Everyone loves a sandwich. Over 3.5 billion of them are purchased from UK retail or catering outlets each year, and we pay over £7,850m for them. That’s as much as 36,500 brand new Ferraris. Or enough for 2,907 luxury Salford apartments just like Pep Guardiola’s. Or a one bed flat in London.
The sandwich industry is huge, employing over 300,000 people in the UK. Whether you call them sarnies or butties, baps or barms, there’s no doubting that the simple bread-with-filling option is a British lunchtime staple.
If you fancy something a bit special for your daily bread this British Sandwich Week, here’s where to head in Manchester.
Cornflake fried chicken at Lunya
World-renowned chef Albert Adria spent 23 years working at the legendary three-Michelin-starred El Bulli before opening the Michelin-starred Tickets, Pakta and Hoja Santa in Barcelona. Lunya’s deep-fried cornflake-coated crispy chicken sandwich uses his recipe from Niño Viejo, and it’s a cracker. Simple, playful and clever, and dressed with addictive Catalan dip sauce with hints of creme fraiche, pimenton picante, sun dried tomatoes, garlic and herbs, it’s real treat. And less than a fiver to take away.
The legendary Reuben at The Bagel Shop
The Bagel Shop is the first bricks-and-mortar home for Eat New York, whose signature bagels have seen their street-food truck attract increasingly long queues at festivals since they launched in 2015. Their towering Reuben sandwich is two weeks in the making, bringing together hot stacked pastrami, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing. The buttery soft, charred pastrami, available by the half-pound or full pound, comes from 14-day salt-cured American brisket, dipped in house rub then smoked in-house for 15 hours. A genuine bite of the Big Apple.
Buttermilk fried chicken (or seitan) at Hatch
Firebird Hope has brought a new tasty sandwich option to the ever-growing Hatch street food operation under the Mancunian Way. Step forward the ultimate fried chicken sandwich. Think 24-hour buttermilk-brined chicken thigh in a sourdough bun, with agave slaw and koji mayo. The Triple 6 is a vegan-friendly version, with homemade seitan fillet coated with a crispy polenta crust and topped with vegan mayo and pickled veg. It’s devilishly good.
Cheeseburger toasties at Home Sweet Home
Is a burger a sandwich? It is now. This mouthwatering mash-up at Home Sweet Home’s Great Northern branch addresses all your cravings in one filthily fell swoop. Imagine a fat stacked cheeseburger melt with ground beef, melted cheddar, onion, pickle, American mustard, ketchup and bacon bacon mayo on grilled sourdough. Then wipe the drool from your chin and go and buy one.
Chicken poutine barm at Hawksmoor
Hawksmoor may be known for its steaks, but it’s well worth checking out the superb bar menu too. Manchester meets Montreal with the chicken poutine barm, which consists of herb-fed chicken, fried egg, triple cooked chips, Westcombe Cheddar cheese curds and lashings of gravy, all stuffed into a soft white barm.
Gin-battered fish finger butty at 1761
Independent eatery 1761 has Manchester at its heart, and their lunchtime sandwich menu is no exception. The fish finger butty consists of Manchester Three Rivers gin-battered haddock with beef-driping chips and tarter sauce. There’s a bit of lettuce too, so you can convince yourself it’s one of your five a day.
Philly cheesesteak at Beastro
Having worked their way up from farmer’s markets to street food traders to a permanent unit at Spinningfields, Richard Brown and partners James and Heather Taylor have created an independent eatery committed to quality local produce at Beastro in Spinningfields. Try a bite of the beast American style at lunchtime with their Philly cheesesteak sandwich: slow roasted red peppers and onions topped with sliced steak and mature Cheddar cheese.
Fish and mushy peas at Mackie Mayor
There are fish finger butties and there’s Fin Fish Bar’s fish finger butty. There’s nothing wrong with Birds Eye’s best on cotton wool-like sliced white bread, of course. But with fresh flaky hake fillet, mushy peas and tangy tartare sauce piled into a sourdough roll, this Mackie Mayor trader offers a refined version of our favourite comfort food.
A sharing platter with gravy at the Victorian Chop Houses
Can’t decide? Grab a mate and head to the Victorian Chop Houses (Mr Thomas’s, Sam’s, Albert Square) for a sandwich platter to share. Choose any three from a selection including carved Wiltshire ham and grain mustard; Ridings Reserve Yorkshire roast beef with horseradish sauce and watercress; shredded roast corn-fed Lancastrian chicken with grain mustard mayonnaise; Mrs Kirkham’s award-winning Lancashire cheese and pickle; or mini battered fish fillet and mushy peas. They’re all served with chips, dipping accompaniments and a jug of gravy.
Indian chip butty at Mowgli
Everyone loves a chip butty, but the folks at Mowgli in the Corn Exchange have created one with a difference. Their Indian street food take on the classic is a flavour grenade, consisting of a roti wrap filled with fenugreek kissed turmeric fries, chilli pickle, red onion, coriander, green chilli and fresh homemade tomato relish.
Soy Division at V-Rev
You’d expect the city’s first 100% vegan diner to offer an interesting animal-free option, and you’d be right. V-Rev’s excellently named Soy Division sandwich mixes smoked tofu, kale and mixed leaf salad, tomato, diced onion and pickles, douses it in Southwest sauce, and stuffs the lot into half a sourdough baguette.
Spicy tikka at Sweet Diner
Over in Denton, Sweet Diner offers a bun guaranteed to please fans of spice. The Kashmiri Zing consists of flame-grilled beef and chicken tikka marinated with naga ghost chilli pickles, green chilli, mixed peppers, pickled gherkin and lettuce. And if two types of chilli don’t offer enough heat, it’s also dressed with a spicy relish.
Lobster po boy at Randall & Aubin
A truly decadent lunchtime option, the lobster po boy brings a touch of elegance to the humble sandwich. It consists of deep-fried lobster in a brioche sandwich dressed with coleslaw, cocktail sauce and French fries. It’s not cheap, but then again it’s about as far away from a supermarket meal deal sandwich as you can get.