The warm weather is finally here, and what better way to celebrate than with a picnic? Grab a blanket and fill your basket at one of our favourite sandwich shops so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time soaking up the rays.
Banh Mi Boys (392 Queen West, 399 Yonge St)
This sandwich shop has grown so popular it now has two locations (Queen West and Yonge Street), and it's easy to see why. The lineups stretch outside the door at lunch as customers flock to the small takeout counters for Banh Mi, a Vietnamese style sandwich. The topping of your choice (including pork belly, duck confit, and lemongrass tofu) is served on a crusty baguette with house mayo, cilantro, cucumber and coleslaw. Add a side of kimchi fries and you've got yourself the perfect meal.
Porchetta & Co (825 Dundas West)
This Dundas West sandwich shop focuses on doing one thing really well: porchetta. They marinate a pork shoulder for 24 hours in rosemary, garlic, sage and other spices, wrap it in prosciutto and cured pork belly, slow cook it, and then carve it up and serve it with crackling on a fresh sourdough bun from Caldense Bakery across the street. The results: a heavenly sandwich for just $7.25.
Brock Sandwich (1260 Bloor St W)
We tend to hit up this small shop at Bloor and Landsdowne for their delicious burgers, but it's their sandwich selection that's made them so popular. The owners (who used to work for Susur Lee), pride themselves on doing things from scratch, whether it's making their own condiments or curing their own bacon. The sandwich selection is large, but their chicken piri piri ($9) and their shrimp and squid po boy ($10) are fan favourites. Delivery is now available.
California Sandwiches (244 Claremont St, and others)
This longtime sandwich shop as been serving up gloriously messy Italian sandwiches since 1967. Its original location in Little Italy still stands, but it's since expanded to 12 locations across the GTA (including a brand new one at Yonge and College). Grab a handful of napkins and sink your teeth into their legendary breaded veal sandwich ($7.74), which comes smothered in house-made tomato sauce and served on a giant Kaiser bun. For vegetarians, the eggplant version ($7.08) is impressively hearty.
Black Camel (4 Crescent Rd)
The menu at this Rosedale sandwich shop is limited, but what they do, they do really well. You start by choosing one of five sandwich options (brisket, pulled pork, steak, pulled chicken, vegetarian) and then customize it with your choice of house-made sauces and toppings. We like starting with the slow-roasted beef brisket, which has been cooked for five days, and topping it with their signature BBQ sauce, caramelized onions and sauteed cremini mushrooms.
Honorable Mentions: This End Up, Sky Blue Sky, Amore Fine Foods, Sandwich Box, The Fish Store