Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Quebec (inc. Montreal) >
May 3, 2008 01:04 PM

Banh mi in the plateau area?

Hi everyone,
I'm new to Montreal and the website has been quite helpful in figuring out where to get everything I was craving. My latest quest has been to find good banh mi around the plateau area (more precisely, around Laurier & Berri). I walked all the way to Jean-Talon yesterday and had the best bbq chicken banh mi, but the little treck took me close to an hour...anyone knows of somewhere closer?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I doubt there are any bahn mi places in that particular area. But why bother? Jean-Talon is only 3 minutes by metro from Laurier. You could get there more quickly than most places on the Plateau.

    7 Replies
    1. re: KT MTL

      You could walk down to the northwestern corner of St-Denis and Mont-Royal; resto there has banh mi to takeaway, but the ones up where I live are better and cheaper.

      Pinka, have you got a bicycle? That is an absolute must (health etc permitting) to quickly access chowish places in a few km radius.

      I'm a woman in her 50s, and I can easily get from Jean-Talon to Laurier in just a few minutes, cycling safely and respecting traffic lights (a sign of age?)

      Would anyone know if any of the Vietnamese places near Rosemont métro do banh mi?

      1. re: lagatta

        Yes: I've also come to the conclusion that I will need to acquire a bike if I'm to survive here! I used to rollerblade everywhere, but Ottawa seems much, much safer for rollerbladers than Montreal.

        1. re: pinkatronica

          Oh Pinkatronica, I hate to say, ditch the rollerblades unless you are a really excellent skater. The roads here are terrible (so many potholes), all the drivers jump the lights, there are hills everywhere. I'm a pretty good ice skater, so I can roller blade pretty well, but the roads here are really dangerous. I won't do it any more.

          Plus the nice thing about a bike, with a few paniers you can pack a lot of food. Great for when you visit the market and want to carry home a bunch of produce.

          1. re: pinkatronica

            pinkatronica, I agree with moh - unless you are just sticking to dedicated bicycle paths, you are much better off on a bicycle - bicycles can take a lot of punishment and carry loads of groceries and staple foods the world over. For chowish purposes, you are better off getting an old beater bicycle - I have a Raleigh 6-speed - and I have old paniers from Canadian tire that I just leave on it all the time. (I had a touring bike, but it was stolen, of course).

            You are a very short ride from Jean-Talon Market and everything thereabouts, including Park-Ex.

            As for banh mi, I'm trying to recall whether the Vietnamese snack bar across from Rosemont métro sells them... I always buy them around Jean-Talon - my favourite is a sandwich shop just north of Jean-Talon, west side,

            7178 St. Denis (very close to Jean-Talon métro)
            Tel: (514) 271-8668

        2. re: KT MTL

          There's a nice looking Vietnamese cafe on Duluth and Laval called Cafe Tropique. They had ham/pate and vegetarian banh mi when I was there. They are just starting out, but they know how to make the sandwich spicy if you want. Good for a quick craving fulfiller.

          1. re: Daiya

            I wish there was a good Bahn Mee place on Mont Royal. Instead we have these multi-asian joints. In reply to the greater strand, it seems like it's turned into a transportation sermon rather than locating the crunchy pork sausage carrot chili sauce and more on fresh baguette that any self-respecting vietnamienne could whip up.

            Which are the best shops up on Jean Talon. I'm new on the Plateau. I'll check out Cafe Tropique.

          2. re: KT MTL

            There are at least 3 places near the corner of St-Denis and Jean Talon:

            "Hung Phat", right next door to the Marché Oriental, has a counter exactly like the ones in Chinatown. Judging by the long line of vietnamese ordering by the half-dozen, I'd say this is the place to go. (I had a very yummy combo of the jambon and nem nuong)

            next door to that is a very strange restaurant named Thai-son. They sell a $2.75 Banh mi Xiu Mai (steamed pork dumpling, no wrapper). They seem to have used coleslaw rather than the usual marinated carrots and daikon radish, but hey it was tasty and for $2.75 I am not complaining.

            Over on Jean-Talon, west of St-Denis is Dakao. I had a banh mi here maybe two years ago. The only thing I remember was that the chillies I consented to ended up all in a bunch in the middle of the sandwich and so I damn near lost my mind half way through lunch. hehe


          3. yeah, Laurier to Jean-Talon == max 10 minutes on a bike.
            If you are afraid of the traffic (wouldn't blame ya), take the smaller streets. You can cross the train tracks at a number of places... quite fun really. :)

            Cafe Tropical on Duluth does the job, though the banh mi are half the size of other places and more expensive. Fancy decor costs money you know. ;)

            2 Replies
            1. re: bopuc

              There is a bicycle path that crosses at Christophe-Colomb - it goes up Boyer on the north (Petite-Patrie) side. You can also cross easily at St-Hubert.

              I'm not sure I'd advise crossing the railway tracks at the "guerilla" crossings - there aren't many trains any more, but you can get sideswiped.

              1. re: lagatta

                The trains on this track are required to roll very slowly. They are VERY big and VERY loud. You have to be blind and deaf to get sideswiped by one. Besides which, the conductors/engineers are always very vigilant when they pass through that corridor.

                Further more, the fences are, for whole kilometer-long stretches, on only one side of the track. You'd think if it were actually dangerous, they'd have fenced it off tight.

                This is by far a safer route to the wonderful foodie areas of Jean Talon, Little Itally etc, than any of the streets, which funnel multilane traffic into tight deadly tunnels. Not to mention quicker.

                Of course, it means carrying your bike. Not possible for everyone, I understand.

            2. Sorry, can't really help you...but I'm wondering where exactly you got the one at Jean-Talon? Was it right in the market? I only know of a couple of places on St. Laurent in Chinatown - which were pretty good as I recall, but I'm always looking for new places to try!

              1. There's a place called "YOY" on St. Denis and Mount Royal. I recommend the spicy chicken, that's if you can handle Thai chilies. Also, if you plan on eating on the go, ask them to toast it for you. Their toaster takes a while, but it's totally worth it, and then ask them to drizzle fish sauce in it. You'll thank me later! Or if you're willing to venture more south, there's a place on St. Andre street, south of St. Catherine called Cafe Saigon. Walk up to the counter and ask for a spicy beef sandwich and wait for the magic. They make it fresh to order.