Finalists announced for Great NZ Toastie Takeover 2019

If you think you know a good cheese toastie, wait until you cop a look at the Great NZ Toastie Takeover finalists for 2019.

Fifty mouth-watering toasties from across the country were whittled down to just 13 that will be judged on presentation, effectiveness of preparation technique, eatability, taste, innovation and originality in the final.

The top 13 boasts a macaroni and brisket special from Auckland’s Luncheonette, a tuna melt from Park Kitchen in Wellington, and a flavourful French dip toastie from Otto Delicatessen in Christchurch (pictured above).

To meet the entry criteria, all sandwiches had to be toasted between two slices of bread and able to be eaten by hand. They also had to use some kind of cheese and McClure’s Pickles, the rest was the cook’s creation.

Head Judge Kerry Tyack said Kiwis’ love affair with the iconic cheese toastie is only growing stronger, inspiring cooks and chefs to push the boundaries even further.

“The Kiwi toastie is no longer simply comfort food – it’s become a thing of culinary art,” he said.

“No longer is it sufficient to slap slabs of cheddar and ham between slices of white bread. Artisan breads, piquant pickles and richly braised meats are all being carefully compiled to create exotic treasure troves of taste”.

The winner of the competition will be announced on August 26.

Scroll down to see the full list of finalists.




Luncheonette by Culprit: Macaroni and Brisket Burnt End with McClure’s Pickle Toastie.

Fed Deli – Pastrami ‘n’ Swiss Melt: A toasted hot dog bun with pastrami, Russian dressing, McClure’s Pickle Spear and Swiss cheese.

The Apothecary: ‘Dagwood’ Reuben sandwich.


The General (Mount Maunganui): A toastie featuring Golden Harvest Organic Sourdough and packed with all kinds of goodies, including 12-hour braised beef brisket and McClure’s Sweet and Spicy Pickles.

Hayes Common (Hamilton) – Ol’ Smoky: The toastie that almost got away – Smoked kahawai, creamy mustard béchamel, smoked and vintage Meyer cheeses, McClure’s Sweet and Spicy Pickles, hot sauce, potato sourdough and a fried pickle.


The Federal Store Cafe & Deli (New Plymouth): 12-hour slow-cooked corned beef with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, pickles and dressing on toasted, herb-buttered dark rye.

Replete Café (Taupo) – Kiwi Cuban: Ham, pulled pork, McClure’s Pickles, habanero mustard and Swiss cheese on Vogel’s bread.


Goods Manufactory and Café: Roasted cauliflower, garlic kale, Taleggio and McClure’s Spicy Pickles.

Park Kitchen – PK’s Tuna Melt: Tuna, mozzarella, spicy sliced pickles, red onion, garlic aioli and fresh basil on brioche.


Joe’s Garage Riccarton: Pulled lamb shoulder and Havarti cheese toastie.

Otto Delicatessen – The French Dip:  Provolone, cheddar, onion and mustard aioli with McClure’s Pickles, hot beef jus and potato crisps.

SOUTH ISLAND (Excluding Christchurch)

The Hokitika Sandwich Company (Hokitika) – The Detroit: Corned beef, sweet and spicy McClure’s pickles, red onion, Havarti cheese, house-made special sauce, mixed greens served on toasted ciabatta.

Vines Village Café (Marlborough) – Little River Duck Toastie: Slow roasted aromatic duck with Sweet & Spicy McClure’s Pickles, Sour Cherry, Little River (Nelson) Cumulus A2 cheese and caramelised onion on crusty white bread.