Europe’s Best Sandwiches

Europe’s Best Sandwiches

Martin Morrell Jambon and Cantal cheese sandwich Jambon and Cantal cheese sandwich
Martin Morrell Jambon and Cantal cheese sandwich
Jambon and Cantal cheese sandwich
T+L travels from Berlin to Madrid to deliver the Continent’s quintessential bites.

Berlin | Kadewe

The Place

A veritable Disneyland of comestibles, the sixth floor of the KaDeWe department store showcases all the latest food trends and ingredients. At its 30-plus dining bars, one can taste anything from bratwurst to bouillabaisse, but the best among them might be the cool, nameless herring nook—it’s right next to the fish section—manned by a chef who constructs fanciful smoked-fish platters and Fischbrötchen (fish sandwiches) with the brio of a sushi maestro.

The Sandwich

Try the buttery matjes herring fillets packed into a big roll with a brittle crust and minimally accessorized with white onion, lettuce, and a tart pickle slice. T+L Tip Claim a window stool, order a glass of Riesling, and look out onto Berlin’s moody gray sky and the urban jumble below. 21–24 Tauentzienstrasse; 49-30/2121-2700; sandwiches for two $7.

London | St. John Bread & Wine

The Place

A casual offshoot of Fergus Henderson’s offal-centric St. John, this combination bakery, café, and wine shop, with spare white walls and wooden tables, is an olive’s toss from Spitalfields market.

The Sandwich

Can a lowly bacon butty be true to its greasy-spoon roots yet exalted?The answer is yes if, as here, it combines smoky slices of grilled Gloucestershire Old Spot bacon and a smear of house-made ketchup between cushiony slices of organic sandwich bread.

T+L Tip

Served strictly for breakfast from 9 to 11 a.m., the bacon sandwich is worth every minute of the lengthy commute to East London. 94–96 Commercial St.; 44-20/7251-0848; sandwiches for two $15.

Madrid | Paninoteca D’E

The Place

With a menu conceived by rock-star chef Sergi Arola, this mini-chain takes Spain’s beloved bocadillo into the 21st century. Decked out in sleek grays and metallics, the newest location, in the i of Salamanca, is popular with stylish young couples and matrons in Loewe scarves.

The Sandwich

It’s traumatic to have to choose between some two dozen themed creations on offer—not to mention the outrageously good Italo-Catalan cocapizzas with paper-thin crust—so conduct a contest between the poached quail egg, Camembert cream, and potato chips dressed with truffle oil inside a chapata roll and the airy mollete bun filled with foie gras pâté, chicory, and mango chutney.

T+L Tip

For dessert, select a tart filled with chocolate “caviar” from the adjacent bakery, run by celebrity pâtissier Paco Torreblanca, and it will be brought to your table. 12 Calle Juan Bravo; 34/91-577-1662; sandwiches for two $28.


Paris | Le Petit Vendôme

The Place

Clued-in locals and famous food critics (Le Figaro’s François Simon is a fan) swear by this tatty Auvergnate bistro de quartier right off the Place Vendôme. It’s hard not to love the petits three-dollar kir cocktails and hearty dishes such as grilled pig’s feet, yet the lines spilling out onto the sidewalk are actually for the sandwiches, on buttered, jaw-challengingly chewy baguettes from boulangerie Julien (the “it” bread of Paris.)

The Sandwich

Less is more when it comes to a great baguette sandwich: Trimmings?Jamais! Make yours a classic jambon-fromage with nutty Cantal cheese and cured ham from the Auvergne.

T+L Tip

Tote your lunch to the Tuileries gardens and eat while gazing out on the Louvre. The Mona Lisa can wait. 8 Rue des Capucines, Second Arr.; 33-1/42-61-05-88; sandwiches for two $14.

Rome | Il Forno Roscioli

The Place

Pierluigi Roscioli bakes the greatest pizza bianca in Rome at his traditional family bakery. Leavened with a 20-year-old yeast starter and baked in an 1824 oven, the slim slabs of untopped pizza dough have a springy crumb and a bubbly top that’s moistened with olive oil and speckled with grains of coarse salt. Just as famous are the apple-packed torta di mele and rustic pane di Lariano studded with raisins and walnuts.

The Sandwich

The men at the counter will construct a perfect panino for you if you buy some pizza bianca and a few milky-pink slices of their handcrafted mortadella from Pasquini, Bologna’s greatest producer.

T+L Tip

Eat your panino while strolling the nearby Campo de’ Fiori market, and admire the riot of fruit, flowers, and greens. 34 Via dei Chiavari; 39-06/686-4045; sandwiches for two $14.

Vienna | Zum Schwarzen Kameel

The Place

Dating back to 1618 and remodeled at the turn of the last century with extravagant Jugendstil flourishes—turquoise tiles, sculpted reliefs—this bar and sandwich shop is attached to a landmark restaurant. Dropping in for a pre-lunch drink and a canapé around its weathered vintage-wood counter is something of a sacrament among the old-school Viennese elite.

The Sandwich

A separate station dispenses a dizzying array of dainty canapés and white-bread tramezzini, but the house pride is the Schwarzbrot open sandwich piled with moist, rosy, hand-carved Beinschinken (boiled ham) and freshly grated horseradish.

T+L Tip

Try the range of Austrian wines by the glass, especially the fragrant Gelber Muskateller, then pick up some boutique schnapps and jars of Wachau Valley apricot jam to bring home. 5 Bognergasse; 43-1/533-8125; sandwiches for two $3.

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