There’s nothing more satisfying than a perfectly executed sandwich at lunchtime, or any time, really.
Far from being simple fare, sandwich preparation has become something of an art form in recent years and a fair few Edinburgh cafés have stepped up their sarnie game accordingly.
Here are some of our absolute favourite sandwich sellers in Scotland’s capital.
Handy for anyone who lives, works or commutes near Haymarket station, Bite Me! is a welcoming sandwich shop with plenty of space to sit in, or the option to take away if you’re in a hurry. Their classic sandwich combos are far from hum-drum, but if the likes of mexican tuna with red peppers or spiced feta and olives doesn’t float your boat then you can customise your dream sarnie by choosing from a wide and tempting selection of fillings. There’s no bog-standard egg and cress here, guys.
167 Morrison Street, EH3 8AG – more info
It’s all in the name – Sugarhouse Sandwiches on the Canongate are sarnie experts. Although you aren’t guaranteed a seat (the café is small with just three tables) this is the perfect place to get a satisfying and reasonably priced lunch to go. Their made-to-order sandwich meal deals are great value for money, and if you’re in the mood for a bagel or warm panini those come highly recommended too. Build your sandwich any way you like from the diverse selection of fillings on offer, or leave the fate of your lunch in the trustworthy hands of the notoriously friendly Sugarhouse Sandwiches staff.
158 Canongate, EH8 8DD – more info
Greek café Papii is conveniently central and serving up some seriously good signature sandwiches on a daily basis. Homely and just the right amount of quirky, this is a great place to stop for a lunchtime fuel-up when you’re in town. Need something to warm you up on a cold, rainy day? Their hot meatball marinara foccacia sandwich will stop your shivers and soothe your soul – plus, it tastes like it was made in a New York deli. If you’re not mad on meatballs, the warm cajun chicken and caramelised onion sandwich has got similarly healing properties and a bit of a pleasant kick to it.
101 Hanover Street, EH2 1DJ – more info
Another gem in the Haymarket area, Cucina LC has nearly forty different fresh sandwiches and wraps on offer, and all of their fillings are homemade. The Italian influenced menu helps this little café stand out from the pack, and somehow every sandwich sounds more tempting and exotic than the last. That’s right – we just used the word ‘exotic’ to describe some sandwiches. The choice of rolls here (from focaccia to crusty ciabatta) will also help to make your lunch hour feel more like a special occasion.
68 Haymarket Terrace, EH12 5LQ – more info
— OinkEdinburgh (@OinkEdinburgh) May 15, 2015
Simple yet ever so delicious, Oink serves one superior sandwich (with a few minor variations) that is a must for meat-eaters living in or visiting in Edinburgh. Perhaps not one for the faint of heart, the meat for Oink’s delicious hog roast sandwiches is taken straight from the whole cooked pig relaxing in the shop’s front window. If you can get past the guilt of looking your lunch in the face before tucking in, however, your tastebuds will be rewarded. Choose to add sage and onion, apple sauce, chilli relish or haggis to your roll for the ultimate taste sensation and – if you’re quick and know to ask for it – you might even get some tasty crackling on your sandwich too.
34 Victoria Street, EH1 2JW – more info
Can't wait til lunch for our delicious pastrami sarnies?Then keep ticking w/a breakfast roll and free filter coffee pic.twitter.com/VqultBhaa9
— Social Bite (@SocialBite_) October 3, 2013
You may already be aware of charitable café Social Bite’s efforts to fight homelessness in both Edinburgh and Glasgow, but did you know they serve tasty sandwiches with a smile while raising money for a fantastic cause? Known for its great customer service, Social Bite also deserves to be famous for its fresh, expertly prepared and sometimes unusual selection of sarnies. Chicken and beetroot, anyone? Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.
131 Rose Street, EH2 3DT / 89 Shandwick Place, EH2 3DT – more info
Hank’s Sandwich Bar
— Hanks Sandwich Bar (@HanksSandwich) May 22, 2015
Alongside all the classic sandwich fillings you’d expect from any self-respecting café, Hank has a few tasty tricks up his sleeve. Past sarnie specials have included rib-eye meatball flatbreads, barbecued chicken and chilli sausage panini and Asian style banh mi pork baguettes, but we’re sure there are plenty more weird and wonderful sandwich ideas where those came from. Unique, healthy and delicious, we don’t think you could get bored of Hank’s Sandwich Bar even if you ate there every single day.
162 Fountainbridge, EH3 9RX – more info
The Hideout Cafe
Slightly off the beaten track for most New Towners but perfect for Leith locals, The Hideout Cafe is a charmingly off-the-wall and appropriately named lunchtime hideaway. You’ll feel right at home as you savour your sarnie in what was undoubtedly someone’s living room back in the day – complete with stunning original cornicing and vintage trinkets. Hideout have some great vegetarian sandwich options (halloumi cheese with salad and red onion chutney being our personal favourite) as well as a few risky but rewarding flavour combos. If it’s your kind of thing, bacon and avocado will rock your world and parma ham with pear is ideal for the more adventurous culinary crusaders out there.
40-42 Queen Charlotte Street, EH6 6AT – more info
Preparing and selling super tasty sandwiches since 1985, Wolfits have got a wealth of experience and you can taste it. Their lovely lunchtime deals on sandwiches are reasonably priced considering the generous portion sizes and there’s no better way to turn a bad morning into a great afternoon than with a comforting and still-warm filled baguette for lunch. Although there’s not much in the way of seating here, it’s perfectly positioned for anyone working on nearby Princes, George or Queen Streets and in search of a top takeaway.
200 Rose Street, EH2 4AZ – more info
Hula Juice Bar
— Susan at Hula (@HulaJuiceBar) May 6, 2015
Is a filled bagel really comparable to a sandwich? It’s one of those important, age old questions that we’ll let you ponder in private. In any case, we’ve decided that for the purposes of this guide Hula Juice Bar’s bagels specifically are worthy of being counted among Edinburgh’s best sandwiches. Every single savoury bagel option here sounds like a dream, but we’re most enamoured with the pesto chicken and sundried tomato, or maybe the classic Scottish smoked salmon with cream cheese. Just to be on the safe side though, maybe we should try them all. For science.
103-105 West Bow, EH1 2JP – more info
Main image: Getty Images