Kensington Market for Lunch
I'm heading to Kensington Market for lunch and snacking tomorrow. I went several years ago. I remember going to the coffee place, an empanada place for empanadas and a dulce de leche treat. I also visited Ban Vanipha, a thai and laotian restaurant. Is Ban Vanipha still open?
Also, any other suggestions of places to go to for a sit-down lunch? Not necessarily fancy.
Not quite Kensington Market but within walking range is Sage on McCaul Street. It's simple, good food--mostly sandwich wraps packed with good ingredients. I know that sandwiches do not sound exciting but they do a wonderful and tasty job with quality ingredients.
You might want to try the Rice Bar on Augusta. It was pretty good. It's the kind of place where you can create your own combination with noodles, veg, meat and sauces, and if you do so, the outcome largely depends on what you choose. I would suggest the noodles over the rice (I chose the brown rice once and it was soggy and not cooked properly and teeny portion) and the pomegranate sauce is nice.
Not sure about Ban Vanipha, since I've never eaten there. I agree with the empanadas (the 2 places are right across Augusta from each other). I see that you'll be going on Friday--I know that pupusas used to be made in the Central American store on Saturdays, but maybe they make pupusas on weekdays too, now.
If you venture onto Spadina, Nguyen Huong is in the block south of St. Andrews. Very good banh mi for $1.50.
Also, if you follow Baldwin St. east across Spadina for a couple of blocks, Yung Sing Bakery has very good Chinese buns, and other takeout treats for snacking.
Unfortunately Ban Vanipha closed down a couple years ago. As for the papusas, they are indeed being made on weekdays, but there is no place to sit down there. Jumbo Empanadas is still there (Augusta south of Nassau) and is as good as ever! They even have tables and chairs there. Also, Firewood Grill (Baldwin east of Augusta) recently opened and they have some decent grilled sandwiches and really good fries. Similarly, there is place on Augusta just south of Baldwin with a wood oven that grills just about anything you could ask for. My Big Fat Burrito (Augusta at Oxford) has great burritos and a few seats. Across the street from there, Urban Herbivore serves up some very comforting vegan soups and sandwiches. Rice Bar can also be good - particularly with their recent foray into sandwiches, including dessert sandwiches.