Since the early 20th century, much of Japanese cuisine has taken inspiration from Western cuisine. It's a genre the Japanese call yoshoku ("Western food"). That fascination can lead to the obsessive replication of classic dishes, which is why you're just as likely to find excellent pizza in Kyoto as you are in Naples. But it can also lead to the reinterpration of Western staples into something uniquely Japanese.

The katsu sando is a great example of yoshoku. A katsu (a shortening of the Japanese word for cutlet, katsuretsu) is breaded and fried, and sandwiched between two slices of shokupan, fluffy white Japanese milk bread. Sando is the Japanese abbreviation of sandoitchi, which means sandwich. It's a triple-threat of a blockbuster snack: photogenic, texturally interesting and deliciously moreish.

Katsu sandos are everywhere in Sydney right now, and only getting more popular. Here are the best places in town to get your hands on one.


Sandoitchi’s katsu is markedly different from its competitors. Where other cafe chefs and restaurateurs strive to find the softest sandwich bread possible, this one is a more textural option. It’s staked with salted cucumber, pickled carrots, nori, American-style cheese and tonkatsu-flavoured mayo. It’s also far cheaper than the other candidates at $9.50.

Shop 3 113-115 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst

Cafe Oratnek

The sando here is only available on the lunch menu. There's also the unexpected addition of sweet mustard to balance out the fatty heft of the 200g pork cutlet.

4 Pitt Street, Redfern


It costs almost $22, but the wagyu katsu sando here is a must-try.

Shop 7 6 Central Park Avenue, Chippendale

Cafe Monaka

The filling of this tonkatsu sando here is as classic as they come: a big crumbed pork cutlet slathered in Bulldog sauce.

2 24 Waratah St, Mona Vale

Rising Sun Workshop

These aren't strictly katsu sandos – they're katsu burgers. But they're too good not to be included.

1c Whateley Street, Newtown

The Lucky Pickle

The chicken katsu sandwich here has all of the familiar condiments of a sando, but the white bread is swapped out for a crispy roll.

Shop 3 509-511 Crown Street (Enter via High Holborn Street), Surry Hills