Known as an East Van institution, Tung Hing Bakery serves up baked goods but most importantly banh mi sandwiches. Banh mi sandwiches are Vietnamese subs, made with french bread filled with pickled radish, carrots, cilantro and most of the time some sort of meat filling.
I was on their site and reading a little about their history (which always intrigues me about places) – and like most people I know, they came to Canada to escape the war. In 1985, they opened up their first bakery in Toronto and now have 5 in the GTA and one here in Vancouver. Lucky for us!
The shop is in the heart of Little Vietnam (not officially named that – YET! But they should!) on Kingsway. Don’t be afraid of the fact that it is one of those ‘dive’ looking places, because you would be missing out on a great sandwich (in fact, a lot of dives in the lower mainland serve pretty darn good food!).
When you walk in, there’s a case of baked goods and the sandwich area is further to the right. Reading the recommendations, I noticed the price went up – but not by much (maybe 25 cents?). They have six variations of the banh mis, and today Brian and I ordered the House Special ($3.25) and the Lemon grass Chicken ($3.50).
Each banh mi is made right before your eyes. The banh mi is a little bit bigger than some places I’ve been to and their filling is generous. I thought that the lemon grass chicken was better than the house special, but perhaps because the flavour of the lemon grass was what I was craving at the time. I enjoyed both banh mis, the chili peppers were not as spicy as my recent visit to Au Petit Cafe, but that’s okay.
We also ordered a coconut bun which is enormous, we split it in half! It wasn’t too overwhelmingly coconutty and had a great bit of custard down the middle.
Tung Hing is definitely a great and cheap place to grab lunch and I’ll definitely be back again to try more pastries and their shredded garlic chicken sub!
Check out their website here.