I like to think of myself as both a sandwich connoisseur and also a sandwich innovator. I excel at creating the bloody things – so much so that I once managed to create a truly sublime Yorkshire pudding, broccoli and gravy sandwich which is still talked about to this day. Ever since Sir Gary Sandwich placed two slices of Milk Roll on either side of a couple of sheets of Billy Bear ham in 1973 the sandwich has been a British classic – here’s my selection of the best ones to eat in Manchester.
Cane & Grain
Them crazy New Yorkers love two things. One is shouting stuff in the street – ideally at strangers or tourists. The second is to eat sandwiches. Go in to any deli in New York and you can pick yourself up a bagel, a hero, a hoagie, a po’boy, a grinder, a sub – they pretty much all mean the same thing – lashings of meat and pickles and salad in between some bread and wrapped in 2kg of tin foil for easy transportation. The Brisket Po-Boy (£9) in Cane & Grain has the same idea – basically slow-cooked smoked brisket with pickles, chipotle mayo and mustard.
Cane & Grain, 49 -51 Thomas Street, Manchester M4 1NA
0161 839 7033
Head on over to Crazy Pedro’s at a lunchtime and you can take advantage of their brilliant Lunch Deal where you can have pizza, nachos or a sandwich – plus a drink – for only a fiver. Their butty selection is pretty good, but the stand out must be The Cuban which is loaded with ham, pork, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard. Probably not the best option if your favourite film is Babe 2: Pig in the City. For your fiver the sandwich is also served with some nachos, guacamole, sour cream and salsa so that’s even more bang for your buck.
Crazy Pedro’s Part Time Pizza Parlour,
55-57 Bridge St, Manchester M3 3BQ
1 Short Street, Manchester, M4 1AA
0161 359 3000
I’ve eaten a few times at Common, mostly while waiting for their quiz to start so I can show off just how much pointless information I know. The first time I ate here I had some sort of Korean burger special which, although pretty spicy, was excellent. The second time I tried the BLAT, which is a bit of a twist on one of the best sandwiches of all time – the BLT. So you’ve got the standard Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato, but there’s also Avocado on there to add to the hipster vibes. It was very, very nice and as an added bonus if you go there between 12pm and 5pm on a weekday – their sandwiches are only £6.50 with fries.
Common, 39 Edge St, Manchester M4 1HW
0161 832 9245
Anyone who works in or near Deansgate will know Katsouris as one of the best places to get some food in town. It’s always busy and for a good reason – they have a massive selection of deli treats including a lovely hot carvery roast every day and some corking sandwiches. I’ve had a few from here in the past and can recommend pretty much anything – I will be recommending the Eastern Chicken today though. If you go for the Full size (£6.50) it’s a butty rammed with Tikka marinated chicken fillets, salad and lashings of Tzatziki, which would be enough to feed a family of 4 from Blackpool for a week.
Katsouris Deli, 113 Deansgate, Manchester M3 2BQ
0161 819 1260
There might be some sandwich ‘experts’ out there who proclaim that the toastie is in fact, not a sandwich. Well I beg to differ, and frankly who bloody cares when Northern Soul are doing such a good job of putting cheese in between bread and grilling it. Stand out here must surely be the Bacon Frazzler (£6.00), which although a little pricey for a toasted sandwich, is justified with the fact that it comes jammed with 3 cheeses, smoked bacon, blue cheese, bacon frazzles and sriracha. It’s likely that you will struggle to move after smashing one of these – so maybe take it back to the office so you’re not late back.
Northern Soul Grilled Cheese, 10 Church St, Manchester M4 1PN
Pretty much a Manchester institution nowadays, Rustica on Hilton Street is probably the go-to place to head if you want a top value, filling sandwich which will keep hunger locked up until your next birthday. There’s loads to choose from for both meat eaters and veggies, with their pretty famous Milano coming in both iterations. Personally I enjoy their Moroccan Lamb baguette (£3.20) because I think that lamb and mint yoghurt go together better than Barry and Paul Chuckle. This place can get proper busy at lunch times, but it’s definitely worth the wait.
Rustica, 1 Hilton St, Manchester M4 1LP
0161 835 3850
Surprisingly, Hawksmoor over on Deansgate have 3 sandwiches on their menu which I can genuinely say are absolutely fantastic. To be perfectly honest with you I’ve only had two of them because one of them is a Lobster Roll and I’m not Richie Rich. Their most notorious sandwich, and probably tastiest is their Short-rib French dip (£12.00) butty which is in fact a braised beef sandwich with mustard and a little pot of bone marrow gravy on the side in which to give it a dip. There’s also a brilliant Chicken Poutine Barm (£8.50) too which reminds me of school with the combination of chicken, cheese and gravy.
Hawksmoor, 184-186 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3WB
0161 836 6980
I seem to always go on about the Tortas at El Capo but it’s only because it’s the only place I know in Manchester that actually does them. Whenever I’ve been to Mexico my entire sustenance has typically come from one of these lovely, huge Mexican sandwiches so to be able to find them here is a major plus point. My choice here would be the Panga Tortas (£8.50) which is a massive collection of deep fried chipotle panga, kale, red onion and sour cream guacamole all shoved into a big bun. Or muffin if you’re from Oldham.
El Capo, 12 Tariff St, Manchester M1 2FF
0161 237 3154
Home Sweet Home
Once again we have a toastie, and once again I don’t care what you think. Home Sweet Home are pretty famous for making their Cheeseburger Toastie one of the ‘must try’ dishes in the city and it’s clear to see why. 50 minute burger manufacturers Almost Famous provide the filling of a smashed beef burger patty, cheddar cheese, onions, pickles, American mustard, ketchup, bacon and mayo – all shoved between two proper pieces of bread. It’s really very nice, and if you couple it with one of their amazing cakes – you might as well make an appointment at the GP right now for a diabetes exam.
Home Sweet Home,
49-51 Edge St, Manchester M4 1HW
Great Northern, Deansgate, Manchester M3 4EN
Big Grillie Style
Currently dazzling Joshua Brooks with his Gburger collaboration, Alex Applegarth made a name for himself around the city with his Big Grillie Style sandwiches, which combine lovely ingredients, loads of cheese and a splattering of 90’s hip hop. He’s also set himself up recently at the Piccadilly Market on Thursdays and this is where I got to try the Triple Decker Fajita Chicken and Nachos grilled cheese sandwich. If you read those words in order, I don’t really need to tell you much else. Also, just look at the photo. Fit.
Whenever I’ve watched Man vs Food you always notice that Americans go absolutely mental for Monte Cristo sandwiches. More mental than usual anyway, considering they love ‘whooping’ and jeering whenever they get within 50m of a camera. I never understood it – Monte Cristo’s have never really been a thing but once you try Menagerie’s version – you may change your mind. For the working class amongst us, it’s basically a cheese and ham toastie wedged between two slices of sweet eggy bread. For the sandwich connoisseurs amongst us – it’s a brilliant combination of sweet and sharp cheese flavours which will want you coming back for more.
Menagerie, One New Bailey, New Bailey St, Salford M3 5JL
0161 832 3818
New NQ Deli and restaurant (and secret bar) West Corner have a pretty decent selection of sandwiches which you can order and then eat at the counter like George McFly in Back to the Future. The selection is extensive and I struggled to make a decision when I went on a Friday night with some of the lads. I eventually settled on The West Coast C.A.B (£8) which is a classic combo of chicken, cheese, bacon and avocado. This place is also great for quick lunch-time butties at their corner deli.
West Corner, 21 Hilton St, Northern Quarter, Manchester M1 1JJ
0161 241 7070
Since moving from Stevenson Square to Oldham Street, Koffee Pot have also extended their menu. One of the highlights of the menu, and obvious to anyone who walks past and sees the neon sign in their window, is their Salt Beef. If you’ve been to Brick Lane in London you will know that Salt Beef is big business, and for good reason – it’s fit. Koffee Pot do a brilliant butty with it in the guise of their Ruben (£7.50) which contains the aforementioned salt beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and some thousand island sauce.
The Koffee Pot, 84-86 Oldham St, Manchester M4 1LE
0161 236 8918
I love nothing more than sitting outside on the sun, a beer in one hand and a sandwich in the other while watching the world go by. I could quite happily sit for hours, slowly drinking and eating myself into an early grave just looking at people’s stupid haircuts or terrible gear and quietly thinking myself superior. Probably the best place to do this in the city centre is Slice on Stevenson Square, where, if you don’t want one of their brilliant slices of pizza, you can opt for a freshly prepared sandwich – usually brimming with classic Italian flavours. The selection can change each day just like the pizza, but if you can get the Chorizo and mozzarella one then you’re in for a treat. Give any of them a try though – I’ve never been disappointed.
Slice, 1 Stevenson Square, Manchester M1 1DN
0161 236 9032
Some would say that La Baguette is a bit of a wild card on this list. Many of the other sandwiches are located in big, classy establishments who have dedicated Social Media people who can write tweets and send Scrudges to people all day long about their lovely food. But if you want an excellent value sandwich in the city centre, which is the size of a small baby, then you can’t go far wrong with La Baguette. It’s a proper traditional British butty shop so the selection is pretty limited, but buy yourself a Turkey salad baguette, with some crisps and a drink and it will only set you back £3.20 – and it’s freshly made and delicious.
La Baguette Sandwich Shop, 6 Minshull St, Manchester M1 3ED