We all love phở, but let’s face it, a rich beef soup isn’t exactly ideal for the sweltering dog days of summer.
Bánh mì, on the other hand, are perfect whether you’re heading to the beach or off on a road trip. They’re easy to pack and can stay fresh for hours after they’re made, and besides, what would summer be without a good cold cuts sandwich? If you’re tired of Lee’s lackluster specials and are looking for a new place to try a classic bánh mì thịt nướng (that good ol’ grilled pork sandwich), or even dip your toes in some new waters with a vegetarian mushroom “bánh oui,” read on.
A small chain with three locations spread over Little Saigon, THH serves fresh Vietnamese coffee and a menu of well-loved sandwiches, both made to order and pre-packaged. If you stop by, be sure to try their bánh mì thịt nướng with egg, or their dặc biệt (house special)—and they’re not stingy with the pickled veggies, either.
You can probably tell from the name, but the chicken bánh mì is the star of the show at this no-fuss restaurant, whose menu also features a pineapple spam sandwich in addition to the classics. Intrigued? Check them out at their Anaheim location.
There’s dozens of restaurants called Bánh Mì Saigon, but only one Bánh Mì Saigon 168 (well, they have two locations, but who’s counting?). Their baguettes are flakey with a golden crust and a pillowy inside. They’re the perfect counterpart to Bánh Mì Saigon 168’s quality meats and delicious veggies.
4. Bánh Oui
At $10 to $12 a sandwich, their signature “bánh ouis” might be a little pricier than you’re used to, but they’re well worth it. The pork belly sandwich is a customer favorite, but the menu also boasts two vegetarian options and more “mainstream” American fare like lemon pepper ribs.
This shop may be small—really small, in fact, with no seating whatsoever. But loyal customers flock from around Los Angeles to try their tofu ham and chicken bánh mì. Get there early, as their fresh, housemade baguettes run out quick!
The name might conjure mental images of American-ized Vietnamese food, but the sandwiches at this trendy Huntington Park joint are not to be passed up. Their Saigon hot chicken sandwich is bursting with flavor, and the menu even offers plentiful vegan options.
7. Ô Bánh Mì
Ô Bánh Mì has made a name for itself with a number of vegan sammies (which include vegan mayo!) alongside traditional offerings like thịt nguội (cold cuts) and roasted pork. If you drop by this neighborhood favorite, try the generously stacked lemongrass chicken.