Lunch in a hurry doesn’t need to be the same old, same old. These tasty sangas put a gourmet spin on fast food.

Triple cheese toasties at a luxe new wine bar

Brand new to Flinders Lane, Greta is an all-day wine bar wonderland. The toastie is a bit fancier than your usual sanga, melting together gruyere, brie and sharp cheddar. Pickled onion and dijon mustard provide a tangy counterpart to cut through the richness. More treats to try include rare roast beef, mortadella rolls and porchetta delights.

Sandwiches on plates on a table
Greta's sandwich spread

Korean-style brioche sandwich

Looking for lunch-to-go over in North Melbourne? Grab a Korean-style sandwich at Palette. Their signature sarnies are served on brioche. And there’s a special flavour of the month. It might be scrambled eggs with corn and smoky bacon, cheese and sriracha mayo. And make that a garlic buttered brioche. But you can't forget about leaving enough room for Palette’s famous Swiss roll cake. 

Mamma Mia meatball roll

King William specialises in ‘seriously upstanding’ sandwiches, with meaty fillings and fermented condiments. The Mamma Mia’s a standout. A pork meatball roll topped with tomato sugo and three cheeses. Provolone, scamorza and parmigiano. And that glowing green drizzle on top? Herby basil salsa verde. Mamma mia indeed.

A sandwich with meatballs, melted cheese, tomato sugo and grated parmesan from King William
King William's Mamma Mia meatball roll

Fried chicken Indian style

Great news for city workers: Pope Joan has reopened in Collins Street. Not only that, they’ve partnered with Gertrude Street’s ISH to create the pop-up PopeISH. So until April, there’s a different Indian-inspired sandwich for every day of the working week. Start with Monday’s masala fried-chicken sando. On fluffy white bread with lettuce and mayonnaise, it’s katsu with a sub-continental curveball.

Perfect porchetta panini

Ordering lunch from Saluministi? Odds are it’ll be their best-selling grilled panini, the porchetta. That’s free-range roasted pork ribboned with artichoke paste, partnered with pecorino and rocket. Served in a stone-baked ciabatta roll, with a side of house-made pickled veg. Perfetto.

A panini from Saluministi with mortadella, stracciatella and split green olives.
Saluministi's Mortadella panini

Vegan dessert jaffles

Go vegan, go to Union Kiosk. This tiny hole-in-the-wall specialises in 100 per cent vegan jaffles. Think spicy pulled ‘beef’ with jalapeños and cheese. Or black bean with salsa and guacamole. But we’re thinking dessert right now, like the jaffle filled with a melted hazelnut Vego bar. This melted toastie is like a dairy-free Nutella dream, organic chocolate dotted with whole nuts.

Double-decker delights from a Korean cafe

The Aussie sandwich gets a Korean twist at Dari in Hardware Lane. Try the Idol, a sweet multi-layered marvel in four slices of bread. It starts with creamy potato egg salad, followed by a layer of strawberry jam. And on top? Mexican salad with cabbage, apple, egg and ham. You’ll need to open wide for this one. And there’s a vegetarian version too.

A multi-layered sandwich in a paper bag, with potato egg salad, a layer of strawberry jam and a Mexican salad.
Dari's Idol sandwich

Vegan rolls to go

Join the queue at the Spring Street Grocer lunch bar for a made-to-order roll. For something different, try the tempeh burger with kimchi, rocket and chilli sauce. And it comes with a handful of crisps. Don’t leave without choosing a scoop of gelato. Or keep it vegan with a cup of mango passionfruit sorbet.

Crispy pork banh mi

No sandwich list is complete without a Vietnamese baguette. You’ll find banh mi and more at Heartbaker Bun Mee, but it’s hard to go past their crispy pork baguette. Salad and pickles pair with hoisin sauce, fresh chilli and slices of crackling-topped pork. And everything is crammed into that crunchy-meets-fluffy soft-crumb French roll.

A pork banh mi from Heartbaker Bun Mee in a basket
Can't beat a banh mi

Italian baguette in Carlton

Working in Carlton? Head to the deli counter at King & Godfree to put in your lunch order for a baguette filled with Italian flavours. Their crusty bread roll is packed with thinly sliced curls of prosciutto. Plus layers of creamy fior di latte, slices of tomato and green leaves of basil. 

Crispy crust-less katsu sandos

We’ve left Melbourne’s favourite filling to last. For the traditional version, go to Coppe Pan. Their sweet and fluffy house-baked bread and crumbed chicken cutlet are hard to beat. But Saint Dreux’s prawn katsu sando is a contender. Meticulously cooked to order, the succulent prawn filling has a crisp panko crumb. And the shokupan bread is fluffy but firm. To continue your katsu adventure, go to Meet Sando at Queen Victoria Market. Try their freshly made panko-crumbed chicken katsu. Yep, it’s so much more than just a sandwich.

a fried chicken sandwich
Katsu sando is always a winner

More of the best carb-loaded lunches

Bowery to Williamsburg

New York-style bagels, sandwiches and brunch with delicious coffee.

Amble Cafe

Light-filled cafe serving breakfast, toasties, wraps and coffee from Small Batch Roasting Co.

Lanzhou Beef Noodle Bar

Opposite the University of Melbourne, enjoy hand-pulled noodles using a traditional secret recipe.

Bobby's Coffee

Cafe specialising in bagels and delicious coffee.

Last updated on Thu 4 Feb 2021

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