Bánh mì (pronounced Bun-Mee), otherwise known as Vietnamese subs, hold a special place in Vancouver’s foodscape. The crispy baguette, often filled with pickled veggies and an array of deli meats, has been a cheap and easy-to-find staple in the city for years.
This popular sandwich, a product of when Vietnam was part of French Indochina during the 19th Century, is offered by a handful of purveyors in the city – but some stand out more than others.
Here are the best places to get yourself some Bánh mì in Vancouver.
Mr. Red Cafè is a tiny joint in the Hastings-Sunrise area that serves up a range of dishes. Sliced beef pho, dumplings, and sticky rice are all up for grabs on the menu. The true gem of Mr. Red Cafe, however, is their Bánh mì which you can get in spicy pâté, meatball, chicken, beef stew, or a veggie mix.
Address: 2131 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
This no-frills hole in the wall spot on Main Street serves their Bánh mì with fresh and simple ingredients. Diners can keep their options traditional with house-made ham, shredded chicken, or meatballs, or opt to have the baguette served with chicken or beef curry.
Address: 4851 Main Street, Vancouver
With two outposts in Vancouver, Baoguette Vietnamese Bistro is a favourite in the city for beloved Vietnamese subs. Here, they offer six different fillings to go with their crispy veggies like the house-special Vietnamese ham, spicy beef, and grilled lemongrass pork or chicken.
Address: 1184 Denman Street, Vancouver
Address: 2114 West 41st Avenue, Vancouver
This casual eatery offers patrons Vietnamese fare and is popular to the point where there’s usually a line up out the door. The Bánh mì at DD MAU comes in your choice of a white or brown baguette, as well as a rice wrap. BBQ roasted duck and crispy roasted pork are two of their more unique offerings, in addition to the staple deli meats. The eatery also offers lemongrass tofu as a tasty vegetarian alternative.
Address: 1239 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver
This little spot on Robson is the perfect go-to for all things Vietnamese when you’re in the downtown core. The baguettes have a fantastic texture that’s crispy and light, without being too hard to bite into. Their inexpensive subs will keep the meal at under $6 and give patrons the choice of barbecued pork, beef, chicken, or meatballs.
Address: 520 Robson Street, Vancouver
Address: 1682 Robson Street, Vancouver
One Saigon is a tucked away joint on Hornby Street in Vancouver and an affordable quick place to find Bánh mì. The subs here are all $4.50 and for a lighter alternative, can also be ordered as wraps. Already premade with house mayonnaise, hoisin sauce, and hot sauce, the sandwiches are sure to pack a punch.
Address: 979 Hornby Street, Vancouver
This pho house offers more than just their namesake, with an extensive menu you’re sure to find yourself some Vietnamese food to your liking. Pho Thái Hòa has a solid assortment of subs, including some less common choices like a deep-fried fish cake sub and shredded chicken or pork sandwiches.
Address: 1625 Kingsway, East Vancouver
Kim Chau Deli began in 1980 as a cottage operation out of a home along Kingsway in East Vancouver and is the oldest Vietnamese deli in the city. Head here and grab yourself one of their almost foot-long Bánh mì subs, the shredded pork or their house special is highly recommended. And did we mention these only cost $3.75 or $4?
Address: 1327 Kingsway, East Vancouver
Five Elements in Commercial Drive is a little deli that offers these subs for a low $4 a piece. Highlights of their menu include minced pork, garlic pork, and steamed Siu Mai as options for their subs and their daily lunch combos allow for the add-on of gelato, soup, or salad.
Address: 1046 Commercial Drive, East Vancouver