Cheap Eats: Banh mi and boba tea at Thuy Cafe

Venture out for banh mi and boba in St. Pete.

Thuy Café is still there and now holds a larger space with that same sleek décor. Inside, you will find the requisite flatscreen television, low couches and dark wood counter. banh Mi are offered in a variety of flavors and are $4.50 or less. Other special food items are offered- including noodle dishes such as Bun or a subtle yellow chicken curry. But it's a challenge to get away from the grilled pork banh mi.

They also serve my newest craving: "bubble" (or "pearl") tea. This drink, which originated in Taiwan, contains tapioca pearls, known as "boba", or fruit jellies. There are a few coffee and tea flavors, but you will find far more fruit flavors and their number one flavor is taro. Think of it as a slushie you can chew on. The slightly coffee flavored round pearls are sucked through a large-bore straw, which I enjoyed in a chai boba. The mixed fruit jellies are little rectangles that are also delicious, but a slightly different sensory experience. Try a raspberry flavored tea with boba and jellies — it's addictive!

Thuy Cafe
5944 34th St. N. #22
St. Petersburg, FL 33714

Thuy Cafe
  • EMiller
  • Thuy Cafe

click to enlarge Thuy Cafe - EMiller
Thuy Cafe

Banh mi has been much-discussed lately, and rightly so. It's a Vietnamese sub sandwich that is delicious and cheap with fresh bread that is perfectly crunchy and chewy, filled with cilantro, sliced jalapeno, pickled veggies and filling of your choosing such as chicken, sardines or pork.

I remember my first because I was instantly hooked. I had my first banh mi about five years ago at Thuy Café (pronounced "Twee") in Lealman (St. Pete) area. At that time, they were a small shop in a strip center that also holds Vietnamese and dim sum restaurants, as well as an Asian market. The sleek, modern décor was impressive among places most people find to be holes-in-the-wall.

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