15 of the UK's best sandwich shops

Bread, filling, bread – it’s easy to make a sandwich, but a lot of thought goes into a truly great one. Take a look at our favourite local sandwich heroes, from Glasgow to Cornwall, and feel sad about what you’ve got for lunch.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews as well as access to some of Britain’s greatest chefs. Our posts cover everything we are excited about from the latest openings and hottest food trends to brilliant new producers and exclusive chef interviews.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews as well as access to some of Britain’s greatest chefs. Our posts cover everything we are excited about from the latest openings and hottest food trends to brilliant new producers and exclusive chef interviews.

Technically, any food topped and tailed by two pieces of bread can be classed as a sandwich. But we all know the art of sandwich-making is a tough skill to master. There are so many aspects – what type of bread to use, the balance of flavours within, ensuring there’s the right combination of textures and knowing just how much butter, mayonnaise or sauce to add. Even the way it’s sliced can make all the difference.

One thing we can all agree on, though, is that a sandwich made by someone else almost always tastes better than one you’ve created yourself. And while many of us would probably admit guiltily relying on pre-packaged offerings from the likes of Pret a Manger for a quick working lunch, there are independent delis, cafés and shops up and down the country that are taking the humble sandwich and doing something seriously special with it. Here are fifteen of them – our local sandwich heroes.

Think we’ve missed someone off the list? Let us know in the comments below.

Arch House Deli, Bristol

A one-stop shop for all your gourmet food and drink needs, Arch House Deli has won a slew of awards over the years, including Deli of the Year in 2015. But while people might be enticed through the doors by the artisan vinegars, cheese counter and vintage wines, they stay for Arch House’s incredible coffee and sandwiches. For less than £6 you can get a handheld feast that makes the most of the ingredients sold in the deli. The Milano, for example, includes salami, Brie de Meaux and red onion marmalade, while the vegetarian Fruity Blue combines Colston Bassett Shropshire Blue cheese and hot mango chutney.


Deli a GoGo, Cardiff

If you’re in the Welsh capital and hankering for a salt beef sandwich, Deli a GoGo is the only place in the city to offer it. But it’s not the lack of competition that makes this place a favourite – in fact, it has won twice in the SW Echo Food & Drink Awards for its winning combination of artisan Welsh products, real bread and, of course, fantastic sandwiches. The salt beef is brined in-house to a decades-old recipe, but there are lots more on offer, too, including bacon, pesto, Swiss and salami or sun-dried tomatoes with Perl Las (a local cheese) on caraway rye.


Fresh from the Sea, Cornwall

It’s all in the name with this Port Isaac institution, which specialises in the freshest crab and lobster caught right on the doorstep (by their own boat, the ‘Mary D’) which is then cleaned, cooked and hand-picked right there on the premises. The majority of these crustaceans then find their way into Fresh from the Sea’s famous sandwiches – kept simple with wholemeal bread and a few salad leaves, to let the crab and lobster do the talking. And if you need a little more convincing, it was name dropped by both Nathan Outlaw and Tom Brown as their favourite place for a quick lunch.


Hells Kitchen Deli, Brighton

If a deli has managed to stay in business since 1951 then it must be doing something right. Rather than the British idea of a delicatessen, Hells Kitchen Deli takes inspiration from the sandwich-slinging establishments of New York, serving big, bold flavours piled between two slices of their range of fresh breads. Each sandwich is named after one of the seven deadly sins – Gluttony contains chicken, meatballs and chorizo with Emmental, red onion, dill pickles and jalapenos, while Envy combines smoked salmon with crayfish, cucumber, avocado, sun-blushed tomatoes and rocket.


Kracklinjoint, Newcastle

There are sandwiches for all types of occasion, but those on offer at Kracklinjoint are definitely for hungry people looking to enjoy a full-on meal within two slices of bread. Roast meats make up the majority of what’s on offer, particularly the shop’s famous porchetta, which is combined with piquant salsa verde and plenty of crunchy crackling. There’s also pulled pork, salt beef, grilled cheese and all the gherkins you could want.


Le Petit Prince, Dorset

It’s all about the bread at Le Petit Prince, which is made in-house every day by skilled bakers who then hand the loaves over to the deli staff. Local ingredients are favoured, with herbs and some vegetables being sourced from the shop’s own kitchen garden. Varieties are constantly changing depending on the seasons and there are always some more experimental, innovative sandwiches on the specials board for the more adventurous.


Max’s Sandwich Shop, London


There’s always one person in any area of food that goes a bit OTT, taking what we thought we knew and transforming it into a flamboyant, bombastic, cranked-up-to-eleven version of itself. In the world of sandwiches, that man is Max Halley, who opened his small, unassuming sandwich shop in 2014. Heaving great things that are piled high with delicious ingredients, Max’s Sandwich Shop is only open in the evenings, which might sound a bit weird for what is usually considered a lunchtime treat. But the second you see what’s on offer – soft bread filled with braised short ribs, deep-fried broccoli, gravy mayonnaise and sauerkraut, for instance – you’ll realise these sandwiches are a world away from a working lunch.


Monty’s Deli, London

Producing everything themselves, this temple of salt beef and pastrami has been serving up Jewish-inspired classics since 2012 (although only recently moved from a market stall to a more permanent home) and is often named as the best place for a cheap lunch in London. Before every service the team bakes bagels, cures meat, whips up some mustard and slices fresh rye bread. The sandwiches bulge with fillings, the shop is always full and the atmosphere constantly buzzing. We just wish they wouldn’t keep their recipes such a closely guarded secret.


Peel and Stone, Birmingham

Peel and Stone is one of the many businesses turning Birmingham’s food scene into one of the best in the country. With a bakery in the city’s Jewellery Quarter and a shop on Harborne High Street, many people visit the shop just for the range of slow-leavened breads. But if you’re after a nice spot of lunch it’s the sandwiches that have really made a name for the business. Sustainable fish, free-range meat and seasonal vegetables make up daily-changing specials, which include goat’s cheese, coriander seed and roasted beetroot or ham, mustard mayo, Swiss cheese and gherkins.


Piece Finnieston, Glasgow

Referring to themselves as ‘gourmet sandwichmongers’, the team at Piece has been mastering the art of sandwich crafting since 2008, showcasing the very best of Scotland’s incredible larder. There are actually four branches of Piece throughout Glasgow, but the one at Finnieston is the original and best. With over fifteen varieties on offer at any one time, there’s something for everyone, whether you fancy a Pan Bagnat (tuna, tapenade, egg, tomato, honey and mustard) or The Hummer (jalapeno, lime and coriander hummus, avocado and salsa).


The Noonshine Café, Leeds

A beer shop might not be the first place you think of if you’re hankering after a sandwich, but amongst the 300 bottles of craft beer available at Tall Boys Beer Market is The Noonshine Café, set up by The Grub and Grog Shop and Leeds Bread Coop. you’ll find a small but perfectly formed sandwich offering that changes daily. There’s a vegan special, a cheese special and a meat special, all sold at £4 a pop.


The Dusty Knuckle, London

Great bread and even better sandwiches are served up at The Dusty Knuckle in the heart of Dalston, which was founded in 2014 by childhood friends Max Tobias and Rebecca Oliver. The business started life in an old shipping container but now has a bricks and mortar shop serving up fresh bread, pastries and – of course – sandwiches. Whatever they don’t make themselves they source from some of the best producers in the UK, including cheese from Neal’s Yard Dairy and free-range pork cheek from Swaledale Farm. What’s more, they employ young people who have struggled to get a job elsewhere or need that jumpstart to their careers.


The Flour Pot, Brighton

The Flour Pot made our list – helpfully curated by chef Michael Bremner – of the best places to eat and drink in Brighton, so it’s nice to see it nominated again for our list of the UK’s best sandwich shops. As well as great coffee and pastries, the various Flour Pot shops – there are five found across the city – serve up some of Brighton’s best sandwiches, using seasonal ingredients from the markets. The menu changes daily, but expect classics like Thai tuna mayonnaise, New York deli rolls and smoked turkey Caprese.


The Milk Shed, Oxfordshire

What began as a venture into artisan ice cream soon turned into a one-stop shop for all of Oxford’s breakfast and lunch needs. The Milk Shed is a bustling café serving locally roasted coffee, homemade ice cream and plenty of delicious sandwiches. The signature dish has to be the club sandwich, which contains charred chicken breast, pancetta, Gruyere cheese, slow-roasted tomatoes, basil mayonnaise and rocket, but there are lots of other daily specials to appease all appetites.


The Stowaway, Tenby

On Wales’ Pembrokeshire coast is the little seaside town of Tenby which, thanks to The Stowaway, is a must-visit location for sandwich lovers. Housed inside a tiny room built into the walls around Tenby Harbour, it’s most famous for its fantastic coffee, but anyone who decides to plump for a sandwich on the side is in for a real treat. Made fresh each day, they are neatly packaged so you can take them out to enjoy as you stroll along the seafront.


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