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“Panino Perfetto!”

La Grotta Del Formaggio
Ranked #974 of 3,707 Restaurants in Vancouver
Price range: US$4 - US$8
Cuisines: Italian, Delicatessen
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Takeout
Neighbourhood: Commercial Drive
North Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
256 reviews
151 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 266 helpful votes
“Panino Perfetto!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 May 2014 via mobile

Yes, all the panini here are perfect! When shopping on Commercial Drive on Saturdays, make sure you come here to La Grotta to buy your cheese around lunchtime and get a panino for lunch along with their great cheese. One of Vancouver's first and best cheese shops + the first selling panini too. Now there's a Panini Fad everywhere but buy one
here and know the real thing. La Grotta's atmosphere is friendly, helpful and authentic. Just savour any kind;they are all extremely good!

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank CEA1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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20 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    16
    2
    1
    1
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
54 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Sandwich Nirvana”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 February 2014 via mobile

I agree with all of the other reviewers about the sandwiches being exceptional. Made to order with a varied selection of the best ingredients. I always get mine grilled. They also have a great selection of cheeses, deli meats and fine Italian products. Those who try it once soon become regulars.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank Peppi26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
152 reviews
91 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Best paninis in town”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 October 2013 via mobile

This deli is amazing. When you arrive you will see by how busy they are and how many locals frequent here that this is a hidden gem. The paninis here are made to order with great ingredients and are very delicious. Anytime I'm nearby I drop in to get a superb sandwich.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank traveller32canada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
38 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Still the best sandwitches in Vancouver at this Italian deli”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 September 2013

It's been a long time since I was "in the neighborhood" on Commercial Drive and Second Avenue; however I had the good luck of being there yesterday and I jumped on the chance to get some heavenly La Grotta Del Formaggio sandwiches - bringing them back to the North Shore about an hour trip on the bus from the deli. Any time I bring sandwiches from La Grotta home I am always the hero; and yesterday was no exception.

Although La Grotta Del Formaggio is a full Italian deli - not a "sandwich shop" per say - they do make the best sandwiches I've ever had. When I was in Venice Italy there was a deli that had a completely different kind of wonderful sandwich; but La Grotta still wins as "best sandwich in the world" in my books. I recommend the focaccia when it comes to the bread and I also recommend the +$1 meat selection; although everything is delicious. I love just letting the person making the sandwich (on this trip I was blessed with Sheba helping me) put everything on it which includes fresh lettuce, tomato and onion along with a large variety of wonderful picked Italian vegetables.

Now it's important to realize that when ordering a custom sandwich in any place - one of the most important things is to be ordering it from someone who knows what they're doing. Over the many, many years I've been buying sandwiches from "La Grotta" I've had many of their staff build these heavenly sandwiches, and the staff always do a good job; but the person who consistently goes above and beyond is Sheba (I really hope I'm spelling her name correctly). She's been working at La Grotta for many years and is (in my humble opinion) the best sandwich builder there. She really goes out of her way to build a sandwich that is a work of art. I don't know if she realizes it; but what she's really doing is creating a little happiness in the world. Many people have jobs (my own past jobs included) where at the end of the day you ask yourself if you made a positive difference in the world, did you make people happy or have no effect? Too many times we come home at the end of the day from work and feel like we didn't make any positive difference I hope Sheba realizes that at the end of the day, she spent her time making people happy and does make a positive difference in the world one customer at a time. That is no small thing in my opinion!

I don't want to be confused with being overly dramatic, but I see people every day in jobs where they really don't want to be there or don't care much about doing a stellar job - and it is the complete opposite case with Sheba. She remains very professional while at the same time being personable, taking the time to have a friendly chat with customers while remaining focused on doing a stellar job in the sandwich creation department. Prior to my current occupation I used to be in the staff recruitment industry and Sheba has that "X Factor" that every employer is looking for. Her boss is very lucky to have someone like her working for him. Credit where credit is due, as I've always said - and it's certainly well deserved here. Well done Sheba!

As far as the rest of the deli goes there is a beautiful selection of both cheeses and pickled treats, along with the pastas and other interesting things you might expect to find in an actual deli in Italy. They also have hand pressed mozzarella sitting chilled in water, and if you explore the deep recesses of the deli you're sure to find something cool and unexpected (in a good way). This place is so great, if you haven't been then you owe it to yourself to check it out.

Why can't more places follow the lead of La Grotta Del Formaggio with stellar staff, fantastic products, and reasonable prices. It's just before 5am as I write this and I'm heading to the fridge right now to munch on a left over "slice of heavenly sandwich".

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Scott F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver
Level Contributor
238 reviews
149 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
“Ya Grotta have a Sandwich”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 August 2013

I love walking into this narrow Italian cheese shop pausing to look if they have any Venezualan Beaver cheese in the cheese counter. Unlikely, but they do have cheese and they will make you a wonderful sandwich. I always choose a round foccacia (and a whole one is a meal for two). You have a choice of meats and they are not stingy with the serving. Then a choice of about 4 mustards, 4 mayos, oil and vinegar (my choice to soak into the roll) and then all of the toppings, 4 or 5 choices of cheese, pickled egg plant, roasted peppers, spinach, onions, tomato all piled high. Do you want that grilled? Of course you do. Into the grill press it goes and in about 5 minutes your amazing sandwich is ready. The place can be busy but they are efficient. If you are splitting a whole one its around $6 or $7 each. Wish we had one in our neigbhourhood.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank ljz53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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