The Best Panini in Toronto
The best panini in Toronto are superior examples of Italian deli sandwiches that aren't exclusively served grilled and warm, as most of us have been conditioned to think. Some of these sandwiches do benefit from a final turn on the griddle or press but the most defining characteristic of this Italian-born specialty is the attention to fine ingredients layered onto a base of fresh crusty bread like focaccia, ciabatta or Swiss triangles.
Here are the best panini in Toronto.
This casual spot with locations on Spadina and Richmond East offers 10 different pressed sandwiches ($8-$10) layered with tasty combinations like arugula, mozzarella di buffala, fresh tomatoes and pesto or Italian tuna with red onion, capers, roasted peppers, house mayo and asiago.
The Italian bakery on King West does a pair of panino del giorno ($9.50) that are best had fresh (not pressed) for full appreciation of their ultra fresh house-baked breads. Choose from porchetta with capicollo and banana peppers on sourdough filone or a prosciutto with fior di latte on ciabatta.
Schiacciata ($9-$12) is a favourite at this Italian cafe and bar situated just off King West. The sandwich stuffed into a whole round of focaccia then cut into wedges comes filled with delicacies like bresaola, buffalo ricotta and melanzane, or pistachio motradella, green tomatoes, stracchino cheese and pesto.
This Italian bakery and hot table on Royal York builds sandwiches on giant crusty baguettes that are then cut into individual (yet still enormous) servings. The selection rotates through options like eggplant parmigiana, roasted vegetables, assorted cold cuts, or roast beef with crispy fried onions.
Giant Italian panini ($5.95) at this Bathurst and Dupont cafe are built on focaccia, petit baguettes or ciabatta buns with entirely house-roasted meats. A lineup of six pressed sandwiches includes options like the turkey provolone, roast beef with caramelized onion and sharp cheddar, and corned beef with horseradish mayo to name just a few.
The list of lunch specials at this Italian eatery on King East offers a choice of eight pressed sandwiches that are made to order. House specialties include the Mangiacake ($8) with ham, friulano cheese, sauteed mushrooms and horseradish mayo, or the BLT Italiano ($8) layered with crisp pancetta, tomatoes, avocado, friulano, arugula and bomba sauce.
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