lies in its simplicity.
If you are looking for a fresh alternative to the classic tuna sandwich, try their glorious tuna melt, consisting of their own house-made tuna mix that includes white onion and oozes with American cheese. It is monumentally moreish!
Hectors Deli has a reputation for making some of the best sandwiches in Melbourne – and rightly so.
Opening Hours: Sunday – Friday 7.30 am – 2 pm, Saturday 7.30 am – 3 pm
Location: 12 Risley St, Richmond, VIC 3121 Ph: (03) 9939 9678
If you’ve never tried an Indonesian sandwich, then you’ve most definitely been missing out. Pay a visit to Warkop to try one of their phenomenally tasty toasties including their Rare Beef Roll. This umami-rich flavour-bomb features beef, a lush salted egg emulsion, pickle bean sprouts, Thai basil & fried shallots. It’s amazing.
For those of you who are looking to embellish, their pork belly sandwich is absolutely incredible, infusing pork with shallot, tomato and lemongrass wedged between two wholesome slices of multigrain bread. This sandwich is unbeatable.
Oh. And their coffee is excellent as well.
Whilst we’re talking of Asian influences, if you love bao, head over to Mr Hendricks in Balwyn for their fabulous Braised Pork Bao Buns
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 7 am – 3 pm
Location: 100 Latrobe St, Mentone, VIC 3194 Ph: 0413 555 715
This cosy spot serves incredible food. Their exquisite New York style sandwiches include an array of bagel options and Rubens. They are always served piping hot to warm your stomach on a hangover or a winter’s day.
Try their cheesy melts to bring an even greater smile to your face.
If bagels are your vice, see our rundown of the Best Bagels in Melbourne
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 6 am – 3 pm, Saturday – Sunday 8 am – 3 pm
Location: 248B Glenferrie Rd, Malvern, VIC 3144 Ph: (03) 8589 8407
This deli serves americanised sandwiches and their portions are also reflective of American culture. Their bread is deeply dense and utterly delicious and the roast chicken sandwich will have you salivating until your next return. In fact, we believe this chook sanga is definitely amongst the best sandwiches in Melbourne.
They also serve an eggplant sandwich that is delicious for those of you who are vegetarian or seeking a veggie option.
But our favourite is definitely the pork & fennel sausage. This beauty is popped inside a muffin and comes with curried egg and cheese. Awesome!
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Friday – 6:30 am – 3 pm, Saturday – 7 am – 3pm, Sunday – 8 am – 3 pm
Editor’s Update: We’re genuinely sad to learn that Stan’s Deli sold its last sandwich and closed it doors on Sunday 28 May 2023. We’re hoping the team re-emerge elsewhere – soon!
Location: 107 Cambridge St, Collingwood, VIC 3066 Ph: (03) 9123 1711
This deli is located in a historic venue. The vegan options on offer are arguably the best in the whole of Melbourne’s sandwich scene.
They have managed to achieve the perfect balance between serving hearty, delicious plant-based sandwiches without over complicating their menu making this an appealing sandwich spot for vegans and anyone who fancies a plant-based meal.
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 9 am – 5.30 pm
Location: 327 Lennox Street, Richmond, VIC 3121 Ph: (03) 9429 0414
These famous sandwiches also come in burger form, should you wish to switch it up. You can also choose to sample their luxurious fillings without any bread at all.
However, it is important to note that the bread is house-made so you would be foolish not to try it (unless of course you have a gluten intolerance).
Not far from Big Dog’s Deli is the fabulous Asian fusion restaurant, Kekou. Read our review of Kekou here.
Opening Hours: Monday – Wednesday 11 am – 8.30 pm, Thursday – Sunday 11 am – 9.30 pm
Editor’s Note: We’re sorry to write that Big Dog’s Deli has closed, so why not try the following recommendation instead…?
Location: Inside Prahran Market, Stall 98, 163 Commercial Road, South Yarra, VIC 3141 Ph: (03) 9958 4830
This stall, sat within the foodie haven that is Prahran Market, is a cheese-lovers dream.
On the right is a chilled counter stuffed full of some of the finest cheeses in the world. On the left, is a staff member slaving over a hot toasted sandwich maker – knocking out not-so-humble-cheese toasties.
The cheese based toasties on offer at Maker and Monger are to die for! They pride themselves on creating understated sandwiches but the cheese, in my opinion, is definitely luxurious.
That is because Maker and Monger are primarily a cheese shop and so you can expect to sample some of the finest cheese sandwiches that you have ever experienced.
Opening Hours: Tuesday 7.30 am – 4.30 pm, Thursday – Saturday 7.30 am – 4.30 pm, Sunday 9 am – 3 pm
Whilst you are in Prahran Market, check out the delights of Q Le Baker. We think they are make some of the Best Croissants in Melbourne.
Location: 450 Flinders Ln, Melbourne, VIC 3000 Ph: 0499 620 095
As far as I know, this venue isn’t named after the activist. Although, it’s sandwiches are undoubtedly just as passionate!
This spot also has a beautifully European feel and you can experience a luxurious sandwich from one of their Scandinavian chairs whilst chowing down on a beautifully crafted open sandwich.
Opening Hours: Monday – Wednesday 7 am – 4 pm, Thursday – Friday 7 am – 8 pm
Location: 122 Roberts St, Yarraville, VIC 3013 Ph: (03) 9314 6078
Roccos Deli serves up some of the finest Italian style sandwiches in the whole of the city. Their delicious deli meats served on perfectly crisped ciabatta will make you feel like you are eating in the middle of Rome itself.
Their homemade sauces including their tantalising pesto adds an incredible zest to each sandwich. This deli is highly recommended for a reason.
Fancy eating gnocchi this evening? These are our favourite Italian Restaurants in Melbourne
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 8 am – 5.30 pm, Saturday 8 am – 1 pm
Location: 13 Beatty Ave, Armadale, VIC 3143 Ph: (03) 9125 1606
The rise of the Bagel from American novelty to an adored Melbourne sandwich option continues and we’re here for it.
Over in Armadale, the newest sanga-centric kid on the block is Hank’s Cafe & Bagelry, by the team who run Mammoth Cafe just down the road.
At Hank’s there are some stand-out options, like the glorious veggie-friendly Harissa Roasted Pumpkin, Almond Fetta, Hummus & Wild Rocket ($14). Whilst for the meat-eaters, the Lamb & Rosemary Meatloaf, Pistachio Pesto, Provolone & Cream Cheese ($16) is hard to ignore.
Us? We went old skool-ish with the Hanks Beetroot & Gin Cured Salmon, Herbs, Red Onion & Cream Cheese ($17). A vividly purple combo of lush salmon and verdant greens, it really hit the spot.
Finally, we have to make a special shout-out to the Cheesy Crinkle Cut Hot Chips ($6). Utterly irresistible!
If you’re looking for a great sandwich, and are happy to move from square to circular, these folks construct some of the finest sandwiches in Melbourne.
For tapas, authentic Spanish vibes and more, see our review of MoVida Next Door
Location: Shop 1/625 Sydney Rd, Brunswick, VIC 3056 Ph: (03) 9041 8305
This small and intimate space boasts the finest Italian-sandwiches in the whole of Melbourne. All of their sandwiches are crafted with fresh ingredients, utilising only authentically Italian herbs and flavouring.
Their porchetta panini with provolone is highly recommended and will be sure to tantalise your senses!
Opening Hours: Monday – Wednesday 10.30 am – 7 pm, Thursday – Saturday 10.30 am – 9 pm, Sunday 10.30 am – 4 pm
Location: 69 Sheehan Rd, Heidelberg West, VIC 3081 Ph: (03) 9086 8925
This restaurant is another example of the Italian culinary excellence that is on offer in Melbourne. They balance out their menu with traditional and experimental options.
Their porchetta roll comes alongside a beautiful frittata, tomato and bacon jam accompaniment. This is not the eatery to sleep on!
Check out our rundown of the Best Coffee Shops in Melbourne
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 8 am – 4 pm
Location: 72 Wales St, Thornbury, VIC 3071
The name may seem a little off putting but rest assured, their food isn’t! This cafe prides itself on its simplistic, sustainable food options and high quality coffee.
All of their food is beautifully crafted in-house and their wonderful sandwiches are served on leavened bread and generously packed with their wholesome range of fillings.
Take the name with a pinch of salt and embrace the food. These are some of the top sandwiches in Melbourne.
For sandwiches of a different kind, but also in Thornbury, see our review of Greek Street Food.
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 7.30 am – 1 pm, Saturday – Sunday 8 am- 1 pm
Location: 30 Gertrude St, Fitzroy, VIC 3065 Ph: (03) 9417 6420
This is one of the most renowned sandwich spots in the whole city for a reason. You will not be able to find a better, more fulfilling sandwich combination that their cheesesteak sandwiches!
They also offer alternatives including a vegetarian option and a pizza steak option! Your heart will feel warm for days after indulging in one of these and their reputation speaks for itself. Despite being called ‘The Catfish’, there’s no false pretence here.
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday 12 pm – 1 am, Sunday 12 pm – 11 pm
Location: 329 Lygon St, Carlton, VIC 3053 Ph: (03) 9349 1891
You may well get palpitations when you see the sandwiches on offer here! They craft beautiful, zesty Spanish and Italian style sandwiches that are inspired by the owner’s European adventures.
The menu is alternating and switches seasonally and this is the perfect spot to have a long-awaited catch up with friends. For real excellence, try their poached prawns served on hearty brioche, it is beyond delightful.
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday 7 am – 11 pm
Sandwiches are definitely hot right now.
With this in mind, we’re moving beyond our original 15 best sandwiches in Melbourne and are including additional spots where we’ve tucked in to a sanga that you really must try.
Here’s to the continued rise of the sandwich shop!
BAM Bread and Milk (BONUS)
Location: 23 Albion St, Essendon, VIC 3040 Ph: (03) 9989 4455
At Essendon’s BAM Bread and Milk the script on the wall outside says it all: “A better corner store”.
Well, I certainly wish that more corner stores were like this one!
Navigate the wee decked, sitting out area in front of the main door and step inside a gourmet re-imaging of the local milk bar. From fresh baked bread delivered by Penny for Pound to a fridge stacked with locally produced boojie pantry items, this is a foodie’s dream corner shop.
And then there are the sandwiches. Take it from us – these are amongst the finest sandwiches in Melbourne.
There’s a Caprese with slices of ripe tomato, pearl white mozzarella and vivd basil leaves spilling from its edges. The Chicken Club is so tall, you’d have to have the jaws of a python to take a bite.
And the Roast Pork is one of the best things we’ve eaten between the 2 pieces of a Turkish Bread Roll in a very long time. We’re talking fabulously seasoned, tender juicy pork with a burnt-apple aioli that manages to be the perfect partner to the meat, whilst not being too rich. Best of all, there’s genuinely crispy crackling in there too. It’s undoubtedly one of the best sandwiches in Melbourne if you love a bit of piggy.
On the day we visited, the only disappointment was a rather weak coffee. Perhaps the barista was having an off moment?
But that pork sandwich? It’s worth a trip to Essendon for that sanga alone.
The bonus option on our list is the Ima Project Cafe. This cafe creates wonderful, unique, innovative Japanese style sandwiches that provide the perfect alternative to the seemingly boring classic options.
It is located in the more-than-trendy Carlton district and their menu is reflective of their desire to meet the current trends.
Their standout feature is that they take the unwanted and unattractive vegetables from local supermarkets and transform them into beautifully wholesome and undoubtedly delicious sandwiches.
This cafe is undoubtedly one of the most environmentally friendly on this list and this makes them even more lovingly dedicated to the consumer, creating heartwarming products that you can feel great about eating.
They also serve a selection of soba noodle salads and/or porridge for those friends of yours who may have an intolerance.
Wondering where to go for the Best Pies in Melbourne? Wonder no more.
Location: 169 Elgin Street, Carlton
Opening Hours: Monday 7.30 am – 3 pm, Wednesday – Friday 7.30 am – 3 pm, Saturday – Sunday 8 am – 3 pm
Location: 929 Centre Rd, Bentleigh East, VIC 3165 Check the website for more locations.
If you love New York-Style deli sandwiches that take 3 attempts to get through, you’re gonna love Saul’s Sandwiches.
Begun by Leor Haimes and Elliot Koren, Saul’s Sandwiches have been steadily opening their distinct red and white shopfronts across Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. With spaces already operating in Bentleigh, Carnegie and Hawthorn and the easy-access Saul’s Drive-Through in South Melbourne, they have recently launched a new flagship store in Balaclava.
The menu offers either Breaky or Lunch. The Breaky options include a Vegan Sausage Muffin that any carnivore would be happy to eat and a Brisket, Egg and Cheese. And yes. The brisket is their smoked signature smoked version – succulent and indulgent.
For Lunch, the menu expands. We love the Smoked Pastrami. Packed with cured meat, Cheddar, Cavolo Nero Slaw, Pickles, Mustard and the house Saul’s Sauce, it a totally delicious monster of a meal. The Chilli Braised Greens and Salsa Verde are an inspired addition to the Roast Porchetta and somehow the team at Saul’s Sandwiches manage to get all the best bits flavour-wise into their Chicken Parma sanga.
We’re pleased to note that Saul’s are promising a Vegan Schnitzel in the coming months.
Finally, Saul’s Sandwiches has an ‘Add-Ons’ menu where you can boost your filled favourite with another Hash or 2, Egg, Cheese and more. It’s a great initiative.
Add in great coffee curtesy of Clark St Coffee and you’ve got a fab breakfast or lunch option.
Hopefully, Saul’s Sandwiches continue to roll-out stores as they are definitely preparing some of the best sandwiches in Melbourne.
Click the link for the Best Breakfasts in Melbourne
Location: 729 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn East, VIC 3123
So bagels might not strictly fit the brief of sandwiches, but we don’t care. We’re still putting Lawson’s Bagels amongst the best sandwiches in Melbourne.
Adding to their original store, Lawson’s Bagels South Yarra, the team have opened a second outlet in Hawthorn East.
The chic, wood-clad exterior houses a dinky little shop. Inside, there’s a wee communal table and a counter along the window where customers can sit and people-watch whilst munching on some seriously good bagels.
Their take on a classic Reuben is fat with beef pastrami, zippy sauerkraut and cheese. There’s also a tangy sauce in there that really pulls it all together. Meanwhile, their version of a NY Lox Bagel features lush house-cured salmon, a thick layer of smooth cream cheese, ripe tomato slices and capers. It’s a taste of luxury between 2 toasted halves.
And the bagels themselves? Fresh and soft, rather than chewy. They are for perfect vehicle for such generous fillings.
Add in a very decent cup of coffee and you have a fab new brunch or lunch venue to try.
Location: 14-16 Johnston St, Fitzroy, VIC 3055 Ph: (03) 9419 0780 & 1 Wilkinson St, Brunswick, VIC 3056 Ph: (03) 7014 8698 & 115 Burnley St, Richmond, VIC 3121 Ph: (03) 9973 3695
Our acknowledgement of Melbourne’s current love affair with bagels continues with this mention of the cult Mile End Bagels.
Whether you visit their bagel shop in Fitzroy, Brunswick or Richmond, you’ll know you’re in the right place by the queue of people winding out the door.
The attraction is wood-fired, chewy bagels with a good crunchy exterior. And then there’s the fillings.
Mile End Bagels Reubens look-alike is fat with brisket pastrami, hot ‘n’ sweet mustard (a brilliant addition!), cream cheese & pickles. Excitingly, they also prep 2 smoked salmon options. One comes with dill & caper cream cheese, tomato & onion and the other with avocado, cream cheese, tomato & lemon oil.
If you want to eat in, you can perch at a high table, but really this is a grab and go kind of bagelry.
These bagel ‘sandwiches’ are certainly worth checking out.
Location: 226 Auburn Rd, Hawthorn, VIC 3122 Ph: (03) 9994 8275
Yep. More bagels. But also regular sandwiches. And good coffee.
The people at Whiplash cafe have transformed an old milk bar on Auburn Rd, Hawthorn into a fashionably uncluttered shrine to fillings and bread.
The menu starts from 7am with bagels. We tried the Pastrami – house whipped cream cheese, shaved 5 pepper pastrami, dill pickles and honey mustard – and weren’t disappointed. The pastrami was juicy and plentiful and the bagel itself was clearly fresh.
From 10am, sandwiches are added to the food offerings. The Eggplant – featuring an eggplant cutlet, vodka sauce, green sauce and buffalo mozzarella – is a vegetarians dream. Meanwhile, the Tarragon Chicken – a bulging handful of roasted tarragon chicken, aioli, spring onion, baby gem lettuce and avocado on toasted sourdough is given a lift by the unusual inclusion of sumac.
Whiplash Cafe isn’t just the cool new kid on the block. It’s sandwiches and coffee are pretty damn good.
Location: 206 Victoria St, Richmond, VIC 3121 Ph: (03) 9429 5952 For further locations, see website
From a wee Hot Bread shop nestled amongst the butchers and Pho restaurants on Richmond’s Victoria Street, Phuoc Thanh is slowly reaching out across Melbourne. And the reason for its popularity? Simply some of the finest Banh Mi in town. And you know what that means? These crunchy, spicy rolls are amongst the top sandwiches in Melbourne.
At Phuoc Thanh, the starting point is a freshly baked, crusty shelled bread roll, lined with Butter & Pate. It’s then loaded with Cucumber, Pickled Veggies, Fried Onions & Spring Onions, Coriander, Hoisin & Chilli Sauce and – if you’re feeling brave – fresh Chilli. And that’s just the basic.
After that, the filling is up to you. The BBQ Chicken and the Meatball are great. However, the one that always sells out first is the Crispy Pork. There is something utterly irresistible about sweet Pork Meat and crunchy Crackling with all those beautifully balanced condiments.
If you’re not a fan of plant-based dining, no worries. The team at Phuoc Thanh Bakery also knock out a pretty tasty vegan-friendly Tofu Banh Mi as well.
In conclusion, you will be hard pressed to find a city that caters for it’s sandwich lovers as well as Melbourne does. There are copious options to choose from and the list above contains only some examples of the excellence that is on offer in this city.
Whether you are looking for European style sandwiches with classic, Italian and Spanish influence or if you are looking to chow down on experimental, Japanese-style sandwiches that are equally as delightful, you will find the perfect choice for you in Melbourne city.