What’s in a Sandwich?



Photo by ALFONSO CHARLES / pixabay


Sandwiches can be a depressing food.


Whether it’s peanut butter and jelly slapped between two slices of white Dempster’s bread, or a plain (non-grilled) cheese sammie, these foods can be reminders of elementary school—or perhaps our own laziness.
This is probably why some Vancouver restaurants have decided to think outside the typical lunch box. Whether it’s switching ingredients, fusing culinary cultures, or even ditching the bread altogether, these sandwiches are breaking with tradition with tasty results.





Miura Waffle and Milk Bar


2521 Main Street
Vancouver, BC
(604) 687-2909


For a unique sandwich experience, the husband and wife operated Miura Waffle and Milk Bar offers a selection of sweet and savoury options with innovative Japanese essence. The waffles are made fresh to order, cut in half and filled with delicious things to make a “sando”—an abbreviation of sandoiichi, the Japanese word for sandwich. The Miuras recently opened their new location on Main Street just south of Broadway, easily accessible by transit.


A popular choice is the “Bulgogi” made with marinated beef, egg sauce, and kimchi.  Also available are “Wasabi Salmon,” “Hoisin Sausage” and the crunchy “Chicken Karaage” sandos.
If you have a sweet tooth, dessert options include the “Banana Caramel Sando,” the “Boston Cream,” with chocolate and house-made custard, “Cheesecake Sando” and the classic “Fruits and Cream Waffle Sando.”


Noteworthy milkshakes are also offered.Vanilla ice cream is made in house, and the creative infusion of Japanese flavours—chocolate-wasabi and caramel-miso are two examples—make these shakes truly unlike anything else offered in Vancouver.


Also delectable are the “Yoggy Milks”: sweet and tangy yogurt drinks made with real fruit or even maple syrup. Yum.
Miura Waffle and Milk Bar established a strong reputation for great food at their previous location on Davie Street, and was featured on the Food Network series You Gotta Eat Here!


The new Main St spot, besides being centrally-located, has a warm, comfortable atmosphere, thanks to its high ceilings and wood-panelled decor. They also serve beer, and are open till eleven on Fridays and Saturdays, making it a good place to meet friends for a drink and snack before going to an event. Don’t overlook this singularly tasty culinary experience.


—Andrew Reeves





Big Lou’s Butcher Shop and Sandwich Counter


269 Powell Street
Vancouver, BC
(604) 566-9229


I’m pretty sure this Brooklyn-style deli and butcher shop has the meatiest sandwiches in town. Though its palette is multicultural (menu items include a Korean-inspired bulgogi chicken sandwich and a Vietnamese-style bahn mi) the presentation is all-American (read: huge).


Yes, it may be a challenge to finish Big Lou’s interpretation of a Vietnamese sub, however every bite you can handle will be a delicious melt-in-your-mouth experience.
Spicy pickled green beans rest on top of marinated pork shoulder and house-made duck paté. The perfect amount of carrot and cilantro balance out this sweat-inducing sandwich.


Big Lou’s is located in historic Japantown. The front entrance tiles read “Komura”—the name of a grocery store that occupied the building from 1906 to 1941. Japanese residents were evicted from Vancouver during the Second World War, and many never returned to the area.
While you’re there for a lunch break or afternoon sammie, check out the butcher counter for their selection of locally-sourced pork, beef, lamb and chicken cuts. If you’re in the neighbourhood (admittedly it’s an awkward part of town to pass through transit-wise) these meats are cut to order in any style to suit your home cooking needs. There’s also soups, sausages and pies to take home.


—Sarah Berman