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Best Banh Mi in TO

PoppiYYZ Aug 5, 2011 07:37 AM

On a recent trip to NYC, I had an *amazing* Vietnamese Sandwich from a little place called Nicky's. Crispy baguette (better than almost all bakeries) with pâté, sliced meat, hot peppers, cilantro, and pickled vegetables. Another excellent variation uses thin grilled pork chops.

Seen some occasional Banh Mi recommendations in Toronto and tried a few disappoint ones (Ginger2 - now gone - and recently Rose's on Gerrard). Next on my list is Nguyen Huong on Spadina (good recs, great Yelp and Urbanspoon ratings too).

However, in your opinion, who knocks out the best Bahn Mi in TO ?

  1. Davwud Aug 5, 2011 07:39 AM

    Unfortunately my favourite is now a Dollar Store. I'm looking for a new one in the west end(ish)


    10 Replies
    1. re: Davwud
      00CP Aug 5, 2011 11:42 AM

      The place on Dupont near the West End Railpath? Bah me too!!!!!

      1. re: 00CP
        Davwud Aug 5, 2011 11:53 AM

        Yuppers. They made good ones.


      2. re: Davwud
        Underdog Rally Aug 6, 2011 01:33 PM

        I hope you're not talking about Dn Vietnamese sandwiches. I hadn't been in a really long time and was going to grab some takeout tonight.

        Edit: Bah. Urbanspoon agrees that it's closed. I don't suppose you found something else nearby in the last 24 hours?

        1. re: Underdog Rally
          Davwud Aug 6, 2011 04:18 PM

          Never mind Urbanspoon. I went in one day and no sandwiches :-(

          Nothing in the area to report. I also liked that they had them by 9am


          1. re: Davwud
            00CP Aug 8, 2011 06:52 AM

            Theres no other Banh Mi spots around that part of Dupont. Best thing instead would be a chicken sandwich from the Portuguese place on the South side, or a shawarma from the newly opened falafel place closer to Symington. *le sigh*

        2. re: Davwud
          dameems Aug 23, 2012 07:35 AM

          Hey West enders, you can try Le's Sandwich at 1119 College (just w of Dufferin on S side). It's a little Viet grocery that also does sandwiches. Recommended by a Vietnamese nieghbour. Just went and bought a huge bag on the weekend and they were a big hit. If you buy lots she may cut you a little deal on the tax, etc.... nice Ma & Pa shop.

          1. re: dameems
            piccola Aug 23, 2012 07:01 PM

            Any veg options?

            1. re: piccola
              dameems Aug 24, 2012 05:34 AM

              Good question, piccola. I always get the combo so have never tried other options. Urbanspoon says there are veg:
              Worth a try for under $3? Sandwich boss lady (Mrs Le?) is ready to please, so I'm sure she'd do up something for you to make you smile. Happy noshing!

              1. re: dameems
                piccola Aug 24, 2012 05:54 PM

                Thanks for the rec -- this isn't far from me but I've never really thought to try it. Now I will.

                1. re: piccola
                  dameems Aug 24, 2012 08:15 PM

                  Tasty, handy and cheap, piccola! can't go wrong

        3. j
          junkie Aug 5, 2011 03:06 PM

          i had a bad experience at nguyen huong on spadina as they sold me a premade banh mi (assorted) where the pate was utterly disgusting, dried and old. i threw it out.

          que huong on finch, west of weston is the best.

          2 Replies
          1. re: junkie
            neighborguy Aug 6, 2011 07:55 PM

            A second for que huong. Amazing baguette.

            1. re: junkie
              chunkeymonkey Oct 13, 2011 11:03 AM

              Same thing happened to me .I asked for a large spicy,and they usually make the large ones to order,but this one was already made,didn't think much of it until I started eating it.It felt like it was made hours ago,bread was soft almost soggy,no hint of any spice whatsoever,and no cucumber.It was disappointing.I go there very often because i work around the area,so it happened to me again,their large sandwich was pre made.So this time I left it there and walked out the door.

            2. PoppiYYZ Aug 6, 2011 06:28 PM

              VERY surprised by the lack of suggestions. Good Banh Mi should be a slam dunk in this city with 47,000+ Vietnamese*.

              Is my fruitless searching really caused by a lack of availability ?

              * reference wiki : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demograp...

              28 Replies
              1. re: PoppiYYZ
                junkie Aug 7, 2011 03:39 AM

                que huong at finch/weston, my saigon bakery at dundas/constitution (mississauga), tung hing bakery at jane/weston, nguyen huong near vaughan mills attached to asian supermarket are the ones i like most in the city. (first 2 would be best)

                best bet is to make your own exactly to your liking and maybe adding a nice butter fried egg. you may lose out on the idea of somebody making it for you, as well as preparation and grocery time. but to have your personal combination made to perfection for only pennies is almost priceless. no more thoughts of "not enough cilantro or chili" etc.

                anyways, let me know if you do find a good one.

                1. re: junkie
                  PoppiYYZ Aug 7, 2011 06:08 AM

                  Thanks junkie. I shudda read the 905 Banh Mi post since I've now seen all of your TO suggestions there. Can't wait to try your recs.

                  I'll definitely let you know how the best stack up to Nicky's !

                  1. re: junkie
                    Hondapendragon Aug 7, 2011 08:26 AM

                    Que huong... is that the one next to Pho Dau Bo?
                    I'm relatively new to Bahn Mi. Any recs on which one to try at Que Huong? I'm going to be in the neighbourhood later this week.

                    1. re: Hondapendragon
                      junkie Aug 7, 2011 09:37 AM

                      Yes they are in the same plaza, however there are 2 banh mi places where the one "next" to pho dau bo is called "banh le/mi" (cant rmb), and que huong would be a couple stores over. get the deluxe at que huong however the choices would be based on personal preference nonetheless.

                      that particular pho dau bo serves a nice bowl of pho as well.

                      1. re: junkie
                        Hondapendragon Aug 10, 2011 03:11 PM

                        Just went to Que Huong today!
                        Holy SMOKES that's a good sandwich.

                        The bread.... wow.
                        Thank you sooooo much! I'll be back for sure.
                        They have a deal, buy 5 get 1 free. Boy are my colleagues gonna love me!

                        1. re: Hondapendragon
                          neighborguy Aug 12, 2011 02:38 PM

                          I've started trying some of the other kinds of sandwiches, tho my fave remains to be the #1 with assorted coldcuts.

                          1. re: neighborguy
                            Yongeman Aug 14, 2011 05:14 AM

                            I'll preface this shout-out to Que Huong by stating that I discovered banh mi some time ago when Co Yen was my go-to spot on Spadina. After they closed (big lottery win by the owner, who shared with employees, I'm told), I switched allegiances to Nguyen Hong and Roses's Cafe. I haven't been back to Rose's since the move to Gerrard (but I will return), and since Nguyen Hong has expanded to several locations, there seems to have been a bit of a slide. I enjoyed Ba Le 2 a couple of times as well. Most have been hit-or-miss, with baguette freshness being the main issue.
                            I just tried Que Huong thanks to the recs by junkie and others on this thread. It was awesome! Super fresh, narrow baguette filled, with care, with fresh, tasty ingredients. I just had the #1, assorted, because that's my usual choice from most places. It had the fillings exactly as described by the OP, with the addition of 'mayo' and (I think) some sauteed green onions. Oh, and the people were very nice too. Family-run atmosphere. The downside for me is that it's in a small plaza on the south side of Finch, just west of Weston Rd., but I'll go anywhere for quality.

                            1. re: Yongeman
                              PoppiYYZ Aug 14, 2011 06:00 AM

                              Aww common ! You guys are killing me !

                              I haven't had a chance to go to QH yet and now I'm dreaming about their Banh Mi...

                              1. re: PoppiYYZ
                                Yongeman Aug 15, 2011 07:14 AM

                                Ha ha, sorry PoppiYYZ. But it's a good dream...

                              2. re: Yongeman
                                magic Aug 15, 2011 07:36 AM

                                Any info on whether they accept debit/credit?

                                1. re: magic
                                  Yongeman Aug 15, 2011 07:47 AM

                                  I think someone was paying with a card when I was there, magic, but I wasn't really paying attention. Just gave them my toonie for a great sandwich.

                                  1. re: Yongeman
                                    magic Aug 15, 2011 07:52 AM

                                    I can assure you I will : ) Thx!

                                    1. re: magic
                                      magic Oct 9, 2011 02:52 PM

                                      Cash only :(

                                      I went and it was very tasty. My default is pork meatball so I tried that on first visit. Different from Rose Cafe’s version, which I love love love, but very good stuff. Kinda had a slightly spicy tomato sauce thing going, which was surprising but very good. Love those peppers. Mmmm. Will definitely be back to try more.

                                      No tables though, fyi. Gotta take out.

                              3. re: neighborguy
                                neighborguy Aug 22, 2012 08:15 AM

                                One of my newer go-to sandwiches, #8 Sate beef, is not longer offered due to cost :(

                            2. re: junkie
                              PoppiYYZ Aug 25, 2012 05:46 AM

                              Finally got to Que Hong !!

                              Asked a guy with his family in line what is good, and he says "everything". I thought he meant that all the sandwiches are good until he ordered a bunch of "everything" bahn mi. It was a mixture of many things so I ordered the same. Sorry I can't tell you exactly what was in it because I was in a trance eating it. Great great sandwich. Even though the bun was fresh and crisp, my only suggestion would be they crispen the bun slightly further in a hot oven for a few moments before making.

                              One of the best sandwiches in Toronto and only $2.50 !! Wow.

                              1. re: PoppiYYZ
                                stv Aug 25, 2012 06:49 PM

                                For people like me, that has never been, and no one brother listing it, or using the full name.

                                Banh Mi Que Huong
                                2437 Finch Ave W, just west of Weston, on the South side.
                                Toronto, ON M9M 2E7
                                (416) 749-8088

                          2. re: junkie
                            BlueTeam Sep 8, 2012 12:34 PM

                            2nd for que hong @ finch/weston. That whole plaza is great for vietnamese. Great pho and hwe dop bob @ the korean sushi spot.

                            And for NYC in July we took a recomendation from newyork.seriouseats.com and tried: Bành Mí Zòn - absolutely amazing.

                            1. re: junkie
                              PoppiYYZ Mar 7, 2013 07:10 AM

                              Saigon bakery is still rocking out great Banh Mi. Went again late last week and it was fantastic, especially the super crispy baguette. My only complaint, a minor one, is that the amount of filling is a little light making the bread to filling ratio a little off IMHO. But for only $2.50, this is a great sandwich.

                              Most of the menu doesn't have English translation, so here it is to help you prepare.

                              1. re: PoppiYYZ
                                PoppiYYZ Mar 7, 2013 08:32 AM

                                Here's my best shot. Any corrections from our Vietnamese speaking friends would be appreciated :

                                Banh Mi (Pate, Jambon, Cha Lua, Gio Thu) = Pate, Ham, Pork Terrine, Head Cheese
                                Banh Mi Ga Cha Bong = Dried Shredded Chicken
                                Banh Mi Bi = Pork with Skin
                                Banh Mi Xui Ma = Meatball
                                Banh Mi Nem Nuong = Garlic Honey Pork Sausage
                                Banh Mi Thit Nuong = Grilled Pork
                                Banh Mi Pha Lau = Pork Belly Pig Ear

                                Gio Nguoi = ? Nguoi style
                                Gio Bi = ? Pork with Skin
                                Gio La Chuoi = ? Banana Leaves
                                Cha Lua Chien = Pork Sausage
                                Banh Beo Bi = Rice Cake with Shredded Pork
                                Banh Beo = Rice Cake
                                Che = Sweet Pudding

                                My guess is Gio is a meat like a ham, sausage, or maybe pate.

                                1. re: PoppiYYZ
                                  LTL Mar 11, 2013 11:06 AM

                                  This should help fill in the blanks:

                                  Gio Nguoi = cold braised pork hock
                                  Gio La Chuoi = pork hock wrapped in banana leaves
                                  Cha Lua Chien = ham which is fried on the outer layer

                                  1. re: LTL
                                    PoppiYYZ Mar 11, 2013 02:48 PM

                                    Thanks LTL

                                    I will be more prepared and definitely order more than just Banh Mi next time !

                                    Is the Gio pork hock like a head cheese or a pate ?

                                    1. re: PoppiYYZ
                                      LTL Mar 12, 2013 08:57 AM

                                      It depends on the place - it could either be whole sliced pork hock or more like a head cheese. Definitely not a pate though!

                                2. re: PoppiYYZ
                                  berbere Mar 7, 2013 09:15 AM

                                  Where is Saigon Bakery?

                                  1. re: berbere
                                    PoppiYYZ Mar 8, 2013 10:54 AM

                                    1133 Dundas St E, Mississauga. North side of Dundas in a small plaza just east of Constitution.

                                3. re: junkie
                                  PoppiYYZ Feb 27, 2014 08:24 AM

                                  Stopped in at Tun Hing Bakery yesterday (1700 Wilson near Jane in the north side Winners Plaza). Still cranking out one fine Banh Mi. Their BBQ Pork bun was also VERY fresh and tasty. Six super fresh banh mi buns, a bbq pork bun, and a generously filled BM for $5.50.

                                  We got a pretty good BM scene going in TO.

                                  1. re: PoppiYYZ
                                    magic Feb 27, 2014 09:34 AM

                                    Will have to visit. Danke.

                                    Googling shows the name to be Tung Hing Bakery. And there are numerous locations around the GTA. I wonder if the other locations are quality as well.


                                    1. re: magic
                                      PoppiYYZ Feb 27, 2014 01:37 PM

                                      Thanks M,

                                      It is definitely Tung Hing. My typo mistake and I missed the edit window. They are worth getting it right.

                                      Haven't tried the other locations but I'm adding them to my "Food Map" now.

                                      1. re: PoppiYYZ
                                        magic Feb 27, 2014 01:51 PM

                                        No, thank YOU. This seems like my kind of place. Can't wait to try it. SOON!

                              2. Frids Aug 7, 2011 07:46 PM

                                Dieu Ky on Gerrard near Jones isn't bad for banh mi. I wouldn't think it was the best in the city though.

                                1. a
                                  acd123 Aug 8, 2011 08:17 AM

                                  How about Ba Le 2, on the north side of Dundas, just west of Spadina. I've had really good Bahn Mi from there.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: acd123
                                    LTL Sep 16, 2011 12:53 PM

                                    This is my favourite as well. Make sure to get it toasted!

                                    1. re: LTL
                                      PoppiYYZ Sep 17, 2011 04:23 AM

                                      You're right. The key to fantastic Bahn Mi is crisping the bun in an oven briefly before assembly.

                                  2. PoppiYYZ Aug 30, 2011 06:46 AM

                                    Finally got to Nguyen Huong on Spadina yesterday. Arrived just before noon so the friendly ladies were hard at work doing up the mountain of pre-mades for the rush. Tried a freshly made spicy classic / cold cut with pâté and it was OK. Bun was crispy but a little dry, pickled carrots were pretty good but the meat was just so-so. I'd say on par with Rose's new location, but overall just so-so.

                                    Almost drove out to Finch and Weston to try Que Huong but time didn't allow. Can't wait to get me one of those...

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: PoppiYYZ
                                      Davwud Aug 30, 2011 07:54 AM

                                      Que Huong is fantastic. I had a cold cut and a grilled pork. Both were great but the pork was better.
                                      Their buns are the best I've had for a BM


                                      1. re: Davwud
                                        PoppiYYZ Aug 30, 2011 03:16 PM

                                        You guys are still killing me.... :-P

                                        1. re: Davwud
                                          Yongeman Aug 20, 2012 12:21 PM

                                          Hi Davwud etc. I went back to Que Huong today and it was as good as ever! The baguette is outstanding. I had the #3 today with bbq pork. So good! Let's not forget about this gem, although it is waaayy in the northwest (easy access by Finch exit on Hwy 400). Good to combine with a trip to the empanada place (Mama Mia's) at Islington and Steeles, for those hounds who rarely get north of Eglinton. ; )

                                          1. re: Yongeman
                                            Davwud Aug 20, 2012 01:13 PM

                                            And the Latin Food Court right up the street.


                                        2. re: PoppiYYZ
                                          parkerxt Sep 8, 2012 12:26 PM

                                          Finally got to Que Huong yesterday, went on Tuesday afternoon and they were sold out. bread was better then what I have had. Ordered the #1 cold cuts and #3 'grilled pork". Really good but was discouraged that the pork was pre-made and sitting in a container. Still top-notch. I would prefer and recommend Peach Garden at Jane and Sheppard. They are primarily a Viet soup restaurant but they also do Banh Mi. 'Standard' cold cut is $2. Grilled pork/beef/chicken is MADE TO ORDER, loaded and very tasty for $3. They also pickle the hot peppers which makes them SUPER Burning hot...like 1L of milk to calm it burning.

                                        3. iMarilyn Oct 10, 2011 08:40 AM

                                          Rose's Vietnamese Sandwiches on Gerrard. Used to be Rose Cafe.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: iMarilyn
                                            kaycat Oct 27, 2013 09:08 PM

                                            Agree. The vegetarian one with tofu is utterly fab.

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