Vietnamese #cheapeats in the 6ix (a list)

Happy Halloween!  We’ll be out trick-or-treating with the kiddos tonight… hoping to fill our boots full of South-East Asian #cheapeats.

Recently, some out-of-towners asked us about the best Vietnamese food in the city.  They were visiting from Calgary, which happens to have one heck of a Viet food scene.  So this month, we thought we’d try something a little different and create a list rather than our typical review.  We’ll preface this by saying that we stuck to the downtown core… sorry, no Scarborough spots on here;)

Now we all all know that options abound when looking for Vietnamese food in downtown Toronto.  And while some folks carry on about the catch-all menus at the popular joints on Ossington, the Toronto Food Blog prefers to frequent places that specialize in that one specific menu item for when those cravings hit.  And let’s be honest, they hit hard (and hit often).

Que Ling (248 Boulton St) is our favourite spot in town for a number of reasons.  The main one being that it’s THE place for Bánh Cuốn.

These well-priced rice-paper rolls are filled with minced pork, wood-ear mushroom and scallions and are finished with crispy shallots & chillies.

When we first met our wife (some 15+ years ago), she used to live right upstairs from Anh Dao (383 Spadina Ave).

We’d get this awesome BBQ Pork Vermicelli (Bún Thịt Nướng) and eat it on her rooftop patio overlooking downtown at night.  Good times; great food!  Still our favourite Vietnamese spot in Chinatown after all these years!

Bánh xèo at Bach Yen (738 Gerrard St E) is

This savoury crepe is made with rice flour, coconut milk and turmeric.  Paper thin and delicately crunchy, it comes filled with shrimp, pork belly, bean sprouts and jicama.  Served with lettuce cups and quick-pickle salad for wrapping & dipping… this is one of the best things we’ve eaten this year!

Hanoi 3 Seasons (1135 Queen St E) leans more towards “finer dining.”  They have a wonderful back patio for a chill night out in Leslieville.

We come for the Cha Ca.  Large pieces of Grouper, tossed in Shrimp Paste and Dill, and then deep-fried and served atop Vermicelli & Salad.  You can order it in soup as well… but we prefer our Grouper on the crunchy side.

Roses Vietnamese Sandwiches in East Chinatown was always our favourite Bánh Mi spot.  They did things proper and lunch was always less than 5 bucks.  Rose had a certain charm to her that we thoroughly miss.  They just closed their doors after a 20 year run, and we have yet to find our new favourite Bánh Mi spot.

We’re seeking recommendations.  Where should we try?  Gotta spot?  Please let us know!

These colder fall days are well-suited for bowls of soup.  And the Bún Riêu from Mi Mi (688 Gerrard St E) is an absolute classic.

Wide-gauge noodles with a seafood & tomato broth, full of crab cakes and minced crab meat.  What’s not to like?

Honorable mention goes out to the good folks over at Cà Phê Rang (147 Spadina Ave).

Must admit, we were somewhat skeptical when we saw the higher price tag on the menu of this already-famous new spot in the Fashion District.  However, we can say with certainty that nobody uses better cuts of brisket & rare beef in their Phở Bò.  Nobody!   Excellent quality and currently our favourite Phở in the downtown core.  Get some!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Tuyet ni Trieu says:

    Good morning, thank you for features Mimi restaurant. Just a gentle reminder that our address is 688 Gerrard street east Toronto, Ontario

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