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With the pandemic stretching into its ninth month, the food industry is seeing a drastic transformation. Toronto restaurants are adapting to this new normal by bringing it back to the basics. Restaurants nowadays seem to be turning towards simple, comfort food that travels well.
Whether it is the pandemic that has us turning to comfort food or just a sheer appreciation for a classic sub, rest assured these deli sandwiches are here to stay.
Here are seven deli sandwiches in Toronto that you should definitely try!
This newcomer to the Trinity Bellwoods neighbourhood came out of nowhere and is pretty much giving every sandwich shop a run for their money. The unassuming counter-serve draws in crowds (socially distanced, of course) daily with their subs filled to the brim, chopped salads and a vegan Caesar salad!
If you're a lover of all things tried and true, get the Classic Combo, stacked with soppressata, prosciutto cotto, salami, provolone, tomato, red onion, shredded iceberg and mayo. If you like your subs with a kick, get the Italian Trio featuring capocollo, mortadella, prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, roasted red pepper, pickled red onion, arugula, pesto and housemade fermented Calabrian chili spread. For a hearty sub, the Roast Beef sandwich comes with thinly sliced roast beef that is dry brined and slow-roasted in house and topped with pickled fennel, red onion, tomato, peppery arugula, whole grain Dijon and horseradish crema. For a lean and mean sandwich, the Turkey Pesto features smoked turkey, roasted red pepper, fresh mozzarella, shredded iceberg lettuce and a generous helping of housemade pesto.
All subs come on egg-washed buns sprinkled with sesame seeds from the Drake Commissary baked fresh and delivered daily.
This French restaurant turned butcher and deli just brought back their daily selection of deli sandwiches and we couldn't not include them on this list. Chantecler Boucherie, a popular French bistro and bar in Parkdale transitioned to the butcher after a three-alarm fire last year. With sandwiches back on the menu, the Italian Hoagie is made with bread from the Drake Commissary and comes with ham, Genoa salami, soppressata, provolone, giardiniera, shredded iceberg and tomatoes. Menu offerings at this butcher will change frequently but we're hoping that their house smoked brisket sandwiches, roast beef and ham and cheese sandwiches will make a comeback soon.
This family-run European eatery , which opened in 2019 as a convenience store serving drinks and baked goods, has now evolved into a counter-serve sandwich shop dishing out some of the city's best sandwiches. Their six-inch or footlong subs come in a variety of options, including the Italian Salami, Cold Cut and Cheese, European Turkey Breast and Cheese, or their most popular, Crispy Ham Sandwich stuffed with German ham, cheese, crispy onions, tomatoes, lettuce, jalapeños and a tangy homemade hot sauce.
Designed by famed comfort food chef, Matty Matheson, Maker Pizza has had deli subs on their menu from the beginning. Inspired by New York's bodega sandwiches, the classic Italian Deli sub features mortadella, smoked turkey breast, Genoa salami, black forest ham, provolone and mozzarella cheese, shredded iceberg lettuce, white onions, pickled jalapeños, pepperoncini, roasted red peppers and classic sub sauce. Each sub comes with pepperoncini peppers and a bag of Miss. Vickie's chips on the side. If you've got a sweet tooth, their chewy chocolate chip cookies are a must!
Chef Jesse Fader of Superpoint, Nice Nice wine bar and Paris Paris, is bringing another comfort food favourite to the Trinity Bellwoods neighbourhood with A1 Submarines. He's currently slinging no-frills submarines out of Extra Burger on Dundas West. Available Tuesday through Sunday, between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. you can get your hands on a classic cold cut with turkey, ham, capocollo, ribbon Swiss cheese, mayo, tomato, onion and thinly shredded lettuce. Kick it up a notch and get the cold cut with spicy eggplant or the Italian bologna with thick cut dill pickles.
Apart from their delicious donuts, decadent Nutella panettones and other Instagram-worthy desserts, this Etobicoke bakery does a mean Italian-style deli sandwich. Served on house-baked focaccia or ciabatta, these muffuletta sandwiches are stacked with anything from mixed deli meats, caramelized onions, special SanRemo sauce, olives, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella, baby greens, lemon basil pesto and more!
With two locations in the city, one in North York and the other in Richmond Hill, you are bound to have seen these monstrous sandwiches all over your Instagram feed. This relative newcomer to the Toronto food scene specializes in massive Persian subs stuffed with layer upon layer of halal deli meats. Menu favourites have to be the Bandari (with Persian sausages) or the Zapata, with Angus beef steak.