Toastie. Jaffle. Plain old toasted sandwich. The basic ingredients are the same whatever your preferred style: bread, filling and heat, the latter of which can escape from a toastie but remains treacherously trapped inside a jaffle. It’s a concept Perth has embraced with a growing number of cafes and dedicated vendors playing in this space. Although menus are becoming more creative and complex, simplicity is the key to the toastie’s enduring popularity.
“They take you back to when you had toasted sandwiches after school,” says Aaron Walsh, co-owner of bike-shop-cum-jaffle-specialist Get Ya Fix. “You can put pretty much anything in one. They’re cheap, quick and you can eat them one-handed.”
While you can still source a simple ham-and-cheese sandwich, the fillings of our childhoods – baked beans and plastic cheese, leftover spag bol if you were feeling fancy – have been replaced by more sophisticated options. Livingstone’s Urban Jungle, for example, recently launched a limited-edition $20 toastie featuring black truffles.
The next big thing in toasted sandwich circles? Bagels.
“We’re noticing them more around town,” says Justin Blackford, chef and co-owner of Livingstone’s. “There’s increased demand for authentic bagels as people get more educated, watch food shows and travel to New York and Montreal.”
Get Ya Fix was among the first to offer toasted bagels, but the customer base at the time wasn’t big enough to make carrying them worthwhile. Now, some of its bagel offerings outsell the jaffle equivalents.
“The bagel can be more substantial,” says Walsh. “It’s a good option because we don’t do burgers or full sit-down meals.”
But regardless of whether you’re rooting for Team Jaffle or Team Toastie, savoury always wins out over sweet. “I think it’s one of those things that sounds good, but it’s never the right time of day,” says Walsh.
Here’s Broadsheet’s list of some of Perth’s better toasted-sandwich options.
Toastface Grillah and Lil’ Toastface
Toastface Grillah and its little brother are the first places locals think of when it comes to toasties, and for good reason. When the cafe opened in 2013 no one was pushing the toasted sandwich barrow quite like these guys. A tightly clipped, cheese-focused menu gets a little wild with The King, featuring peanut butter, banana, brie and maple syrup. Coffee is from Northbridge Coffee Roasters.
Livingstone’s Urban Jungle
Offering a range of toasties and bagels, its biggest seller is the Slam ‘n’ Cheese with ham, béchamel sauce, seeded mustard and gruyere. It also serves Crema coffee and Livingstone’s is Perth’s home of the truffle toastie.
Get Ya Fix
Go for coffee and a jaffle, come out with a bike. Or vice versa. The Get Ya Fix menu includes a variety of bagels, and a cheeseburger jaffle that seems simple until you wonder how it’s cooked. Outstanding coffee from Twin Peaks.
The newest arrival in the WA toastie scene resides in Fremantle. Open until late on weekends, Toast Cartel fillings include mac‘n’cheese, pulled pork and bolognaise sauce. The menu also has several options for those with a sweet tooth.
Coffee-van operator Lady Latte’s new permanent cafe serves an impressive array of jaffles, such as the Loaded Fries filled with pulled pork, bacon, beer-battered chips, cheddar and mozzarella. Other sandwiches include house-made curry and chipotle-flavoured aiolis.
41 Edgehill Street, Scarborough
A cosy cafe and workspace that also sells homewares and gifts. Eillo’s toastie menu is small but creative. It includes the Porkstar with pulled pork, mashed potato and barbeque sauce. Micrology coffee is served until 6pm on weekdays.
218 William Street, Northbridge
Mon to Fri 7am–6pm