I have LOVED grilled cheese sandwiches my entire life. I actually have two favourites in Vancouver that are my go to when I really need a fix. One is Mom’s Grilled Cheese food truck in downtown Vancouver, and the other is Burgoo restaurant, also in Vancouver. But, thanks to the Grilled Cheese Sandwich Challenge that took place this spring with Vancouver Foodster, I have a new favourite. West Village Café (website) on 152nd Street and Hwy 10 in Surrey. I didn’t realize it until after I had already been enjoying my amazing sandwich but West Village Café won the Challenge. And they were a brand new restaurant.

Sometimes heading into Vancouver for a grilled cheese sandwich is just not a feasible option. Finding a new supplier closer to me made a bit more sense. I finally got the chance to head to West Village Cafe last week to try their Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Wow. Seriously, it was an artisan style grilled cheese sandwich. The sandwich contained two types of cheese, basil and black pepper all on homemade sourdough bread. There were even dipping sauces available.

Until the last couple of years I would only eat a plain old grilled cheese sandwich with cheddar cheese. Then one day I decided to put an avocado in one that I was making. Another day I tried sun-dried tomatoes. I absolutely love both options and now I’m more open to different, but still vegetarian, offerings. When I try new versions of an old favourite, it’s hard to remember why it took me so long.

West Village Café is in a busy complex of other shops and food locations but it doesn’t really stand out in any way. That is until you enter. The interior is a very clean, modern, bright and comfortable take on the cafe format. There are tables, chairs, benches, couches, pillows as well as a tall table with seating on both sides for people to share. It is a very casual and friendly place.

Homemade on Site and in the Open

Everything is made on the premises and almost all of it is done out in the open, for the customers to see. That includes the pastries and the amazing sourdough bread used for their grilled cheese sandwich. The owner is a really nice, cheerful, friendly person. There was a couple sitting at the table beside me and he came over to have a conversation with them. He asked them how everything was and spent time answering their questions about the café. He then came over to my table to talk with me. That’s how I learned that two days after they had opened their doors a customer came in, posted her grilled cheese sandwich to social media and tagged the Vancouver Foodster. The Vancouver Foodster came to try the sandwich and include the West Village Café in his grilled cheese sandwich competition. It was all a bit overwhelming for a brand-new company who was still just trying to train the employees.

Well it’s a few months later, the café is still getting those of us visiting for that grilled cheese sandwich, and they are becoming a comfortable, neighbourhood favourite. The owner and his family wanted to create a place where people can come, sit around, eat good food, drink good coffee and visit. That’s almost exactly what happened in my visit. I was very comfortable, the food was really good, and I ended up having a great conversation about travel with that lovely couple sitting beside me.

If your are thinking, “WOW, now I need cake!”. Or even just cause you like baked sugary goods, maybe this would interest you.