You couldn’t really argue that the Banh Mi sandwich, with its Vietnamese origins, is any sort of new, trendy dish like so many others that pop up every month in New York.
It’s been around for years, and it’s been beloved for its simplicity, its affordability, and, most importantly, its deliciousness. We aren’t talking about some groundbreaking culinary creation here—just a simple sandwich on a baguette, most commonly topped with pork belly, carrots, celery, cilantro, mint, and a generous portion of melted butter slathered on to the buns—simple enough, right?
In spite of its simplicity, this sandwich can be one of the most enlightening culinary experiences you’ve ever had, and in order to ensure you have the best one possible, we’ve put together a little list of all our favorites.
Banh Mi Saigon
This Little Italy establishment has been around for some time, and has set the standard for New York banh mi sandwiches. Not swaying too far from tradition, it’s their pork offering that most people opt for, complete with a generous portion of carrots and cilantro. Their bread is light, flakey, and buttery—as it should be. One curveball ingredient that takes Saigon’s version to the next level: liver pate. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it. It’s rich stuff.
The pork belly is extra-tender at JoJu, but other than that, their banh mi sandwiches are straight down the middle as far as consistency goes. But JoJu does have a refreshing and surprising twist on the original preparation of a banh mi sandwich: banh mi French fries, complete with all the pork belly and toppings your little heart desires. Hey, they told you you were an animal to get two banh mi sandwiches, so just get a sandwich and fries instead, you scoundrel, you!
Our personal favorite on the list takes banh mi to a whole new level: the bread is fresh and extra crispy, the pork portion is hearty and bountiful, and the housemade bubble teas, complete with a hefty portion of tapioca pearls, are to die for. Try an iced chai with your pork banh mi—all for about $8. Can’t beat that! Then again, this is Brooklyn—a little more affordable than Manhattan.
Xe May Sandwich Shop
Xe May’s claim to fame is their signature barbeque pork preparation—a new, perhaps even more delicious take on the classic. Cheese and chili mayo are two more unorthodox ingredients that help to set this banh mi off. If banh mi isn’t your cup of tea, you should check out one of their Lychee teas, instead…or perhaps grab one of their pork tacos…and then, lastly stop reading this article.
We at Forkit love a good name almost as much as we love a good banh mi sandwich, and Banhimigos delivers on both both fronts. Here, you’ll find some of the best banh mi and bubble tea in Brooklyn. Banhmigos’ signature item is their grilled pork, which is slightly leaner than some of the offerings, but leaves you feeling a little peppier than a more greasy cut of pork might.
Chances are, you’re well-versed in the simple, elegant sandwich art of the Vietnamese banh mi, and now, you’ll know exactly where to go next to get your fix. Eat, drink, and banh mi merry!