A COLD beer after a long walk down a dusty English road on a hot summer's day... assaulting a snowman... an orgasm, perhaps, but there really are very few things in life more satisfying than a well executed sandwich; the grab, the size-up, the gape, the chomp. Life is good, life is good.

The limousine of sandwiches parks up, smooth as a torpedo

But where can you find the very best sandwiches in Manchester? Well, we think we've found 'em...

(As ever, if you've found one we haven't then don't hold back, share the love below in the comments box.)

THE CUBANO | Bangers & Bacon | £5

If you've seen the film Chef, in which a suffocated L.A. chef loses the plot, falls for a sandwich, takes on a knackered old food truck and becomes a sensation (and a better father, naturally), then you’ll have seen The Cubano. Created sometime around the early 1900s to feed the swathes of Cuban expats working in the cigar factories of Tampa, this Cuban sandwich (Bangers & Bacon’s version, at least) features: juicy Mojo-marinated (garlic, herbs and citrus) pork shoulder, salty boiled ham, oozing Swiss cheese, Dijon mustard and pickled courgette squashed into a toasty hotdog roll no thicker than three fingers, preferably two, with a Union Jack stabbed in the top for good larks. To our knowledge these guys are the only ones cracking out Cubans in Manchester, and for £5 all-in including a drink and a snack (throw ‘em a few winks for fries), it’s easily one of the best deals on this list. DB

Unit 2, The Kitchens, M3 3AG @Bangersandbacon


THE MILANO | Rustica | £3.35

The Northern Quarter’s most popular sandwich bar is Rustica, a diminutive takeaway wedged between an adult DVD store and The Millstone pub on Hilton Street. Hipsters and office workers queue up outside from noon, and we had to wait at least fifteen minutes for our ‘Milano on Frisbee’. The MFDF-award winning sandwich sees chicken and bacon combined with green pesto and mayo and served on either ciabatta or a massive ‘Frisbee’-shaped granary roll made by Chorlton’s Barbakan bakery. Meat is warmed under the grill, salad is added and you’re ready to roll. The flavour is understated in a typically Italian style while the size offers excellent value for money. Enjoy with a dash of hot Sriracha sauce. RA

Rustica, 1 Hilton Street, Northern Quarter, M4 1LP. Tel: 0161 835 3850


THE SOUL | Northern Soul | £4.50

As we sat waiting for this sandwich in a booth at the Northern Quarter’s new grilled cheese bar, we heard the chef yell from the kitchen, ‘Can someone mind my soul while I nip out for a minute?’ Northern Soul’s basic cheese sandwich is called ‘The Soul’ - which explains the bizarre exchange – and that’s not all that’s different about this place. Food is served in a semi-outdoor setting – a grill shack, if you like – that’s packed with Formica tables and cheese graters for lampshades. Its more of a stable that a restaurant. But for the Breville toasted cheese sandwich generation, this is as close to heaven as you are going to get. The house special, £4.50, comes with a secret blend of three cheeses, slaw and daddy pickles on the side. You can add sides like macaroni cheese, or pump up your ‘Soul’ with pulled pork and pastrami. But why mess with the best? RA

Northern Soul, Church Street Market, Northern Quarter, M4 1PN www.northernsoulmcr.com


FRENCH DIP SHORTRIB | Hawksmoor | £12

The limousine of sandwiches parks up, smooth as a torpedo, on the table top in Manchester’s finest steak house. Looking and smelling like a million bucks, the braised shortrib beef is tender as a new dad, sandwiched between sheets of yellow mustard and brioche sub. Sloppy, sexy and very meaty, it’s the hangover cure that kings dream of. It feels slightly obscene dipping this phallic-shaped bap in the silver boat of bone marrow gravy on the side and cramming it into your mouth. However, if you think that everything is improved by gravy, this will be your new ride. Plus the location is just gorgeous, all wood panelling, polished leather and class. RA

Hawksmoor, 184 Deansgate, M3 3WB. Tel: 0161 836 6980 hawksmoor.com/manchester


PORCHETTA CIABATTA | Gorilla | £9.50

The truth is, aside from Best Curry Mile Curry House and Manchester's Smiliest Bar Tenders, there's very few Manchester listicles this hipster-bolthole doesn't make: Best Sunday Roasts, Best Breakfasts, Best Dirty Food, Best Bars, Best Clubs, it's on 'em all. Next on the mantelpiece is a Best Sandwich gong for this oink-packed wonder: tender slow-roasted pork belly packed with garlic and rosemary, slapped around in salsa verde (anchovies, mustard, capers, lemon, 'erbs, all sorts) and served in a warm, chewy ciabatta with apple sauce and crackling. Yeah, crackling in a sarnie. Oh what a life... DB

54-56 Whitworth St W, M1 5WW. 0161 407 0301 thisisgorilla.com


THE LOBSTER ROLL | Burger & Lobster | £20 ('ow much!?)

There are only three things on the menu at Burger & Lobster: 1lb 8oz lobsters, a 10oz burger and a lobster. Oh, plus a couple of puddings. They are all one price. Twenty quid. Except the puds, they're £4.50 (don't bother). So what of this £20 lobster roll thing? Well, If you can imagine a really good farmhouse tin loaf, cut into fat two inch slices, brushed liberally with butter on the outside, then grilled, hot. They come out tanned and crisp, exactly like a perfect Croque Monsieur. Slit three quarters down then packed, and we mean packed, with a fat, meaty lobster mayonnaise. Worth it? C'mon now... it's still a cracker, mind. MG

Ship Canal House, 98 King St, M2 4WU. 0161 832 0222 burgerandlobster.com


TARRAGON MAYO | Mumma Schnitzel | £7.00

Peculiar name, Mumma Schnitzel (lifted from some chicken gaff in Thailand, we're told), still, this lot are renowned for their fried chicken Mumma burgers. However, steer away and opt instead for the roast chicken sarnie. Hefty at £7, let's see. This is all about freshly roasted free range chicken, the thigh meat giving off true flavour, seasoned brilliantly and sat on a white old fashioned, dawn fresh bloomer, cut thick. Served with Tarragon mayonnaise and butter lettuce, all crunchy. Comfort and taste, good for you and your soul. It’s a delight. Get a napkin, it's dripping full of lovely stuff. MG

Left Bank, Spinningfields, M3 3AG


THE CHEESEBURGER TOASTIE | Home Sweet Home | £4.50

Visit this self-proclaimed 'Best Little Cake Shop On The Planet' anytime between 9am Monday and 9pm Sunday and, more often than not, you'll find it busier than a knocking shop at the end of times. This cluster of twee tea rooms on the corner of Northern Quarter's Edge Street and Oak Street shifts up to 400kg of cake each week (the weight of your typical Polar Bear). Still, it's Home Sweet Home's treasured 'Cheeseburger Toastie' that's become the house staple. A melty conglomeration of burger chunks, onion, dill pickle, tomato, cheese and burger sauce pressed between two slices of Mr Warburton's finest white and served in one of those ubiquitous red burger baskets. Simple. Ace. DB

49-51 Edge St, M4 1HW. 0161 244 9424 homesweethomenq.com



And, of course, no truly great sandwich list is complete without some steak. Ok it's minute steak, safe, economical minute steak, but steak nonetheless. And anyway, minute steak is perfect for sarnies. This one from The Lawn Club - a venue which seems to have changed shape more times than Simon Cowell's chin - is a cracker. Thick, slightly toasted bloomer housing the moo with a clean, sharp horseradish, a sweet onion marmalade and hefty beef tomato with a dollop of mustard, thick, hot and English. Ohhh yes. DB

The Lawn Club, Byrom Street, Spinningfields, M3 3JE. 0161 914 7830 thelawnclub.com

Collaborators: Mark Garner, Ruth Allan and David Blake.