Since we introduced the To Go category in 2014, Elm Caf has been the undefeated champion, and this year is no different. The caf has a simple concept – just sandwiches, coffee, and a few pastries – but sometimes, simple is best, as long as it’s well-executed. And at Elm, it will be.
A small whiteboard above the counter is where you’ll find four or five daily sandwich offerings, generally accompanied by a few colorful illustrations in marker, and often given whimsical monikers like the Hammibal Lector. The changing menu means you won’t know what’s available until you get there, but trust us – you really can’t go wrong. Elm continues to win first in its category year after year because it crafts sandwiches with complex and often unexpected flavour combinations.
We suggest adding a caramel from the jar right by the cash register to your order for an afternoon treat – you won’t regret it. –Adrianna Szenthe
10140 117 St., 780-756-3356, elmcafe.ca
You haven’t really been to Vancouver if you haven’t enjoyed a Japadog, the street meat that combines a North American staple with Asian flair. This past year, Edmonton was blessed with its own Eastern-influenced hot dog emporium that gives Vancouver a run for its money.
It’ Dog features wieners accompanied by toppings like teriyaki shrimp, octopus balls or kimchi pork. But the home run is getting a dog that’s covered in Korean-style fried chicken. Good thing the University of Alberta Hospital is only a few blocks away. –Steven Sandor
8621 109 St., 780-438-4083, itdogedmonton.com
Lunchtime calls for something simple, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment. And that’s something that the minds behind Farrow, the tiny sandwich bar that shares a kitchen with Three Boars Eatery, understand when they formulate a new sammie.
Keep in mind that this tiny sandwich bar, with only three window-side stools, is the definition of “to go.” So while the craving for a Farrow creation like the Grick Middle – packed with bacon, fried egg, greens, rosemary aioli, tomato jam and smoked “cheddah” – may drive you there, remember that you’re going to have to take that little piece of flavour town with you. –Cory Haller
8422 109 St., 780-757-4160, farrowsandwiches.ca