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Aug 5, 2011 07:37 AM

Best Banh Mi in TO

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 ?

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  1. 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

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

      1. re: 00CP

        Yuppers. They made good ones.


      2. re: Davwud

        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

          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

            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

          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: piccola

              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

                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

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

        3. 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

            A second for que huong. Amazing baguette.

            1. re: junkie

              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. 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 :

              28 Replies
              1. re: PoppiYYZ

                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

                  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

                    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

                      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

                        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

                          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

                            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

                              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

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

                              2. re: Yongeman

                                Any info on whether they accept debit/credit?

                                1. re: magic

                                  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

                                    I can assure you I will : ) Thx!

                                    1. re: magic

                                      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

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

                            2. re: junkie

                              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

                                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

                            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 and tried: Bành Mí Zòn - absolutely amazing.

                            1. re: junkie

                              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

                                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

                                  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

                                    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

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

                                  1. re: berbere

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

                                2. re: junkie

                                  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

                                    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

                                      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

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

                              2. 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. 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

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

                                    1. re: LTL

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