Banh mi is simply one of the best comfort foods around — perfect as a snack or a full meal. The zesty, wallet-friendly Vietnamese classic starts with a simple baguette, cut lengthwise, then stuffed with satisfying fillings like chicken liver pate, sliced ham, chopped pork, and pickled vegetables. During the current restrictions on indoor dining during the COVID-19 pandemic, it also makes for a handy takeout or delivery option and many prime spots for banh mi in Seattle are still open for such services. Here are some of the best.Read More
Where to Get Some Great Banh Mi in the Seattle Area
This portable and satisfying Vietnamese favorite works as a perfect to-go meal
1. Yeh Yeh's
This unassuming Lynnwood favorite serves a crispy baguette filled with slaw of daikon and carrots to balance out the savory grilled meat tenders. For some extra oomph, the barbecue pork option adds tender pork cuts to the classic banh mi fixings.
2. Rise and Shine Bakery
Situated right off Highway 99 in northern Shoreline, the slightly cramped Asian bakery is easy to miss but hard to pass up for its banh mi. The special combo is a refreshing ham and pork sausage option.
3. Cafe Banh Mi
Seattle, WA 98133
This no-frills deli occupies a peculiar space inside an office building close to Northgate, but the shop’s hearty banh mi offerings rival those in the International District. Classics such as the lemongrass pork shine with an umami glaze and come in satisfyingly large portions. Delivery available via Postmates, GrubHub, and DoorDash.
4. Banh Town
This Greenwood shop is a treasure trove of Vietnamese flavors, and its mix of classic sandwiches, like a delectable five-spice lemongrass pork option, and modern twists, including a corned beef version dipped in pho broth, is no exception. Each one drips with savory juices yet maintains crucial crunchiness. Delivery available through DoorDash and Postmates.
5. Ba Sa Restaurant
A newer addition to the area’s Vietnamese scene, this Bainbridge Island restaurant run by two siblings has already gained a reputation for delivering creative twists on classics, such as cha ca la vong made with sablefish. It also serves a banh mi topped with karage chicken, pork, kalbi beef mayo, pate, and pickled vegetables.
6. Mr Saigon
The fast-casual banh mi mini franchise started near Seattle University, and has a location in Pioneer Square as well that’s temporarily closed. The menu centers around various classic and modern banh mi sandwiches, all on in-house baked baguettes.
7. Lan Hue
An import of a longstanding family business in Vietnam, this International District spot makes all the ingredients on site — from the bread down to the mayonnaise and bologna — and keeps the prices competitive. The sandwiches are neatly organized, carefully filled, and snugly wrapped.
8. Saigon Deli
Seattle, WA 98144
Naturally, Little Saigon is home to some beautiful banh mi, as evidenced by the generous portions of barbecue pork and roast chicken at this quick-service deli (not related to the temporarily closed Saigon Deli in the U District). The portions are generous: Heaps of tender meat are buried beneath a bed of fresh cilantro, daikon, and cucumber.
9. Chu Minh Tofu and Vegan Deli
As the only vegan entry on the map, this deli offers a somewhat different experience apart from other International District options. The banh mi options here are made with tofu, coconut milk, and vegan mayonnaise for a hearty mix that stands up to meaty versions.
10. Thanh Son Tofu
Positioned well next to two busy Vietnamese markets, Thanh Son Tofu makes the most of its prime spot in Little Saigon. This spacious and airy local deli features many Vietnamese snacks and desserts, but the banh mi’s should never be missed, freshly prepared on the spot.
11. Billiard Hoang
This South Seattle pool hall with a sports bar feel is usually a popular hangout, but is now solely a takeout kitchen serving up noodles and soups. Its banh mi game remains strong, including a bevy of flavorful grilled meat accompanied by lightly fluffed scrambled eggs that keep their form after each bite.
12. Tony's Bakery
Seattle, WA 98118
One of many excellent Vietnamese restaurants near Othello Station, this place offers prepared products, entrée-and-rice boxes, and more, now for takeout only. Tony’s even bakes its own bread for banh mi. While the dac biet banh mi is popular, insiders order banh mi ca xa ot, with battered and fried catfish and a smear of garlic-chive aioli. Delivery is available via GrubHub and DoorDash.
13. Q Bakery
Banh mi patrons looking specifically for freshly baked baguettes with a crispy outer crust need look no further than Beacon Hill’s Q Bakery. Bunched inside business plaza, it’s a straightforward, take-and-go deli that doesn’t fuss on the small talk, interested only in serving up some of the best banh mi in the southend. And that’s saying something.
14. Tammy’s Deli and Bakery
Outside of the International District’s Little Saigon, Rainier Valley has one of Seattle’s most prominent collections of Vietnamese restaurants. One of the most notable is Tammy’s Bakery in New Holly, where diners can find a fresh, crunchy baguette with grilled pork over a smooth layer of buttery pate. It goes great with an avocado smoothie.
15. Tang Foodmart
This convenience store in Georgetown may not look like much upon first glance, but it’s got a stellar selection of banh mi served out of a small kitchen in the back. Among the standouts is the caramelized pork belly version, made with just the right balance of sweetness and spice. The shop is also just steps away from the excellent Lowercase and Great Notion breweries, making for perfect beer pairings.