The Kitsilano Sandwich Scene


I love a good sandwich, and I have been looking for an excuse to write about Kitsilano’s sandwich options for a while. Indish was so kind to oblige by starting to serve some simple lunch options (in addition to selling their ready-to-cook gourmet meals). To date, I have had both their tuna melt and smoked turkey sandwich and both were pretty amazing.

Read on after the jump for some other great – and not so great – sandwich options in Kits.

In fairly random, and if anything, geographical, order:

  • The Epicurean Delicatessen Caffe is a staple on West 1st and makes some mean sandwiches. There really isn’t anything negative that can be said about the Epicurean. If only I lived a little closer… Epicurean Caffe on Urbanspoon
  • Just around the corner from the Epicurean is Pane from Heaven (1670 Cypress Street). Although I haven’t actually been there yet, I keep hearing good things about them, and the Tandoori Chicken Panini comes recommended.
  • Sticking close to the water, perhaps my favourite grilled sandwiches come from Viva Fine Foods, at the bottom of Yew Street. Any walk to Kits Beach around lunchtime invariably includes a stop at this sandwich heaven. Their pastries are also pretty spectacular. Viva Bakery on Urbanspoon
  • Moving up to West 4th, reported earlier that Terra Breads makes some delicious sandwiches, and I wholeheartedly agree. The roast lamb sandwich really is fantastic. In addition, their bread is my favourite for homemade sandwiches. Terra Breads Cafe on Urbanspoon

Two supermarkets on West 4th also make some rather nice sandwiches.

  • Capers‘ deli offers great choices all around, and I’ve enjoyed many a good sandwich here. They also sell one of my favourite sweet treats; the almond and lemon pretzel.
  • One of my guilty pleasures is definitely Safeway‘s grilled sandwiches. Greasy and far from subtle, I actually really like these artery blockers. The “Italian Classic” has to be my favourite.

Moving west towards Macfourth:

  • Wired Monk – at 4th and Trafalgar – is a funky coffee shop that has some very nice sandwich options. This may also very well be the only coffee shop that offers live entertainment in the evening and serves alcohol to boot. Wired Monk on Urbanspoon
  • Heading further west still along 4th, one simply has to stop in on Raviolino, if only to stock up on their amazing fresh pasta. I recently had my first sandwich at Raviolino, and I must say I was slightly disappointed. The bread (homemade) was great, the deli meat was fine, but the tomato and other dressings were a little sad. I was also a little brain dead that day, and after ordering both a salami and prosciutto sandwich, I was asked what I wanted on them (cheese, mayo, mustard, etc.).  In my daze I simply said “sure” and this is where they should have stopped me. Cheese, mayo, and mustard on a prosciutto sandwich? Yikes. But, again, Raviolino is absolutely amazing, and get the Sicilian Scaccia as a great snack or lunch alternative. Raviolino Gourmet Pasta and Food on Urbanspoon

There are plenty of (independent) coffee shops in Kits and most of them offer sandwiches in some form or another. I already mentioned Wired Monk, and I believe two other coffee shops are worth mentioning here.

  • Arbutus Market has some good grilled sandwich options, but to be perfectly honest, the main reason to go here would be for the baked goods. Their Honey Granola muffin is one of the best breakfast muffins around.
  • Most of this post was written at Heart Attack & Vine (2480 Vine Street, just off Broadway). An unassuming little coffee shop with free internet and some truly amazing sandwiches. Most of their business seems to come from the catering that they do, but their lunch offerings and baked goods are really, really good, and made on premise. Higher Grounds (the Broadway location is just across the street) may be the nicer coffee shop, but Heart Attack & Vine is hands down your choice for sandwiches and snacks. My personal favourite du jour is “The Flesh Eater”.

Moving up to Broadway, there are two places that need to be mentioned for their distinct lack of a good sandwich:

  • Marketplace IGA is one. Their deli in the original location is just so sad looking, and having been disappointed numerous times with some of their deli items I really can’t bring myself to have them make me a sandwich. I haven’t been to the “Bistro” in the new location yet, but it looks quite good from the outside.
  • Another place I really dislike is Calhoun’s. Walking by a couple of weeks ago I actually spotted a pigeon inside. Enough said. Calhoun's Bakery Cafe on Urbanspoon

Moving west along Broadway:

  • Another one of my (not-so-)guilty pleasures is Tim Hortons Turkey Bacon Club. Nothing fancy, just plain old Timmy goodness. I think I’m about ready to apply for my Canadian citizenship now… 
  • And lastly, just south of Broadway on Arbutus is Hälsö Konditori, who make a great open-faced Swedish shrimp and egg sandwich as well as a range of more traditional sandwich options (salami, prosciutto, lox, etc.), and all of them can be ordered on some fairly tasty flat bread. And as mentioned above, Indish has now also started serving some tasty sandwiches for lunch. Indishpensable on Urbanspoon

And finally some honourable mentions:

  • While perhaps not technically a sandwich, who can resist a cream cheese bagel? I still haven’t decided whether I prefer Siegel’s or Solly’s. Siegel's Bagels on Urbanspoon
  • And although technically not in Kits, Meinhardt obviously has some great sandwich options, as pretty much everything there is quite wonderful, if overpriced. Meinhardt Fine Foods on Urbanspoon

I am sure I have left out some other amazing sandwich options. Feel free to share them here.

Last modified: January 26, 2009

3 Responses to " The Kitsilano Sandwich Scene "

  1. James says:

    The new IGA Marketplace Bistro is quite good, I had their soup and sandwich one evening. Good grilled paninis with an interesting selection of fillings.

    Calhoun’s is disgusting. Avoid at all costs, a pigeon getting in is probably less serious than the cockroaches I saw scampering around during a visit. Bleargh.

  2. Matt says:

    Nice post Erik. That’s the most thorough post (or article) I’ve seen dedicated to ‘the sandwich’ anywhere online or off.

    Boo Calhoun’s.

  3. Dan-D-Mart at Broadway and Stephens — go to the back deli counter, order any one of their sandwiches you want — made while you wait — fresh lettuce, cucumber, tomato, etc., freshly sliced meats (and veggies) and any one of a number of freshly sliced cheeses (you choose). Huge sandwiches. Only $3. Can’t be beat.