Do we know it’s Christmas time at all? Yes, yes we do. Because sprout-stuffed and cranberry-loaded sandwiches have started festively popping up in restaurants across London. Of course none of them will ever, truly, top the greedy beauty of your own late night Boxing Day creation. A gravity-defying specimen that’s just as likely to have three types of stuffing in it as it is a rogue, cranberry-bathed roastie. That said, these Christmas sandwiches have got some things you’d probably never have at home.
We had enormous expectations for Snackbar’s inevitable Christmas sandwich take - such is the high regard we hold the mortadella banh mi, coronation chicken, and everything else in this Dalston café - and it did not disappoint. The palm-sized brioche bun from Stoke Newington favourite Spence Bakery is an excellent vehicle for wedges of sweet and salty Coca-Cola glazed ham. And the quince mustarda - a sweet, tangy chutney - is perfectly offset by a leaf or two of chicory. It’s delicious. And also, like, quite clever. We recommend sticking some of the rosemary parsnip crisps in there as well for crunch.
Less a sandwich and a more a living, heaving, gravy-mayonnaise-covered example of festive perfection, the Quality Wines Christmas sandwich is a holy thing worth journeying for. Every bite contains precisely what your tastebuds should be pining for at this time of year - moist turkey breast and leg meat, not-too-sweet cranberry sauce, flecks of crispy bacon, a polite gesture of green cabbage, and, of course, stuffing. The light brioche bun makes it 100% inhaleable and, frankly, one just isn’t enough.
Is it possible to see something of yourself in a sesame Montreal bagel heaving with smoked turkey, stuffing, and circa 38 different types of sauce and dressing? Apparently, yes. The Good Egg’s festive bagel has strong throw-everything-in-the-fridge-at-it energy, and we like that. You’ll have red kraut, harissa mayo, and zhoug running down your fingers and face. Flecks of turkey will fall out, chunks of pork and pistachio stuffing caught by your tongue, and the sesame bagel is a completely insufficient but delicious receptacle for this wonderful mess.
VE/VG option available
Dom’s is a disruptor. Specifically, a sandwich disruptor. And more specifically, right now, a Christmas sandwich disruptor. Dom’s takes a midnight-fridge-rummage approach to putting things in bread, and that’s one of the reasons they’re so good. Their Christmas offering is two-fold, and the vegan one is a sensation. It’s sprouts topped with crisps seasoned in a Xinjiang spice mix along with Chinkiang vegan mayo, some lettuce, and the odd black bean too. The excellently named ‘Papi Noel’ also tastes great - chilli-rubbed turkey with pecan mole is a winner - but if you’re in need of a festive pick-me-up, the sprouts are the one.
VE option available
A certified Big Boi if we’ve ever seen, or, er, eaten one, Bodega Rita’s are serving their Christmas incarnations out of Lyaness on the Southbank. ‘The Grinch’ - their meaty festive creation - is a combination of soft chicken mixed with a herby mayo, thick honey roast ham, cranberry sauce, a herb stuffing, and Dusty Knuckle white sourdough smeared with gravy butter. Yes, gravy butter. For vegetarians, there’s a pumpkin spiced falafel option with whipped goats cheese, pan-fried spinach, and red pepper relish.
Larry’s, just like Dom’s, is a newcomer on the Christmas sandwich scene. You can picture this turkey schnitzel sandwich in teenage form, cigarette hanging from its mouth outside the school gates, talking about its cranberry umeboshi ketchup, performatively dropping a little sprout top kimchi to the floor. It doesn’t go too off the rails though. In fact, it evens out its edginess with a healthy puddle of melted cheese and a smear of mustard mayo on focaccia.
A traditional doorstop Christmas whopper done different, the S+D Christmas sandwich has a lot going on. Not least a slice of marsala gravy soaked bread in the middle, AKA the ‘Moistmaker’, which is something we’d rather not say out loud. Alongside soggy gravy bread, there’s thick-cut turkey, a spicy cranberry sauce, spinach, and very tangy pickled cabbage. Please note: though it will stuff you, this sandwich is stuffing-less.