Here's a great way to spend half-a-day: a bike ride around Stanley Park followed up by a NY-style deli sandwich at Cardero Bottega
What better way to end a morning bike ride than with a great lunch at a new spot in Vancouver's West End. We recently did just that on a lovely Wednesday in August.
The Seawall was quite crowded mid-August, which you can see from the video of our full ride (view it on YouTube here). After riding back through the park, we took the new bike lane that is now finished on Alberni and runs from the park to Cardero. It is quite handy but will be even better when the new crosswalk lights are up and running at Alberni and Robson.
Heading down Cardero, almost to Nelson, our goal was to check out the "New York-style deli in the heart of the West End" that we keep reading about.
The Cardero Bottega space is quite small—and very clean—offering both made-to-order sandwiches and fine foods for take out, including cheeses, deli meats and other mainly Mediterranean staples such as oils, vinegars, pastas, pickles, olives, sauces and more.
Tim and Nathalie Harris, the husband and wife team who own and operate the Bottega, are friendly and fast, and mentioned that the recent newspaper coverage has kept them very busy.
Of the eight cold and two hot sandwiches they offer, I chose the Monte Twisto, which included turkey, swiss, prosciutto cotto (cooked) with mustard and a lemon pepper mayo. The ingredients were very fresh and delicious, and I am not sure what type of bun the sandwich was made on but it was extremely soft and fresh. The sandwich was huge and a great lunch value for $7.
Cardero Bottega serves up corned
beef from Cultus Lake, BC,
among other goodies.
Jeff chose the hot corned beef sandwich. The meat was steamed and placed on the freshest rye bread we have ever seen in this city (and being from Winnipeg we know all about rye bread) with the choice of grainy or dijon mustard. The meat used was J. Beethoven corned beef from Cultus Lake and is a family recipe straight from Brooklyn. The sandwich was large and full of flavour, and was well worth the $8.50 when compared with the equally large and tasty corned beef sandwich we had last year at the Carnegie Deli in New York City for which we paid USD$16. The side portion of sweet and sour baby pickles was an added bonus.
In addition to the locally sourced corned beef, we found out that each morning Tim walks the two blocks from his home (they do not own a car) to the Boulangerie Cho Pain located on Davie Street to collect his made-to-order, fresh-every-day bread and buns, including the Russian rye that is specially made for his store.
Although there is only one small bench for seating inside the deli, there are two benches outside; and the park with several picnic benches at Lord Roberts’s school just up the block make a great lunch spot.
If you do stop by for a bite and decide to stock up on some of their great products, they also sell made-in-BC reusable Betty Bags to get all of your purchases home.
The Cardero Bottega is definitely on our list of great lunches and we will eventually try every single last one of their 10 sandwich options.
Jeff and Tara Ciecko are the owners/operators of CK Golf Solutions, which provides business and management solutions to the golf industry. They have over 35 years of combined golf industry experience.
In their spare time, they enjoy the downtown lifestyle and write about golf and life in Vancouver and B.C. on their blog. They can be reached by email, web and Twitter. You can also read their blog and check out their video updates on YouTube.