Loaf is sandwiched between an Eat and a Greggs but is far more interesting than either of those chains. It's taken inspiration from a movement of cheese street food in New York, and focuses on toasties. While not as exciting as something like Manhattan's Melt Shop (anyone starts selling a buttermilk fried chicken and pepper jack cheese sandwich in London and we're first in line), Loaf still features options like truffle mushroom and BBQ pulled pork alongside the tuna melt and ham and cheese.
We had a salt beef Reuben with swiss cheese, red cabbage and a held pickle, coming with mustard rather than the advertised thousand island dressing on crisp multigrain. Unlike a toastie from the coffee shop chains, the ingredients weren't overwhelmed by cheese. Expect none of that annoying fatty drip. We also didn't spend the next two hours sweating dairy. The meat was pink and tender, falling apart with each bite.
Larger stomachs than ours might find the sandwich a bit small, but you could always consider a dessert toastie for £1.95 or a side of mac and cheese. On a previous visit we tried the hot box of juicy and tangy BBQ pulled pork with brown rice (you can choose mash if you prefer), beans and red cabbage. We ate in, and even the small size came piled high on a plate, deeply satisfying.
Regular visitors to London's newer independent eateries will recognise the rough hewn wooden tables, mismatched chairs and exposed brickwork, but the outside seating adds a lovely extra summer dimension under the trees on Tottenham Court Road (just ignore the traffic).
A toastie and apple juice cost £6.40. Loaf is at 93 Tottenham Court Road, W1T 4HL and open Mon-Fri 7am-4.30pm, Saturday 9am-4pm and Sunday 10am-4pm.
Disclaimer: We review anonymously and pay for all our meals/drinks.