Sandos in the City: 9 of the Best Sandwiches in Vancouver

Here's your stacked guide to the best between-bread eats in Vancouver.

And here are the 9 Best Sandwiches in the City…

(Pictured from left to right) 1. DD Mau’s saté beef banh mi, 2. pear sandwich from Finch’s Teahouse and 3. the Doofer hero hoagie from Say Hey. Photo by Clinton Hussey

1. The saté beef banh mi (DD Mau)

Let’s start things off with a kickass deal. Truth is, it can be tricky to find a solid lunch under $15 anywhere in this city, but a DD Mau banh mi comes through: at $12, the two-hands-required saté beef banh mi is actually one of the priciest on the menu. That’s because it’s piled with top sirloin that’s been sautéed in lemongrass chili oil. That beef combined with all the standard banh mi fixings (pickled veggies, jalapeño, cucumber, housemade mayo, cilantro) creates a delightfully fresh, hunger-crushing sando. Design-wise, you get a bit of everything with every bite (and with this many ingredients, that’s no small feat). Mind the liberally sliced jalapeño—it really brings the heat. 145 E Pender St.,

2. The pear sandwich (Finch’s Teahouse)

During our photoshoot, Finch’s Teahouse owner Sheryl Matthew told us that nearly all of her sandwich artists are also artist artists. It’s an inarguable point, because every baguette masterpiece that comes out of this café is proof. The pear sandwich ($14.75) is stuffed with elegantly folded prosciutto, thoughtfully fanned pear slices, a handful of crushed roasted walnuts and—the controversial kicker—blue brie. Blue-cheese haters, prepare to be converted: the creamy, indulgent brie balances this sammy out beautifully. Balsamic vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil and fresh cracked pepper are the final touches. It’s a work of art that plays with taste, texture and colour—even blue. 353 W Pender St.,

3. The Doofer super hero hoagie (Say Hey)

Yes, buried underneath Say Hey’s insanely generous tower of toppings, there is bread somewhere. Don’t worry: just make sure you ask for a fork, so you can go to town on all the delicious bits that’ll inevitably topple out when you’re chowing down. The Doofer super hero hoagie ($16) is a spicy monster of a sub: think roast turkey, bacon, red onion, aged white cheddar, crispy fried onions, chili mayo and shredded iceberg lettuce—plus delicate curls of microplaned parmesan. (“Doofer” doesn’t sound bougie, but this sandwich does it all.) It’s stuffed… much like you’ll be when you dare to challenge it. Even if you’re defeated, it’s still a win-win. 156 E Pender St.,


(Pictured from left to right) 4. Gyu-katsu sandwich from Tokyo Katsu-Sand 5. Chips n Dip from DownLow Chicken Shack and 6. Wagyu bao from Petite Bao. Photo by Clinton Hussey

4. The Gyu-katsu sandwich (Tokyo Katsu-Sand)

There’s competition for the hot dog vendors posted up where Granville meets Georgia—the Tokyo Katsu-Sand food truck is serving up street food on another level. Their gyu-katsu sandwich ($16.40) is rare in every sense: the katsu-style sandwich isn’t common in Vancouver, and this particular beef cutlet is breaded and deep-fried just enough to preserve its vibrant red centre. Besides that expertly cooked cutlet, there’s not much else in this sando (sweet gyu-katsu sauce and wasabi mayo are the only other components between the toasted white bread), but there’s beauty in simplicity: it’s a meaty, minimalist treat. Granville St. and W Georgia St.,

5. The Chips n Dip (DownLow Chicken Shack)

Sure, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it—but DownLow Chicken Shack maestro Doug Stephens still revamped his ultra-popular menu for the restaurant’s fifth birthday this summer. New to the roster is this beast: the Chips n Dip ($16.90), DL’s answer to all the rebels who like to put potato chips inside their sandwiches. (If you’ve never done it, this is your sign to try.) The crave-worthy ranch-and-onion-dusted fried chicken feels innovative yet nostalgic, while shredduce and tomato lighten up each bite. Like with all of DownLow’s sandos, the pillowy potato bun can barely contain the portion of chicken that’s served—here, there’s no cheeping out (get it?). 905 Commercial Dr.,

6. The Wagyu bao (Petite Bao)

The team behind one of Kitsilano’s newest counter-service restaurants seems to be scientifically engineering the world’s most adorable sandwich. That’s thanks to ultra-soft, handmade steamed buns stamped with the charming logo of a bao-on-the-go (likely running to avoid death by teeth—but let’s not get dark about this). And it’s not just cute: the wagyu bao ($20) at Petite Bao is thoughtfully crafted, too. Sweet confit tomato and decadent caramelized onions level up this sando, and shiso and scallions bring an Asian twist. And, of course, there’s the delicious wagyu patty, bacon and cheese—okay, you could call this one a burger, but it’s too good to leave out of this sandwich extravaganza. 2825 W Broadway,


(Pictured from top to bottom) 7. Tawouk sandwich from Yasma 8. Bison burger from Mr. Bannock and 9. Meatball sub from La Grotta Del Formaggio. Photo by Clinton Hussey

7. The tawouk sandwich (Yasma)

This isn’t the first time we’re celebrating this Coal Harbour gem: Syrian-Lebanese eatery Yasma took home the gold in the inaugural Best Middle Eastern category of Vanmag’s Restaurant Awards earlier this year. If you’re wondering what to get for lunch at this award-winning restaurant, this is it. The tawouk sandwich ($22) comes with a side of fries (which, truthfully, deserve their own award) and is stuffed with bite-sized pieces of grilled chicken, pickled turnips, Lebanese coleslaw and a slice of tomato. Yasma has nailed the ingredient proportions here: sweet, sour and savoury meet in perfect harmony. The housemade garlic spread is the icing on the cake—or, er, the sauce on the sandwich. (Dear Yasma: may we suggest bottling it so we can put it on everything?) 550 Denman St.,

8. The bison burger (Mr. Bannock)

Don’t overthink it. Mr. Bannock’s bison burger ($19) is simple, but not basic: this Indigenous food truck is serving no-fuss tradition on delicious fry bread. The sandwich pulls more than its weight thanks to hearty ingredients—the aforementioned bannock, an expertly cooked Two Rivers bison patty (preparing bison isn’t for amateurs, but chef Paul Natrall proves his skill by delivering a seriously juicy bite), plus American cheese, tomato and sriracha mayo. And did we forget to mention the thick slice of grilled red onion? (Psst… there’s also a version with blueberry aioli, depending on the season—hit up the food truck to see what’s cooking.) Various locations,

9. The meatball sub (La Grotta Del Formaggio)

A list of must-try sandwiches without a meatball sub? No grazie. Of course, Commercial Drive is where you’re headed for such a meal, and La Grotta Del Formaggio—the Italian deli that’s made its home in the neighbourhood since Fortunato Bruzzese opened it in 1977—is the spot. Their meatball sub (from $10.99) is crafted with housemade meatballs (featuring free-range Two Rivers beef), grandmother-approved tomato sauce, melty mozzarella and a solid sprinkle of parmesan cheese. The Portuguese bun it’s tucked into is sturdy, but let’s face it: you’re going to make (and be) a hot mess. Isn’t that part of the fun? 1791 Commercial Dr.,


This story was originally published in the September/October 2023 issue of Vancouver Magazine.