The humble toasted sandwich is a much-loved mainstay of Kiwi cuisine. With the ever-popular Great New Zealand Toastie Takeover competition now in full swing, now’s the perfect time to chow down on some of the best toasties in the country.
The ever-popular Great NZ Toastie Takeover competition is the nation’s most famous toasted sandwich contest. Bars, restaurants and cafés from Waitangi to Lumsden – as well as a boutique cinema, a salmon farm, a bowling alley and even the Bluebridge Cook Strait ferry – are currently in fierce competition to take the title, with 30 judges undertaking the hardest job of all – choosing whose toastie comes out on top. The rules are that all toasties must be sandwiched between two slices of bread, can be eaten by hand, and contains cheese (or an acceptable vegan substitute) and McClure’s pickles. We’ve taken a bite-sized look at some of the competition entries for 2022.
187 George Street, Dunedin
This Dunedin favourite was crowned the winner of the Great Toastie Takeover in 2020, so it’s definitely one to add to your list! Satisfy your sandwich cravings with ‘The Wild South’, which showcases Fiordland venison flavoured with a delectable mix of South African spices, combined with a hearty helping of scalloped potatoes and homemade BBQ sauce. It’s all topped up with pickles, aged cheddar and mozzarella, and served in herb buttered ciabatta for the ultimate extravagance. Toasted sandwiches and soups are Hungry Hobos’ specialty, so you really can’t go wrong here.
More information: hungryhobos.co.nz
Beaufort + Co 52F
Oteha Valley Road, Oteha, Auckland
This beloved North Shore café’s ‘Cheeky Toastie’ certainly lives up to its name with a mouthwateringly melted combination of braised beef cheeks, cream cheese, jalapeño and smoked cheese, sandwiched between two satisfyingly thick slices of sourdough bread, served up with sweet and spicy pickles. If you’re hungry for more, chef/owner Kevin Blakeman also offers a couple of other toastie treats including a divine truffled mushroom sandwich and one that’s ideal for veggie foodies, with a meat-free patty, halloumi, tomato and a dusting of dukkah.
More information: beaufort.co.nz
#antsnacks the lunch bar
41 Devon Street East, New Plymouth
The Korean Pulled Pork Toastie from New Plymouth’s #antsnacks lunch bar serves up a tasty new twist on the classic grilled cheese sandwich. This iteration features the irresistible pairing of juicy pulled pork with kimchi, sweet spicy pickles, a sprinkling of sesame seeds, spring onion and a mix of cheddar and mozzarella cheese on a Turkish pide. The eclectic variety of flavours in this toastie really dances on the taste buds, so it’s one to try if you like to get a little adventurous with your food.
More information: abc-catering.co.nz
Queenstown Central Shopping Centre, 19 Grant Road, Frankton, Queenstown
Built on the firm belief that organic, free-range ingredients are better for both our appetites and the planet, it’s fair to say that Love Chicken puts a lot of heart and soul into their entry into the competition for this year – the Mac & Cheese toastie. As a duo of two classic comfort foods paired together, what’s not to love? Their toastie features organic free-range chicken cooked to crisp and juicy perfection, combined with a decadent three-cheese mac & cheese. The pickles provide a tasty zing, with a balanced hit of sweetness from caramelised onions to make the whole thing sing.
More information: lovechicken.co.nz
49 Awapuni Road, Awapuni, Gisborne
Speaking of perfect pairings, it doesn’t get much better than a cold brew and a freshly made toastie, and you’ll find both on hand at this award-winning Gisborne brewery. Their competition entry showcases bold flavours that complement each other perfectly. Rich pastrami is balanced with the tanginess of seeded mustard, sauerkraut and sweet and spicy pickles, and elevated with plenty of creamy mozzarella, all sandwiched between slices of the brewery’s own mixed grain ‘beer bread’ made in-house using spent malt from the brewing process. Wash it all down with your choice of beer from their extensive range, and you’ll leave a happy customer.
More information: sunshinebrewing.co.nz
105 Orbell Street, Sydenham, Christchurch
In town for the NZMCA Motorhome, Caravan & Leisure show this month? The great-named No Parm, No Fowl from this Christchurch-based café/bistro hits the spot for anyone seeking a plant-based alternative to the classic toastie. This vegan sammie combines Grater Goods’ own sliced ‘furkey’ and plant pastrami with melted cheddar, parmesan, garlic & dill pickles, rocket, balsamic reduction and horseradish mayo. It’s served on toasted focaccia bread with a red wine jus for that finishing touch, and packs a big punch when it comes to flavour. While you’re here, make sure you check out the rest of their range on display at their shop, which includes an impressive array of plant-based food and drink.
More information: gratergoods.co.nz
160 The Esplanade Petone, Lower Hutt, Wellington
Petone hotspot Seashore Cabaret is well known for its quirky interior, consistently delicious menu and stunning views from their seaside spot on The Esplanade, so it’s well worth a visit. Their Toastie Takeover entry this year is a 12-hour braised brisket paired with mozzarella, cream cheese and pickle spread, creating a umami-laden flavour bomb. Wilted garlic spinach adds a touch of green, and it’s all served up in Shelly Bay thick-cut sourdough covered in lashings of garlic butter. Decadent to be sure, but worth the indulgence!
More information: seashorecabaret.com
The General Café
19b Pacific Avenue, Mount Maunganui
A medley of audacious flavours distinguishes the Smoked Saxon Melt from Mount Maunganui’s The General Café. It’s all in the details here – the bread is white truffle buttered sourdough, encasing a scrumptious filling of smoked gouda mornay, dry cured smoked pork loin
and aged cheddar, with a generous helping of sauerkraut and pickle relish to cut through all the richness. This award-winning eatery has an extensive menu and great coffee to boot, so if you’re in the sunny Mount, you can’t go wrong with a meal at this popular spot.
More information: thegeneral.co.nz