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Pass by Huron Street on your stroll through Chinatown and you’ll be sure to spot the sleek, red door of Banh Haus, a new Vietnamese takeout eatery that just opened last month.
Owners Steven and Ryan Dinh—brothers born and raised in Toronto—created a curated menu for Banh Haus using their mother’s recipes from Vietnam.
“Everything that’s on the menu, we eat at home,” says Ryan. Together, with Steven’s concept of designing a traditional Vietnamese experience for modern tastes, Banh Haus feels at once authentic and refreshingly bold.
Having previously worked in a kitchen, Ryan is the main cook in this modest space, creating a range of banh mi’s, banh tieu’s, rice dishes, vermicelli bowls, salads, pho and even a fried chicken bao.
For your first taste, you can’t go wrong choosing from their “Haus Classics” of dip-able banh mi’s, pork chop rice, sweet sausage vermicelli, fresh watercress salmon salad, and more.
Of Ryan’s proudest creations, however, is the Banh Mi Pho Ever, which comes complete with a hot, dipping pho broth. Taking inspiration from the warm casualness of Jewish delis, the Pho Ever is made with their own house-cured beef, which takes Ryan about a week and a half to finish. Add on “Haus”-made pickles and mayo, caramelized onion, Thai basil and fresh cilantro, and you’ve got yourself a true Banh Haus creation.
Another notable banh mi here is the Bo Kho, a Vietnamese beef stew served traditionally with rice, but refashioned by Ryan into a hand-held experience. This braised beef sandwich also comes with a dipping Bo Kho stew made from corn and beef.
If you’re not a fan of baguettes, don’t worry. You can choose to have your fillings tucked inside a banh tieu—a Vietnamese donut—instead.
Your visit won’t be complete, however, until you’ve walked out with a freshly brewed cup of their Vietnamese coffee, served hot or on ice with a generous dollop of creamy condensed milk. In fact, Banh Haus’ bold, red door boasts, “Vietnamese coffee takeout restaurant,” written in Chinese characters as an homage to their Chinatown location. While Ryan runs the kitchen, Steven is the “coffee guy” here, sourcing fresh beans direct from Vietnam and roasting them himself for a satisfyingly sweet and smooth cup of joe.
For their rice dishes and vermicelli bowls, you can choose from ten different types of proteins, including shrimp, salmon, pork, betel beef, three types of chicken and two types of tofu. If you’re looking to really fill your bowl, you can add on extra proteins, crunch rolls, shredded pork, pho broth, or a Haus Quiche, which is specially made without shrimp here to accommodate for allergies.
On your way out, pick up a bottle of their house-made pickled mustard greens, carrots, jalapenos, or fish sauce to complete your takeout meal at home.
When asked to describe the space, Steven chose three words––gritty, comfort, modern. Walking into the restaurant, customers are greeted with a colourful yet “gritty” mural by local artist Chris Perez, comically featuring Asian cartoon characters dining in happy comfort, including Pikachu, Sailor Moon, Hamtaro, and Goku.
Designed to recall the red, plastic chairs commonly found in Asia's street food vendors, Banh Haus’ clean, unique logo represents the two brothers' vision and mission for the restaurant: Vietnamese coffee and casual takeout, as simple as can be.
Come to Banh Haus for the embracing authenticity of Vietnamese food and modern cultures, but don’t stay too long, because this place is all about that laid-back, on-the-move, takeout lifestyle.
Banh Haus is located on 81 Huron St. and is open for takeout Tuesdays through Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. You can view their menu and order jarred items through their website.