When John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, assembled the world's original sandwich in the 1700s, he probably had no idea how far it would go. We don't just mean geographically, either. Sandwiches are now the vehicles for just about every edible item on Earth.

Here in Melbourne, we've embraced the lot – sandwiches filled with lasagna, fiery Thai salads, fried chicken, American barbeque and every other cut of meat imaginable. Others have four kinds of cheese, eggs done every different way and even ice-cream. Whether they're wild, simple or luxurious, here's where to find Melbourne's best.

You won’t find banh mi, Melbourne’s unofficial sandwich, on this guide. That’s because there are just too many excellent options – so it’s got its own separate list here.

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Wild Life Bakery

Cafe

At Wild Life Bakery, the bread is the star of the sandwich.

90 Albert Street, Brunswick East

Smith Street Alimentari

Cafe

Artisan sandwiches in fresh-baked baguettes. If you're up for something different, try the chicken wrap we can't stop thinking about.

302 Smith Street, Collingwood

Warkop

Cafe

Warkop is a snug, laid-back sandwich shop headed by Indonesian chef Barry Susanto. On the menu, you’ll find a line-up of bready classics, from the aromatic chicken sanga, to a beef pastrami with coconutty rendang sauce, and a soft grilled brioche with custard-like coconut jam.

12 Risley St, Richmond

Kelso’s Sandwich Shoppe

Cafe

From burgers to toasties, rye bread to baps, Kelso’s is a sandwich-lover’s heaven.

271 Johnston Street, Abbotsford

Liminal

Cafe

From the basics to the unexpected – here you’ll find fillings as pedestrian as mozzarella and as exotic as pickled sardine and honey miso.

161 Collins Street, Melbourne
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Greta

Cafe

At Greta, you'll find breakfast pasta, crackling-coated porchetta rolls and free aperitivo snacks. Swing by this olive and mustard-toned sandwich and wine bar for Axil coffee and Penny for Pound pastries, or linger with a Martini made with Four Pillars Olive Leaf Gin.

450 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Hector’s Deli

Cafe

A classic sandwich shop with elevated ingredients and credentials.

94 Buckingham Street, Richmond

Heartattack and Vine

Restaurant

The porchetta roll is rightfully a classic. But the pick of the bunch is the tortilla sandwich: omelette, caramelised onion and mayo in a sourdough baguette.

329 Lygon Street, Carlton

Nico's Sandwich Deli

Cafe

This sandwich spot from a trio of experienced hospo players was supposed to open in March 2020. One pandemic and a long Fitzroy pop-up later, Nico's has made its way back to its original home in the CBD. Come for jazzed-up Italo-Japanese-leaning sangas, strong coffees and sweet shakes.

Healeys Lane, Melbourne

Falco Bakery

Shop

Falco's chicken salad sandwich is superlative. The filling is soft, creamy and tangy; and it's offset by one of the crispest bread crusts in Melbourne. The salad and egg sandwiches also get podium finishes.

288 Smith Street, Collingwood

King & Godfree Deli

Shop

Classic Italian deli sandwiches, best enjoyed with an espresso from the King & Godfree Espresso Bar.

293-297 Lygon Street, Carlton

Frankie's Tortas and Tacos

Restaurant

The tortas here – Mexico City-style sangas – are all exceptional, but the pick of the bunch has to be the pollo milanesa (fried chicken). The pork shoulder torta gives it a run for its money, though.

384 Smith Street, Collingwood

Tanaka Co-Op

Cafe

There's a different sandwich special every day, but keep an eye out for recurring favourites such as the porchetta roll, the banh mi or the steak sandwich. At breakfast, go for the egg and bacon bap served with house-made relish.

140 Rathdowne Street, Carlton

Rat the Cafe

Cafe

Good bread, fresh vegetables and hearty fillings. And one hell of a breakfast sandwich.

72 Wales Street, Thornbury

Smith & Deli

Shop

Inarguably the best range of vegan sangas in town. Try the plant-based riff on a B.L.T.

111 Moor Street, Fitzroy

Matteo’s Delicatessen

Cafe

A one-stop shop for sandwiches, smallgoods and Italian pantry staples. The floor-to-ceiling shelves are impressively jam-packed, so you can stock up on fancy Italian pantry staples while you're picking up lunch. Plus, grazing platters, flaky pastizzi and Ned's Bake pastries.

30 Pier St, Altona

Zsa's

Shop

The porchetta roll here rightfully attracts (socially-distanced) queues around the block. The muffuletta – sold by the inch – is also a star.

202 High Street, Northcote

Ima Project Cafe

Cafe

There's a range of Japanese-influenced toasties, burgers and rolls to choose from on the takeaway menu.

169 Elgin Street, Carlton

King William

Restaurant

A hole-in-the-wall sandwich joint with a tight rotating list of rolls, subs and house-made cordials. King William is very popular with the lunchtime crowd. So if you want to avoid a wait, plan on getting here just after opening or right before close.

487 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Stan's Deli and Sandwiches

Cafe

This deli and sandwich spot is inspired by New York's old-school delis. The team behind the slick white-and-green spot includes co-owners of Leonardo's Pizza Palace, and Frankie's Tortas and Tacos. Go for 5 & Dime bagels smeared with whipped ricotta, cheesy pork-and-fennel-sausage muffins and a hefty eggplant-parm sandwich.

248B Glenferrie Road, Malvern

Small Axe Deli

Cafe

On top of finish-at-home-meals and pantry fillers, this deli has a range of classic Italian sandwiches, including a Sicilian meatball sub and a vegan panino.

1/625 Sydney Road, Brunswick

Aphro & Wolfe

Cafe

Meal-sized toasties in a homey setting.

566 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy North

Morning Market

Shop

Andrew McConnell's brand European-style grocer sells a variety of takeaway sandwiches made with Baker Bleu bread.

59 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy

The Catfish

Bar

Sparrow's Philly Cheesteaks, which operates out of The Catfish, makes Melbourne's best philly cheesesteaks.

30 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy

Ugo Cucina Popolare

Cafe

At this panini bar – from the Cannoleria by That's Amore team – you'll find a breakfast sanga slathered with bacon jam; and takeaway Cannoleria cannoli piped with ricotta (plus a bunch of other traditional and less-traditional flavour combos).

69 Sheehan Road, Heidelberg West

Good Times Milk Bar

Cafe

Try the Cubano: a soft, long roll filled with crisp pork, mortadella, Swiss cheese, pickles and a slick of mustard.

83 Tucker Road, Bentleigh

Rusty’s Sandwich Parlour

Cafe

This all-day sandwich shop and cafe serves some seriously tricked-out sangas. There are around 10 to choose from, with a good amount of vego and vegan-friendly options. To drink, there’s strong coffee and fresh juice.

189 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East

Le Shoppe

Cafe

This cross between a daytime bistro and a New York Deli is the casual sibling adjoined to Scott Pickett's Chancery Lane. Slide into a booth for charcuterie and crepes suzette, or grab curried-egg sandwiches and roast-pork rolls (with crackling) to go.

430 Little Collins Street, Melbourne

Bread Club Albert Park

Cafe

The bakery's southside location is near-identical to the light-filled North Melbourne original. Go for $10 stracciatella-filled sandwiches, eggplant parmigiana-style pies and pepperoni pizza on weekends. Plus, chocolatey hot cross buns and hefty cardamom scrolls.

65 Cardigan Place, Albert Park

Applehead Deli

Cafe

This bayside cafe serves up New York-inspired hot sandwiches: Reubens, melts, plenty of bagels – the works. It’s a small spot – look for a red Subaru Sherpa with a “hot sandwiches” decal to make sure you’re in the right place.

100 Latrobe Street, Mentone

Florian

Cafe

There are around four to five sangas (and salads) at this pretty Rathdowne Village spot. It's a rotating cast of flavours that change with the seasons.

617 Rathdowne Street, Carlton North

Tivoli Road Bakery

Restaurant

Sourdough, spelt, multigrain, and soy and linseed are among the bready delights at this respected outfit.

3 Tivoli Road, South Yarra
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