Whether you call them construction worker specials or hoagies or heroes these lunchtime favourites are having a moment. Toronto restaurants are redefining the art of the sub and raising the classic yet delicious sandwich to grab-and-go excellence.
ELM STREET DELI
The Sammy Davis Jr. and Sergio Leone take on new meanings as house-made pastrami and braised brisket sandwiches respectively at Elm Street Italian Deli, a local sub shop inspired by owner Lawrence LaPianta’s father’s love of spaghetti westerns and early Italian-American mafia films. The sub sandwich menu is a selection of high-quality meat with distinct, bold flavours. Swing by for a sandwich piled high with smoked turkey, roast beef, pastrami, Tuscan ham, smoked sausage, pork shoulder or braised brisket on pillowy fresh buns.
15 Elm St.
At this halal sub spot, patrons can grab a classic sandwich, like chicken, beef or mortadella, or try something new by making a selection from the hot sandwich menu. Try the Zapata, a sub with Angus beef steak, topped with freshly sliced mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, tomato, pickle, parsley, hickory sticks and house-made Topol sauce. Or opt for the Bandari, a Persian sausage sub complete with all the fresh veggie fixings. Topol also offers signature Bomb sandwiches, stuffed submarines that can serve a hungry group of friends.
8 Kingsdale Ave.
Chef Michael Lam and Eric Chow launched Good Behaviour during the pandemic as a way to celebrate the pair’s love of ice cream. But the submarine sandwiches are not to be missed, either. Both hot and cold options are served on a sesame seed bun, and toppings include mouth-watering combos like a sub crafted with jerk braised pork shoulder, jerk mayo, red cabbage, pineapple relish, lime juice and cilantro, and another version made with smoked turkey and gouda, mustard, salsa verde, pickled artichoke and iceberg lettuce.
874 Yonge St.
GRANDMA LOVES YOU
German influences take the huge selection of hot and cold submarine sandwiches to the next level at Grandma Loves You, where European cold cuts take centre stage. The secret to this deli’s success could very well be its homemade sauces. Different variations are delicately ladled over sandwiches such as the Grandma’s special pizza sandwich and the Chef’s Choice sandwich, which is made with chicken strips, avocado, tomato, hot pepper, fresh onion, olives, crispy onion, pesto sauce and, of course, Grandma’s homemade hot sauce.
1084 Yonge St.