The 12 Best Sandwich Shops In Sydney For 2024
— Updated on 27 March 2024

The 12 Best Sandwich Shops In Sydney For 2024

— Updated on 27 March 2024
Boss Hunting
Boss Hunting

In Australia, few lunchtime staples stir the public to as much impassioned (sometimes divisive) debate as the humble sandwich. Fresh or toasted? Rye or sourdough? Depending on how seriously you take the concept of filling smooshed between two slices of bread, these questions are only the tip of the iceberg.

For Sydneysiders, the question of “Who makes the best sandwiches in Sydney?” is probably the most commonly fielded.

Cognisant of the fact that our readers probably turn to toasties, ciabattas, and rolls during the busiest part of their workday, the Boss Hunting team has already gone to the trouble of narrowing down the best sandwich shops in Sydney. Check them out below.

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Recess, Surry Hills

best sandwiches Sydney

A relative newcomer to the Sydney sandwich shop scene (opened by “a couple of former desk jockeys”) Recess is located at the corners of Bourke and Campbell Street — nearest to Darlinghurst.

Pointedly un-fancy, this new neighbourhood haunt specialises in salads, rolls, and coffee (including a range of styles that shall be familiar to enthusiasts of the sandwich community). The vast majority of this shop’s “sliced sandwiches” are available toasted; and a small yet essential selection of salads rounds out the lunch-ready offering.

Given what food prices are like in Sydney’s urban core these days, we also commend Recess for proffering such good value. Most of the menu clocks in at under $11, with the heftiest price tag reserved for the eponymous “Recess Club” roll. Take our word for it: with this much bacon, poached chicken, and Caesar dressing, $14.90 seems like a square deal.

Address: 389 Bourke St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Opened: March, 2024
Price Guide: $$
Opening Hours: Monday — Friday (6 AM — 4 PM); Saturday (7 AM — 4 PM)

Malibu, Surry Hills

(Image Credit: @pitto.sando; Instagram)

Known among diehard fans as the home of Sydney’s “most massive sandwich,” Malibu is hidden down an innocuous Surry Hills laneway — adjacent to Nomad Group stalwart Beau. Fret not, though: just look for the lunchtime queues.

The shop’s signature sandwiches, built on your choice of either white or rye bread, are almost comically oversized. At prices averaging $12, they’re an absolute steal too: capable of feeding two fully grown adults who are in the mood for something substantial.

A menu is available, but regulars typically freestyle their order: leading to monstrous combinations such as schnitzel and sweet potato with purple coleslaw and everything between. A range of fresh, generously portioned salads are also available.

To the delight of repeat customers, Malibu’s gruff proprietor (who you’ll almost always see working the pass) introduced card payment facilities early last year. That newfound convenience is still tempered by the very specific sort of customer service (or lack thereof) that has defined Malibu since the very beginning.

Our advice? Fix your order well in advance and keep the line moving — lest you have your very own “no soup for you” moment.

Address: 62 Foster St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Opened: February, 2016
Price Guide: $$
Opening Hours: Monday — Saturday (6 AM — 2 PM)

City Edge Café (AKA Tommy’s), Surry Hills

(Image Credit: @Evaaah; Instagram)

Referred to by its regulars as “Tommy’s,” City Edge Cafe is an unmistakable Surry Hills icon: a stone’s throw from the News Corp building, set amidst a range of eateries on Holt Street.

Although this marks a new location for City Edge (which has technically been open since the mid-2010s), what hasn’t changed are the lines. Come noon on a weekday, the shop is positively heaving; so it’s never a bad idea to leave the office early in an effort to beat the lunchtime rush.

An imposing chalkboard gives you a rundown of the various sandwiches, wraps, and Turkish melts — a total of 10 in each category. If the scope of all that proves a little daunting, we’d recommend you consult the specials menu: most items here hover around the $9 mark, cycling through an array of crowd-pleasers like the classic Philly cheesesteak or Hainanese chicken baguette.

Address: Shop 2/55 Holt St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Opened: August, 2021
Price Guide: $
Opening Hours: Monday — Friday (8 AM — 2:30 PM)

South Dowling Sandwiches, Various Locations

With lines out the door to rival Malibu or City Edge, South Dowling is arguably the final name in our trifecta of the best sandwich shops in Sydney. Also referred to (in lackadaisical Aussie fashion) as “South Dowlo,” the specialty here is a modernisation of the typical milk bar-style sando.

The chilli chicken ($11) and ‘Jimmy’ ($14.50) are both well-documented favourites, but for something that neatly exemplifies why South Dowling’s sandwiches have become so renowned — enough to justify a mention in The New York Times — you can’t look past the ‘Vegi’ ($12).

Fit to bursting with caramelised carrot, grilled eggplant, hummus, mushrooms and even the obligatory sliced beetroot, the latter is a delicious formulation that encourages Aussies of a certain age to have their nostalgic cake… and eat it too.

Note that South Dowling currently operates a satellite location in Alexandria — open until 3 PM on weekdays.

Address: 377 South Dowling St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Opened: 1999
Price Guide: $$
Opening Hours: Monday — Saturday ( 7:30 AM — 3:15 PM)

Small’s Deli, Potts Point

Small's Deli puts up strong competition as the best sandwich shop in Sydney.

If you’re in the mood for premium ingredients and sandwich bread that’s of the European variety (i.e. paninis and baguettes), then look no further than Small’s Deli.

A go-to spot for lunch runners in Sydney’s Inner East, it opened to an (almost immediate) swell of popularity back in early 2020. There is a range of salads and small goods to choose from, but you’re playing yourself if you choose to depart Small’s without ordering at least one of the house’s delicious fresh sandwiches.

The ‘Al Green’ ($16) and ‘Bon Jambon’ ($17) are both notable phenoms on social media, but if you ask us, the ‘Junebug’ ($16), loaded with roast pumpkin and ricotta, is a must-order — even if you fancy yourself a diehard protein lover.

Address: 166 Victoria St, Potts Point NSW 2011
Opened: February, 2020
Price Guide: $$
Opening Hours: Tuesday — Saturday (8:30 AM — 2:30 PM); Sunday (8:30 AM — 2 PM)

Good Ways Deli, Various Locations

good ways deli

A popular Inner Sydney spot, despite its (relative) lack of accessibility; Good Ways has been slinging some of the city’s best sandwiches since the waning days of the pandemic.

Complemented by a rudimentary bakery/providore offering, there’s more than a little nostalgia baked into this laidback sandwich specialist. Tuck shop favourites — think lamingtons and vegemite scrolls — are served in abundance: giving patrons something to snack on whilst they wait for their sanga of choice.

There’s no denying that the cheese toastie is a certified favourite among regulars (try supplementing it with some stewed apple filling) but, for our money, the chicken ($16) makes for an elite on-the-go option. Served fresh on a pleasingly crisp-then-chewy ciabatta bun, it’s a masterclass in how not to muck about with the proverbial good stuff. Tender poached chicken, tilsit cheese, and the most addictive of tarragon mayonnaises — simple as that.

Note that Good Ways currently operates a second shop in Alexandria, a few suburbs down from its original location.

Address: Shop 1/20 Cooper St, Redfern NSW 2016
Opened: June, 2021
Price Guide: $$$
Opening Hours: Monday — Friday (7 AM — 3 PM); Sunday (8 AM — 2 PM)

Tiny’s Sandwich Bar, Sydney CBD

tinys sandwich bar 2

A little different from the average Sydney sandwich shop, Tiny’s supplements its daytime operations with a bottled cocktail program that really finds its stride in the evenings. That’s just as well, considering the location (not far from such popular CBD boozing spots as The Lobo and Door Knock).

None of that is to say that Tiny’s doesn’t take its sandwich game seriously. In fact, even a cursory glance at the ‘Signature Sandwiches’ menu confirms that the opposite is pretty much true.

The usual range of ham, turkey, and hot salami options are all available; supplemented by more interesting recipes like slow-cooked lamb ($24) or Coronation chicken ($19). Diners typically order the single serving size, but consider going ‘huge’ if you can rustle up a crew of fellow cubicle dwellers.

Address: 1/55 Clarence St, Sydney NSW 2000
Opened: November, 2021
Price Guide: $$
Opening Hours: Monday — Wednesday (6 AM — 9 PM); Thursday — Friday (6 AM — 10 PM)

Sandoitchi, Darlinghurst

best sandwiches Sydney

This hole-in-the-wall operation on Oxford Street, run by a trio of ex-Long Chim chefs, specialises in “sort-of-poke bowls”, breakfast, and an array of sandwiches all prepared loosely in the Japanese sando style. That means milk bread, panko crumb-encrusted proteins, and, in certain cases, even sweet (rather than savoury) toppings.

Most of the signature sandos, filled with a katsu-style (“cutlet”) protein, hover around the $16.50 mark; but for a properly decadent option, try the ‘Wagyu Katsu Sando’ ($59). Made exclusively on the toasted, milk bun-esque shokupan, each of these sandwiches is stuffed with intensely marbled full-blood Wagyu. Who says the only way to enjoy your beef is with salad and fries?

Address: 3/113-115 Oxford St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010
Opened: February, 2018
Price Guide: $$
Opening Hours: Tuesday — Friday (7 AM — 3:30 PM); Saturday — Sunday (8 AM — 3:30 PM)

John Montagu, Woolloomooloo

sandwich shop Sydney

Named, somewhat cheekily, for John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich; this inner-city eatery has been feeding Sydneysiders inventive, high-quality sandwiches for over a decade.

Despite the antiquated origin of the John Montagu moniker, the majority of the sandwiches served here are thoroughly contemporary. From a classic BLT ($16) to the shop’s signature 12-hour beef cheeks ($21), there’s bound to be an option, either familiar or adventurous, for all kinds of sandwich eaters.

Address: 144 Cathedral Street, Woolloomooloo NSW 2011
Opened: December, 2013
Price Guide: $$
Opening Hours: Monday — Wednesday (7 AM — 2 PM); Thursday (7 AM — 4 PM); Friday (7 AM — 2 PM); Saturday (8 AM — 2 PM); Sunday ( 8AM — 4 PM)

Dutch Smuggler, Sydney CBD

sandwich shop Sydney

Originally a nook-and-cranny operation hidden behind an office building, Dutch Smuggler has since expanded upon its operation with another Sydney CBD location inside QVB.

Both shopfronts have a similar modus operandi: slinging caffeinated beverages (courtesy of Sovereign Coffee Roasters), along with half a dozen or so inventive toasted sandwiches.

Of these, the ‘Magic Mi Goreng’ ($12) is what really secures Dutch Smuggler’s inclusion on this list: an inexplicable carb-on-carb experiment, consisting of two bread slices stuffed with “special cheese sauce,” a sunny side egg, and oodles of mi goreng. Bizarre? Maybe. But delicious? Definitely.

Address: 200 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000
Opened: September, 2016
Price Guide: $$
Opening Hours: Monday — Friday (6 AM — 4 PM); Saturday (8 AM — 3 PM); Sunday (8 AM — 3 PM).

Kosta’s Takeaway, Various Locations

best sandwiches Sydney

Originally a tuckshop-style window, run out the side of a smash repair shop in South Sydney, Kosta’s Takeaway has since opened up two more centrally located outposts — in Circular Quay and Rosebery.

Usually, this is the section of the article where we briefly outline the style and signature dishes of the venue we’ve shortlisted. In Kosta’s case, everything you need to know about this burger and sandwich specialist can be summarised in the following (hilarious) ‘note’, written in the timbre of the man himself and taken directly from the company’s website:

“My sandwhiches are the best. And the best means bread, meet, flavour in a box, with your hands — taste better that way. No prety pink flowers and vedggie bowl bulls**t.”

Note that each of the three Kosta’s locations offers a different weekly special. At the new Rosebery shop, keep your eyes peeled for the rare roast beef. All sold out? No problem. The signature ‘Schnitty’ ($22) is bound to get the job done.

Address: 412 West Botany St, Rockdale NSW 2216
Opened: October, 2021
Price Guide: $$
Opening Hours: Monday — Friday (5:30 AM — 3 PM); Saturday (7 AM — 2 PM).

Marrickville Pork Roll, Various Locations

sandwich shop Sydney

To be honest, it’d be more than reasonable for us to write an entirely separate list dedicated to Sydney’s best banh mi. But for now, consider the inclusion of Marrickville Pork Roll a good-faith gesture — and an extremely well-earned one at that.

Serving regulars for the best part of two decades, this Inner West icon has since expanded to Circular Quay and Haymarket. Still, there’s something to be said for going straight to the proverbial source: an unassuming shop window (takeaway only) not far from Marrickville station.

Many of this shop’s smaller, more obscure competitors might do a sideline in conventional sandwiches or traditional Viet snacks. But at Marrickville Pork Roll, the protein-laden baguette is the star of the show.

One of the most flavourful styles of sandwich making bar none, the typical banh mi combines pickled veg, pâté, a handful of fresh green herbs, and your protein of choice. All wrapped up in crusty baguette loaf — introduced into Vietnam during the days of French colonial occupation.

Popular orders at Marrickville Pork Roll include the traditional pork number ($6) along with its crackling-topped cousin ($8). Both delicious and available with fresh-cut chilli upon request.

Address: 236 Illawarra Rd, Marrickville NSW 2204
Opened: January, 2008
Price Guide: $$
Opening Hours: Monday — Sunday (7 AM — 6 PM)

If you found this list helpful, then why not check out some of our other Sydney-specific dining recommendations?

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