When Covid-19 restrictions slowly starting lifting last summer, Victor and I made a habit of getting a sandwich every Friday during lunchtime. It became a lovely ritual, whereby we got to explore our neighbourhood and support local businesses. And I mean, who doesn’t love a scrumptious sarnie? As we stuck around our borough of Hackney, we discovered so many wonderful gems. Even establishments that normally did not serve sandwiches stepped up to the plate. Here are the best sandwiches in Hackney (and seriously, when it’s safe to do so, it’s worth travelling across London to grab a bite):
The Good Egg
I tried Montreal-style bagels for the first time last summer, and wow, they are so delicious! The Good Egg claims to be a Middle Eastern-ish restaurant. And, they offer Montreal bagels. You may have heard of the famous NYC bagel, but a Montreal bagel is different as it is smaller, thinner, sweeter and denser.
The Good Egg changes up their offerings sometimes, but they always have my absolute favourite: lox and cream cheese! They also have salt beef bagels. I’ve also tried their unique PBJ bagel (consisting of pistachio butter, blackberry and thyme jam, cream cheese and rye streusel).
The Dusty Knuckle
I’ve already featured this amazing bakery in another blog post (Homage to East & North London’s Bakeries), but it deserves a spot here because they definitely serve one of the best sandwiches in Hackney! An iconic bakery located in Dalston, The Dusty Knuckle uses their fluffy focaccia and come up with amazing fillings. They rotate what they offer fairly often but, at the time of writing, they are currently serving a roasted jerusalem artichoke sandwich and a harissa chicken sandwich.
Bánh Mì Hội-An
One of my all-time go-to type of sandwich is the Vietnamese banh mi. It’s made with a French-style baguette and filled with meats, vegetables like cucumber, cilantro, pickled carrots and white radishes, and then condiments like spicy chilli sauce and mayo.
My favourite banh mi in London is from Bánh Mì Hội-An in Hackney Central. They have nine different main fillings: pork char siu, five spice chicken, beef meatballs curry, grilled catfish, spicy tofu, classic omelette, roasted duck, and other pork fillings and mixes.
The Bread Station
This Danish bakery was created by Michelin Star Chef Christoffer Hruskova and Danish baking master Per Brun. They offer some of the best bread in London, so it’s no wonder that their sandwiches are also incredible because they start with the most important ingredient: sourdough! The Bread Station offers sandwiches, breakfast buns and pastries too.
If you’re looking for Italian-style sandwiches, try Dom’s Subs. They bake their own semolina sub rolls and stuff them with epic fillings. I’ve had The Roman, consisting of tenderstem broccoli dressed with confit garlic and smoked paprika, roast aubergines and marinated artichokes, sharp provolone, domestic sauce, rocket and chopped smoked almonds.
Osteria Wolf is an incredible Italian restaurant in Stoke Newington. However, like many restaurants, during lockdown they had to improvise. This is how Bodega Wolf was born. It’s a part of the restaurant, but they operate as a deli and bottle shop and, more importantly, they make subs!
I had the baja red mullet sub, filled with crispy red mullet, radish and cabbage slaw, roasted tomato salsa, jalapeños, avocado, crispy corn tortilla scraps, and green orange. It was a great southern-California-inspired sub! Victor had the crispy fennel sausage, provolone, aioli, and friarielli sub. Like other options on this list, their menu changes frequently so keep a lookout for new combinations!
Normally a modern European restaurant, Bright also improvised during lockdown by coming up with a delicious fried squid sandwich with aioli. It’s a bit filthy, but so scrumptious nonetheless. Bright also sometimes adds another type of sandwich, like their fried fish sandwich with tartare sauce.
Brunswick East Bakehouse
And finally, a sandwich offering very close to my own home. The Brunswick East Bakehouse offers some amazing breakfast buns. Their secret is their perfectly fluffy folded egg omelettes. The Bakehouse switches up the fillings from time to time, so I’ve had it with roasted pumpkin, chillis, and even halloumi.
And there you have it — a round-up of the best sandwiches in Hackney (and I’d even say all of London). Which sandwich are you going to try first?