Ten breakfast sandwiches you need to eat right now

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Remember the days of pounding back coffee and munching foil-wrapped breakfast sandwiches during your morning commute? That seems like a faraway fantasy these days, but the reign of the breakfast sandwich lives on. Constructed with everything from buttermilk biscuits to challah buns and stuffed with fillings both classic (bacon, tomato) and over-the-top (tater tots, deep-fried pickles), Toronto has a sandwich for the most discriminating of breakfast fans. Here are 10 to add to your breakfast bucket list.

The ones with braised kale

1 Manita, Ossington’s new takeout spot that’s also a grocery store, pulls off a rare trick with its breakfast sandwich. With smoked bacon, Mahon cheese, and a fried egg, it’s rich and indulgent but holds onto vegetal freshness with a juicy layer of tangy, tender kale braised with red wine vinegar. The vinegar brings welcome acidity to the picture and cuts through the richness. The result—rounded out with aïoli, ketchup, and hot sauce—is a truly perfect bite. This is the kind of breakfast you may find yourself going back to grab for lunch. $14. 210 Ossington Ave., 416-551-2230, manita.ca
 

The one that’s technically a Philly cheesesteak

2 Popular Junction deli When the Pig Came Home has a whole collection of sandwiches named after its regulars. The Callum, an homage to local artist Callum Schuster, is essentially a hefty Philly cheesesteak but given the breakfast treatment. Bavette and hanger steak sit on a milk bun topped with sautéed peppers, onions, garlic, provolone and cheddar, an over-easy egg, deli sauce, hot mustard and—of course—a healthy amount of Cheez Whiz. $13.95. (Note: WTPCH is currently closed for renovations but will reopen for all your sandwich needs in May.) 3035 Dundas St. W., 647-345-9001, whenthepigcamehome.ca
 

The one with piquillo peppers

3 Bar Raval makes good use of the piquillo pepper—a sweet, flavourful Spanish pepper near the bottom of the Scoville scale. The peppers, marinated and fire-roasted, bring a lovely bite that sets off the sandwich’s richer ingredients: a griddled egg, Manchego cheese, garlic mayo and shaved, aged Serrano ham on a toasted Martin’s potato bun. With the tangy peppers and salty ham, it’s balanced, interesting and a natural pairing for their notoriously delicious patatas bravas. $11. 505 College St., thisisbarraval.com
 

The one that’s oh so golden

4 For its eponymous breakfast sandwich, Gold Standard—a collaboration between The Federal and Reunion Island, with locations in Roncesvalles and Parkdale—slathers an English muffin with green onion oil before grilling it on a flat top. It’s topped with a pillowy, cheesy cheddar scrambled egg, perfectly cooked bacon (or Impossible sausage), kosher pickles, house aïoli and a dash of Marie Sharp’s hot sauce. Kale is available as an add-on, and you can also find this sandwich at The Federal. $7.50, $9 with both bacon and kale. 385 Roncesvalles Ave., breakfastsandwich.ca
 

The ones with rosti potato

5 This absolute unit of a breakfast sandwich from Ossington’s Union has a layer of crispy, soft-on-the-inside rosti potatoes nestled in with ham, melty Swiss cheese, a fried egg, lettuce and spicy mayo. If that isn’t substantial enough, it all sits on toasted, sesame-sprinkled challah grilled on the flat top with—wait for it—duck fat. It’s exactly as indulgent and satisfying as it sounds. $14. 72 Ossington Ave., 416-850-0093, union72.ca
 

The one on a buttermilk biscuit

6 IYKYK: A wildly delicious Lazy Daisy’s buttermilk biscuit forms the base of its Son-of-a-Rise breakfast sandwich. This adorable Little India cafe is serious about responsibly sourced ingredients—the biscuit halves sandwich Mennonite smoked bacon, free-run eggs, aged white cheddar and avocado. It’s available on its own for $8.95 or as a combo with coffee for $9.95, and there are bacon or avocado-only versions on offer, as well as a stacked double-decker for $11.95. House chipotle or garlic mayo can be added for an extra hit of flavour—not that it’s necessary. 1515 Gerrard St. E., 647-341-4070, lazdaisyscafe.ca
 

The one with muhammara

7 Donna’s Z.E.N. sandwich is a veritable vegetarian breakfast dream. Marinated zucchini is topped with a griddled egg (nix the egg for a vegan version), cilantro and mint, house hot sauce, and muhammara—a Middle Eastern red pepper and hazelnut spread. The herbaceous, punchy combo all sits on buttered, toasted white bread from the nearby Paris Bakery. (For meat-eaters, there’s the H.E.C., topped with griddled ham, capicola, egg and cheddar.) $6. 827 Lansdowne Ave., 416-536-1414, donnas.ca
 

The one with a deep-fried pickle

8 It turns out that deep-fried pickles work just as well on a breakfast sandwich as they do on their own. The Junction’s Dirty Food Eatery tops deep-fried house-made pickles with a fried egg, a skirt of fried cheddar cheese, dirty mayo, and banana peppers for some bite. It comes with an option of regular fries, Creole-spiced fries or home fries. While you can’t go wrong with any of these choices, the home fries—basically cubed and deep-fried mille-feuille potatoes—are out of this world. $14. 3070 Dundas St. W., 416-855-3393, dirtyfoodto.com
 

The one on a challah bun

9 This beloved east-end family bakery is known for (what else) its delectable baked goods. Accordingly, their pillowy, just-sweet-enough challah bun is the star of this popular breakfast sandwich. It’s a combo of their veggie and meat-only versions, with peameal bacon, a perfect fried egg, orange cheddar, creamy avocado, grilled tomato and spicy mayo. This place tends to see a fair bit of morning traffic, so you’re best off calling and placing your order in advance to avoid a wait. $8. 173 Danforth Ave., 416-465-2253, doughbakeshop.ca
 

The one that’s a burrito

10 Leave it to a taco place to do bang-on breakfast burritos. Grand Electric’s classic breakfast burrito (a veggie version with avocado is also available) ticks all the right boxes with tater tots, smoked bacon, scrambled egg, Aardvark hot sauce and zesty pico de gallo—all wrapped up in a grilled flour tortilla. You can opt to customize your spice level—if you ask for spicy, they’ll put extra habaneros in the pico and give you hot sauce on the side. $13.50, and only available on weekends. 1330 Queen St. W., 416-627-3459, grandelectrictoronto.com