A constant source of comfort, nourishment and pure, unadulterated joy
In life, there's not really a scenario you'll find yourself in where a sandwich isn't appropriate. From the meaty, cheesy creation you order yourself to get through the workday to the crisp sambos that are doled out once 2am hits at a wedding, there's something about the coming together of two slices of bread that just evokes a feeling of ease, and lets you know that everything's gonna be okay.
The sandwich scene in Dublin comprises of a few staple spots with permanent queues outside the door come lunchtime and a lot of toasties. We're a city with big grá for melted cheese, and luckily there is no shortage of businesses ready and willing to cater to our desires.
But it's not all about the cheese. Within this handy round-up you'll also find satisfying vegan wraps and one of Dublin's only completely kosher sambos - let's get into it, shall we?
20. The Morning
If you're a frequenter of Camden Street or the surrounding area, you'll probably already know the focaccias at The Morning are the stuff of legend. Each day they roll out 4 or 5 variations of hole-y bread, with toppings varying from wild garlic pesto with parmesan to baby spuds with sweet caramelised onions. Great all by themselves, but recently The Morning have started putting those hands together and churning out focaccia sandwiches with a tasty range of fillings. The Morning are experimental while also managing to never miss with everything from its conveyor belt of speciality coffee roasters to their highly Insta-worthy pastries, and the focaccia sambo is no different. A must-try with a cheeky cortado on the side for an extra pick-me-up.
Go for? Fresh ingredients and a satisfying bite
Keep up with The Morning via their Instagram.
19. Happy Out
Bull Island, Donnybrook + Dún Laoghaire Baths
Sambos by the sea, but not the sand-filled, sliced pan and ham offerings from your youth. Two of Happy Out's shops are conveniently located beside prominent Dublin swimming spots, providing epic post-dip feeds in the form of their deliciously cheesy toasties. Their Asparagorgeous is one of the best vegetarian toasties I've had in Dublin and they've also got you covered by way of brunch, sausage rolls and speciality coffee.
Go for? Sun, sea and sambos
More info on Happy Out is available over on their Instagram.
Alongside comforting classics like turkey melts, honey glazed ham and the obligatory meatball sub, Boca like to get inventive with what they put between two slices of bread - notable creations inspired by Irish cuisine include the Bacon and Cabbage special and the Beef and Guinness sambo. Their weekly specials tend to be oozing cheese and often have accompanying gravy for drizzling, but they also come through with equally delicious vegetarian specials so everyone's catered for. They're located right by the Docklands so you'll see a lot of office heads queueing up at lunchtime, more than ready to get their nicely pressed shirts dirty for a bite of a Boca.
Go for? A Friends-style moistmaker
Check out Boca's daily specials via their Instagram.
Pickles is a cute neighbourhood spot with sandwiches just like granny used to make - bouncy, thick slices of white or brown with neatly layered meat and salad with classic homemade treats for afters. Their Christmas sambo with melty brie is famous throughout Dublin 12 and their sweet shop front with impressive hanging baskets make it nearly impossible to pass by without at least stopping in for a coffee (which is speciality, from Sligo roasters Carrow).
Go for? A homemade feed that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside.
Keep up with Pickles via their Instagram page.
South William Street
If you're looking for an authentic Dublin experience, Grogans is the kind of place you shouldn't leave without darkening the doorway. Whatever the weather, you'll see a healthy crowd spilling out the front and sides sipping on creamy pints, but the real ones know it's all about the toasties. A no-fuss offering of ham and cheddar in between two slices of Brennans, served up as the Good Lord intended with a plastic knife and a side of Colman's Mustard. An institution.
Go for? The perfect pint companion
Keep up with Grogans over on their Instagram.
15. The Pig and Heifer
The Pig and Heifer was opened almost 30 years ago with an aim to create an authentic, New York-style deli in the heart of Dublin and it's safe to say they've nailed it. The sambos from this spot are the kind Joey Tribbiani would take a bullet for - pastrami melts, melty meatball baps and the classic Reuben are just the tip of the meaty iceberg. The interiors haven't changed much since the spot first opened, the chalkboard menu and neatly stacked bagels will have you feeling like you're in an East Village bodega rather than a corner on Pearse Street.
Go for? The absolute classic
For more info on the Pig and Heifer, head to their website.
Image via pigandheifer.ie
Thomas Street, Central Plaza + Arnotts
Another prime example of superior toastie slinging in Dublin's fair city, The Griolladh team first cut their teeth in food trucks across Dublin and beyond and have since settled down with multiple brick-and-mortar stores. Their bright yellow signage welcomes you in to enjoy their carefully pressed toasties, salad bowls and homemade sausage rolls (available in vegan and not-so-vegan varieties). Stand-out offerings include their potato-o sambo (we all love a carb-on-carb moment) and their gravy mayo dip (do I really need to explain this one?)
Go for? The melted cheese
Head to Griolladh's Instagram for more cheesy delights.
13. Greenville Deli
Inchicore, Rathmines + Monkstown
So good they stock a lot of the best cafés and lunch spots around with their impeccable sambos, as well as their own in Inchicore, Rathmines and most recently Monkstown. Spreading tasty toastie joy wherever they go, Greenville's sambos are typically better toasted and served up with whichever sauce has been specially paired with it. Champions of local businesses themselves, they use Bread 41 in their sangos, alongside some gold-standard Irish suppliers for their fillings.
Go for? The solid sambo
Keep up with Greenville through their Instagram.
12. Deli 613
There's been a huge hype around this new Dublin opener, which sits proudly as Dublin's only completely Kosher deli. With this considered, the showstopper sandwich is obviously the salt beef on rye or a bagel, depending on your preference. The meat is lovingly house-cured and the bagels are the classic New York style - kettle-boiled with a doughy centre. You can also buy packets of these to take home, which have been flying off the shelves. Go for a side of potato latkes with apple sauce for dipping - it's like the best hash brown you've ever had but better.
Go for? A slice of NY
Find out more about Deli 613 via their Instagram.
Another lunchtime favourite among Dubliners, Meltdown is known for its aesthetically delightful IG posts showcasing sambos oozing with the most perfectly melted cheese imaginable. The visuals aren't where Meltdown ends, though - the sandwiches are beautiful inside and out. the Mac Mama with homemade mac & cheese and crispy bacon is a personal favourite. Pasta in bread, it's the combo you never knew you needed.
Meltdown also has tasty vegetarian and vegan options, with gluten-free bread available too.
Go for? The Melted powerhouse
Keep up with Meltdown via their Instagram.
10. Poulet Bon Femme
Blackrock Main St, Avoca Rathcoole, Dunboyne, Suffolk St, Kilmacanogue, Ballsbridge + Monkstown
Rotisserie chicken reaches new heights with these free-range bird experts who have multiple locations across Dublin. Known and loved for their Christmas sambo with all the trimmings, Poulet Bon Femme offers a year-round selection of comforting, classic sandwiches including honey roast ham with leafy greens and dijon, roast pork with crackling and herby basil chicken wraps. All the meat is prepared in-house and is truly drool-worthy - you can also grab a side of spuds to complete your lunch which we love to see.
Go for? The va va voom sambo
Find out more about Poulet Bon Femme via their Instagram.
9. Brasserie Sixty6
Brasserie Sixty6 is known for its Sunday Roasts and a la carte dinner offerings, but they've also got a mean sambo selection on their lunchtime menu - think smoked salmon on sourdough with herby cream cheese and capers or if you're really looking to treat yourself, the minute steak sandwich with gorgonzola and sweet red onion marmalade. Ideal if you're looking to sit in and enjoy your sambo rather than grabbing it to go- it's also conveniently located right beside the Exchequer Street bus stop!
Go for? Sambo in a swanky setting
Keep up with Brasserie Sixty6 via their Instagram.
8. Loose Canon
If you like your sandwiches toasted and served with a side of people-watching and skin-contact wine, Loose Canon is your only man. Upon entering, their cheese counter will assure you that sambo fillings are the best of the best, whether it's a creamy Dunmore Brie or crumbly Cashel Blue you crave. Seats in this small but perfectly formed shop are limited, but on a sunny evening, you'll regularly see people sprawled out on the pavement out front enjoying their toasties and wine.
Go for? A toastie to quaff with a natty wine
For more info on Loose Canon, check out their Instagram.
This crayon-red corner deli is the type of establishment you're guaranteed to walk out of with a full, happy belly - whether it's their famous meatball parm dripping in melty mozzarella or their classic breakfast baps, sandwiches from Doughboys simply never miss. Their vegetarian options are equally satisfying - go for the veggie parm with chickenless tenders or avocado, egg and cheese bap to sort yourself right out. There's a reason why napkins are stacked on every table, 'cos you'll need plenty of them for these sauce-laden sambos.
Go for? The chin greaser
For more lunchtime inspo, check out Doughboys on Instagram.
Smithfield + Arran Street East
Another sandwich shop where the daily specials are the stuff of legend, you'll find Oxmantown's original café in the heart of Dublin's fruit and veg market district. Oxmantown takes classics like the humble ham and cheese and elevates them with delicately braised ham hock and the most freshly baked bread from Firehouse, with elite pickles and relish cutting through the starch. They've also got a new(ish) micro bakery called Elliots now open in Phibsboro - head here for fruit-filled, squidgy brioche pastries accompanied by speciality coffee from Cloud Picker.
Go for? The unctuous number
To keep up with Oxmantown, head to their Instagram.
Something of a pilgrimage for Dublin sambo lovers, Juniors is adored within its leafy surrounds of Dublin 4 and known for its expertly stacked breakfast sambo complete with crispy potato rosti and juicy sausage patty. If breakfast at lunch isn't your bag, don't fret - they've got you covered with all the lunchtime classics from Coronation chicken and Caprese to beef brisket and classic Reuben. The team at Juniors take on the classics in a refreshing new way, this tight little spot truly has something for everyone.
Go for? The revamped classic
Keep up with Juniors via their Instagram.
4. Tír Deli
Another favoured lunchtime haunt for office workers, Tír are all about seasonal ingredients and adapts its menu accordingly throughout the year. Tír is Irish for country or land (á la Tír na nÓg), and you'll see why this deli is so-called after tasting one of their sambos. Tír works very closely with farmers and producers, the service is swift and friendly and you come away feeling full in a healthy, wholesome way. Expect expertly fermented sauces and slaws accompanying perfectly seasoned meat cooked over an open flame.
Go for: a healthy, hearty lunch
Keep up with Tír Deli over on their Instagram.
3. 147 Deli
A name that is synonymous with sandwiches in this city, with a special emphasis on specials and a tendency for every single one of them to sell out lickety-split. The key here is the quality of the ingredients and the inventive flavour combos (see their roast pork and nectarine special), as meaty or meatless as you like. The brisket is braised, the veg is charred and the sausage rolls are perfectly herby - a bit pricey at €11 per sambo but the perfect treat for a rough day at the office.
Go for? The special number
More info on 147 Deli is available via their Instagram.
2. The Pepper Pot Café
Powerscourt Shopping Centre
If you ever happen to have a midweek day off in Dublin and are looking to treat yourself to a lunch where you can sip tea from a china cup and watch the world go by, The Pepper Pot is a must. It's open at weekends too - it's just one of those places I always think of when mentally compiling my dream day in Dublin, and a dream day obviously takes place midweek when you should be working. Located upstairs in the Powerscourt Shopping Centre, The Pepper Pot is famous for its bacon and pear sandwich which any Dublin foodie worth their salt would list as one of their faves. All their bread is baked in-house, including their delicious seeded bagels. A real gem.
Go for? The treat
Keep up with The Pepper Pot via Instagram.
1. Green Bench Café
Every day at lunchtime, Dubliners flock to this unassuming shop front in Dublin 2 after scouring their Instagram page to find out the specials of the day. Don't let the winding queue put you off - Green Bench are a well-oiled machine when it comes to moving through the rush with ease and there's a reason they're one of the city's most beloved sandwich spots. If you're paying them a visit, head to their Instagram to check what daily specials they're slinging and if they've got the Hoi Sin pork with herby stuffing on, you're legally obliged to order it.
Go for? The lunchtime stalwart
Keep up with Green Bench and see what's on the menu via their Instagram.
Did we miss out your favourite spot for a sambo in Dublin? Let us know!
Header image via Instagram/Greenville Deli/The Pepperpot Café