By Cory Schachtel, Steven Sandor, Katrina Turchin | March 1, 2022
Going to the Italian Centre can be intimidating. I usually go to the deli to pick out meats for my admittedly amateur-looking charcuterie boards, and, aside from a few favourites, I never remember what most of the meats are called. So I end up making the poor server who called my number bend down and guess what I’m pointing at as I say “I want that one” like a kid in a salty candy store, while other customers wait behind me with derisive looks.
This makes the Spinelli Bar Italia sandwiches not only tasty, but straight-forward. These are classics for a reason: They’re simple. And the only pressure you might feel is to get there early, because the daily specials, like sausage on the bun, often sell out. – Cory Schachtel
10878 95 ST. NW, 780-424-4869; 5028 104A ST. NW, 780-989-4869; 17010 90 AVE. NW, 780-454-4869; #700, 8005 EMERALD DR., SHERWOOD PARK, 780-416-4869, ItalianCentre.ca
RGE RD not only finishes high in our Best Overall category, its sister business, The Butchery, earns its way into our judges’ hearts — and stomachs — with some of the best lunch sandwich specials on offer in the city. Using some of the great cuts available in the deli, the sandwich is built right after you order. I have had some fantastic offerings so far, from hunter sausage with a spicy mustard to pork jowl served on rosemary garlic focaccia. The bread comes from The Butchery’s own wood-burning ovens, so pretty well everything you’re holding comes from the kitchen and not from a box. – Steven Sandor
Nhon Hoa has been a staple with over 20 years of history — with a menu of 17 specialty Vietnamese subs and six vegetarian subs, with toppings like bacon rolls, beef salami, meatballs, shredded pork and teriyaki chicken. Choose whichever protein you want, but the fresh carrots, cucumbers and cilantro that take up half of the sub are the scene stealers. It’s all topped off with bread that’s made in-house daily. – Katrina Turchin