Melbourne's sandwich hall of fame

Abalone katsu sandwich from Cutler & Co.
Abalone katsu sandwich from Cutler & Co. Photo: Bonnie Savage

Melbourne is experiencing a sandwich renaissance. Bread is back – even focaccia. Vegan sandwiches are around and they do not suck. But these places were championing quality food stuffed twixt slices before it was cool (again).

Supernormal, Cutler and Co

Andrew McConnell is the king of restaurant sandwiches. At Supernormal, both his New England lobster rolls on brioche buns, and thick, tonkatsu-crumbed pork cutlet with slaw on white bread have cult followings. Ditto the abalone katsu sangers with bulldog sauce at Cutler and Co. Collect 'em all.

Supernormal, 180 Flinders Lane, Melbourne; Cutler and Co., 55-57 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy

Updated photo of EARL Canteen's pork belly sandwich on Turkish bread, current as of January 2019. Image supplied to Good Food online for Melbourne's classic sandwiches story.

Earl Canteen's popular pork belly sandwich. Photo: Supplied

Earl Canteen

The little shop that's now an empire became an instant Melbourne classic when it opened in 2010, stacking its high-end breads to the gills with ethical, organic produce from its crisp hunks of pork belly to smashed peas and organic asparagus topped with a cheesy poached egg.

Various locations, earlcanteen.com.au

The porchetta sandwich with a side of coleslaw served at Heartattack And Vine in Carlton.

Heart Attack And Vine's porchetta roll. Photo: Pat Scala

Heart Attack and Vine

King and Godfree deli has just reopened after a long renovation and they now serve lunches on site including a hot porchetta roll with salsa verde. But can it usurp the one at Heart Attack and Vine a block away, where there's an extra bit of crackling, crunchy ciabatta, salsa verde and a spicy side of sambal and mustard? Do both and decide.

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King and Godfree deli, 293-297 Lygon Street, Carlton; Heart Attack and Vine, 329 Lygon Street, Carlton

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 26: Beatrix cafe in North Melbourne is shown on February 26, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia.

Beatrix cafe in North Melbourne. Photo: Jesse Marlow

Beatrix

The tiny North Melbourne shop is best known for its red velvet cakes and tarts but the sandwich action is just as potent. It's a roulette every day (see updates via Instagram) with lamb shoulder often being the most-sought and they always stock a solid vegetarian alternative.

688 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne

Mason Dixon's cubano sandwich.

Mason Dixon's cubano sandwich. Photo: Tim Grey

Mason Dixon

Garrett Huston is Boston-born and Georgia-raised, and he has a good handle on the sandwiches that hail from both north and south of the namesake Mason-Dixon line from butter-brushed cubanos with double meat, cheese and pickles to his North Carolina-style pulled pork rolls with spiced vinegar to cut the fat.

600 Bourke Street, Melbourne