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The Best Sandwiches in Sydney for Under $15

At these affordable inner-city Sydney lunch spots, you can wrap your hands around a sensational sandwich for a tenner and some change.
By Ben Hansen
January 18, 2024
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By Ben Hansen
January 18, 2024
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THE BEST SANDWICHES IN SYDNEY FOR UNDER $15

At these affordable inner-city Sydney lunch spots, you can wrap your hands around a sensational sandwich for a tenner and some change.

A hearty lunch for under $15 can be hard to come by these days, particularly in Sydney's inner city suburbs. Luckily, if you get in bargain hunter mode and you sleuth around enough, you'll find there's still plenty of places out there offering sandwiches as big as your head that won't break the bank.

We've put together a list of eight of our favourite affordable lunch spots where you can wrap your hands around some of the best sandwiches in Sydney for a tenner and some change.

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Recommended reads:
The Best Fried Chicken in Sydney
The Best Burgers in Sydney
The Best Pizza in Sydney
The Best Cafes in Sydney

  • 8
    People standing out the front of South Dowling Sandwiches in Darlinghurst.

    Possibly Sydney’s most famous affordable sandwich joint, South Dowling Sandwiches can now be found in three different spots — the OG South Dowling store in Darlinghurst, plus Alexandria and the CBD.

    There are plenty of options under $15 here, including the absolutely loaded Vegi, the famous Chilli Chicken and the smoked salmon sambo, but it’s The Daniel that really nails the brief. This combo loads up the famous SDS caramelised carrots and herb mayo onto a crispy chicken schnitzel before rounding out the experience with chilli sauce, lettuce and rocket for just $12.50. Superb.

    Image: Cassandra Hannagan

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  • 7
    Joe's Sandwich Bar

    Serving up huge vegan sandwiches on Iggy’s bread since 2018, Joe’s Sandwich Bar is a Sydney CBD haven for a hearty veg-heavy lunch. Using the loaves of one of Sydney’s best bakeries as a base for the piled-high sambos, Joe’s really shines with its inventive meat-free fillings.

    Take the exceptional miso eggplant number, for example, which pairs sticky sweet slices of eggplant with furikake, avocado, Japanese slaw and pickled ginger for a mere $13.90. Just make sure to take your lunch break on time — the shop is only open 11.30am–2pm, Monday–Friday.

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  • 6
    The focaccia falafel sandwich with beetroot and pesto from This Way Canteen, one of the best sandwich shops in Sydney.

    Affordable brekkie and lunch in the CBD from an award-winning hospitality team — you don’t come by that very often. But, that’s exactly what you’ll find at This Way Canteen. Located in the Museum of Sydney, the charming inner-city spot comes from House Made Hospitality, the crew behind Hinchcliff House, Promenade and Martinez.

    Described as a “good-times sandwich bunker”, This Way Canteen presents a simple crowd-pleasing menu with fresh produce at the core. Our pick? The Spicy Garlic Falafel sandwich combines house-made falafel, artichoke baba ghanoush, garlic chilli mayo, tomato and lettuce on a fresh focaccia loaf for $14. Or, for a Friday treat, go the lunchtime special which includes the schnitzel sandwich and a beer for the bargain price of $20.

    Image: Steven Woodburn

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  • 5

    This Surry Hills stalwart has been serving up cheap and cheerful lunches for yonks. The hole in the wall on Foster Street has kept its prices low despite inflation — no sandwich here is over $14 with the majority sitting around the $11 mark. The fan favourite is the massive chicken schnitzel sanga, which combines a crispy breaded chicken breast with herb mayo and lettuce for just $12.50.

    If you’d prefer to go breadless for your lunch, you can opt for one of Malibu’s famously giant salads. The standard option throws in a heap of veggies including rocket, tomatoes, beetroot and pumpkin — and can be dialled up with tuna, salami or sliced chicken schnitty. It’s a basic little shop, specialising in big sandwiches and loaded salads that won’t blow your budget.

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  • 4

    Mrs Palmer quickly whipped up a cult following among Sydney’s sandwich lovers and it’s no surprise. The sambos are huge here, leading to the possibility of an at-work food coma once you’ve polished off your lunch. If you end up risking it, there’s a consistently changing menu of hand-cut, made-to-order creations, all sitting between $13–15.

    The rare roast beef sambo takes a traditional deli approach, combining slices of pink pepper-crusted roast beef with rocket, cucumber, mint yoghurt and crispy shallots. And if you’re on the hunt for more deals, head to La Farmacia, the hidden Mexican bar located behind the shop where you can score two-for-one margaritas Tuesday–Thursday.

    Images: Terence-Kent Ow

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  • 3
    Charc

    Hidden away on Regent Street in Chippendale is Charc Specialty Meats and Coffee, an unassuming little cafe specialising in sandwiches, cookies and biltong. While the storefront might not scream flashy, Charc is an underrated gem for any local meat lovers.

    Each sandwich here can be loaded up from the regular size all the way up to the double, depending on how much smoked deli meat you want packed between two slices of bread. Standout creations include the El Scorcho, piling on housemade spicy beef salami, swiss cheese, jalapeños, and a white Russian sauce for $13.90. Elsewhere on the menu, you’ll find a variety of reubens, a classic Cubano, and a pair of luxe toasties created with house-smoked wagyu beef. Any of these could be deemed one of the best sandwiches in Sydney — easily.

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  • 2

    One of the things that makes the humble sandwich so great is that you don’t need to pull out all the stops to make it delicious. This unassuming sandwich shop in a CBD food arcade proves that, with both its classic and gourmet options.

    A classic sandwich bar, Northies (as the hordes of city workers who frequent call it) lets you choose your bread or wrap, then stuffs in fillings like crunchy chicken schnitzel, slow-cooked pork shoulder and five-spice marinated grilled lamb. Opt for the $14 Portuguese Chicken sambo and you’ll be greeted with a massive lunch packed with chicken marinated in North’s house piri piri sauce, lemon chive mayo, Roma tomatoes and mixed greens.

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  • 1

    While Marrickville Pork Roll remains a top pick for one of the best bahn mi in Sydney, this spot on the list is more of a dedication to the incredible Vietnamese-style rolls that you can find all around the city for under $15. It truly is an elite budget lunch option, and we’re lucky to have a heap of amazing spots piling fresh ingredients onto fluffy-yet-crunchy baguettes all around the Harbour City.

    If you do head to Marrickville Pork Roll (whether that be the OG location or one of its expansion stores) the obvious order is the crispy pork crackling roll. Just be prepared to line up to get your hands on one of the best sandwiches in Sydney.

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Top image: Cassandra Hannagan

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