22 Secret Sandwiches of Vancouver
All the sandwiches you may not know about from Cevapi to Giuseppe and where to eat them – MAPPED.
If you are dubious as to decent Vancouver sandwiches, grab our Secret Sandwiches map and head down the list. We were pleasantly surprised to quickly amass such a roster of stellar sandwiches in Vancouver to share with you, which just goes to show don’t judge a Vantucky by its cover. We have the goods here in the Couve my good eating people, you just need this map and a hearty appetite. Let’s begin.
Pescado Torta from Little Conejo
What: Taqueria most excellent making homemade masa for their tortillas with a vast library of mezcal and fun cocktails. You can order your Torta (carnitas, suadero, pescado, etc.) Tuesdays through Saturdays at lunchtime only.
Why: Fried Fish Torta
Beer Bar Surprises
1. Tap Union Freehouse
- Where: Downtown Vancouver
- What: Cool two-storied brew pub with a relaxed outdoor fire-pit outfitted patio serving tons of good beer, kombucha on tap, amply stacked sandwiches, deviled eggs and even a taco or two.
- Why: Our favorite two sandwiches in Vancouver, the Italian Grinder and Cubano.
2. Pacific House
- Where: Downtown Vancouver on Main Street
- What: Brews and drinks plus solid pub fare in a lively and spirited central downtown location complete with lots of TV for viewing sports and such.
- Why: Chef’s happy mistake smoked tuna melt which is the perfect size for one, add some dirty fries.
3. I Heart Gyro
- Where: Mill Plain meets the 205
- What: Friendly Halal Mediterranean restaurant specializing in Gyros and Middle Eastern sandwiches run by two Russian speaking Turkish brothers. Very vegan friendly. Besides wonderful sandwiches, I Heart Gyro makes great “coin” fries that you can get with special spicy garlic sauce; homemade rosewater lemonade; sour cherry soda; fried dough balls and baklava for dessert.
- Why: Lamb Gyro and Falafel Wrap. ALSO, for vegans: Dolmas wrap and Jibnah sandwich with cucumbers, tomatoes and melted feta
4. Gyros Cafe
- Where: Hazel Dell on NE Hwy 99
- What: New addition the neighborhood with an unendingly friendly and humble Pakistani born proprietor who serves freshly made everything including mango lassi, pizzas and on the weekends, Indian Buffet! Market adjoining next door for absolutely everything middle eastern and Halal you could want for cooking at home.
- Why: Falafel Wrap plus fresh mango lassi.
Other Middle Eastern Favorites
5. Hummus Hummus Truck
- Where: Vancouver Farmer’s Market at Esther Short Park on Saturdays and Sundays, then at Brothers Cascade Brewing parking lot Mondays and Tuesdays, then roving around town on the other days.
- What: Personable and hardworking truck making delicious and nutritious hummus, falafel and gyros.
- Why: Lamb Gyro and Falafel Wrap.
6. Anoush Deli and International Foods
- Where: Fourth Plain
- What: Ginormous Gyros and good selection of Russian foods such as Borscht, Pelmeni and Cabbage Rolls plus a market selling all manner of sausages, meats, salads and other interesting groceries.
- Why: Giant Gyro with feta and join the rewards program that’ll reward you in Giant Gyros.
7. Jerusalem Cafe
- Where: Downtown Vancouver (M-F only) plus another location (7 days per week) near the 205 and SE Mill Plain.
- What: Established and local favorite family restaurant serving the best soups and middle eastern foods around. Outstanding walnut and pistachio baklava.
- Why: We really love the light baba ganoush pita with a cup of homemade lentil soup but the falafel wraps are also a family favorite.
8. Akkad Cafe
- Where: Downtown Vancouver near Esther Short Park and the Courthouse.
- What: Oh my goodness do we love this place. Warm hearted, pleasant and very clean family run restaurant centrally located but off the beaten path of Main Street. Hearty lamb shank plate. Carrot salad. Fish plate. Shrimp plate. Khefta cheeseburger (pictured) with fried egg. Khefta meatball sandwich.
- Why: Khefta Cheeseburger with fried egg and fries. This is the only burger we are imploring you to fit into your sandwich rotation on this post. Nuff said.
9. La Bottega
- Where: Downtown Vancouver on mid-Main Street.
- What: Always busy local favorite serving pastas and Italian food, plus sandwiches that are excellent and a flat out great value for lunch and has a great selection of homemade desserts, Italian cold cuts and Italian groceries. Neighborhood gem.
- Why: The Giuseppe with real live quality prosciutto or the Veggie Sandwich we recently had that was loaded with roasted veggies and pesto. Tuna also is grilled fresh and then mixed with a little caper, onion, mayo and provolone to make most sublime and refined tuna melts.
10. Bahn Mi Saigon for Meatball Banh Mi with Fried Egg
- Where: Hazel Dell in the parking lot at Brothers Cascade Brewing that is home to a few great trucks and a very pleasant, large canopied eating space with picnic tables.
- What: Just like the name says, Bahn Mi. Our Vietnamese friend recently reported, ” . . . this was the best bahn mi I’ve had since visiting Ho Chi Minh City.” So there you have it. Very fresh sandwiches and from a bright yellow truck. Everything from char sui pork to lemongrass chicken to beef.
- Why: Definitely try the Meatball Bahn Mi and add a fried egg. Spicy. So good.
11. Anchor End Pretzel Shoppe
- Where: Downtown Vancouver in a funky “park” / courtyard that is also home to Mack Shack Burritos.
- What: Sister truck to the restaurant (Anchor End Eurocafe and Bakery) that recently landed in Eater PDX’s “hottest restaurants in Portland.” Born in Seattle, now living in Vancouver and Portland. Hungarian / Polish food including homemade pretzels.
- Why: The Trustafarian which is a nice toothsome homemade veggie “patty” on a pretzel roll. But really, it’s such a small menu and everything’s great so take some friends and get one of everything.
12. Taqueria Portland Mexican Market
- Where: Fourth Plain, inside, but I’m not sure how exactly, the National Guard recruiting office.
- What: Mexican market and butchery that houses a great little taqueria. Besides sandwiches they have all the “normal” taqueria offerings and sopes and good soups and seafood dishes.
- Why: The Huarache (any meat, really, but we like the chorizo) and the Torta.
13. Bosnia Restaurant
- Where: Just off Fourth Plain near the Vancouver Mall
- What: Bosnian restaurant serving up Cevapi, Burek, other traditional Bosnian foods and great Turkish Coffee.
- Why: Cevapi, of course, which is little burger cigars between a roll served with bracing raw white onion, red pepper ajvar sauce and sour cream. Or you can get a “burger” sort of sandwich which is ground beef stuffed with cheese. It’s a no-nonsense, quiet, somewhat stern but not unfriendly place to get something a bit different and not pay an arm and a leg for it. Old school feels without the sense they’re trying to be. You can eat alone and disappear because it’s a little dark and there are leather corner booths to nuzzle down into. You can read about Bosnian history at the table.
14. Smitty’s Original Coney Island
- Where: The Mill on Southeast Mill Plain Blvd., formerly home to Smokehouse Provisions and helmed by Top Chef B.J. Smith
- What: Nostalgic favorites starring the Coney Dog but also including sandwiches such as the Buffalo Fried Chicken, a nice burger (or triple burger), fish sandwich and veggie burger.
- Why: Buffalo Fried Chicken Sandwich with slightly spicy fried chicken breast, pickle, sauce and shredded lettuce. Perfection.
Read all about the Hoosier and Italian and Burger and etc. hot sandwiches at the hit truck Stanwich here.
Old Fashioned Feels
16. Rosemary Cafe
- Where: Downtown Vancouver, lower Main Street, near the Kiggins theater.
- What: Homey feeling breakfast and luncheon cafe serving awesome soups, sandwiches and salads. A little bit grandma vibe but not in a bad way. Lots of neat kitschy items like antique radios if you’re into that kind of thing. Very affable and sincere staff and good no-frills food. Local favorite.
- Why: The cranberry chicken salad is their famous sandwich and it is our personal favorite, but Rosemary’s also has a good grilled cheese and club sandwich as well as a very satisfying but not-too-unwieldy panini.
Friendliest Hole in Wall
17. GG’s Sandwiches & Deli
- Where: Fourth Plain
- What: Total hole-in-wall sandwich and soup shop run by G.G. who is one of the most affable cooks I’ve met recently. Soccer on the TV. As down to earth as you can be and guess what, a great burger too.
- Why: Any sandwich and whatever the soup of the day is.
Weekdays Only French Twist
18. C’est la Vie
- Where: Hazel Dell on 78th.
- What: Quaint neighborhood french inspired breakfast and lunch cafe serving crepes and sandwiches and, once a month, a pop-up dinner. We were surprised at how many people do not know about this place.
- Why: Arugula grilled cheese with cup of soup.
19. Soup R Sammiches
- Where: Hazel Dell in front of Cliff’s Tavern and sometimes roving.
- What: Just like it reads, soup and sandwiches. Oh! but they have tacos too.
- Why: Get a nice Italian with a bag of chips.
Honorable Mention: Popped up and Coming Soon
- Where: Heart of downtown Vancouver
- What: Local favorite farm-to-table small family run pizza joint.
- Why: Damn if every single sandwich has not been a masterpiece including a neat cauliflower sando. See pictorial roster below.
Consider this a sort of trailer, for Nonavo Pizza popped up with sandwiches (meaning, they hosted sandwich pop-ups) on Mondays this past winter, and therefore no formal sandwich shop exists. YET. Please accept apologies for the tease and keep abreast of their progress. The sandwiches were so good that they necessitate a mention. It’s kind of like that child prodigy tennis player or actor who had such a precocious debut that she had to retreat back into her family and friends to live a normal life before turning pro, lest the premature fame and fortune at such a young age go to her head and cause all kinds of problems later. Here are some of the sandwiches we saw this past winter:
Honorable Mention: Coffee Shop Sandwiches
21. Boomerang Bistro
- Where: Heart of downtown
- What: We love this gorgeous airy, light and bright NON PROFIT cafe/bistro and event space with a focus on coffee, pastries and light sandwiches. Charcuterie board and hummus plate for early dinner. Wine and beer available too. Lots of well-lit space to read, do work or have a meeting.
- Why: Good people doing good things serving good food and coffee. Can’t go wrong there. We like the grilled Italian sandwich that has green dressed with a nice caeser-like dressing. Also not technically a sandwich, but somewhat of a rarity in Vancouver: the Avocado toast. It’s artfully plated and delicious.
22. Brewed Cafe & Pub
- Where: Heart of downtown Vancouver
- What: Local favorite, family-run coffee shop that also serves beer, sandwiches and unfancy snacks. AND donuts from Donut Nook fresh every morning.
- Why: Garlic Aioli BLT, grilled. Sriracha Ham and Cheese Melt.