Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? To Get to the Burdy Bus

Burdy is a solar powered food bus that is named for the chicken sandwiches they sell. Started by a group of friends from Ontario, Burdy fills a Chicken Parm void in Vancouver.

Burdy food bus

Sandwich Inspiration and Homage

The Burdy team (Natalie, Anthony, Max, and Ailsa) found themselves missing a particular sandwich from back home. In Ontario, there’s a chain called California Sandwiches, and they make a Chicken Parm. They started out of a grocery store in Toronto’s Little Italy and have grown to fourteen locations across Ontario and Quebec.

The folks behind Burdy starting playing around with recipes, using the Chicken Parm from California Sandwiches as the point of inspiration. The results were delicious and after taking some photos, getting a friend to design a logo, and starting an Instagram, Burdy realized that there were hungry Vancouverites eager to try their sandwiches.

How Burdy Found Their Bus

At first, Burdy looked for a ghost kitchen space. Then, they connected with Container Brewing and the hunt for a food truck began. But with no luck, they were about to give up on their deep fried dream and return to working in other Vancouver restaurants when Natalie found a bus. Although it was on Salt Spring Island, it was just what the team needed, as it was already fitted with a kitchen. In June of 2021, Burdy opened their window and started serving.

Container Brewing Burdy's home

The bus parks in Container Brewing’s parking lot. Container Brewing opened in November of 2019, just off East Hastings in the heart of “the Yeast Van Brewing District”. They offer an extensive beer selection in cans and on tap. It’s a quiet commercial neighbourhood making it perfect for Container’s summer patio, which you’ll remember if you visited last year. There’s a stage for live music as well.

The Chicken Parm

As I mentioned, the team was inspired by a specific Chicken Parm but this isn’t a replication, it’s an homage. The Burdy sandwich consists of a fried chicken thigh which is covered in melted cheese and tomato sauce and served on a toasted brioche bun. You can, and should, add the pickled Serrano peppers as well as pickled fennel and onions. I’m sure the sandwich is delicious without, but the pickles add a nice spice and brightness. You also have your choice of one of two house made mayonnaises, a basil mayo and a spicy mayo made with Calabrian chilis. If you don’t like too much spice then opt for the basil mayo but I really loved the heat of the spicy one. Keep reading for why you should order a side of the basil mayo as well though.

Burdy Chicken Parm sandwich up close

 Other Eats

Burdy also serves an Eggplant Parm. You get not one but two layers of golden, deep fried eggplant deliciousness with this sandwich. The eggplant is crisp, not at all soft or mushy. Like the chicken parm, it is covered in melted mozzarella cheese as well as tomato sauce, and can be dressed up with the addition of the pickles.

Burdy eggplant parm

There is usually a beef special on Burdy’s menu as well. The most popular is the Big Max, their take on a certain McDonald’s sandwich. There is also the Braised Beef which comes with roasted peppers and onions on a hoagie bun.

Good Bread Makes Good Sandwiches

Burdy makes everything on the menu in-house from scratch. Except for the buns. Those are baked fresh by the folks at Tall Shadow Breads. You can’t have a good sandwich without good bread, and the soft bun used for the Parms is perfect for absorbing Burdy’s spicy or basil mayo. Using brioche is perhaps an unconventional choice but the sweetness adds nicely to the overall flavour profile of the Burdy sandwiches.

The bus serves sides as well. The Italian fries are tossed in spices and parmesan cheese. Order them, get that side of basil mayo, and dip the fries in the mayo. You just might exclaim aloud like I did over the tasty combination. Burdy also serves a Caesar side salad that can become a main with the addition of fried eggplant or fried chicken.

Burdy’s Beer Infused Dessert

There’s only a short time left between now and Easter but if you act fast you can try Burdy’s creative dessert: the Easter Beeramisu. It’s like a classic tiramisu except Burdy soaks the ladyfingers in Container Brewing’s Depravity Nitro Chocolate Porter. It’s an Easter beeramisu because it’s topped with crushed Cadbury Mini Eggs.

Burdy bus Easter beeramisu

Stop by Container Brewing, grab a beer on the patio, and try something from the Burdy bus. Or, you can order sandwiches in with Uber Eats.


About Bronwyn Lewis 60 Articles
Bronwyn Lewis is a food writer for the Vancouver Guardian. She’s also a screenwriter and producer. Born and raised in Vancouver, Bronwyn lives in Mount Pleasant and you can follow all her food adventures on Instagram.