A boy once told me I make the best sandwiches he’s ever tasted. We were in Grade 8 … friends would come over to my house after school and I’d get to work, slicing kaiser buns and pulling out cold cuts and condiments by the armful. I even had a systematic (albeit, one-woman) assembly line on the kitchen counter. Chris J., if you’re reading this, my top-secret trick was slathering Miracle Whip between each slice of meat instead of just the bun. And, of course, a handful of Doritos (nacho cheese) on top always took a middle-school-calibre sandwich over the edge. While we’ve graduated to far more sophisticated eats, sometimes you just want a good old bread party. Here are our top 5 sandwiches in Burlington.
This long-running indie cafe is known for its array organic, free-trade coffee plus its medley of cheap sandwiches ($6.95). If you’re indecisive, bad news: you can also get hot sandwiches, a panini or a melt (open face, with more meat and cheese, Sue says!). All are made to order once you select an option or three. We kept it simple with a turkey sandwich, which came with lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, and alfalfa sprouts. It’s fresh, healthy, and a great option if you need a break from the deep fryer. You’ll find very friendly service, with staff eager to customize and answer questions, plus an array of seasonal drinks and classic bevvies. Given its absolutely amazing location near the corner of Brant St. and Lakeshore Rd., there’s limited seating.
What to order: Turkey
Delicious bites await at this tiny vegan/gluten-free eatery renowned for its menu. The Reuben Sandwich ($15.50) features marinated, grilled tempeh, sauerkraut, Daiya cheese, house-made Russian dressing, and quinoa bread. I’m not fond of tempeh but I have to admit it was surprisingly scrumptious. This eatery simultaneously helps you stay on track with your fitness goals and hits all numerous cravings. Speaking of which, we’ve got some more recos while you’re there. Try the Power Bowl, a nutritious dish made up of organic steamed quinoa, grilled sweet potatoes, black beans, braised kale, avocado, grilled portobello mushroom, brazil nut parmesan, and lemon tahini sauce. It was beyond delicious and full of so many complementary flavours. It was chased with an ice-cold chocolate smoothie comprised of almond milk, raw cacao powder, cacao butter, coconut oil, bananas, dates, cacao nibs, and sea salt. It wasn’t a sweet drink and I loved everything about it. If you’re forced to share, get the nachos … it’s a really big portion that’s going to fill you right up. Organic corn tortilla chips are topped with tempeh chilli, Daiya cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, salsa, sour cream, and a very generous serving of diced avocados. Delicious!
What to order: The Reuben
Who needs Montreal or New York City when there’s JC’s? Their bagels are baked fresh daily, and sold out, all the time, really … which is remarkable considering there’s a Tim’s next door. JC’s has been hitting that carb-craving since March 1996. Fair-trade coffee is served alongside options such as the Ham and Egg sandwich, and my favourite Everything Bagel with Smoked Salmon and Spinach Cream Cheese (finished off with lettuce, tomatoes, onion, and sprouts). Bagels are also sold by the baker’s dozen (go on Wednesdays!) and include favourites such as cheddar and poppyseed. And we can’t talk about J.C.’s without mentioning their handmade cream cheese, which is also sold by the tub. The cookies by the cash register are also unbelievably scrumptious. Basically, wear stretchy pants when you go. You’ll find it in the Roseland Plaza on New St.
What to order: Bacon and Egg Sandwich
There’s good chicken and there’s chicken that’s tasty as cluck (that wasn’t a typo). Brant St. is home to this fun, laidback resto … you may recognize the name from Hamilton’s original King St. W. location. Doors opened in March 2017 and locals are flocking to the place. Featuring lunch, dinner, and boozy weekend brunch, Coop Wicked Chicken offers fresh in-house food made with high-quality ingredients. Pulled sandwiches are popular … we went with the Smoky BBQ ($11.99). Shredded meat is doused in a tangy, tasty sauce and the coleslaw adds a nice crunch. Other offerings include Deep-Fried Deviled Eggs (fantastic!), Sriracha Honey Cauliflower (for the vegans in your life), Hardcore Pulled Chicken Poutine, and Chicken & Waffles topped with an egg — this was absolutely phenomenal. The atmosphere is unpretentious and fun. Service is great. If you’re a chicken when it comes to heat, consider yourself warned. This platter of Nashville Chicken Nachos is delicious and pretty spicy (and I grew up on hot foods … trust). There’s also a Mexi Beef or Veg option. The resto has added a digital vending machine for soft drinks (just like ones movie theatres use now) so you can get up and refill your own cups.
What to order: Smoky BBQ
Go for the brisket … leave having sampled everything because the ravenous carnivore in you will surface and the meat is *that* damn fantastic. Barque Smokehouse first opened in Toronto’s west-end Roncesvalles Village in 2011, heading further west to Burlington in summer 2017. Once you’re seated, you’re served popcorn and complimentary sparkling water. Don’t look at the menu. Just order the Smoked Beef Brisket with red cabbage slaw, fried onions, and horseradish mayo. Now, the popcorn. It’s amazing. You might sneeze or cough but you must keep snacking. (Turn the container upside down, RIGHT over your mouth, if no one is watching). The seats are so comfy, the vibe is fun and casual chic, and the meat speaks for itself. For the plant-based lovers in your life, the Chopped Kale Salad is downright lovely, with pickled cabbage, red onion, turnips, and heirloom carrots ribbons. Barque serves locally grown ingredients when possible. The menu also offers Southern Fried Chicken, Baby Back Ribs, Pulled Pork, and Smoked Wings. Service is awesome.
What to order: Smoked Beef Brisket