Having a meal at a food court is usually a matter of sheer convenience – it’s close by, quickly prepared, and relatively inexpensive. But rarely is it worth making a detour for.
Bangkok Buri, located in Union Station’s brand new Union Food Court, is anything but average food court fare.
It rocks for many reasons. Here are 10 to start:
1. It’s the closest thing you’ll get to Khao San Road, without actually going there
Bangkok Buri, one of the few local independent operators in the approximately 25,000 square-foot space, is brought to you by Monte Wan – owner of one of the city’s best Thai restaurants, Khao San Road – along with Crave It Restaurant Group (Alex Rechichi, Mark Rechichi and Sean Black).
Wan wanted to challenge himself to see if he could create KSR fare, cheaper and faster. After looking at the current landscape of fast casual restaurants and chains, and eating “thousands of sub-par meals,” he realized, “I can do better. I can do something great.”
Of course it’s not the exact same as in the restaurant, but it’s oh-so-close (KSR Chef Top Srisomphan consulted on the menu). And it’s less expensive ($11 compared to $17) and in your hands in approximately five minutes. Win-win.
Sauces and spice blends boasting real Thai ingredients – tamarind sauce, Thai basil, lime leaf, lemongrass, Thai chili peppers - are as enticing and intricate as Khao San Road’s.
The Pad Thai, Drunken Noodles, Curries, Fried Rice and Greens here ? The real deal.
3. Made to order
Not all food is made equally. Especially when it comes to a food court.
Since everything here hits the wok, you get to watch your meal being cooked to order using fresh ingredients. No heat lamps, no big piles of hot food waiting to be scooped out.
Don’t like cilantro or onions? No problem. Want your dish on the mild side? No chilis for you.
Food the way you want it without the fuss. Finally.
4. The menu’s 98% vegan + gluten-free
The menu’s so flexible and customizable, whatever your dietary preferences and/or restrictions, there’s always lots of options, including vegan and gluten-free: Vegetarian or vegan? Choose tofu or veg. Love seafood? Shrimp’s the way to go. There’s also chicken and sirloin steak for protein lovers of all kinds, including keto and paleo devotees.
5. Cauliflower rice
Cauliflower rice took over grocery aisles this year, but this is the first time you’ll see it in a food court. And it’s just $1 extra.
No more wasting time over what to do about carbs? Brilliant.
6. Potato chips and donuts!
Say hello to the ultimate snacks - Thai potato chips and donuts!
Sorry Timbits, but you don’t stand a chance against these delightful Thai bites. Thailandaise Donuts (6 for $3) available in four flavours - Chili Chocolate, Purple Haze (Ube), Cinnamon Spice, and Mango Coconut - will revolutionize your coffee break.
And be sure to get in on the Buri Chips ($2) action too. Crispy, crunchy potato chips boast sweet, salty and sour flavours (think: BBQ meets Sour Cream & Onion). Say hello to your new addiction.
7. Portions are generous
There’s no way you’re going to need a burger afterwards. Bowls are h-e-a-v-y.
You could save half for later, but it’s practically impossible not to dig your way to the bottom in one sitting. You’ll see.
8. Nothing’s over $13, $14 if you get cauliflower rice
It used to be you could grab a bite in a food court for $8 or less. Now it’s a good $12-$15 for what sometimes amounts to little more than a snack. But at BB, you truly get your money’s worth (see Reason 7), with several dishes under $10.
9. Soup, because winter
Is there anything better than a bowl of soup on a cold day? Winter warmups come in two varieties:
- Gwai Teow ($11-$13)
Did you know that ginger and chilies actually cause a warming sensation in your body? This noodle soup with mushroom, lime leaf, Thai basil, lemongrass, chili, ginger, garlic, onion, cherry tomato, and cilantro beats the winter chill.
- Sweet Potato Curry ($5)
A comforting bowl of sweet potato soup with coconut milk, Thai basil, lime leaf, and red curry is as hygge as it gets.
10. Early morning and post-game eats
Food courts typically don’t have hours that take into account your long workday and crazy schedule. This one’s open late, which means you can grab a bite first thing, on the way home, and to or from the game.
65 Front St. W.
Monday to Saturday 11am-11pm
Sunday 11am- 7pm