Hamilton’s sandwich game is next level. It always has been.
Given our industrial and blue-collar roots, Hamiltonians are no strangers to eating on the go on a dime. It’s only inevitable that we’ve become home to some world-class sandwich shops that share our work ethic and appreciation for quality and deliciousness.
Therefore, here are the Top 5 places to get a sandwich for under $10 in Hamilton. Be warned: a lot of these joints will have an out-the-door line up come lunchtime so plan your visit accordingly!
5. Mike’s Subs
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Well, this is another classic Hamilton sub shop. There are a few located throughout the city but I’ve always frequented the location on Ottawa Street. These subs are very meaty. I always like the mix and they certainly don’t skimp on the lunch meats and cheese. The buns are so fresh and fluffy and their veggies offer that perfect crispy crunch. I think their basic sub sauce is what puts these over the top: it’s light and savoury and just the right punch that helps bring together all the other flavours in the sub.
Located in the Hamilton Farmer’s market on the lower level, Best on Bread is the newcomer on this list. The day I went to try their goods, they weren’t serving beef or pork so I can’t speak to their hot sandwiches but they had a big selection of ready-made sandwiches that were quick to grab and go. I got the Cold Asian Chicken. I was nice balance of tangy and spicy. Their kimchi slaw hits all the right spots and their rolls are nice and fresh. The people serving me were so kind and took the time to tell me what was on all their sandwiches. The serving, while not huge, was sufficient enough that I wasn’t going to leave starving or overfull. It’s truly the perfect spot to grab lunch on the go.
This was the first time I’ve had the opportunity to try Duarte’s sandwiches. I was tipped off by my ‘foodie’ bestie who’s had a long love affair with this little store. I have to admit, she knows her stuff. I wasn’t actually sure the store was open when I pulled up outside because, in all honesty, it doesn’t look like much. When I walked in the door though it was a totally different story. There was a mass of people from all walks of life waiting to get their Duarte’s sandwich fix. I ordered the meatball sandwich with mozzarella. I asked for the ‘spicy’ version. It came on this beautiful soft Portuguese bun that felt like it was baked just for me. It was doughy and light and gorgeous. I liked that there wasn’t an insane amount of sauce on the sandwich because it kept the bread from getting soggy. Between the sauce and perfectly seasoned and spiced meatballs and the fresh, thick slice of moz, this sandwich was perfection. And for only $4.50, it’s a steal.
As a proud East Ender, there was no way I was going to leave this deli off the list. This store has been my family’s go-to sub shop since before I can remember. My brother still drives down from Belleville just to get them. This corner store and deli has been serving the North and East End community for decades and it’s still going strong. I don’t even know where to begin with their subs: the ingredients are so fresh, the buns are so fluffy and delicious and, most importantly, the ladies who make them are a true delight. I prefer the mix (that’s my typical sub order) and here they don’t hold back on the meat and cheese. Their sub sauce is nice and light and tastes like my childhood. Maybe it’s the nostalgia talking, but Glow is, and will probably always be, my favourite place to get a sandwich in Hamilton. It’s also worth noting that their candy and chips selection is second to none in the city.
This is a really special place. While its location is a little out of the way, its reputation for delicious sandwiches and baked goods has kept people lining up out the door day after day for decades. The Bonanza Mix is my go-to (and that of many other patrons, I’m sure) and they serve it up on a crusty Portuguese bun with all the toppings your heart desires. I don’t know what it is about the sandwich that puts them over the top. I think it lies in their sauce. I think it adds this tang that you don’t find anywhere else. It just sets off the flavours of the meats and cheese and fresh bread. I really love this deli because the service here is phenomenal. They treat their customers like family, and in some cases, the customers are family because they keep coming back.
Where’s your favourite place to get a sandwich in Hamilton for less than $10?