The 10 best sandwiches in Shanghai

Upgrade your lunch hour with these drool-worthy sammies

Sando, sarnie, sammie, sammich. We don’t care how you say it, you’re worth more than a sad Family Mart butty. Spend a couple more kuai and upgrade your lunch hour with one of Shanghai’s superior sandwiches.

Italian Salami Sandwich
1/10

Italian Salami Sandwich

Market 101, 90RMB 

Dreams don’t come cheap, and the sandwiches at Market 101 are definite proof of that. Sure, they cost a pretty penny, but they are the stuff dreams are made of – sandwiches that will transport you. Brad Turley doesn’t skimp on quality, which you can taste when you’re devouring this cold-cuts sarnie stacked with a whole lot of cured meats (mortadella, fennel salami, spianata, bresaola and Milano salami), Emmental cheese, pickled peppers, onion, tomato and lettuce. It’s a beast. 

Also try Philly Cheesesteak M101 Style.

Roujiamo (肉夹馍)
2/10

Roujiamo (肉夹馍)

Zhu Que Men, 12RMB 

If anything proves that the bread plus meat combo is universally a winner in every corner of the globe, even those with a rich history of sandwiches, it’s the roujiamo. Shaanxi noodle joint Zhu Que Men serves roujiamo in its most stripped-down version: heavily seasoned pork that’s been stewed for hours stuffed into toasted wheat flatbread. Other standard versions include coriander and chopped sweet pepper, while there are also riffs with any other number of twists, but this one? This is the OG. 

Also try Qishan jiamo (岐山夹馍, Qishan-style pork sandwich).

Great Balls of Fire
3/10

Great Balls of Fire

Madison Kitchen, 55RMB 

If you’re looking for a straight-up classic, then it doesn’t get realer than Austin Hu’s meatball sandwich. Pork and beef hand-mixed with shallots, garlic, onions, parsley, basil, and Parmesan, the meatballs are served on a French roll slathered in garlic butter, doused in tomato sauce flecked with chilli flakes and fresh herbs, then draped with melted mozzarella. 

Also try Molten Oppa Love (kimchi grilled cheese).

Hindquarter bagelwich
4/10

Hindquarter bagelwich

Boom Boom Bagels, 58RMB 

You’ll need two hands on deck for this one. It all starts with one of Boom Boom’s freshly baked bagels, which gets seriously loaded up with smokey, cumin-spiced pulled pork made in house, crunchy red cabbage coleslaw, barbecue mayo, pickles, Emmental cheese, butter, black pepper and cream cheese. Drool-worthy. 

Also try Open-faced bacon tuna melt.

Midwest Cuban
5/10

Midwest Cuban

District, 60RMB 

In its essence a fancy ham and cheese toastie, it doesn’t get much better than a Cuban sandwich done right. The Jingan beer bar’s take combines slow-roasted pork loin with smoked ham, a whole lot of cheddar cheese, honey mustard and a fat slice of pickle. It’s then hot pressed in a ciabatta roll until properly gooey and arrives with a side of extra honey mustard to dip. A brilliant idea after a few pints. 

Also try Rog-Er-Moore sliders.

#14 tuna melt grilled cheese
6/10

#14 tuna melt grilled cheese

Co, Cheese, regular 50/large 65RMB 

Good luck choosing just one of the toasty grilled cheeses offered at Co. Cheese – but it’s just too hard to resist a well-executed tuna melt. When you take simple but flavourful tuna salad and press it between sourdough bread with gooey, melted cheddar and swiss, and top that off with avocado and tomato… well, you’re A-okay in our book. 

Also try #20 pulled buffalo chicken breast grilled cheese (chef’s tip: add rocket).

Open-faced carnitas breakfast sandwich
7/10

Open-faced carnitas breakfast sandwich

Lil’ Laundry, 98RMB 

Like its bigger sibling Liquid Laundry, this newly opened spot brunches hard, especially with this indulgent sarnie. It’s a grilled cheese laden with saucy tomatillo pulled pork carnitas, an expertly fried egg, sliced avocado, pickled jalapeños, pico de gallo and soft queso fresco. Cut this bad boy in half and let that golden egg yolk ooze all over the lot. 

Also try Avocado smash with low temp egg and maple bacon.

Fatty Salmon Patty bagelwich
8/10

Fatty Salmon Patty bagelwich

Spread the Bagel, 60RMB 

One of our favourites from STB’s menu: a herb-infused salmon patty topped with a fried egg, super crispy crumbled bacon, sliced tomato, arugula, red onion, capers and creamy dill aioli on your choice one of their Shanghai-famous bagels (we’re partial to the sesame with the salmon). So far from your average bagelwich. 

Also try Chicken Zest Club bagelwich.

Saigon Combo
9/10

Saigon Combo

Saigon Mama, 55RMB 

We won’t claim that it’ll make you feel like Anthony Bourdain hammering a banh mi on the streets of Hoi An, but Saigon Mama’s rendition of this classic Vietnamese sandwich is a true delight. Light and airy with a crispy, crunchy crust, the baguette comes spread thick with pork pate, layered with quick-pickled carrots, cucumber and daikon, and jammed with a combination of grilled chicken and house-made ham. 

Also try Five Spice Chicken. 

Reuben sandwich
10/10

Reuben sandwich

Tock's Montreal Deli, regular 80/large 100RMB, with fries and coleslaw 

When we’re in the mood for this classic, there’s only one for us. Tock’s triple-decker Reuben is stacked high with their crave-inducing house smoked beef (choose from lean, medium or fatty meat) topped with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and 1,000 Island dressing on soft rye bread. 

Also try The smoked duck pastrami sandwich. 

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