Toronto’s Best Paninis


Winner: North Pole Bakery (Image: Cheol joon Baek)

Grant van Gameren is joined by celeb chef Massimo Capra in sampling the city’s top Italian-style sandwiches. Which ’wich reps the Tricolore? Our chefs pick the city’s most authentic panini.

North Pole Bakery, 1210 Danforth Ave., 
Salami, Provolone & Romaine, $4
“The bread is good; they have a nice amount of meat,” says Capra. “I like the thick cut of the salami,” notes van Gameren. “I like that they don’t cheap out!” Both chefs agree: this sandwich checks off all the boxes.


Sud Forno,
716 Queen St. W., Salami, Cambozola & Greens, $7
“This is like a homemade Italian sandwich from your house, you know?” says van Gameren. Although the strong cheese competes with the flavourful salami, both chefs enjoy the pick. Capra: “It’s tasty, eh? Very tasty.”


9010 Yonge St., Salami, Ham & Capicollo, $6.50
“Oh, they’ve got my favourite, the capicollo di lusso!” says Capra. The downside is the bun, which doesn’t do much to stop the fillings from sliding out.


Red Sauce,
50c Clinton St., Muffuletta with Mixed Meats, $14
“Here you go, buddy, just take a big bite!” Capra laughs. “There’s no oil on this focaccia,” observes van Gameren. Capra: “I guess this is homemade giardiniera?” Both chefs enjoy the pickled vegetables but agree the ’wich needs more olive oil.


Bar Buca,
75 Portland St., Mortadella, Stracchino, Green Tomatoes, $10
“I like the idea of pickled green tomatoes,” van Gameren says. “Someone put a little bit of extra thought in it.” “Mortadella is one of my favourites, eh?” notes Capra. He would, however, prefer even more meat.


Mezza Notte Trattoria,
5304 Yonge St., Panino Rustico, $11
“I mean how can you complain about arugula, prosciutto and provolone?” asks Capra, of the classic pairing. “I do like roasted red peppers,” notes van Gameren. Bread with more of a crumb would’ve improved the sandwich.


Lil’ Baci Taverna,
2013 Yonge St., Pancetta, Arugula, Roasted Tomato, $11
“I like the idea of the pancetta,” says van Gameren. Capra agrees but wishes it had been served raw: “Raw pancetta is the most spectacular thing in the world!”


Ciao Wine Bar,
133 Yorkville Ave., Prosciutto di parma, Arugula, Brie, $10
“Now we’re talking!” says Capra. “I don’t remember Italy making brie — but that’s OK.” “An Italian cheese would make more sense,” says van Gameren. Chef says: “I love arugula in a pressed sandwich.”


One of T.O.’s best-known Italian chefs, Massimo Capra joins van Gameren this month in sussing out the city’s most scrumptious panini. Bread is the building block: “It should be soft and crispy and easy to chew,” Capra says.

Edit Module

Join the conversation and have your say by commenting below. Our comment system uses a Facebook plugin. Please note that you'll have to turn off some ad-blockers in order to see the comments.

Edit Module

Follow us on Twitter @PostCity for more on what to eat, where to shop and what to do in Toronto.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

You may also like...

Three picnic baskets perfect for an afternoon at the park

Three picnic baskets perfect for an afternoon at the park

Let someone else put together a gourmet lunch for your relaxing day outdoors
Posted 5 days ago
Chef Mark McEwan set to close North 44

Chef Mark McEwan set to close North 44

Midtown’s iconic North 44 restaurant, which launched the celebrated career of celebrity chef Mark McEwan, will be closing its doors later this month.
Posted 6 days ago
Egg waffles are this summer's biggest hit

Egg waffles are this summer's biggest hit

This Hong Kong export has gone from a simple childhood treat into an international Instagram trend. Here's where to get it in T.O.
Posted 1 week ago
Can two dine at T.O.’s swankiest French resto on a budget?

Can two dine at T.O.’s swankiest French resto on a budget?

Posted 1 week ago
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleEdit Module