REVIEW: Banh Mi, Dim Sum & Doubles

Binging on a budget


Binging: the art of excessively indulging in delicious mounds of food and drink. If you’re like me and love to eat out, but are shackled by the impending doom of student loan payments, then that’s where the budgeting comes into play.

I visited three tasty, cheap places in the greater Toronto area to satisfy your cravings for the least amount of dollars possible. For the first stop, I headed to china-town.

Nguyet Minh Lo Banh Mi

If you’ve never had a Banh Mi before, there’s no better first stop than Nguyet Minh. Banh Mi’s are essentially Vietnamese subs. Consider this tasty alternative to your boring cold-cut combo from Subway the next time your craving a sandwich.

A local hotspot for cheap eats in Mississauga, Nguyet Minh dishes out Banh Mi’s for as low as $2.50 a pop. If you’re a starving college student like me or just looking for an overall great deal, this local gem is a no-brainer.

The bread is baked in-house, the ingredients are fresh and vibrant, and the staff is friendly. With the affordable price tag and several equally delicious sandwich options, your spare change will happily leave your pockets here.

Just make sure you take out cash before you come here, as the kind gentlemen at the cashier said “welcome to chinatown” with a humorous smile on his face as I pulled out my debit card and ask if he had a machine.

Oceans Fresh Food Market

Oceans is a typical asian supermarket at first glance, but on the inside is a vast buffet of Chinese and Japanese food, most of it for pretty cheap.

The sushi selection is comparable to the quality of other supermarket sushi, but at a considerably cheaper price tag. You can find pretty much any classic Chinese dish that you would find at your local take-out spot, with the addition of some staple dim sum dishes and more niche options like fried fish heads and other things that I lack the knowledge to identify.

The dim sum is on the cheaper end and probably the best bang for your buck if you’re on a budget. I frequent the shumai for $3.19, and the various rice rolls which run for around $3 as well.

Out of all the dim sum places that I’ve eaten at, it’s on the mediocre side when it comes to taste, but the price and fast service make it worth the trip.

Leela’s Roti & Doubles

The doubles are in the spotlight at Leela’s if you’re on a budget. Starting at $2.00 a piece, they are a great little snack to grab with the toonie stuck beside your car door that you’ve been too lazy to retrieve.

If you’re not familiar with East Indian food, doubles are a popular Trinidadian street food that consists of fried flatbread filled with curried chickpeas.

If you’re looking to splurge, you can fill your double with curry goat or chicken for an extra $2.50 but they are just as good on their own. Try not to go too crazy on the spice if you aren’t accustomed to East Indian cuisine or you may end your day with a regrettable trip to the bathroom.