Banh Mi, also known as the Vietnamese Sub, use to be a hidden gem amongst the foodie community. Recently with the opening of Momofuku, Kinton Ramen, and Banh Mi Boys a sudden surge of comfort ethnic food is rising. Banh Mi, is finally coming out of the shadows and giving the korean tacos, ramen bowls and steam bao a run for its money!
For those not in the know, Banh Mi starts with a nice crusty baguette. Do not accept a Banh Mi made with anything else but a baguette. It's a big deal, it needs to be crusty on the outside and nice and moist on the inside. Then comes the lashings of pâté and butter. I like to go easy on the butter and extra lovin' on the pâté. The main components are the thinly sliced ham and pickled carrots and daikon with a fresh sprig of cilantro and cucumber. There are other variations, like lemon grass chicken, or grilled pork sausage but sliced ham is the traditional banh mi. It all sounds simple, and maybe even a little bland, but the combination of all the ingredients together makes an ultimate foodgasm. To top it all off, they're cheap to boot! You should never pay more than $2 for a sub, maybe $3 if its a foot long! One time I saw it on the menu at the Fairmont Pacific Rim for $10+!
I've been buying my sandwiches from Nguyen Huong for as long as I can remember. They're two dollars, $2.50 if you want the extra large. All of the ingredients are fresh and the bread here is phenominal. They're family run and have been making sandwiches since 1986. They also sell some really great prepared meals and desserts. The portions are great, ingredients are always fresh and the price is excellent. I survived off this when I was a poor college student!
They have a few locations throughout the GTA but my go-to location is located in Chinatown near Kensington Market. Check them out! The fried rice and banana coconut dessert are excellent as well.
322 Spadina Ave