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03rd Mar 2020

Where to get your lunchtime sambo in Galway

Sarah Finnan

Think of lunchtime and you think of sandwiches. They’re a staple that have stood the test of time, becoming part and parcel of our daily diets.

One might expect that the standard sambo would get a bit monotonous after a while, but with so many fillings and ways to switch it up, it’s actually very hard to tire of the meal. From choosing the bread to the accompanying snacks, there are plenty of ways to mix it up.

Though making your own is definitely the more economical option, it’s hard to beat treating yourself to a bite to eat from one of these fine establishments.

What really makes a sandwich though? Because if you’re sticking to the traditional bread only description, we may vary. Some of these use bread, others opt for bagels, baps or rolls – but the premise remains the same and they’re delicious either way.


Toasties elevate sandwiches to the next level and McCambridge’s is top of my list when it comes to getting a toastie in Galway. Fresh made on-site, you can pick from one of the many many pre-existing options or create your own.

Matt’s Sandwiches

Matt’s Sandwiches is their name, and hearty sambos are their game. Find them on Lower Newcastle Road.

Please note that Saturday is bagel day and Matt’s make their signature creations on bagels fresh from the Galway market… all the more reason to go.

56 Central

Home of the melts (since 2012), 56 Central have a whopper menu with four different toastie options – including a vegan tofu delight, their famous cajun chicken melt, a chicken and bacon melt and the auld country classic melt.


Led by love and respect for the environment, Gerona is one of Galway’s most sustainable hidden gems. Usually, it’s their hotpots that draw people in but trust me when I say that their sambos make for very worthy competition.

The Cellar

One of the most solid choices when it comes to lunch in the City of Tribes, be prepared for a bit of a wait if you opt for The Cellar. Worth it for their soup and sambo combo alone. Look at that for a beauty.

Grind Coffee & Co

Grind Coffee has two cafes in Galway – one on Merchant’s Road and the other in Briarhill. The menu is full of fresh healthy food with loads of veggie options too.

Café Temple

Another one for the veggies or anyone looking to cut down on their meat-consumption, Café Temple is a social café that uses profits to support local charities. So you can always feel good about eating here. I have my eye on the VLT  – made with vegan marinated tofu bacon, vegan mayo, lettuce and tomato.

Builin Blasta

A little further out in Spiddal, Builin Blasta is an Irish language café in the heart of Galway’s Gaeltacht. Family-friendly, dog-friendly, and wheelchair-friendly, they serve all-day breakfast, sandwiches, hot lunch, cake, coffee and even wine. This is their take on the cult classic ham and cheese.


An Italian style coffee shop, Renzo has quite the impressive sambo display.

Not to mention their book display – one wall is full of second books, supplied from Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop. 

Urban Grind

Down in Galway’s West End, Urban Grind has just added a new vegan wrap to the lunch menu – combining mixed spiced beans, roasted peppers, vine tomatoes, spinach and avocado salsa. Their coffee is also pretty good, as are their almond croissants.

Cupan Tae

Tea and a toastie from Cupan Tae will most definitely set you up for the day, but make sure to follow that with a slice of cake – calling in here and leaving without doing so would be a crime. Or better yet, opt for afternoon tea and get a little of everything.

We’ll toast to that… haha get it?

READ NEXT: Pizza in Galway – where to spend your dough