Since we introduced the To Go category in 2014, Elm Café has been the undefeated champion, and this year is no different. The cafe has a simple concept – just sandwiches, coffee, and a few pastries – but sometimes, simple is best, as long as it’s well-executed. And at Elm, it will be.
A small whiteboard above the counter is where you’ll find four or five daily sandwich offerings, generally accompanied by a few colorful illustrations in marker, and often given whimsical monikers like the Hammibal Lector. The changing menu means you won’t know what’s available until you get there, but trust us – you really can’t go wrong. Elm continues to win first in its category year after year because it crafts sandwiches with complex and often unexpected flavour combinations.
We suggest adding a caramel from the jar right by the cash register to your order for an afternoon treat – you won’t regret it. –Adrianna Szenthe
You haven’t really been to Vancouver if you haven’t enjoyed a Japadog, the street meat that combines a North American staple with Asian flair. This past year, Edmonton was blessed with its own Eastern-influenced hot dog emporium that gives Vancouver a run for its money.
It’ Dog features wieners accompanied by toppings like teriyaki shrimp, octopus balls or kimchi pork. But the home run is getting a dog that’s covered in Korean-style fried chicken. Good thing the University of Alberta Hospital is only a few blocks away. –Steven Sandor
Lunchtime calls for something simple, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment. And that’s something that the minds behind Farrow, the tiny sandwich bar that shares a kitchen with Three Boars Eatery, understand when they formulate a new sammie.
Keep in mind that this tiny sandwich bar, with only three window-side stools, is the definition of “to go.” So while the craving for a Farrow creation like the Grick Middle – packed with bacon, fried egg, greens, rosemary aioli, tomato jam and smoked “cheddah” – may drive you there, remember that you’re going to have to take that little piece of flavour town with you. –Cory Haller