Updated: Banh Mi Boys Toronto

Updated: Banh Mi Boys Toronto

Banh Mi Boys Toronto

I had serious cravings for steamed bao from Banh Mi Boys during our four month road trip across America and Canada.

Four months is an awfully long time to crave food. Particularly when you have days of eating the same meal. Or days where your only options are from fast food venues, because that’s the only place with parking suitable for a 30 foot RV.

So I was pretty darn excited to get back to Toronto. Banh Mi Boys was one of the first places I visited when we got back.

If you live in Toronto and haven’t heard of Banh Mi Boys, you may have been in a coma for the past couple of years. It’s a popular pan Asian joint on Queen Street West, near Spadina.  It’s famous for its modern twist on Vietnamese banh mi, with some really cool fillings and fusions with other cuisines, like Mexican.

On our last visit to Banh Mi Boys, I ordered the steamed bao, with crispy panko tofu, without kimchi (because it’s made with animal stock here) or mayonnaise.

I was really looking forward to eating the steamed bao again, but when I was discussed my order with my server on this visit, she told me that the steamed bao wasn’t actually vegan friendly.

Banh Mi Boys - Lemongrass Tofu Taco


On our first visit, I’d been told that the steamed bao itself was vegan, as long as it was ordered without the kimchi and mayo. This time, I was told the bao was not vegan friendly even without the kimchi and mayo. Not worth getting upset over; these things happen, vegan mistakes as I call them!

Back in August I emailed Banh Mi Boys to get a confirmation on which of their items were vegan and or/could be made vegan friendly, but I never received a reply. I’m planning on emailing them again, and if I receive an answer I’ll update this post with the information.

Just to be safe, I went with the tofu taco, and the tofu fries, both of which I was assured were okay for vegans without the kimchi and mayo. And though I may have been longing for the steamed bao, the tacos, like the bao, are a thing of culinary beauty.

I previously said I could eat the baos every day of my life. The same holds true of the thin, crepe-like taco. On this occasion I had lemongrass tofu taco, which, though tasty, made me wish I’d asked for the panko tofu. It comes in an easy second to the panko though, and the flavours are so fresh and vibrant.

Banh Mi Boys - Tofu Fries

The fries are a reliable favourite. Whoever thought of adding long, thin planks of tofu to them is a genius. And I love the chilli and green onions on top.

If you’re a meat-eater like North Nomad, there’s  a complete bounty of pan Asian foods for you to try at Banh mi. The prime offerings are the crispy baguettes common to Vietnamese and French cooking.  There’s a diverse range available: grilled pork, grilled chicken, lemongrass tofu, braised beef cheek, five spice pork belly, meatball, pulled pork, kalbi beef, squid and duck confit.

Do you have a favourite restaurant you pine for when you go away? Or maybe it’s a meal you’re always hankering for?

Website: http://www.banhmiboys.com/menu.htm

Location: 392 Queen St West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Getting There: Catch the streetcar to the corner of Queen & Spadina. Or you can catch the subway to University and walk up to Spadina.
Banh Mi Boys on Urbanspoon

21 thoughts on “Updated: Banh Mi Boys Toronto

    • Banh Mi Boys is definitely my favourite “fast food” (it doesn’t feel right calling it that really!) in Toronto. I love the mix of Asian food with other cuisines. And would you believe I’ve never tried poutine? 😀

    • Thanks Michelle! In Toronto, it’s not much of a challenge to be honest. There’s a lot of choice, and I found once I got brave enough to ask chefs/waitresses etc, hospitality staff in Ontario are willing to bend over backwards to help you. 🙂

  1. AHHHHH. YOu’re seriously making me want to go to Toronto!! ;_; I want those fries! <3 <3 <3

    Bahn Mi's are one of my must-have meals when I go back home for vacation. I miss it so much when I'm out here!

  2. hey Jess, !!! I really did not know about this. i am going to share it with my sis and friends living there 🙂 I want them to taste it 😉 so that they will take me next time!!!!

    • Suki, now I have to apologise for the living in a coma comment! LOL. I walked past the store every day so I made the incorrect assumption everyone in Toronto saw it as frequently as I did. 😉 I do promise you though that the food is AMAZING. There is so much different stuff there to satisfy everyone. My husband (being a true Canadian) loves his meat and poutine, and I’m a vegan. We have a lot of trouble eating out together, but this place was so good for us both finding food we could eat!

    • Hrmmm that’s interesting, thanks for letting me know Katherine! I just assumed they’d used milk in their bao recipe, but you never really know. I used to work across the road and up a bit on Queen St West, so this place was a constant temptation on the walk home from work.

    • Yeah I think you’re right with that. It seems like a normal ingredient with steamed buns. I might have to try and make some of my own to see if I can satisfy the craving! And it’s definitely worth a trip. Does get a bit busy on a nice day, I’ve found, so winter can be a good time to go. 🙂

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