More banh mi for you and me

A cult favorite that stands on its own outside of pho and other popular Vietnamese cuisine, the venerated, affordable and obsessively beloved banh mi is yet another treasured Southeast Asian export. Being a tasty utensil-free meal cheaper than the typical local price point, the French-Vietnamese sandwich has especially high value in the Bay Area as a quick go-to, day or night.

Layers of pork and pate, pickled and diced carrots and daikon, fresh cilantro, cucumber and hidden jalapeno or serrano chili nuggets coalesce between a light baguette for what may be one of the most in-demand subway sandwiches around. Try the traditional recipe or fusion options by one of these casual BARTable banh mi experts where quick counter-service is often the call. 

Photo courtesy of Yelp.

Saigon Sandwich is a longtime major destination spot bringing foodies to San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. Meat and tofu banh mi sandwiches fly out the door of the tiny counter-service favorite that keeps things barebones in ambiance but bountiful in flavors. Expect low prices luring long lines of loyal patrons pining for that fine French bread stacked feast.  

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Saigon Sandwich

Civic Center/UN Plaza (SF)

Photo courtesy of Yelp.

Around the corner from El Cerrito Plaza Station, Banh Mi Ba Le Vietnamese Sandwich Deli dishes out plenty of banh mi sandwiches, soups, salads, rice plates and ever-popular Vietnamese iced coffee. With the banh mi priced at only $3.25, the barbecue pork and barbecue chicken versions hail as crowd favorites on a menu that also caters to the vegetarian-minded.

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Photo courtesy of Yelp.

Eschewing any restaurant feel for straight-up supermarket kitchen counter simplicity, Mission Banh Mi draws more than a few hungry lunch-goers into Duc Loi Market. That’s where hefty Vietnamese sandwiches come together, just two blocks from 16th St/Mission Station in San Francisco. Lemongrass-tinged pork, fried chicken, fried fish, tofu and even Korean Bulgogi beef banh mi set a high standard.

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Mission Banh Mi

16th St. Mission (SF)

Photo courtesy of Yelp.

Note: As of September 2018, this restaurant is closed. 

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Cam Huong Cafe (Closed)

12th St. Oakland City Center

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