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Delicious and Affordable Lunches in Downtown Vancouver


Posted by : Anonymous, Fri, Nov 23 2007

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Life is wonderful when you work from home. No morning commute, and a fully equipped kitchen is just steps away. But this past week was different. I put on my corporate graphic designer suit and worked in a real downtown office where someone else played boss. I was doing a favour for some old colleagues and filled in for someone on a weeklong vacation. I didn't mind it too much... the work was stress-free, there was socializing and fancy coffee breaks with my other office mates. The only bummer was that twice I forgot to pack my lunch.

In downtown Vancouver there are a lot of options for a cheap lunch. You can take your pick from a number of 99-cent pizza slices, cheap sushi, or fast-food it at the mall food court. Umm, no thank you. So when I asked a co-worker where she goes for lunch and Tim Horton's was the reply, I knew we could do much, much better. I took her to my favourite sandwich shop, just two blocks away from the office: SO.CIAL Custom Butcher shop (332 Water Street, Vancouver).

SO.CIAL is a beautiful room in a beautiful historic building, and while it serves soups and a bevy of terrines, it's the sandwiches that are creating all the lunchtime line-ups. Using locally-sourced and organic meats, these sandwiches are piled high with sliced-to-order deli-cuts, roasted vegetables and a yummy garlic aioli - a brown paper bag of homemade potato chips are thrown in for good measure. I had the "small" roast beef sandwich ($5.50) which wasn't small at all; I've held babies that weighed less! It's an all-meat extravaganza kind of sandwich and it might get messy, so vegetarians should stay clear.

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Social at le Magasin
332 Water St.
Vancouver, BC
(604) 669-4488

My next lunch outing was a strictly solo affair which is good because Nuba (322 West Hastings Street, Vancouver) isn't the place to come with friends during the busy lunch rush. It's a small room with a few tables and counter seating that serves authentic Lebanese food. The décor is hip and cool and the food is fresh, healthy and organic, with lots of vegetarian and vegan options. Rumor even has it that there is no microwave or can opener on the premises and the chickpeas are peeled by hand to create an extra creamy hummus. Yes, my friends, that is some true food love going on! So for my lunch I chose the garden falafel pita sandwich ($5.50) which was delicious and filling and came with avocado, hummus, and the bright pink pickled turnip that I can never remember the name of. Super delicious with plenty of crunch, colour and flavours; another lunchtime score.

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322 W. Hastings St.
Vancouver, BC
(604) 688-1655

While both places served very different sandwiches, the one commonality was that you could tell that the staff really enjoy their jobs. You can really feel (and taste) the love at SO.CIAL and Nuba. So if you think your boring office lunch can't be salvaged, think again. Stop wasting your time eating flavourless, over-salted, and greasy food served by people who hate their jobs. A great lunch can be had at an affordable price and you don't have to sacrifice freshness and taste for a quick lunch-time bite.

Jeannette Ordas is a Vancouver-based Web Designer and Food Blogger who is probably right now thinking about what she'll make for dinner. 


Posted: Fri, Nov 23 2007 by Anonymous

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