The Best Continental Rolls in Perth

Updated 2 weeks ago

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Sliced cold cuts, salty cheese and oil-marinated antipasti in a perfectly crunchy and soft baguette. How can such a simple combo inspire such fanfare, across so many generations? The continental roll dates back to the ’50s, when new Italian migrants would order rolls after their market shop and line them with deli meats and cheese. Around the same time, grocers like Di Chiera and The Re Store started selling the sandwich, “panino Italiano”, which eventually evolved to become WA’s beloved continental roll (or conti roll for short).

Today, you’ll find lunch-hour roll production lines right across Perth. Yet they’re no longer confined to the deli section of your local European grocer. There’s a slew of dedicated sandwich shops, bakeries and smallgoods producers that have joined the conti roll-volution.

And they’re all doing it a little differently, with contis that cater to every taste. Whether you’re a purist and want your roll strictly served with cold cuts, antipasti and cheese; or to add crisp lettuce, carrot and rounds of tomato. Whether you prefer a crunchy baguette, with that ulcer-inducing outer layer, or a soft and buttery panini. Here are some of the best places in Perth to get your mitts around a superb conti roll.

  • The Re Store kicked off Perth’s continental roll wave in the ’50s, and it hasn’t looked back since. At this bustling Italian grocer, which has been around since 1936, you’ll find lunch-hour crowds seeking its made-to-order conti rolls most days of the week. Its classic conti is loaded with mixed meats, provolone cheese, pickled Italian peppers and marinated eggplant, which all become very close (and delicious) friends between a crusty white roll from Grainaissance Artisan Bakers.

  • Find benchmark rolls, doorstopper focaccias and takeaway sauces and conserves at this dedicated conti canteen. Rolls are flash-baked to order daily and have that all-important crunch. Its most-prized roll is lined with mortadella, two types of salami, creamy provolone, olive tapenade, pickled chillies, translucent rings of red onion, crisp lettuce and house-made special sauce. It’s a properly glorious sandwich.

  • Ethos uses WA ingredients and makes almost everything in-house, and its conti roll might be the best example of that. The sliced charcuterie (think mortadella, salami, smoked ham and coppa) is cured and made there, as is the antipasti mix with pickled eggplant, semi-dried tomatoes and Great Southern Grove olives. Layers of Appenzeller cheese from Dellendale Creamery add a hint of spice, inside the fluffy sourdough roll.

  • Western Australian pork meets traditional Italian techniques at this family-owned smallgoods producer, which has been around since 1995. Go for its award-winning coppa, cacciatora, chorizo and Christmas ham, which are all prepared on-site. Or grab a ready-made continental roll and hot coffee to go.

  • Paul “Sal” Salmeri’s mixed meat roll deviates from the typical loaded WA conti roll. It’s more reminiscent of the meat and cheese paninis found across Italy and France. Keeping it simple lets the high-quality ingredients shine: prosciutto di parma, prosciutto cotto (cooked prosciutto), finocchiona (a Tuscan salami infused with pepper), provolone dolce and asiago cheese. Instead of butter, it’s all laced with peppery extra virgin olive oil, and the crunch comes from the baguette, which is baked by North Street Store down the road.

  • This corner store and bakery harks back to the neighbourhood delis of the last century, referencing the original conti roll with a contemporary take. The crunch is all in the French-style baguette, which is baked in-house daily. Inside, it’s a classic combo of leg ham, salami, mortadella, lettuce, tomato, pickle and creamy aioli. North Street Store also helped pioneer the “Contimental”: a 1.2-metre-long conti roll on a sesame seed bun. You can split it with nine of your mates, but you’ll need to order ahead. Its sister venue, Little Loaf Bakery, also has conti rolls that are worthy of the hype.

  • Visit this airy sandwich shop, which is headed by an Andrew McConnell alum, for its loaded continental rolls. The antipasti sub brims with mortadella, ham, soppressa, ajvar, pesto, tomato, lettuce, provolone, onion and marinated and pickled veg. It all comes together in a house-made white sesame-seed sub. This dedicated sandwich shop is in the vanguard of WA’s second conti roll wave.

  • Most of the time, the couple behind Chu Bakery turns out French-style baked goods with an Asian twist. Yet they’ve also mastered the contemporary conti roll. As Chu deals mostly in bread, you can expect a beautifully crusty and fluffy sourdough baguette. Inside? Satisfying layers of salami, ham, mortadella, provolone, pickled eggplant, roasted capsicum, sliced tomato and spicy rocket, all bolstered by some cracking chilli paste and a generous pour of olive oil.

  • This Italo-style grocer is a one-stop destination for loaded paninis, coffee, ready-made Italian meals and pantry staples. Wrap your mitts around one of its beloved continental rolls, which come stacked with cold-cuts, Swiss cheese, antipasto and a secret house-made sauce.

  • A neighbourly sandwich bar serving quick, fresh grab-and-go lunches. Visit for its loaded Italian-leaning subs (including a killer continental roll), strong coffee and house-made carrot cake and biscotti.