Belly Busters' Submarines Opens Downtown!
Everyone knows that working and succeeding in the food industry in Toronto is no small feat. So when I heard that North York’s The Belly Buster Submarines sandwich shop had been open since ’74, I knew there had got to be more going on than just meat and cheese between bread. Thankfully for some of us downtowners, finding out just got a whole lot easier since they finally opened up a second location on King West this summer.
Looking for something tasty to eat on my lunch hour, I popped by the new 16-seat space to grab a bite this past week. Unlike the original digs, the downtown location has a spiffy front patio, which is perfect for King street people watching. And if for whatever reason, you can’t manage to get away from the office, they also apparently offer catering for all sorts of events and corporate gatherings!
I spoke with co-owner Jian Magen who told me that the decision to expand the Belly Busters brand was driven by sheer passion for the product. After spending much of his childhood and adolescence in the original uptown location and seeing its cult-like following grow, he wanted to spread the love across the downtown core.
So together with Jian's brother Page Magen, Michael Kimel and the current owner Christopher Passilidis, the team set up their downtown shop in June. Lucky for double-B fans, the expansion plans don’t stop there. The team is hoping to open up more shops across the GTA and university towns over the next few years, all the while maintaining the quality of the product, branding and aesthetic of the original location.
The secret to their long term success? “Staying true to a great product.” There’s a reason people love Belly Busters, and it’s not because of fancy pants, avant garde food combinations. It’s because they use good quality, fresh ingredients that are prepared simply and in house.
I sampled their two most popular items, the Belly Buster (Beef, Mushrooms, Salami, Hot Peppers for $7.85/12”) and the Turkey Bacon sub ($7.65/12”). Both lived up to the restaurants name, and both were ridiculously tasty.
The Belly Buster
The bacon was crispy and fresh, and generously loaded up with fresh turkey, while the belly buster had lots of big meaty flavour with gentle spice. Belly menu is divided into cold subs, hot subs, specialty subs and bacon subs (of course it deserves it’s own category!). And since you get to choose all of your toppings and sauces a la carte, there is no doubt going to be something to satisfy every hungry mouth.
Bacon and Turkey
The new 389 King West Belly Buster Submarines is open Sunday to Wednesday from 11 a.m. to midnight and Thursday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m- perfect for a quick lunch, dinner or in my likely case, a post-bar bite. I am so looking forward to busting my belly on a midnight meatball sub soon and like the original, seeing it make empty bellies full for many, many years to come. What’s your favourite Belly Buster?