2017 Guide to Bánh Mì (Austin)

Bánh mì is a Vietnamese sandwich that is served on French bread. You will find it filled with all kinds of protein like grilled pork, pâté, fried eggs, tofu, meatballs, and head cheese. It is normally dressed with cucumber slices, cilantro, jalapeños, and pickled carrots and daikon with Vietnamese mayonnaise. There has been a lot of movement on the bánh mì scene in Austin this year. Ng BMT, one of my favorites, closed. Lulu B's has also shut its doors. Dang Bánh Mì changed their concept and is now Dang Kitchen. Fresh Off the Truck moved into a brick and mortar and goes by Dragonbeard Kitchen. A few more also joined the scene. Go check out Smoked Salt & Pepper for the other Vietnamese offerings around town. The updated bánh mì guide for this year:

The B's Kitchen
5000 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78756 | 11 AM-3 PM M, 11 AM-7 PM Tu-W, 11 AM-9 PM Th-Sa

Baguette House
10901 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78753 | 8:30 AM-7 PM daily
Although the thịt nướng (grilled pork) is money here, there are a lot of great options on the menu. They use a French baguette so there is less bread with more crunch. Add a pâté chaud and a Vietnamese iced coffee to your order, and you will thank me later.
The Bee Grocery
1001 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702 | 7 AM-12 AM M-Sat, 8 AM-10 PM Sun

BONBOn Bánh mì
8557 Research Blvd, Austin, TX 78758 | 9 AM-6 PM Sun, Tue-Sat

Bun Belly
5001 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78751 11 AM-2:30 PM, 5:30-10 PM daily
Bun Belly was on my list of places I needed to try. Doing the guide was a good opportunity to stop in. I ordered the BMT Classic - Banh Mi Thit which comes with pork liver pate, Vietnamese ham (pork roll), and pork belly. It had a good flavor from the meat. The only thing that was missing was mayo. It would have brought the sandwich together better. Keep in mind bánh mì is only available for lunch here.
Elizabeth Street Cafe
1501 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704 | 8 AM-10:30 PM daily
Upscale Vietnamese cuisine? Sure, why not. The breakfast bánh mì changed my mind. The sandwich comes stuffed with jalapeño fried eggs, crispy pork belly, avocado, mint, house-made mayo, sambal, and cilantro. A tasty mouthful. The House Specialty (chicken liver mousse, pork pâté, and roasted pork) below is a solid choice. 10 bucks though? My parents would frown on me for spending that on bánh mì.
Dragonbeard Kitchen
8201 Cross Park Dr, Austin, TX 78754 | 7 AM-3 PM Mon-Thu, 11 AM-7 PM Fri-Sat

Hea Café
500 E Ben White Blvd # 200, Austin, TX 78704 | 10 AM-9 PM daily

Heo Eatery
6214 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78752 | 11 AM–3 PM, 5:30–9PM daily
There is a new kid on the block. Their bánh mì offerings are not very traditional but sound delicious. Lemongrass beef, turmeric fish, duck confit and pork belly (shown below). The sandwiches are served with tater tots. It is not your average side, but it works. Do not forget to order a bao.

Lily's Sandwich
10901 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78753 | 9 AM-9 PM daily
LiIy's is my favorite spot in Austin for xíu mại (Vietnamese meatballs). At $3.70, it is the one of the cheapest in town as well. I have yet to try the other things on the menu that are not bánh mì. That tells you something.
Pho Please
1920 E Riverside Dr, Austin, TX 78741 | 11 AM-11 PM daily
They just opened up recently. I ordered the grilled pork belly and added a fried egg of course. The sandwich is huge. It was a foot long! I thought I was at Subway for a second. I made a mistake of ordering the grilled pork spring rolls. It was almost too much food to eat. It is another good option for me for lunch; being only a few miles from my office.
Pho Thaison
Multiple locations | Various hours - Check their website for details

Pho Van

8557 Research Blvd, Austin, TX 78758 | 10:30 AM-9 PM daily
I wonder now that Ng BMT is in the same parking lot, if Pho Van's bánh mì business would suffer. This was the first place in Austin where I had pho when I was a freshman at UT. I went away from my normal order and got the grilled chicken banh mi here. It had a good flavor and texture. The rest of the sandwich brought everything together.
Saigon Le Vendeur
2404 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78702 | 11 AM-7PM Mon-Fri, 11 AM-5PM Sat
Saigon Le Vendeur is close to my work so I go here frequently. It is my new favorite and the winner of our bánh mì tasting. I am always stuffed when I am done eating there. I tried the spicy chicken recently. Nice heat and good, fresh flavors. Their specials look intriguing and amazing. Curry ramen. Say no more...
Tâm Deli & Cafe
8222 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78753 | 10 AM-8 PM Wed-Mon
If there was THE bánh mì place in town, a lot of people would pick Tâm's. It is a solid pick. I ordered the combination sandwich that came with Vietnamese ham, pâté, and roasted chicken. I thought it was an odd choice for the third meat though. The pickled carrots were grated instead of being julienned which takes away some of the crunchiness. The rest of the menu is really strong and has a lot of options. Besides the classics, the bánh cuốn (steamed rice rolls) hits the spot every time.
Thanh Nhi
9200 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78753 | 10 AM-9 PM daily
In my humble opinion, Thanh Nhi is underrated in the Vietnamese food scene. I have never had a bad item from their extensive menu. I got the xíu mại (pork meatball) on this visit, and it was good. All of their bánh mì cost $3.99 which is a great deal. When you go, order some nem nuong rolls. It is better than your traditional spring rolls.
Van's Banh Mi
1356 W 45th St, Austin, TX 78756 | 11 AM-9 PM Mon-Sat

Ya Ya Café
3706 Guadalupe Street, Suite B, Austin, TX 78705 | 11 AM-10:30 PM Tue-Sat
http://austinfoodbloggers.org/best-places-to-eat-in-austin/

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