There are times during a busy week, when time gets away from us and we need to grab lunch on the run. Although there are numerous takeaway options and drive thrus around the city, if you are looking for a healthy alternative many cafes, bakeries and food outlets have pre-made gourmet sandwiches at the ready, so you don't have to wait for them to be made. There are some venues however, where you don't mind waiting for a particularly tasty gourmet sandwich, literally dripping with all your favourite ingredients and sauces. These are my Top 8 gourmet sandwich venues that I have discovered around the city. Do you have a favourite place to pick up a gourmet sanga? Feel free to leave a comment with your favourites - if you are happy to share your secret of course!
Dobinson's Bakery and Café, CBD. Source: Original photos from Dobinson's Facebook
1/ Dobinson's Bakery and Café is located on Bunda Street, in the heart of the CBD. This cafe is popular with the locals for simply everything - coffee, cakes, sausage rolls, pies, toasties, gourmet baguettes and focaccias. At this venue, I can't go past a Prosciutto Baguette or any of the toasted focaccias (above) with a coffee in their leafy outdoor area, or to take away. With fast service, affordable prices, convenient location and delicious food every time, it is my "go-to" sandwich outlet when in the city. Open 7 days. See details here.
2/ Blue Olive Café is located in the historic Melbourne Building in the CBD. This gourmet sandwich café was recommended to me by friends and it was easy to see why - there are over 20 gourmet sandwich choices on the menu to choose from. Although the sandwiches aren't cheap at $12.50, they are full of flavour and have tasty combinations. My personal favourite is the vegetarian Cezanne, which is a delicious combination of pesto, capsicum, eggplant, mushroom and tasty cheese. Their soft bread with chewy crust is sourced from the Flute Bakery in Fyshwick. Blue Olive Café is open Monday to Friday. See here for details.
3/ Mountain Creek Wholefoods is located at Griffith shops, a short drive south of the city. At the back of this health food shop is the Organic Kitchen for takeaway gourmet sandwiches, quiches and salads. This is a favourite of mine as the salad vegetables are organic and you can taste the difference in flavour. The Organic Kitchen is open Monday to Saturday, 11am - 2pm only. See here for details.
4/ EQ Bakehouse is located in Deakin, just a short drive south of the city, close to the Royal Australian Mint. As you walk in, there is a long row of gourmet sandwiches (below) which are all individually tempting and they are so large, you may want to put half in the fridge at home or the office for later. Although I personally love the chicken and avocado combinations, it doesn't matter which flavour combination you try - you can't pick a bad one. EQ Bakehouse is open Monday to Friday. See here for more details.
5/ Autolyse Bakery is located on Lonsdale Street in Braddon, which is just a short walk north from the CBD. This bakery and café make their own bread, with the ovens right in the centre of the café so diners can view the busy bakers at work. The sandwiches and baguettes on the menu are jam packed full of tang and flavour (especially the slow cooked meats!) and the crunchy baguettes, in particular, are a winner. Open 7 days. See details here.
6/ Lonsdale Street Roasters 7 is also located on the busy Lonsdale Street in Braddon. This casual café is another favourite for its casual and colourful décor, delicious coffee and variety of toasted rolls on offer. Try the Kevin Bacon, Reuben or Pumpkin, Goats Cheese and Spinach for a memorable lunch - if you can get through it all! Sit upstairs with a coffee and toastie and watch the world go by through their large window that looks down onto the street. Although they are all delicious, my tip is the vegetarian option every time. Open 7 days. See details here.
7/ Cafe D'Lish is located in Deakin, a short drive south of the city. I literally stumbled on this sandwich shop after taking visitors to the historic Calthorpe's House nearby. It is just a small café, tucked away at Deakin shops. On first glance, it looks like a normal sandwich venue, with all the ingredients you can pick from all behind the glass - but then you look up and see the extensive menu, with over 15 filling combinations to choose from. Choose between a sandwich, wrap or roll and they will make it fresh while you wait. Prices range between $7.30 and $9.70. Café D'Lish is open Monday to Saturday. For the full list of sandwiches, see here.
The American sandwich - roast turkey, cranberry sauce, cream cheese and snow pea sprouts ($8)
8/ Remedy is a small, tucked away coffee outlet on the busy Kingston Foreshore with limited varieties of toasties, however, it is a venue that I often can't walk past. Take a look at their blackboard sign out by the water and see if they have a "toastie and coffee" deal advertised. Although there are just a few toasties to choose from (or you can upgrade to a flavoursome Melbourne Foldover or gourmet panini), they hit the spot on a cold Winters day, especially if you take them down to sit by Lake Burley Griffin. Open 7 days. See details here.
It just goes to show that all of these gourmet sandwich venues are memorable for many different reasons. Some may have particularly crusty bread or a huge variety of fillings, whereas others may be in convenient locations and have great prices. Everyone will have their own favourites that they keep going back to around the city - which ones have you discovered?
Melbourne Foldovers, toasted croissants and toastie deals at Remedy, Kingston Foreshore