Bánh Mì Guide (Austin)

Updated 3/02/20

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. This list keeps growing every year. Two more joined the scene within the last year, an ownership change at another (Thanh Nhi is now Pho Phong Lu'u), Ng BMT makes a return as NG Cafe, and Saigon Le Vendeur opens a brick & mortar location.

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
You could easily miss this food truck park if you were not paying attention. There are three choices on the menu. BBQ chicken, beef, and pork belly/shoulder. I scarfed down the pork belly/shoulder bánh mì in no time at all. Tasty. Add some homemade chili oil for a nice kick. Do not forget to add a couple of egg rolls to your order.

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
From the outside, I would have not assumed that this was a solid Vietnamese restaurant. The menu consists of standard Vietnamese fare of pho, bun, rice dishes, and bánh mì. They bake their own bread and pastries in-house as well. I like that pâté is included on all of the sandwiches.

BONBOn Bánh mì
2207 San Antonio St, Austin, TX 78705 | 10 AM-3 PM Mon-Fri
You can find this Vietnamese food trailer tucked behind the University Co-Op. It is a great spot for UT students. The bread is sourced from Lucky Bakery and takes this bánh mì to the next level. I could have done without the lettuce, but at 7 bucks including chips and a drink, I looked past it. I did like the combo of BBQ pork and pâté. Delicious.

Bun Belly
5001 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78751 11 AM-2:30 PM, 5:30-10 PM daily
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.

Dong Nai
4211 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704 | 11 AM-9:45 PM M- Sat, 12 PM-8:45 PM Sun
Dong Nai is a solid spot for Vietnamese food. I always chuckle when I see people order Chinese American specials like General Tso's and sweet & sour chicken. The bánh mì is actually not on the menu. You are going to have to ask for it. It is good-sized sandwich. An app with it might be too much.

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 fried eggs, crispy pork belly, avocado, mint, house-made mayo, sambal, cilantro, and jalapeño. A tasty mouthful. The House Specialty (chicken liver mousse, pork pâté, and roasted pork) is also a solid choice. 11 bucks though? My parents would frown on me for spending that on bánh mì, but it is worth it.

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
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.

Het Say Vietnamese Kitchen
2121 E Oltorf St, Austin, TX 78741 | 11 AM-10 PM daily
The portions are little small for the price. I do like the lemongrass ones though. It had a really good flavor.

Le Bleu
9070 Research Blvd, Austin, TX 78758 | 11 AM-9 PM Mon-Sat
This is Saigon Le Vendeur's brick & mortar location

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.

NG Cafe
13000 North Interstate Highway 35, Austin, TX 78753 | 11 AM-2:30 PM, 4:30 PM-9 PM MWTHF, 11 AM-9 PM Sat-Sun
Ng BMT was one of my favorites before they closed, but they are back now.

Pho Please
1920 E Riverside Dr, Austin, TX 78741 | 11 AM-11 PM daily
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 Phong Lu'u
9200 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78753 | 10 AM–2 PM, 4:30 PM–8:30 PM Mon-Sat
Formerly Thanh Nhi

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
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 bánh mì 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 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. If the curry ramen is on the menu the day you go, order it too.

Sip Pho
512 W 29th St, Austin, TX 78705 | 11 AM-9 PM daily
Sister restaurant of Pho Please

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.

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

Until next time, happy smoking...


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