Vancouver’s Essential Sandwiches, From Meatball Bahn Mi To Porchetta Legends

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Celebrated gourmand James Beard once quipped that “too few people really understand a good sandwich.” He couldn’t  have been referring to Vancouver, a city blessed with a wide variety of sandwiches that run the full breaded spectrum. Here are our current picks for the best of them, presented for the ranking consideration of our readership…

Finch’s | STRATHCONA | 501 East Georgia St. | 604-558-1644 | www.finchsteahouse.com
Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is what you need to order when you go to Finch’s in Strathcona: baked blue-brie cheese layered with pear slices and wax-paper thin prosciutto topped with roasted walnuts and drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar on a baguette. You’re welcome.

Dock Lunch | MT. PLEASANT | 152 E 11th Ave | 604-879-3625 | @docklunch_offmain
The legendary meatball bánh mì at this tiny, homey, off-Main Street charmer is only served on the last Friday of the month. It’s a beautiful, spicy behemoth four meatballs long with pickles, peanuts, and cilantro. Unconventional, to be sure, but holy good goddam amazing. Follow the place on Instagram to be reminded of its next arrival.

Meat & Bread | GASTOWN | 370 Cambie St. | www.meatandbread.ca
This particular porchetta sandwich became a legend on the day it was born in 2010. Moist, juicy, flavour-flecked with its signature rub (salt, parsley, fennel fronds, rosemary, chili, secrets), it’s a revelation on a signature bun. Don’t mind the line-up, as the whole operation is built for speed.

Bao Down | GASTOWN | 12 Powell St. | 778-379-3611 | www.baodown.net
The fried chicken “street sandwich” here is smeared heavy with garlic scape mayo and simply garnished with iceburg lettuce. The chicken is fish sauce glazed and given a thin, garlicky batter crunch. It’s a deceptively simple construction, and yet it has all the complexity, flavour depth, and textural contrasts of a fine dining masterpiece.

Railtown Cafe | RAILTOWN | 397 Railway St. | 604-428-0800 | www.railtowncafe.ca
The warm chicken club sandwich at this Railtown institution is a stroke of stratified genius. It starts with the spongy focaccia bread drizzled with zingy “green goddess” dressing, continues with thick cut chicken breast meat (warm) and slow cooked (72 hour) bacon, and finishes with a burst of tomato. Bonus: great people watching.

Which sandwich would you eat first?

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There are 3 comments

  1. My fave has always been Finch’s, always tasty, fresh and beautiful.

    But I’m also in love with the beef dip at Batard bakery- amazing!! The best bread and pink in the middle, house made roast beef.

  2. I love the sandwiches at Finches!! At the downtown (Pender) location tho!! Staff is great!! Fun little cafe for lunchtime!!

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