Let's have a toast for the douchebags, let's have a toast for the assholes: Yaletown's one of those neighbourhoods that engenders a lot of scorn and cynicism. The hip factor's long gone (a few blocks north and east to where rent is cheap(er), check your Instagram), as have many of the smaller shops and boutiques. Rent has reached levels that few non-chain restaurants can afford, unless you had the foresight to get mortgage financing for all that pie-in-the-sky in advance. Woe is the average designer/programmer, toiling away in the neighbourhood with nary a hangout save for that nail salon one door over or that other nail salon another door over.
Between Two Buns
Pixel-pushers, we got your back. Or, more accurately, two new sandwich shops do. Spend that per diem at Between Two Buns, giggle at the name, marvel at the odd Enchanted Castle wizards that decorate the awning and the back of the room. Order the "Jerk It!" ($9), a jerk chicken sandwich that is not quite jerky enough, or a "Cheeky" ($9), a braised pork cheek sandwich which enters that glut of average pulled pork sandwiches that populated the city. It is all good, not great (the sandwiches could stand to taste more like anything), but comes with that self-gratifying feeling of not going to Subway for a cheaper footlong...unless you order the five pounds of poutine ($30).
A better option exists a block away at DD Mau, which - full disclosure - is run by an old Vancouver Slop alum, back when we wrote reviews instead of recipes. The banh mi's are in short supply and high demand -- menu items sell out fast -- and while $8 to $10 might seem like a pricey Vietnamese sub (check yr head: the $3.50 Kingsway special ain't gonna pay that Yaletown rent), they're hauling bbq duck and roast pork from Chinatown for a delightful Sino-Viet mish-mash. The salad rolls ($5 for 2) and spring rolls ($2.50 for 2) could have a few kinks worked out (they've only been open a week, after all); pair with a lime fizz ($3.50) instead.
Take either meal for a stroll and enjoy outside when the weather permits. 'Cause if neither place raises your esteem about the neighbourhood, their sandwiches accomplish one thing, and that's portability: you can leave Yaletown behind. Until you do, sit down and have a glass - kampai!
Between Two Buns
1271 Homer Street
(604) 336 4103
1239 Pacific Boulevard
(604) 684 4446