GQ scouted the city for the best sandwiches so you don’t have to and with it they present to you, the ten best sandwiches in the sunny side of London town.
Lobster roll with yuzu and sriracha mayo at The Hawksmoor Knightsbridge
It’s not that the steaks, bone marrow, and the triple-cooked chips here aren’t destination-worthy, but something magical happens when sriracha mayo-kissed lobster arrives on a pretzel bun. It’s a terrific result: the filling is sweet and herbaceous, with just a hint of spice (green chillies). And the lobster itself, from Brixham, is pillow-soft with the slightest chew. We’d expect nothing less – at £25, Hawksmoor’s lobster roll is easily the most expensive of its kind in London, but it’s also our favorite. The steak maven also offers two other lobster roll varieties – hot, with butter; or spicy, with Singapore-style ‘chili-crab’ mix – which are also highly recommended.
£25 at The Hawksmoor
Delancey’s Reuben at Delancey & Co.
Consider the salt-beef reuben – a New York deli staple – then consider Delancey’s reuben (£8.95), which is head and shoulder above others in its class. Delancey’s owner, Dan Moosah, a former poker-player, spent years in New York to learn what made a good salt-beef Reuben tick. Today, the details show: his deli itself is an homage to New York’s Delancey Street, home to the world-famous Katz’s Delicatessen; the diner-style bar stools are retro-cool, while his sandwich wrappers are printed with a grid-like map of Manhattan. So why the fuss? Is it the salt beef – served hot, steaming, and fall-apart tender? Is it the ‘secret’ sauce, a glorified Russian dressing that goes well with the tart sauerkraut? Or is it the foolproof marbled rye baked in-house, daily, by a Jewish baker? All of the above, of course. And that’s why we’ll be back (very) soon for his namesake reuben.
£8.95 at Delancey & Co
Toasted cheese sandwich at Kappacasein
Have we reached peak grilled cheese? Not only is Kappacasein the star of Borough’s stalls (it sells close to 900 sandwiches a week) it also set an impossibly high standard for what grilled cheese should be: rich, nutty, sweet and properly griddled. Kappacasein’s secret lies in a deceptively simple three-cheese melt: Montgomery cheddar and Ogleshield from Neal’s Yard Dairy; Comté from Borough Cheese Company, and Bermondsey Hard-Pressed, made in-house by Kappacasein’s Dairy. Then, of course, there’s the bread, a sourdough from Poilâne (only the best) plus more accoutrements, like onions, shallots, garlic. All this is yours for just £5.
£5 at Kappacasein
Beef Prego sandwich at Taberna Do Mercado
Some of Nuno Mendes’ (of Chiltern Firehouse fame) greatest hits comes from an unpretentious eatery in Spitalfields market, where the cuisine of his Portuguese heritage is front and center: almost all Mendes’ dishes are knock-out successes, and his sandwiches are no exception. We’d stake our life on Beef Prego (£9), the greatest steak sandwiches you’ve never had. It starts with 32-day-aged rump, marinated in a beef-fat-cure for three days, and battered till thin and soft; then grilled till medium rare, over beechwood smoke. There’s also a Goan prawn paste, fermented in-house, that lends a wonderful funk. Throw in some sorrel and chives, and you’ll have a supremely-flavourful yet surprisingly well-balanced steak sandwich that you won’t want to share.
£9 at Taberna Do Mercado
Beer braised onions, kale and cheddar toastie at Lundenwic
Lundenwich appears like any other coffee or sandwich takeaway off Holborn, but we’ll suggest it as your new lunchtime haunt. Quick, trendy in a 2015 way (but not conspicuously hipster), Lundenwic can make a serious sandwiches with big, bold flavors. On a given day there are three to choose from; one option, an onion, kale and cheese toastie (£5), stands out because it’s not like any other: the onions are braised with beer until caramelized and sweet, the kale is rendered till soft and, thankfully, chewable, the cheddar is mature – just the way we like it – and the sourdough is from Balthazar. In fact, think of the best French onion soup you’ve ever had, and think of what it’ll taste like as a sandwich. There you go.
£5 at Ludenwic
Smoked eel sandwich at Quo Vadis
Most eel sandwiches are too briny, like canned-tuna sandwich past its prime. Not at Quo Vadis. Jeremy Lee, the young talent behind the stove, makes a strong case for his smoked-eel sandwich (£9.50). Between two crisp-edged sourdough squares are thick fillets of lightly-smoked eel – oil-rich, tender and sweet – with a heaping of creamed horseradish. It’s served alongside slender ribbons of pickled red onion, which cuts through the richness after every bite of the sandwich, so it’s that much easier to order a second one after you’ve cleaned it all up.
£9.50 at Quo Vadis
Read the rest on GQ’s site.