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Eat & Drink

10 Toronto sub spots not named Subway or Mr. Sub

Posted by Robyn Urback / March 17, 2012

Subs torontoPlaces to eat subs in Toronto usually don't offer much in the way of ambiance. For whatever reason, independent sub joints — in their never-ending quests to compete with the Subways, Mr. Subs, and Quiznos in the city — have let ambiance fall to the wayside in favour of attention to food. Which, actually, is probably a good thing. While these places aren't reinventing the wheel when it comes to classic sub-making, they do offer delicious alternatives to some of Toronto's sub big boys. And you can never go wrong with a supremely cheap Bánh Mì. Here are 10 places to eat subs in Toronto.

Belly Buster Submarines, 3447 Yonge St (416.489.6051)
Belly Buster arguably the king of indie sub joints, reigning over the Yonge and Lawrence area with its gravy-on-a-sub masterpieces. The place is swarmed late at night — especially on weekends — with bacon-minded sub enthusiasts waiting for some belly bustin'. Must order bacon.

A-Submarine, 565 Sherbourne Street (416.924.5317)
Its terribly unoriginal name can be forgiven if only for its extremely late hours and great value. A-Submarine at Sherbourne and Bloor is a great after-the-bar spot for typical cold cut, chicken, and meatball subs. Rarely a 2 a.m. lineup.

New York Subway, 520 Queen St W (416.703.4496)
While New York Subway is known foremost for its burritos, it does, indeed have subs, true to its name. Somewhat newly renovated, the Queen West shop has a good selection of grilled subs including lamb, chicken, beef, and shrimp. Prepare to wait, though, especially around lunchtime.

Grillway Souvlaki House, 523 Annette Street (416.761.1811)
Grillway Souvlaki House has a fantastic assortment of different sub options for a place that also offers souvlaki, and pizza, and burgers, and breakfast. The Annette and Runnymede restaurant makes both hot and cold subs, including BBQ pork, roast beef, philly steak, and souvlaki subs. Most footlong subs are under $9.

Pizza Flora, 167 Roncesvalles Ave (416.588.4500)
Pizza Flora is Roncesvalles' answer to independent subs. Pizza is the mainstay, of course, but hot and cold subs are, too, on the menu. There are lots of parmigiana options including meatball, sausage, eggplant, and chicken, as well as cold chicken cutlet, turkey breast, and ham and cheese.

Tung Hing Bakery, 353 Broadview Ave (416.465.9103)
Tung Hing is a Chinese bakery that makes all sort of Vietnamese Bánh Mì (subs) fresh daily. Using homemade sauces and pate, the shop makes unbelievably cheap sandwiches of honey grilled pork, ham and sausage, grilled chicken, veggies, and more. The bakery, which has a few locations in the GTA, also takes special orders.

Bon's Submarine, 406 Queen St W (416.504.6715)
Toronto's sub spot that time forgot. If the blue sign lined with light bulbs isn't enough to draw you in, the unchanged sense of nostalgia will put you in its seats. Bon's makes everything from gyro to poutine and burgers, but those who have been going there for decades say it's generally best to stick with the classic cold cut sub.

Golden Pizza, 1201 Broadview Ave (416.425.3787)
An East York pizza parlour to avoid if on a diet but to flock toward if looking for something fast and filling. The subs here come particularly cheap with most under $7, the exception being Golden's Pizza's tuna salad and chicken salad subs. Other options — for dine-in, take-out, or delivery — include roast beef, corned beef, meatball, and turkey.

Super Submarine, 2858 Dundas St W (416.762.9849)
Not the most charming-looking shop to grace the Junction area but a neighbourhood staple nonetheless. Marked by its ostentatiously orange sign, Super Submarine at the corner of Keele and Dundas offers pretty great value with some classic subs available for six or seven dollars and change. All the typical sandwich options including chicken, roast beef, and cold cuts.

Banh Mi Ba Le, 538 Dundas St W (416.977.2168)
Banh Mi Ba Le is one of the best places in Toronto to get a Vietnamese-style sub with the change left in your pocket. Customers constantly pop in and out to grab one of the shop's shredded chicken, cold cut, tofu, or other freshly made subs, all of which are offered with freshly grated vegetables. You can probably get three subs here for the cost of one anywhere else.



Subber / March 17, 2012 at 02:29 am
Sadly, Bon's shut down last month.
EricM / March 17, 2012 at 09:47 am
I had always thought that Bon's was some kind of front for something nefarious as I never saw anyone actually eating there, only a group of pretty sketchy folks drinking beer out front...
Aydin / March 17, 2012 at 10:41 am
YES. Belly's was an essential weekly stop of the North Toronto-area late-night high-school houseparty experience. It's one of those places that I'm surprised isn't more well-known. It's not fine dining, but it's SO GOOD!
Bill / March 17, 2012 at 12:27 pm
Love New York Subway. One of the very few truly unique Toronto fast food options.
MrPotato / March 19, 2012 at 09:05 am
Bon's is scary...only a potato would eat there!
M / March 19, 2012 at 01:38 pm
Any of those (or others) offer the traditional Italian sub/grinders? I've been on the hunt for a while now.
Cbab / March 19, 2012 at 02:10 pm
I live in the immediate area and I've eaten at Bon's several times without issue. I don't know exactly why they shut down (which actually happened right before the Xmas holidays) but the owners weren't the youngest people on the planet, and I hope they just decided to retire. The restaurant itself did attract some colorful characters, but hey, welcome to Queen West. :D

A Fish n Chip shop is slated to go in there sometime soon.
Andrew / March 19, 2012 at 03:31 pm
"I want to shake off the dust of this one-horse town. I want to explore the world. I want to watch TV in a different time zone. I want to visit strange, exotic malls. I’m sick of eating hoagies! I want a grinder, a sub, a foot-long hero! I want to LIVE, Marge! Won’t you let me live? Won’t you, please?”

--Homer Simpson
Cbab / March 22, 2012 at 12:59 pm
Good news.

That Fish n Chip shop is now open! "The Big Fish" is run by the same gentleman that owns Reliable Fish n Chips in the east end. Perhaps blogTO would be interested in giving them a once over.

They have a pretty big menu, a small patio (same one that Bons had), and they're licensed. Huzzah!

Also, bravo on the quote Andrew. :)
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