A small Italian Deli that sells a variety of cured meats and cheeses. But the best of all is their Sandwich Bar! They have variety of breads with your choice of filling.
In honour of national cheese day, I came down to La Grotta for some delicious sandwiches. But not just today. Today was just an excuse to come. La Grotta del Formaggio is one of my regular stops whenever I'm driving by Commercial Drive to get a sandwich.
But it's not just any regular sandwich. There are a numerous number of toppings to choose from, and quite the variety of cheese that would drive any cheese lover insane. Whatever it is you choose, you can't go bad, because the quality of the ingredients, from meat, breads, oils and other interesting toppings is top notch.
Just the thought of a focaccia from here makes my mouth water.
Was out and about on Commercial Drive. I had read some great reviews on Dinehere.ca regarding the sandwiches at La Grotta and wanted to try.
First, the sandwich prices are located at the middle of the display case. You chose your bread, your cheese and meat, condiments and extras. Line up to the left for sandwiches and to the right for other deli orders. The prices are based on the type of bread with some extra charge for specific types of meat.
I chose the sub as my bread. I chose the prosciutto (extra $2) as my meat. I had them add the smoked provolone cheese, pesto mayo, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, roasted red peppers, spicy eggplant, green olives, fresh tomato and lettuce. With an Italian canned soda (located in the cooler in the back) the bill came to just over $10.50.
My friend and I took our sandwiches to a grassy spot and enjoyed them picnic style. They were DELICIOIUS. The sodas were a perfect "go with". For the quality received - the value was incredible. Same price as subway - but a million times better!
Please note - there is a couple of small cafe style tables outside - but no other seating. Take your purchases a few blocks to Williams Street and enjoy them as picnic in the summer.
I've heard many good things about La Grotta from the locals on 'the drive' and since I don't go there often, I was excited to give them a try this afternoon.
The set-up of the deli is great. Huge variety of great cheeses, oils, vinegars, breads...it's awesome.
I order a small meat sandwich. Got to choose my meat, cheese, toppings, and sauces. I chose smoked turket, emmenthal, basil pesto mayo with oil & vinegar and toppings like olives and marinated artichokes!! They grilled my sandwich and on the drive back to work, I couldn't stop myself from drooling! My first bite was heaven. Artichokes made a nice flavor and the meat was 3/4"stacked!!!
Eventhough I asked for a small, I was stuffed by the last bite.
Give it a try and you'll see for yourself why La Grotta is the best deli!
I only came here to try it out because of the good reviews on this site..
Had lunch here the other day. It's a deli so it's hard to rate it like a restaurant but here's my experience.
Service was the basic, who's next, what would you like, I don't feel too enthusiastic about my job assembly line at the cafeteria feeling. I ordered a "whole focaccia sandwich" with extra topping charge for a total of $12.50. On the bread I had some oil & balsamic, dijon. Havarti, prosciutto & capicollo. Vegetables, grilled. The sandwich was great, and large. I only ate half and the other half was my lunch the next day. Now I guess the food is only as good as what each person chooses to put inside. Mine was a good sandwich. Yeah I would eat here again next time I'm on commercial drive but I wouldn't travel far distances or recommend it to all of my friends. It's just a deli sandwich.. A good sandwich though -)
I've gone here on and off for many years. It never really changes. Good selection of meat and cheese as well as great condiments. Not much in the way of veggies and I LOVE lots of veggies on my sandwich. It certainly is one heck of a lot better than that gross rip off Subway. If I'm in the area and need lunch it's a go to place.
This place has really good sandwiches and are better it appears if grilled panini sytle. I prefer cold sanwiches so this leaves a bit off for me. They could use a wider selection of bread - not just focaccia - I hate foccacia. Also a wider range of veggies. Condiments and cheese selection were great. For busy weekday service was good and realtively fast. Average value but much better than way overpriced Subway.
Just don't sit outside at the tables next door that are for CAFE CALABRIA or the crazy dude who owns it will come out and totally SPAZ on you.
It's most definitely a great bargain here for the quality of meats & choice of veggies & cheese you get here from the sandwich bar. Most definitely, the artichokes, grilled peppers, eggplants and variety of quality cheeses makes the sandwich as great as it is. Well, there's all that tasty deli meat, too!
I only come to buy sandwiches, but if I were in need of some good old deli cuts, I'd choose La Grotta for my party platter needs!
A small is very filling for $4 all veggie, or $4.50 with choice of meats in a nice round bun, while there are several sizes up in longer subs and then there's the choice of using their focaccia bread instead.
Service is friendly and quick. They toast your bun up for you so if you don't want it toasted, be sure to let them know as by default sometimes, they end up tossing it onto the grill.
Don't have much to add to the previous reviewers but just wanted to say that if you haven't tried La Grotta, that you should at least make a pit stop during the summer to enjoy their well made panini's or italian styled sandwiches. Their use of fresh, premium ingredients is what sets them apart from your usual fast food chain operations. Their staff are great, couldn't give them anything less than 5 stars for excellent, efficient and customer oriented service. For a gratuity-free environment, they really take pride in what they do. On a sunny Saturday afternoon, the line up was about 15 minutes long. Waiting for your sandwich to be made was quite enjoyable because you can browse through their deli selections, jars of condiments, olive oil, and plenty of specialty food items from the old country. Although a full-sized fully loaded panini can set you back $12, it's shareable between two people and comes with specialty toppings that other places don't even think of offering like artichoke hearts or spicy havarti cheese. Hubby and I shared a half-sized for $6.50, and it's plenty for a hearty snack. They don't skimp on the meat! Giving it 3 for ambiance to neutralize the scoring since it's not really a restaurant, but a old fashioned deli in the heart of the Drive.
Well I owe you guys on dine here a big thank you! Ive been craving a great panini and oh god i got it!
Ive never had a better sandwich in my life. And thats why i rated this place a 5 for the food.
I got the turkey, the pesto mayo, the smoked mozzerella, the honey mustard and all the veggies on a half foccacia. I got it drizzled with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Yumm it gave it just the right after taste. It was so authentically italian me and my companion were gushing over how delicious the paninis were the whole meal.
The value was fantastic! for two people + a drink it came out to 15$, thats as cheap as subway or some other crappy sandwich place. Really great value! Service was friendly and ambience.. well you dont go for the atmosphere or a place to sit as there are only two tables outside that are usually full, you go for the sandwich! Also if your a cooking kind of person they have excellent authentic italian products inside (Specifically i remember a wall of olive oils!) a foodies dream, but dont expect to be impressed by the ambiance.
YUMMMMY I WANT ONE RIGHT NOW!
I ordered a large sub which I think was $ 7.95. One person can get two meals from this sandwich. Great fresh vegetables, excellent bread and some good roast beef. The server was really friendly but you can't eat there as it is a grocery store/ deli. I will be back there every time I am in the area.
I definitely agree with the last reviewer-- awesome paninis at good prices. Their selection of meats/fillings are tasty and numerous. But make sure you go early because the variety of bread decreases as it gets later in the day.
The staff don't smile very much but they aren't rude or anything. Just wish they'd be more friendly. Service is pretty quick and efficient.
You get pretty good bang for your buck here. The cost of a sandwich (depending on which size you choose) is about the same of that at a Subway or Quizno's, but you get far better value in taste and quality.
With regards to the ambiance-- it's a deli. You order and pay at the counter. The wall shelves behind you are filled with yummy goods. My only wish is that there was seating within the deli to sit down and enjoy my hot-from-the-panini-press sandwich, rather than have to eat it in my car or wait until I get home.
Overall this is a good shop. The quality and selection is very good. The owners really try hard to offer a good product and are very knowledgeable about their foods. The owners will offer advice if you ask. The only negative is a woman who works in the deli area. She is positivley rude. She clearly displays attitude in the way she handles your food and talks to you. She is constantly leaning over and wispering comments to the other staff. This store is owned by very good people. I don't know how they are missing this problem.
I don't know what the other reviewer is on about regarding bad service. I have only ever found the staff here incredibly helpful and friendly. Great sandwiches, wonderful Italian stuff and they sell Brio! I only wish they had more seating for eating sandwiches, but what are you going to do?
The best sandwich in town. Freshly made in front of your eyes and grilled to perfection. The cheese selection is also remarkable. Staff is a bit rude though. I've had one of them told me I'm too busy to slice you the cheese you want. Can't you choose anotherone?
good value sandwitches for a reasonable price.
very busy place.
even half sub can make you go happy from there.
That's what I wanted to say. but unfortunatly it doesn't get to 300 words.. so I have to add this comment
and that comment..
and soon I will update you how I'm doing a falafel check around the city- looking for the best in town
This is an old fashioned Deli. Not much has changed here in the past 50 years, except they continue to make the best deli sandwiches on the planet.
The price for a half focacia with Montreal smoked meats and fresh deli cheese is about $8, the best meal that you will be getting for $8 in Vancouver, likely ever.
This is one of my favourites!
I'm not going to comment on the sandwiches, because that has been well and effectively covered by everyone else. I'd like to comment on everything else this wonderful deli has to offer.
I've been a regular though infrequent visitor to La Grotta for over 20 years. They offer some of the best pastas, olive oils, vinegars, and general italian condiments (including good italian tuna, and a great range of anchovies, which can be hard to find) in the city. And the authentic deli ambience is wonderful -- although yes, it can be confusing and sometimes rather hectic and time consuming to get your goodies.
I don't think the prices are exceptionally high or low; fairly average I think, so I give that 3 stars.
One of the regular behind-the-counter ladies, who has been there ever since I first visited back in the early 80s, is always a great help when I have recipe questions when cooking up a real italian feast. Some of the younger staff are sometimes a bit frazzled though.
Wonderful place; wonderful people; wonderful food. Long live La Grotta!
If I could rate the food 4.5 then I would. Their panini was so yummy that I think I would finish the whole focaccia if I'm not on a diet. It's just a sandwich, but it does not taste like a usual sandwich. The combination of sauces blends well. Their homemade sauce is unique but very tasty. I had the turkey sandwich with provolone cheese and some veggies and sauces. It sounds so so because I had no idea which combination would be good. But then it turned out to be really good. My sandwich was generously stuffed with a high pile of turkey breasts and it only came to 6.50 o 7.50 I can't remember clearly. I must come back someday to have another sandwich.
The older guy at the counter yaks a block of cheese out of the hand of my 4-year-old, the kid just wants to ask me what kind of cheese it is. Very rude services.
For better deli meat and cheeses, go 2 blocks north to Santa Barbara where prices are 30% cheaper (For example De Cecco spaghetti they are selling 2.49, Santa Barbara is 2 bucks) and they won't treat kids as sub-human.
Over-priceed stuff and bad services, my mistake for not walking 2 more blocks to another store.
Wow! I never thought I would ever say wow to a sandwich. I'm not big on sandwiches but decided to give this place a try after seeing the reviews. I had a 1/2 focaccia sandwich with mexican salami (I think they mentioned it is made with tequila), artichokes, other vegetables, cheese etc, olive oil, etc. All I can say is this sandwich was amazing and so full of flavor. We went back the next day to have it again. Highly recommended!