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Image / Living / Food & Drink

12 of the best Christmas sandwiches across Ireland


By Sarah Finnan
04th Dec 2023

Greenville Deli

12 of the best Christmas sandwiches across Ireland

With just a few short weeks to go until the main event (by which I mean Christmas dinner, obvs), here are a few of the country's best festive sambos to keep you going in the meantime.

Christmas is a time for many things, eating all the good food being one of the most important. Cheese, chocolate, charcuterie boards; there are lots of indulgent things to get through before the big day arrives and Christmas dinner takes centre stage. 

Even those weird in-between days succeeding the big day revolve around food. Usually, the festive buzz has kind of worn off by that point and most of us have absolutely no concept of time, but there’s still plenty of leftovers to get through and your mother will be damned if any of it goes to waste. 

Every year we attempt to make Monica Gellar’s famous moist-maker sandwich to help us use up what’s left… and every year, we fail miserably. Tasty as our creations have been, they’re far too messy to actually pick up and eat as intended. The gravy-soaked bread layer sounds like a good idea in theory but rarely is in practice.

In conclusion, Christmas sandwiches should probably be left to the professionals. So, follow our lead and add these Irish cafés to the list of places you need to try before Christmas Day rolls around. 

Cáis, Dingle

best Christmas sandwiches

If you were down in Dingle for Other Voices and didn’t get a Cáis toastie, then you did your weekend very wrong, my friends. When we put a call out for IMAGE readers’ favourite Christmas sandwiches, Cáis was by far the most recommended place in our DMs – it’s clear that you guys have a whole lot of grá for their festive version. They also have a very tasty-sounding mushroom version for veggies. 

Kate’s Kitchen, Sligo

Standing tall on Castle Street, Kate’s Kitchen is a well-known and well-loved Sligo café. A great spot to pick up a gift or two, their Christmas sandwich is also worth sampling while there and this year’s creation features Irish baked ham, brie, homemade stuffing and cranberry mayo on a multi-seed bloomer. Delish.

147 Deli, Dublin

best Christmas sandwiches

If in Dublin, head to Parnell Street and you’ll find 147 Deli, an independent sandwich shop that has perfected the art of the Christmas sambo. Their special changes weekly but they have a steady menu of other classics to choose from too. Pictured here is the turkey and chorizo melt but their festive special includes glazed ham, steamed turkey, bacon fat sprouts, crispy bacon bits, hazelnut, sage and cranberry stuffing, brie and cranberry mayo. All drizzled with chicken wing gravy. It’s an absolute beast.

Sawyers Deli, Belfast

Fresh Italian bread, stuffed turkey, ham, gravy, cranberry sauce, cheese; the Belfast Festives from Sawyers Deli have it all. 

McCambridge’s, Galway 

best Christmas sandwiches

McCambridge’s is a Galway institution and they should be your first port of call for a lunchtime sambo out west. They also have a handy ‘make your own’ option – you can choose from a range of different fillings so you can customise your Christmas sandwich to your own specific tastes.  

Emer’s Kitchen, Dublin

The team at Emer’s Kitchen know that the best way to kick off the merriment is with a Christmas sandwich. Their festive special includes roast turkey, honey and mustard glazed ham, fresh herb and cranberry stuffing, cranberry mayo and mixed baby leaves on granary bread. Yes, yes and yes.

Sonny’s Deli, Cork

Sonny’s Christmas sambo comprises orange and fennel roasted turkey crown with their house cranberry and balsamic chutney, herb and onion stuffing, mayo and rocket. Worth travelling for, I suspect. 

Gourmet Food Parlour, Dublin and Galway

“Pre-Covid times, the IMAGE crew used to spend a lot of time in the Gourmet Food Parlour in Dun Laoghaire as our office used to be just around the corner. Each year, one of us would burst in the door and announce, ‘the Gourmet Christmas sambo is back!’ – cue a rush to the door and our lunch plans sorted for the rest of the festive season. Ciabatta, cranberry sauce, homemade stuffing, roast turkey, brie, rocket, and garlic aioli – yum!” – a raving endorsement from our own Lauren Heskin.

Thankfully, you don’t need to be in Dun Laoghaire to get your mitts on one as there are also Gourmet Food Parlours in Malahide, Santry, Swords, Dunshauglin, and Salthill in Galway.

Monty’s Café, Cork

best Christmas sandwiches

Roast turkey, brie or timos cheddar, cranberry sauce, and Monty’s signature homemade stuffing. What more could you ask for? Monty’s was one of many Midleton businesses affected by severe flooding this year so if you’re in the area, be sure to call in and show them your support.

Nook Café, Sligo

The Nook festive toastie is a thing of beauty– look at that cauliflower cheese croquette. Drooling just thinking about it.

Greenville Deli, Dublin

With branches in Inchicore, Rathmines and Monkstown, Greenville Deli is making sure Dubliners don’t go without this festive season. Their take on the Christmas sambo includes roast turkey, hand-carved ham, sage and rosemary stuffing, brie, pickled red cabbage, cranberry sauce and mustard mayo. All served on fresh sourdough bread with cranberry aioli dip and a little bag of crisps. They also have a super vegan-friendly version too with roasted sweet potato and green lentils, vegan stuffing, mustard mayo and cranberry sauce. Tasty.

Perky’s Coffee House, Dublin

Serving up both a regular and a vegan Christmas sambo, Perky’s Coffee House in Raheny have all bases covered this festive season. The former is made with roast turkey, ham, stuffing, caramelised red onion marmalade, mayo and cranberry sauce on toasted sourdough with a side of garlic mayo while the latter is on a ciabatta with nut roast, caramelised onion, cranberry sauce and vegan mayo. That second one is riiiiight up my alley.

This is an updated version of an article that was originally published in December 2021.