In a couple years, when Alli and I are hopefully making some extra money, we would love to be able to stay in Toronto at least 1 weekend a month. We’ve started to really love the city and have large wishlists of where we want to eat and drink. It’s becoming so large that it would take us years to make a dent. When we were young and naive, Alli and I would hang out on Yonge street and visit the Eaton Centre because we thought a 4 story mall was awesome, now we know better and have started using incredibly useful websites like Blog TO and Swallow to find foodie gems.
On our last visit to Toronto, Alli and I really wanted to try Banh Mi Boys but didn’t realize the restaurant was closed on Sundays. I promised to return and visit the restaurant and even considered going on a bro date with Kevin Purdy. Last week my brother Tom and I visited Toronto to see Sigur Ros at Echo Beach and arrived a couple hours early to grab a couple sandwiches for a late lunch.
- Restaurant Type: Casual, To Go Sandwiches
- Cuisine: Vietnamese, Deli/Sandwiches
- Location: Toronto
- Prices: Banh Mi $5-8, Bao $4
Banh Mi Boys isn’t exactly a “traditional” Banh Mi shop, you can find plenty of those in Chinatown where they’ll be selling a simpler version of the sandwich for $3. Banh Mi Boys is a trendy shop that takes the Vietnamese style Banh Mi sandwich and loads them with a variety of delicious meats (pork belly, duck confit). Just like NYC, this cool Asian sandwich shop had a young staff and was blaring 90′s era hip hop/r&b.
I ordered the Five Spice Pork Belly Banh Mi ($6, pictured top) and knew I was going to love this sandwich before I took a bite. The pork belly was cut thick and had an amazing aroma. The roll was perfect, a crispy baguette that tasted great and was still chewy on the inside. Along with the house mayo, pickled carrots and cucumber, the banh mi was a perfect combination of flavors and textures. I ordered the sandwiches “medium” but I didn’t notice any heat. Tom ordered the Grilled Pork Banh Mi which was very similar except the pork had a nice crunch and BBQ sauce.
Along with about 10 different versions of Banh Mi, Banh Mi Boys also serves tacos (which looked large and tasty), several sides and Bao style sandwiches. Alli and I fell in love with Bao sandwiches at Baohaus on our visit to NYC in April and have been dying to have more since. Tommy and I shared a Fried Chicken (above) and Pork Belly (gallery). The rolls were soft and a little sweet and actually larger then I remember from Baohaus. The pork belly was, again, fantastic and the fried chicken had a really nice crunchy batter but didn’t pack as much flavor as the pork. If you want to look for a cheap bite to eat, a $3.49 steamed bao sandwich is a great choice.
I’d love to go back to Banh Mi Boys and try some of their more exotic meats (squid sounds interesting) and their kimchi fries, which looked and smelled delicious. We still have our wishlist of places to eat in Toronto, but Banh Mi Boys will probably become a regular stop on our visits.