Best sandwiches in Toronto

Toronto's chefs tend to avoid simplicity. If making a BLT, they'd rather smoke the bacon, toss in market-fresh arugula and drizzle lemon aioli atop a focaccia bun. After all, the best part of dining out is enjoying something you could never make yourself. Sandwiches, then, pose the perfect challenge; some may seem easy, but at these restaurants, they're utterly unique. [Stack of sandwiches at Rashers. Photo by Parisima Baha]

The Dirty Bird

1
79 Kensington Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2K2

Chicken and waffles have erupted in Toronto, but The Dirty Bird, which opened in the chic Kensington Market area in early 2015, has risen quickly to the top of the pile. The Dirty Club sandwich flips the waffles into sandwich bread, crams a juicy fried boneless leg and thigh in between, and adds in beef bacon, lettuce, tomato and maple aioli for good measure. At $15, it can feed two without difficulty.

Black Camel

2
4 Crescent Rd, Toronto, ON M4W 1S9

A brisket sandwich isn't so crazy. However, once you find out it takes five days to prepare – that includes smothering it in dry rub before marinating it for three days, slow-cooking for 12 hours and letting it sit for 24 hours longer – you'll agree it may be the most fanatically made sandwich on this list, not to mention the most tender.

Banh Mi Boys

3
399 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M5B 1S9

While the kimchi fries and jicama papaya salad are curious sides, Banh Mi Boys' mainstay Vietnamese subs are what launched it into mainstream popularity throughout the city. To be honest, any of the baos or sandwiches are solid, affordable choices – lemongrass tofu, kalbi beef, or grilled pork, anyone? The five spice pork belly best complements the julienne carrots, fragrant cilantro and spicy hot sauce.

Canoe Restaurant & Bar

4
66 Wellington St W, 54th Floor, Toronto, ON M5K 1H6

If you have $24 to spend on a sandwich, spend it at Canoe. Toronto's perennially lauded upscale restaurant, catering mostly to Bay Street business men and women, serves up a club sandwich with baked brioche, tarragon puree and living lobster (served cooked, of course) imported from Prince Edward Island – a good 1,700 kilometres away, no big deal ;-).

The Lakeview

5
1132 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1X2

With a divey atmosphere and exceptional prices, The Lakeview is a west-end favourite. While the triple-decker cornflake chicken club deserves its own slot on this list, even meat-eaters agree: it's the portobello sandwich that's most surprising. Plump portobello mushroom caps are stuffed with asiago and Havarti cheeses, while the fluffy bun is filled out with caramelized onions and smooth coriander pesto. Wash it all down with one of The Lakeview's light craft beers.

Porchetta & Co

6
825 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1V4

The folks at Porchetta & Co. decided to specialize in one thing: a sandwich so simple it's the restaurant's entire brand. For the porchetta, they marinate their pork shoulders slowly with garlic, herbs and olive oil before wrapping them in prosciutto and rolling them in pork belly. Served with crackling bits of crispy pork fat, Dijon mustard and hot sauce, the extra toppings – as varied as truffle sauce and rapini – feel somehow extravagant for a staple this dignified.

Whether it’s the Blue Jays, Raptors or Halifax Mooseheads, there are going to be times when Canadians – especially Maritimers – want to get together to watch the game, and nothing pairs better with a big-screen TV than a pint of domestic beer. Halifax doesn’t have too many sports-specific bars, but those that it does have get the job done perfectly.
Halifax has more universities than seems logically permissible – eight schools in a city of 300,000. The population balloons from September till May, creating a student-driven economy that focuses on their priorities: organic ingredients, cheap prices and creative decor. You can eat at any of these beloved hangouts for under $10 and feel like a local while you're there.
Haligonians will often boast that their city has more pubs per capita than anywhere else in Canada – a claim-to-fame so commonplace it’s proclaimed on Nova Scotia’s tourism website. Their proliferation keeps the happy-hour drinks well priced. These pubs are among the best places to enjoy drinks on the cheap.
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