Melbourne has a great love affair with sandwiches. And while there are plenty of dedicated spots around the city, there are also cafes, bars – and some places you might not expect – with killer sangers.

As much as we love Ca Com and Hector’s Deli, we’re not talking about the usual suspects here. We’ve searched the city and spent our lunch money to uncover the city's hidden sandwich gems.

Tuna salad sandwich, Raya

This Malaysian-inspired cake shop and bakery in the CBD is known for its sweet treats, but the sandwiches are just as good. Baker and owner Raymond Tan and his team put a playful Malaysian spin on the classics, and the tuna salad sandwich is a standout – Ice Spice even posted about it on Instagram when she was in town. It’s a spicy number with tuna salad, a sliced hard-boiled egg and lettuce all tucked inside the bakery’s homemade shokupan.

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Prawn club, Apollo Inn

Andrew McConnell’s moody 30-seat CBD bar (and Gimlet’s younger sibling) is home to an elegant club sandwich. Here, the team swaps out the usual chicken for poached prawns, layered with pickled green tomatoes, smoked bacon and green-chilli sauce, and placed between two discs of fluffy white bread. The sanger’s then cut in half, and each side pierced with a good old-fashioned sandwich pick.

Green cheese toastie, A Thousand Blessings

The green cheese toastie at this laid-back Richmond cafe from the mother-daughter duo also behind froyo bar Frozen, is a great way to eat your greens. It’s loaded with broccoli, kale, spinach, avocado, mustard, goat’s curd and melty mozzarella.

Kimchi toastie, Sleepy’s Cafe and Wine Bar

Add this toastie to the long list of very good reasons to stop by Sleepy’s in Carlton. Steve Chan and the team use a spicy kimchi imported from Korea with a blend of mozzarella and sharp tasty cheese. The filling is placed between freshly toasted and buttered Wildlife Bakery sourdough. It’s deceptively simple but elegant in approach; an extremely comforting, well-balanced toastie.

Ora King salmon sandwich, Red Door Corner Store

The pros at this Northcote spot have created a fresh and delicate salmon sandwich. Ora King salmon, smoked with Australian ash, takes centrestage atop a bed of crispy kohlrabi and celeriac remoulade, with a touch of horseradish for some zing. It’s finished off with fried capers and a garnish of watercress. (The team also makes a great chicken-salad.)

Ham toastie, Terror Twilight

With a mix of mortadella, bechamel and gooey mozzarella cheese, all tucked between crispy sourdough, this toastie comes with a one-way ticket to umami flavour town. It’s served with house-made pickles and a healthy smattering of the Collingwood cafe’s jalapeno mustard on the side.

Breakfast sandwich, Rat the Cafe

This creation is like a classic Reuben, but with a vegetarian twist. Melted Swiss cheese, (secret) special sauce, homemade kraut, dill pickle and a perfectly fried egg are all set between wonderfully crisp slices of Wildlife Bakery’s country loaf.

Challah egg-salad sandwich, Zelda Bakery

This Ripponlea micro-bakery is worth visiting any day of the week, but it’s wise to plan a trip on a Wednesday, the only day this sandwich is on offer. Creamy egg salad (with a hint of rocket for good measure) is piled high on house-made challah. Throughout the week, owner Maaryasha Werdiger and her team also offer ever-changing vegan focaccias that are big enough to share.

Daily sandwiches, Sardinas

This Reservoir cafe and wine bar used to only have sandwiches on Saturday, but they were so popular they’re now available daily. The curried egg sandwich and the cheese and salad sandwich are both served on Sardinas’s house-made bread. The team will soon be introducing a daily deli sandwich served on ciabatta, made across the street at sibling venue La Pinta.

Roast Angus beef sandwich, Oppen

This Windsor cafe’s roast-beef open sandwich is made with slow-cooked, pink Angus beef, complemented by a vibrant house-made piccalilli (mustard pickle) sauce, pickled cucumbers, crisp onions and roasted mushrooms. It’s a skillful balance of textures that makes a great accompaniment to the cafe’s Scandi-style coffee.