Although according to Wikipedia “a sandwich is a food typically consisting of vegetables, sliced cheese or meat, placed on or between slices of bread, or more generally any dish wherein bread serves as a container or wrapper for another food type”, it is certain that there are thousands of variations of it all over the world. The sandwich was named after its supposed inventor, John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, and The Wall Street Journal has described it as “Britain’s greatest contribution to gastronomy”.
In Athens, as in other European cities, the sandwich is a favourite snack for all hours of the day, whether it is made at home or bought from a shop. For many years sandwiches in Athens were mainly synonymous with the so-called “vromiko” (βρώμικο), which means dirty in Greek. These are sandwiches usually made from street canteens, often with low-quality materials (hence the nickname) and have been a favourite meal of those returning from night entertainment. But in recent years things have changed, and you can find a wide variety of sandwiches both in terms of quality and choice of ingredients.
In this article, we aspire to include all the places in Athens where you can eat really good sandwiches, and if we do not mention some places that are also popular it is because we think that they are not worthy to be included in this list.
THE 15 BEST PLACES FOR SANDWICH
Guarantee: Guarantee is a true legend of the city and a permanent point of reference when a discussion about sandwiches begins. In the centre of the always restless neighbourhood of Koukaki, Mr Giannis has been making delicious fresh sandwiches for the last 34 years. The difference here lies in the originality, the quality and the wide variety of options. There are over 150 different ingredients to choose from and make your own sandwich (for example there are 14 different types of bread and 17 different types of cold cuts). For many years it has won the title of the best sandwich in the city and not without reason. (Veikou 41, Koukaki)
Montakiou (Μοντακιού): In the favourite of the Athenians Stoa Korai, Montakiou has been making in recent years extremely fresh sandwiches based on Greek products and high-quality import materials, using four different types of bread. A very good choice is Montakiou (with finocchiona salami, handmade cheese salad, roasted zucchini and fried egg), which summarises the philosophy of the shop for original combinations of flavours with fresh ingredients. (Stadiou 30, Athens)
Amandine’s Bagels: With French finesse and amazing quality ingredients, this small shop on Nikis Street makes unique sandwiches with freshly baked bagels. The original combinations of savoury (such as Vienne with pastrami, cheese, iceberg and avocado), but also sweet flavours make a delicious stop here imperative. (Nikis 13, Syntagma)
Big Mouth sandwich shop: Operating in the city centre for several years now, Big Mouth can now be considered a classic sandwich shop. Here the size of the sandwiches is not big but the combinations of flavours, fresh ingredients and thin bread will definitely win you over. BLT remains a classic choice and is the definition of taste simplicity. (Praxitelous 20, Athens)
Just Made 33: Just Made 33 opens early in the morning serving employees, passers-by and visitors to the city quality coffee and delicious sandwiches. The sandwiches are made with fresh ingredients, selected from specific producers. Find a table by the window, relax, drink your coffee and try one of the delicious open sandwiches they make. (Evaggelistrias 33, Athens)
Theiko (Θεϊκό): Hailing from Zakynthos where it has been operating for many years, Theiko on Agiou Markou Street is a guilty pleasure. Its sandwiches, called Sinful Croissants (Aμαρτωλά Κρουασάν), are actually classic croissants with cheese and ham, stuffed with anything you can imagine (chicken, burger, french fries, sausage, etc.). In addition to the suggestions on the menu, you can also order a sandwich with ingredients of your choice. (Agiou Markou 1, Athens)
Talking Breads: Talking Breads is one of the top proposals for street food in Athens without discounts on quality and raw materials. From the freshly baked butter bread to the last ingredients, everything is excellent. Although many people come here for burgers, we choose the five imaginative sandwiches, with a particular preference for The Tika (an explosion of flavours with grilled chicken and slightly spicy tomato sauce). (Spirou Trikoupi 11, Exarcheia)
Crete (Η Κρήτη): This small place is a common secret among the inhabitants of the Neos Kosmos. The options here are limited to three: small, medium and large. The ingredients are always the same (omelette, bacon, sausage, ham, cheese, feta, potatoes, tomato and mustard, ketchup or mayonnaise), but the taste is perfect, like the sandwich your mother would prepare for a school trip. (Ipponaktos 54, Neos Kosmos)
Giannis – Sandwich with measure (Ο Γιάννης – Σάντουιτς με το μέτρο): Although passing by the shop you may not notice it if you finally enter you will try one of the best sandwiches in town. With a history that starts from 1980, Mr Giannis, the most gentle and hospitable owner, welcomes you with pleasure and advises you on which sandwich suits you. The sandwiches are delicious, large and with very good ingredients.(Chrisostomou Smirnis 60, Moschato)
Cantiniero: Cantiniero is a place that has become famous in recent years in Nea Filadelpheia mainly because it is considered to make the largest sandwich in the city with a length of 50 cm. The variety of ingredients is wide and only for meat, you can choose between pork, chicken, kebab, sausage, pancetta, steak, chicken fillet and chicken nuggets. All sandwiches are made in two sizes (25 or 50 cm) and you can also order sandwiches with ingredients of your choice. (El. Venizelou Square 26, Nea Filadelpheia)
Brio: In this bakery in Neo Psychiko, street food raises to another level. Here the French award-winning chef Jean Charles Metayer prepares a range of dishes based on brioche bread. Among them is a series of neat sandwiches. The taste of freshly baked brioche and the high-quality ingredients make these relatively small sandwiches perhaps the most guilty gourmet treat in town. (Solomou 9, Neo Psychiko)
Al Cantino: In the northern suburbs of Athens, Al Cantino is the best solution for a traditional sandwich. It is an upgraded version of the street canteen that offers various snacks, coffee but mainly sandwiches in a well-kept environment. Pork or chicken straw, sausage, burger and chicken nuggets are the basic choices for sandwiches, along with a wide variety of other ingredients.(Erythraias 2, Nea Erythraia)
Montagu: In the southern suburbs of the city, Montagu’s sandwiches stand out both due to their size (especially in their giant and special giant versions) and the variety of tastes. From vegetable burgers to the classic pork straw, there is nothing that can not fit into the sandwiches. Large and delicious they are able to satisfy any hungry customer. (Par. Leoforou Vouliagmenis 66, Argyroupoli)
Jackaroo: In the centre of Piraeus, Jackaroo serves the most American-style sandwiches in the city, combining unique quality with quantity. Marinated chicken, fried shrimp, beef burgers, simmered pork, fried eggs, smoked bacon and spicy mayonnaise are just the beginning of the delicious combinations of the incredible sandwiches they make here. The most popular sandwich (justifiably) is the Buffalo Fried Chicken with three deliciously marinated fried chicken pieces dipped in blue mayo and buffalo’s hot sauce. (Sotiros Dios 45, Piraeus)
S & M Sandwichmania: This place is a constant value for delicious sandwiches in Haidari, and the surrounding areas. Here you could find a wide variety of ready-made combinations (made in two sizes of 20 and 40 cm), but you can also order sandwiches with ingredients of your choice. Pork Fighter is a good suggestion with chopped marinated pork, bacon, french fries and feta sauce. (Str. Karaiskaki 75, Haidari)
CLASSIC HANGOUTS FOR SANDWICHES
Making a tribute to the best sandwiches in Athens, we must refer to two legendary hangouts that in the decades 1990 – 2010 were a popular stop of the Athenians at night and especially in the early morning hours after leaving the bars and nightclubs. These are the Cantina Mavili (Καντίνα Μαβίλη) (Soutsou 3, Athens) and the Cantina Vouta (Καντίνα Vouta) (Par. Leoforou Vouliagmenis 567, Argyroupoli), which is now called The Old Volta. From street canteens, for “dirty” sandwiches they have now been turned into regular shops with a fixed address. The sandwiches they make, big and filling, do not offer anything new but are a pleasant memory of the past. Finally, we should mention the legendary small tavern Stou Nick (Στου Nick) in Votanikos (unfortunately closed due to the retirement of the owner), which for many years held the title of the largest sandwich in the Athens.
ALTERNATIVE SUGGESTIONS FOR SANDWICHES
But apart from the places that specialised in sandwiches, there are some shops where without being their main product you can find amazing sandwiches. So in Peinirli Ionias (Πεϊνιρλί Ιωνίας) (Panormou 3, Ampelokipi), in addition to the famous peinirli, you can try very good sandwiches with simple ingredients in awesome bread from the same dough as the peinirli. Also, in the shops of the Costarelos Cheese Factory (Τυροκομείο Κωσταρέλου) (in Kolonaki Square and in 8 more addresses throughout Attica), you can choose between 10 different proposals for sandwiches made with cheeses produced by them. Finally, in the brand new Black Salami Microbakery (Zoodochou Pigis 71, Exarcheia), inspired by the bakeries of Rome, you will find a series of quality sandwiches with a variety of ingredients made with bread that just came out of the oven.
Closing this article we would like to suggest the unique Japanese sandwiches of Sando that you can order only through delivery (m.facebook.com/sando.athens). The chef of Poke Hawaiian Sushi, Giannis Kandilidis, makes sandwiches with fluffy Japanese milk bread based on the philosophy of the popular Asian street food but adds his stamp to the delicious result.
Despite our extensive research to gather all the top choices for sandwiches in the city, something may have escaped us. Therefore, once again we are waiting for your suggestions in the comments’ area because the search for the best gastronomic experience never stops.