Vietnamese Sandwiches (Including Seattle Reccomendations)

Banh Mi Chay – Vietnamese Tofu Sandwich

If you are already an afficionado of Vietnamese sandwiches, aka Banh Mi, you probably don't need to read any further. But if you haven't had them, you have been missing out on one of the all time delicious and cheap eats. My wife and I have been known to roll out of bed in the morning and say "Vietnamese sandwiches for lunch? Yep!".

A typical sandwich is on an 8 inch crusty French roll (an imperial legacy). It contains julienned cucumber, carrot and pickled daikon, cilantro, optionally slices of jalapeno, a little light mayonnaise-based dressing, lots of black pepper, and the filling of your choice. For meat eaters there is a wide variety of choices, but there is always a tofu option, Banh Mi Chay. And the best part is that this treat usually costs about $1.50, rarely more than $2.00. One sandwich is pretty filling, but at that price if you are hungry you might want to split three among two people. You generally order at a counter and wait a few minutes while they are made, which gives you time to check out the other prepared foods and grocery items to tempt you. Always on offer is fresh-made Vietnamese iced coffee with condensed milk.

So where do you find Vietnamese sandwiches? If you happen to be in the Seattle area I've listed a few places below. If not, look for a Vietnamese deli or grocery, they will either have them or know where you can get them. Most Vietnamese restaurants *don't* sell them, because they are take-out food, not a sit-down meal.

Favorite Seattle options:

Saigon Deli (picture above is from there, my favorite)
Seattle Deli

There are tons of other small shops along Jackson that also offer Banh Mi. If you have a different favorite, please add a comment! Also Baguette Box offers a slightly non-traditional but delicious version at the wildly overinflated price of $4.25 :). The nice thing is that it gives you options outside of the international district and a hip vibe.

Saigon Deli in Seattle Seattle Deli in Seattle
Baguette Box in SeattleBaguette Box on Urbanspoon

Print Friendly and PDF
Posted by Michael Natkin on Tuesday, July 17th, 2007 in Restaurants, Vegan or Modifiable.

3 Responses to “Vietnamese Sandwiches (Including Seattle Reccomendations)”

  1. Reply
    September 17, 2007 at 1:41 am #

    I happened upon your blog because it was attached to “edamame” entry at wikipedia. What a happy accident as I am going to visit Seattle for the first time in just a week, and I am a vegetarian. Thanks for the restauraunt suggestions, especially the vietnamnese subs.

  2. Reply
    Michael Natkin
    October 11, 2007 at 11:08 pm #

    Update: my last sandwich from Seattle Deli tasted a bit like fish sauce, so now I’d recommend Saigon Deli more.

  3. Reply
    February 10, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    I love these sandwiches! I had a really good one in San Francisco on my last visit at Urban Picnic. link to I think it had tempeh in it.

Leave a Reply