The Ultimate Toastie sounds pretty braggy, but it matches its audacity with a hefty line-up: six types of mushrooms, two cheeses (Gruyere and cheddar melted together for extra ooze and crustiness), fried eggs, parsley for some semi-semblance of greens, plenty of garlic and Manjimup shavings showered on top. It will wipe you out - in a good way.
76 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills, 02 9211 8777, devoncafe.com.au
The lasagne jaffle at Tartine in Mascot. Photo: Brianne Makin
This cafe has a jaffle fixation; it serves toasties in nacho, pizza and even Mars Bar and Nutella flavours. And, yes, there's the signature lasagne jaffle. "It may be a culinary abomination but, sorry Snack Lord, it's hard to resist: layers of pasta holding a tomato ragu, covered in bechamel sauce, sandwiched between two slices of white bread squished until toasty in a sandwich press. It's everything you love about pasta, with the added benefit of bread," writes our critic Myffy Rigby in her review of the cafe.
635 Gardeners Road, Mascot, 02 9700 9847, tartineaustralia.com
The Stinking Bishops
You're can definitely trust a cheese shop to come with a killer toastie. The Stinking Bishops delivers two slam-dunk sambos. They're both called Mr Crispy, one is a crackin' combo with thin slices of smoked wagyu, gruyere, horseradish mayo and pickles (a "major win", according to our reviewer Callan Boys); meanwhile, the vegetarian-friendly Mr Crispy is a carb-shaped wallop of field mushrooms, tangled enoki, sealed in with thyme mayo and melted taleggio.
Shop 5, 63-71 Enmore Road, Newtown, 02 9007 7754, thestinkingbishops.com
Circa's extravagant French toast. Photo: Lee Tran Lam
This charming Parramatta cafe is ready to throw proper flames over its French toast. The banana is brûléed with a blowtorch, the toast swims in a slick pool of caramelised passionfruit and then berries, rhubarb, smashed pistachio and creme fraiche are dolloped on top of a landing pad of thick, fried bread slices. Microherbs add a wildcard flavour factor which is very welcome indeed.
21 Wentworth Street, Parramatta, circaespresso.com.au
Analiese Gregory's Late-night Sandwich graduated to the Bar Brosé menu because it was a much-requested staff hit. She used to serve it to fellow employees when she worked in ACME's kitchen and diners should be grateful that you don't need to be on the roster to enjoy access to this guilty-but-great gruyere, nduja and Christmas ham sambo.
231a Victoria Street, Darlinghurst, 0450 307 117, barbrose.com.au
Of course, you might be suspicious when presented with a vegan 'cheese and bacon' toastie, especially when you know that the ingredients featured will be a knock-off of the real things. But Mister Toast's version - made with shiitake bacon and cashew cheese - is wedged in with sauerkraut and pickles on thick-grilled Brickfields slices and is so convincingly good that it's hard not to slam down the sambo straight away, despite the lava-hot 'cheese'. This market favourite also serves rosemary mushroom ragu on toast and its mac and cheese, barbecue brisket and Westmont dill pickles number was most recently the toastie of month.
Orange Grove and Marrickville markets, instagram.com/mistertoast
Dan Hong can remix dishes in a knockout way. His prawn toast with yuzu aioli is made with very un-Chinese slices of frozen Italian garlic bread from the supermarket, but hey, it works, because it's been a fixture at Ms G's since pretty much forever. Last year, he expensed a few grand's worth of jaffle makers to create something Andrew Levins called "the tastiest new starter on the Ms G's menu – a white bread toastie filled with a Thai green curry of tender braised beef shin and stringy buffalo mozzarella". Let's hope he brings it back soon, because Levins claimed this green curry jaffle as one of the best sandwiches of 2015.
155 Victoria Street, Potts Point, 02 9240 3000, merivale.com.au/msgs
The English trifle French toast at Cavalier Specialty Coffee. Photo: Michele Mossop
Cavalier Specialty Coffee
Besides taking extremely good care of your caffeine needs, this cafe knows how to make headline-worthy French toast. "For those who like breakfast best when its lines are blurred with dessert, the English trifle French toast is a must," writes Lisa Visentin in her review. "The airy brioches offsets the richness of the custard and is perfect for mopping up the accompanying whipped cream. A smattering of green microherbs adds bright notes, and a dusting of vanilla biscuit crumbs gives it a lovely crunch." A more recent addition was the fantastic tiramisu French toast, which the cafe even pimped with truffle - just to make it even more OTT and lavish.
The Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar
Yes, this is a good spot to settle in for a brew - but tea also adds a big flavour boost to the sandwich menu, too. There's the signature sambo with melted cheddar, pickled cauliflower and beef that's been slow-cooked in a spiced braise of Assam black tea, as well as the excellent "topped toasts" menu (it includes the peanut butter, cacao, sliced banana and raspberry chia 'jam' made with Berry Bomb tea, which is a total Instagram-ruling star, plus the weird-sounding-but-actually-great lapsang souchong wild mushroom toast layered with hummus).
Redfern and Barangaroo locations, therabbithole.com.au
Condensed milk and Milo on thick buttery fingers of toast? Maybe you'd prefer house-roasted cashew butter or rich drizzles of Kakawa chocolate hazelnut on these snack-sized slices instead? You can get this jackpot of toast toppings (and more) all day and night at this Chat Thai spin-off. I prefer this as a dessert and the multiple portions make it an excellent group-friendly order - especially as the bread comes as a big Jenga-style stack and you have long dramatic toothpicks to help you claim your toasty prizes.
425 Pitt Street, Haymarket, 02 9281 2114, booncafe.com