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All That and a Sandwich in Vancouver's Strathcona Neighbourhood


Posted by : Anonymous, Mon, Jan 05 2009

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I live so close to Chinatown that I can see the shops from my living room window, but technically, I live in, and my heart belongs to, Strathcona, Vancouver's oldest residential neighbourhood. The neighbourhood is filled with colourful homes, artists and small businesses and one of my favourite places to shop is at Benny's Market. It's been around since 1917 in the same location and run by the same Benedetti family. It's not just a shop, it's part of a community.

Located along the Union Street bike route, it's a busy stop for locals and passers by alike. Like most small bodegas, you can pick up a soda or a lottery ticket but Benny's Market is stacked to the gills with everything you could want in a local grocer. There's a small produce section out front that carries the usual lettuces, carrots and broccoli, but there's also seasonal fruit and fresh herbs as well.

In the back is the famous deli filled with imported cheeses and meats. You can buy anything by weight and they'll slice it up as you see fit. But the longest lines at the deli are not usually for a few rashes of European bacon or for a bag of Parmesan cheese. Benny's has become quite the sandwich hot-spot and lunchtime waits are common. But the lines move quickly and the sandwiches are delicious. Made with a fresh swiss roll (or bread if you'd rather), the sandwiches come topped with vegetables, cheese, mustard and a garlicy bistro sauce (mmmm!) and your choice of meat. I always pick the prosciutto salami for a very reasonable $3.75 -- a perfect lunch!

The imported pasta section is wonderful and you can pick between several varieties of Italian pasta in any shape, size or colour that you need. Look in the frozen food case for delicious Italian sausages in sweet or hot, however, I recently tried a very good Cajun sausage and the fennel sausages are pretty fantastic, too. However, what brings me to Benny's - besides the Benedetti family friendliness - is their fresh sourdough bread. Made by a local bakery, this bread is seriously to die for. If you can stop by in the morning when the bread is still warm to the touch, it's like you've touched gold. In the evenings before they close, you may have to fight your neighbour for the last loaf and if you arrive late on a Saturday, well, you're probably out of luck. At $2.19 it's worth every penny.

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Benny's Market
598 Union St.
Vancouver, BC
(604) 254-2746

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

Looking for more markets and grocery stores in BC? Take a look at these:


Bazaar's Market posts are featured every Monday.

Posted: Mon, Jan 05 2009 by Anonymous

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