Wichita’s best sandwich: Bocco Deli

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Wichita’s best sandwich: Bocco Deli

The Club is one of the best selling at Bocco Deli. You can choose a side of pasta salad or soup.

The Club is one of the best selling at Bocco Deli. You can choose a side of pasta salad or soup.

Khánh Nguyễn

The Club is one of the best selling at Bocco Deli. You can choose a side of pasta salad or soup.

Khánh Nguyễn

Khánh Nguyễn

The Club is one of the best selling at Bocco Deli. You can choose a side of pasta salad or soup.

The best sandwiches in Wichita are hidden away inside a green little building off of Central Avenue. Tucked just east of Hillside Street, Bocco Deli is marked by a small sign hanging from its street-side roof.

Tall windows into the café face the street, and if you’re driving slowly enough, you’ll see happy lunch customers smiling over their food. Stop in for a bite and you’ll soon become one of them. With full-sized lunches ringing in at less than ten dollars, Bocco is a miracle for students wishing to find something special for their casual lunch.

While the core of their offerings’ delight comes from flavorful, fresh ingredients, Bocco Deli has a number of secret weapons at its disposal that make it truly stand apart from the crowd. This is made immediately to anyone who orders their fresh lemonade at the start of their meal. Apart from the classic fresh juice and sugar, Bocco uses fresh mint to bring a refreshing edge to the beverage. The drink betrays Bocco’s approach to their food in general: why settle for classic when you can elevate it?

The heart of Bocco’s menu lies in its vast array of sandwiches. Regardless of what sandwich you pick, you’ll bite into a generous portion of fresh deli meats or vegetables balanced beautifully with an accompanying condiment. Vegetarian options are available, but the real star of the show is Bocco’s fresh focaccia and signature Sweet Pepper Bacon.

Herb-spiced breads are pretty hit and miss in sandwich shops, but Bocco’s house-baked focaccia shows why so many are trying to perfect it. A beautifully spiced, delightfully thick focaccia provides the bread for most of their sandwiches. The substantial buns make even Bocco’s biggest sandwiches easy to eat. The bread alone makes a stop into Bocco’s worth the trip, but thankfully, they’re accompanied by an array of other ingredients that complement the buns beautifully.

Anyone who’s looked at a sandwich menu recently knows that bacon is in vogue. However, while many restaurants seem to have slapped the meat on sandwiches as some kind of novelty, Bocco’s bacon is an absolute wonder whose flavors meld perfectly into their sandwiches. The bacon tastes true to its name with a luscious sweet and spicy flavor. It’s just full-bodied enough to make its presence known without taking away from the other ingredients in each sandwich.

Other hallmarks of Bocco include a creamy garlic mayo, spicy roasted red peppers, and an exquisite parmesan that finds its way onto Bocco’s Italian offerings. If you’re not stuffed by the end of lunch, Bocco offers fresh-baked chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies that are absolutely to die for. From side soups to daily sandwich specials, everything that leaves Bocco’s kitchen is excellent. You’re likely to find yourself stopping in over and over again just to sample the whole range.

There’s nothing better than great food at a great price. Very few, if any, restaurants in Wichita can beat Bocco Deli for lunch, and most will leave you short much more than a ten-dollar bill. Treat yourself to one of their sandwiches on your next lunch break. You’ll be sure to find yourself there again with happy friends and a happy stomach.