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Bay Area Banh Mi Google Map

I had forgotten I started a Google Map for Banh Mi a la rworange's tour de force for everything under the sun maps.

Map is here:

http://tinyurl.com/BayAreaBanhMi

The goal is to make this post informational with "recommended" and "not recommended" sandwiches at everybody's favorite places and to get as many places as possible added to the map whether people have been or not. There are so many places, and giant banh mi holes (like a lot of the peninsula) that it would be nice to have any place that has 'em on the map. Anyone can edit the map, but hopefully people will just add places, and link them in this thread.

Other banh mi threads here:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/584656
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/334740
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/353630

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  1. This is awesome!

    I added one close to my work that I like (not as good as my favorites Dakao and Huong Lan but much better than Lees:
    Thanh Huong
    2593 Senter Road, San Jose

    I also added one that has a great Buy 2 get 1 free price, but it seems you need to be lucky to get them when the baguettes are fresh, or else the bread tends to be dry:
    Saigon's Bakery
    953 McLaughlin Ave, San Jose

    I made them green placemarks, I hope that's correct?

    11 Replies
    1. re: Alice Patis

      Awesome- thanks! Once we have everything on there, I think I will try to determine "Chow recommended" places and change the color scheme later. I'm hoping for some to magically appear in Redwood City or Palo Alto. :)

      1. re: P. Punko

        Very cool. I added BT Deli in Pinole.

        Supposedly Hometown Noodle in Rediwood City just added four kinds of Vietnamese sandwiches for $4.50 each: BBQ pork, beef, chicken, and vegetarian. It is not yet on their online menu and since i haven't been, I didn't add it.
        http://hometownnoodle.com/Menu.htm

        That reminds me that there's a food I wanted to track in lists but I hate having to make a list public while I'm working on it. I was waiting till this was fixed on Chow, but maybe I'll go ahead and use Google maps for it.

        Kudos to you for being brave enough to use that collaborative thing. Do you get notified when someone adds something or do you have to check?

        1. re: rworange

          I have to check. I was trusting CHs to post here when they add. I wish it had a notification feature. The other way to do it is ask CH's to post in a thread but maintain control over the map so it doesn't get screwed up. I will check out Hometown- the mid-Peninsula seems to be beyond the event horizon for Vietnamese sandwiches! After the list goes a couple of weeks, I will alter the color scheme like I said for "Chowhound/P. Punko recommended" places.

          1. re: P. Punko

            couldn't figure out how to add on your map... can you add the following

            -----
            B C Deli Sandwiches
            818 Franklin St, Oakland, CA 94607

            Banh Mi Ba Le
            1909 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606

            1. re: kc72

              Just added. I could swear B C Deli was on there before. Weird. To add places, just click "edit" on the map, then enter the address in the search window. When the location comes up, click the icon for the pop-up window. In the pop-up there will be a "save to my maps" feature, select "Vietnamese Sandwiches"

          2. re: rworange

            OK, rw, I went tonight because I have never had a place that sells Banh mi this close to me, and here is the report:

            Banh mi aren't on the main menu either, but the woman behind the counter said they have chicken, beef or pork. I was charged $3.50 apiece for a beef and pork.

            I don't want anyone to be disappointed, so I will be as accurate as possible and allow people to make their own conclusions.

            First kudos to Hometown Noodle for having a website, nice pictures of dishes above the counter, a very clean restaurant and a menu with well described standard Vietnamese fare (fried and fresh rolls, multiple kinds, vermicelli noodle bowls (Bun), vermicelli plates (banh hoi), rice plates (for lunch), Pho beef noodle soup, Chicken noodle soup, Hu tieu noodle soup, some other sauteed dishes.

            Banh mi weren't on the menu, and I wonder if they are just an add on because the ones they make are easy to throw together because of their normal menu. I also wonder if they are using a "restaurant concept"

            Banh mi came on what looked like Columbo rolls and not baguettes. The meat was grilled to order so they took about 10 minutes. They appear small but weighty.

            Mine didn't come with any mayo, but because the meet was freshly grilled, the steam softened the bread and there were meat juices that added some moistness. There weren't a lot of veggies, but there were cucumbers, pickled carrot and daikon, and cilantro. They didn't come with jalapeno, but I am sure you can ask for some.

            The pros of the sandwich included the freshly grilled meat. Pork was strongly marinated, tender, with five spice flavor and saltiness from fish sauce and a little bit sweet. They put a lot of meat on, so while it looks small, it works out in the end.

            The beef was in the form of two grilled beef onion rolls. These tasted OK, and maybe were a little overcooked. The reason for this is that the rolls were a lot of beef- a small center of onions and then three layers of beef. Almost all beef. Marinade wasn't as strong as on the pork.

            Basic summary: I give points for a clean restaurant and friendly service. The sandwiches were OK (disappointing if you have had the best, totally fine for what they are), and would be much improved simply by the use of a baguette. It isn't a "go out of your way" place, but especially in this neighborhood, if you feel like you maybe should skip the carnitas tacos, or the delicious tortas from La Casita Chilanga up the street because you want something a little more healthy, these are an OK stopgap in the middle of the banh mi black hole that is the mid-Peninsula.

            Attached photo is the beef onion banh mi.

            -----
            Hometown Noodle Restaurant
            3151 Middlefield Rd, Redwood City, CA 94063

             
            1. re: P. Punko

              The grilled beef roll sandwich is one of my favorites at Cam Huong in Oakland. Too bad this one didn't suit you. From the picture, looks like the roll has been hollowed out nicely. But it would be hard for me to give up mayo, maybe you can BYO? (g)

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                There was more beef here in two rolls than Cam Huong that puts three small ones, and had more grilled taste. I like the Cam Huong (usually listed as a special) one a little better, but these had a little char that was nice. I could only imagine how amazing a Vung Tau II beef roll would be on a sandwich.

                Sadly, I am also addicted to mayo, but will definitely reiterate that the freshly grilled meat made the sandwich taste not too dry.

                I appreciate the top quality at the best places, but I'll support this place because they seem pretty nice and the place was clear, and she brought me some water and lime while I was waiting for my order. Oh, of course the place was freezing. :(

                1. re: P. Punko

                  Certainly thought about you when I swaddled my mom in a big down coat so we could go out to breakfast yesterday.

                  I'll suggest two for the North Bay, not great banh mi, but possibly the only game in town. Would love to hear updates.

                  -----
                  Sunshine Bakery
                  3570 Sonoma Blvd, Vallejo, CA 94590

                  Fresh Coffee & Sandwiches
                  969 Grand Ave, San Rafael, CA 94901

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    Wait, they sell banh mi at Sunshine Bakery? Why haven't I noticed this before?! I usually stop by for some señorita bread. I'll have to give it a try.

              2. re: P. Punko

                Man you wrote so much i just scanned a couple of words.

        2. Thanks for doing this. Wish there was one for taquerias :)

          12 Replies
          1. re: ceekskat

            I added Saigon Bistro in Concord (this place is pretty good even though it's a bit on the expensive side) and Huong Tra in Richmond (I used to frequent this place when I worked in Richmond)... I don't know how to change it from blue to green, though.

            -----
            Saigon Bistro
            1701 Willow Pass Rd Ste F, Concord, CA 94520

            Huong Tra
            12221 San Pablo Ave Ste 8, Richmond, CA 94805

            1. re: westcoaststyle

              Thanks, WCC!

              1. re: westcoaststyle

                Sushi Monster on Taquerias in Redwood City:
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/535387

                Redwood City Taqueria Map:
                http://tinyurl.com/RedwoodCitytacos

                Oakland Taco Trucks from rworange:
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/450404

                Map:
                http://tinyurl.com/OaklandTacoTrucks

                1. re: westcoaststyle

                  I was going to add Saigon Bistro myself, I love that place. $3.75 is totally worth it for their quality banh mi, especially since the gas required to try to go somewhere that might be better woiuld cost more than the sandwich if you live in the Concord/WC area.

                  1. re: Ozumo

                    Siagon Bistro banh mi are $4.50 now :( Is it really the only Bahn Mi place around there? I was really surprised at the prices. Fish cake(tod mun-like), one, 5 inches in diameter, was around 7, 2 fresh rolls were close to 6. Two Bahn mi, fish cake and fresh rolls, 24$!!! Next time I go for a picnic in that area, I will drop into Cam Huong here in Oakland & schlepp em' out!

                    I miss Them Ky's deal, buy four get fifth free. Do they still do it? I think they were $1.50 when I first got them there. I'd drive from Main & Folsom all the way to the Tenderloin for the weekly office pickup. YUM.

                    1. re: mmerino

                      FYI in WC there is R&J Noodle Place:
                      1479 Newell Ave.
                      Walnut Creek, CA 94596

                      decent banh mi but yes, also at Suburban prices! but around these parts beggars can't be choosers i guess.

                      Also, Ao Zai Bistro Express on San Ramon Blvd (near intersection of Crow Canyon ) in SR has also started selling banh mi & pho. Had one last week; sandwich fillings seemed high quality but bread wasn't super-crusty like i enjoy it. $3.75 for most versions.

                      1. re: pushslice

                        Links, and added to the map- thanks!

                        -----
                        R&J Noodle Place
                        1479 Newell Ave, Walnut Creek, CA 94596

                        Ao Zai Bistro
                        2416 San Ramon Valley Boulevard, San Ramon, CA

                        1. re: pushslice

                          Thank You!

                          1. re: pushslice

                            UPDATE:
                            1) it appears Ao Zai Bistro Express has closed! well that didn't last long...shame. but the 'regular' Ao Zai restaurant nextdoor is still open.

                            2) was at Le Asia supermarket on Alcosta Blvd in Dublin and noticed this sign along the food court end of the store. so perhaps a "Pending" pin on the banh mi map!!

                             
                            1. re: pushslice

                              FYIs, the Banh Mi shop @ Le Asia supermarket-Dublin has been open now for a few weeks. Solid product, decent size & quantity of filling, to go w/ a typically suburban price of $3.55 per sandwich. Nothing extraordinary. Considering the distance of my other options, though, I'll gladly take it. They have a special which is buy-3-get-1-free also, which is handy. Plus the location inside the supermarket is a no-brainer; it's impossible for me to resist picking up a sandwich to munch on while doing my grocery shopping....

                              1. re: pushslice

                                Arrghh...it with a heavy heart that I must report that this banh mi outlet has *closed*! it was only open for such a short time! That makes the 2nd place I've had to do this for on this thread. Am I a jinx? Or just the victim of living in suburbia?? Whyyyyyyyyyyy can't there be a good dependable banh mi place close to me??

                    2. re: ceekskat

                      Sushi Monster has one for Redwood City Taquerias and rworange has one for Taco trucks along Fruitvale and International. I'll try to find and link in this post.

                    3. I added Huong Lan in Newark and Jenjon's Cafe in Union City

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: DezzerSF

                        link

                        -----
                        Jen Jon's Cafe
                        1704 Decoto Rd, Union City, CA 94587

                      2. Adding three places upper peninsula

                        -----
                        Saigon Cuisine
                        1140 El Camino Real, San Bruno, CA

                        Anh Hong Vietnamese Cuisine
                        2075 S El Camino Real, San Mateo, CA

                        Vietnam Village
                        851 Cherry Ave Ste 12, San Bruno, CA 94066

                        1. Sooo, does blue v. green flags mean anything, i.e. recommended v. not recommended?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: kimchee411

                            It says on the map- but it might be hard to notice. For now, blue is places I have been, green is places I have not. This will change once I go through most of the posts and get some recommended out- since there are places that have no reports, I don't want it to appear that they aren't recommended when there is no information on them.

                          2. Adding:

                            Forgot about Java Source. A coffee shop on Clement that seems to be dominated by an outside seating area filled with Asian men smoking, reading newspapers, etc. They had a number of different banh mi offerings. I got a sandwich but ended up giving it to my friend because I was full. I have to admit that it didn't smell that wonderful.

                            I haven't been to the rest of the places here in the Richmond (SF), hope we get some reports. Have found these by Googling, so it would be nice to know if they do exist. Most have recent reviews on other sites.

                            -----
                            Thanh Thanh
                            2205 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94121

                            Java Source
                            417 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

                            Eternal Springs
                            750 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

                            Le Cafe
                            2960 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94121

                            Picnix Bistro & Carry Out
                            3872 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94118

                            1. More places, many in the Sunset, one in the Haight, one in the Castro.

                              Many don't have Chow Links, so mentions might be old or non-existent on this board, but they all seem to have Yelp mentions. It would be nice to get some recent takes on these places. There's a lot more banh mi in the city than I had previously thought.

                              Irving Cafe and Desserts is listed as "Sweety Cafe" elsewhere and does not seem to be the same as Irving Cafe and Deli down the block.

                              -----
                              Banhwich
                              1105 Taraval St, San Francisco, CA 94116

                              Irving Cafe & Deli
                              2146 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

                              Irving Cafe & Dessert
                              1919 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

                              Sandy's Cafe & Deli
                              1382 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122

                              Saigon Deli Cafe
                              800 Masonic Ave, San Francisco, CA 94117

                              Castro Tarts
                              564 Castro St, San Francisco, CA 94114

                              Happy donuts
                              2049 Irving St, San Francisco, CA

                              New Loi's Vietnamese Restaurant
                              890 Taraval St, San Francisco, CA

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: P. Punko

                                There are quite a few cafes in the Tenderloin that make traditional banh mi that aren't on anyone's radar.

                                1. re: Melanie Wong

                                  I was just looking those up!

                                  More places in Tenderloin, and two more in Chinatown in addition to the already mentioned/mapped (links to my initially mapped will be added tomorrow).

                                  My friend gave a positive notice about Them Ky on Ellis.

                                  Little Paris in Chinatown was OK. I think I felt like they didn't have a lot on them, but this was only my second experience ever with Banh mi, so I'd need to go back.

                                  -----
                                  Vietnam Restaurant
                                  620 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133

                                  Little Paris Coffee Shop
                                  939 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA 94108

                                  Them Ky
                                  717 Ellis St, San Francisco, CA 94109

                                  Kim Huong Banh Mi
                                  325 Leavenworth St, San Francisco, CA

                                  1. re: P. Punko

                                    Them Ky is a full-service restaurant. I was thinking more along the lines of the little coffee shops that just sell banh mi and Vietnamese coffee early in the morning.

                                    I went by Kim Huong in the Tenderloin yesterday. But a woman came out and yelled at me for taking a photo of the cafe's sign without asking her permission first. So, I'll leave it to someone else to check out.

                                    -----
                                    Sing Sing Sandwich Shop
                                    309 Hyde St, San Francisco, CA 94109

                                    Duong Dong Cafe
                                    315 Leavenworth St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                                    Mong Thu
                                    248 Hyde St, San Francisco, CA

                                    1. re: P. Punko

                                      Anyone know if Little Paris has relocated post the subway building in Chinatown?

                                2. Links for places initially mapped. I feel like I might end up getting compelled to pull a Sushi Monster on these places, but it might not be fair. I usually only try the pork, beef or chicken varieties. Maybe we'll just be able to get at least one report for every one of these places in a community effort.

                                  Most of my takes are here:

                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/334740

                                  Of the places I've been in the South Bay, I prefer Kim's because it has a nice family atmosphere, and I'm convinced they recognize me (or maybe they are just super nice). An update from my first visit which is detailed in my giant post
                                  (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/334740) is that Kim's has both BBQ and grilled pork (called "charcoaled"). Football style baguette rolls with scoopage (like Cam Huong in Oakland and Union City.

                                  -----
                                  Cam Huong Cafe
                                  920 Webster St, Oakland, CA 94607

                                  Kim's Sandwiches
                                  1816 Tully Rd 182, San Jose, CA 95111

                                  Cam Huong
                                  32124 Alvarado Blvd, Union City, CA 94587

                                  Saigon Sandwich Shop
                                  560 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                                  Baguette Express
                                  668 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109

                                  Huong Lan Sandwiches
                                  1655 Tully Rd, San Jose, CA 95122

                                  Lee's Sandwiches
                                  625 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109

                                  Lee's Sandwiches
                                  2525 S King Rd, San Jose, CA 95122

                                  King Eggroll
                                  1221 Story Rd, San Jose, CA 95122

                                  Wrap Delight
                                  426 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                                  Banh Mi Ba Le
                                  10174 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito, CA 94530

                                  Dakao
                                  98 E San Salvador St, San Jose, CA 95112

                                  Ba Le Sandwich
                                  1500 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606

                                  Cam Huong Cafe
                                  702 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606

                                  Latte Express
                                  48 5th St, San Francisco, CA

                                  Banh Mi Ba Le
                                  1909 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606

                                  Huong Lan 5
                                  39055 Cedar Blvd, Newark, CA 94560

                                  Huong Lan Sandwich IV
                                  41 Serra Way, Milpitas, CA 95035

                                  Huong Lan Sandwiches
                                  958 Story Rd, San Jose, CA

                                  Lee's Sandwiches
                                  260 E Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA 95113

                                  Lee's Sandwiches
                                  2471 Berryessa Rd, San Jose, CA 95133

                                  Lee's Sandwiches
                                  279 W Calaveras Blvd, Milpitas, CA 95035

                                  Lee's Sandwiches
                                  4060 Monterey Rd, San Jose, CA

                                  Cam Hung Restaurant
                                  903 Reed Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94086

                                  Pho Quyen 2 Noodle House
                                  1185 W El Camino Real, Sunnyvale, CA 94087

                                  Lee's Sandwiches
                                  2307 McKee Rd, San Jose, CA 95116

                                  Lee's Sandwiches
                                  20363 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino, CA 95014

                                  New Pho No 1 Noodle House
                                  5025 Stevens Creek Blvd, Santa Clara, CA 95051

                                  Thien Nga
                                  1296 Kifer Rd, Sunnyvale, CA 94086

                                  Dakao Sandwich Two
                                  72 S Abel St, Milpitas, CA 95035

                                  Long Phung Sandwich & Food to Go
                                  2135 Tully Rd, San Jose, CA

                                  Kim Houng Food To Go
                                  3005 Silver Creek Rd, San Jose, CA 95121

                                  Thanh Huong Sandwich
                                  2593 Senter Rd, San Jose, CA 95111

                                  Lee Sandwiches
                                  990 Story Rd, San Jose, CA 95122

                                  Saigon's Bakery
                                  953 Mclaughlin Ave, San Jose, CA

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: P. Punko

                                    Thanks Punko, you are awesome for doing this! ;)

                                  2. I haven't been to this place, but I'm adding it to the map- a little Vietnamese Deli next to Vung Tau II in Milpitas (in the Lion plaza).

                                    -----
                                    Lan's Fast Food
                                    1756 N Milpitas Blvd, Milpitas, CA

                                    1. There've been past reports of banh mi in Sonoma County at Lee's Noodle House and Thang Long.

                                      An informant in the Tri-Valley says that Pho Asian Bistro has sandwiches . . . but they won't make you forget Cam Huong.

                                      -----
                                      Thang Long Restaurant
                                      175 N McDowell Blvd, Petaluma, CA 94954

                                      Lee's Noodle House
                                      1010 Hopper Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

                                      Pho Asian Bistro
                                      4920 Dublin Blvd, Dublin, CA

                                      1. I can’t really recommend the Silver Creek Road Kim Huong (darn since it’s the closest to my work).

                                        I tried the bi (shredded pork/skin) and sa siu (sliced roast pork), $2.50 each, pics below. The meat is a bit skimpy, the roll a bit soft (one roll had a faint semblance of crisp crust, the other was just chewy-soft). No pate, only 4 meats to choose from (the other 2 were cold cuts and shredded dried pork).

                                        What I really don’t like is that the banh mi is assembled by the ladies in the back, so the counter man calls out each order (and each custom request) to them through the opening in the wall. This gets repeated while the ladies are making the banh mi to confirm any custom requests, then again when the ladies hand the banh mi to the counter man to bag up. The order before mine (no butter, no cilantro) got called out back & forth no less than 4 times (per person). I decided to keep mine simple by saying “with everything”. Which really p-ed me off when I got back to work, opened up my sa siu and saw no butter, no cilantro.

                                        Other prepared foods on the tables, but no labels, no prices. Fridges are kind of bare. The banh gio which is their store name’s subtitle look smaller than other delis. One positive note is their banh trung (sticky rice tet cakes) look humongous, at $9 might be a good deal (no idea how they taste).

                                        I fixed the spelling & moved the marker to the actual storefront on the Google map.

                                         
                                         
                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: Alice Patis

                                          Oh yes- I went inside to check this place out a couple of months ago, but as we had just stuffed ourselves at Thien Long (next door or two doors down in the same complex) we didn't get anything. I can say that I didn't have high hopes- they didn't seem to be too hopping. That is unfortunate.

                                          1. re: Alice Patis

                                            Point of clarification, when you say "butter" are you referring to the homemade mayonnaise (eggs and oil) combined with Maggi, soy sauce or fish sauce, which I've heard called "Vietnamese butter"?

                                            1. re: Melanie Wong

                                              I heard the other customer request "no butter, no cucumber" in Vietnamese. He used the word beurre which the Vietnamese use as the vietnamese word for butter. The counter man and ladies in the back used the word beurre as well when they shouted it back & forth. I think they were referring to whatever the "spread" was. Actually, I've seen (& tasted) some banh mi places that use a margarine-like spread. I could hardly taste the spread in my banh mi bi so I can't tell you if it was mayo-like or margarine-like.

                                          2. RECOMMEND for Hoang Dat from Melanie Wong:

                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/588039

                                            Adding to map

                                            -----
                                            Hoang Dat
                                            930 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94109

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: P. Punko

                                              Added to map,

                                              More traditional, off path banh mi shops in the SF Tenderloin, from Melanie Wong:

                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/588771

                                              Hoang Dat, Tu Kim, Sing Sing (see location tagged in sidebar or above, or linked below) seem to be the recommends of this group.

                                              Of those not already added:

                                              -----
                                              Duong Dong Cafe
                                              315 Leavenworth St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                                              Tu Kim Cafe
                                              609 Ellis St, San Francisco, CA 94109

                                              Kien Thanh Coffee Shop
                                              431 Eddy St, San Francisco, CA 94109

                                              Bien Hoa
                                              463 Ellis St, San Francisco, CA

                                              1. re: P. Punko

                                                How about Lotus Garden in the outer mission? are they still making banh mi?

                                                -----
                                                Lotus Garden
                                                3216 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                                                1. re: Kristine

                                                  Yes. To go only.

                                            2. Adding to map, Lan Huong- just down the street from Dakao in San Jose. Didn't have time to go inside, but does not look like the "Huong Lan" chain. Sign just says "Huong Sandiwches"- anybody been?

                                              -----
                                              Huong Lan
                                              404 S 2nd St, San Jose, CA

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: P. Punko

                                                I just remembered I've been to Lan Huong, on a day I had a short lunch break during a Convention. I don't remember much except it was just ok, and that I wished I had gone a block further to Dakao. Their banh beo (steamed rice flour cakes) were a better bet and might be house made.

                                              2. Oakland addition to map, from George adding directly to Google Map- he has it as "Pho Ga Huong Que Cafe"- same location as below. Don't think it has been mentioned on CH yet.

                                                -----
                                                Huong Que Cafe
                                                1228 7th Ave, Oakland, CA

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: P. Punko

                                                  No, no mention about their Banh Mi, but their Pho Ga is one of my favorites. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/473448

                                                2. This afternoon I was at Thanh Thuy Deli, a banh mi shop in a mini-mall on the southwest corner of 12th Street and 8th Avenue in East Oakland. They have about a dozen sandwiches including a deep-fried fish and an omelette. The picture of the omelette banh mi had two sunny-side eggs in it, double the number of yolks that another Oakland shop has in its banh mi. Prices are about $2.50 to $2.75.

                                                  What did catch my eye was a $3 special, banh mi bo kho (beef stew). Ordered it to go and got a covered take-out container with carrots, jalapenos, cilantro and 6 or 7 medium-sized pieces of fatty beef in about 2 oz. of a sweetish cinnamon/star anise-flavored broth. Separately, there was an unsliced French roll. I didn't do a very good job of piecing everything together when I got home and the trip back was kind of traumatic for the carton so that it wouldn't be fair to pass judgment without going back and eating in.

                                                  The shop had a small table outside and a couple of 30" round counters next to the wall.

                                                  I haven't added it the Google map and a search for Thanh Thuy on CH didn't turn up anything. If anybody is in that area, let me know what you think.

                                                  Thanh Thuy Deli
                                                  745 E. 12th Street
                                                  Oakland, CA 94606
                                                  tel: 510-836-1212

                                                  Hours: Mon-Sat: 6 am - 6 pm
                                                  Sun:7am - 3pm

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: zippo

                                                    Thanks, zippo. Added to map.

                                                    Also, that stew is how it comes, it just isn't a sandwich- it is a baguette with some stew (or that is how it looks when it is pictured on a menu at a bunch of places that have it). it is confusing because it has the words "banh mi" but I guess I don't know it those words mean sandwich- I wonder if they mean "with bread" or something like that?

                                                    The deep fried fish sounds pretty good.

                                                    1. re: P. Punko

                                                      A Vietnamese friend told me that banh mi means the same as min bao in Cantonese, namely wheat flour bread.

                                                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                        Bánh mì basically means a Vietnamese baguette made with wheat and rice flour. So yes, it basically just means this certain type of bread.

                                                      2. re: P. Punko

                                                        Banh mi means Bread in vietnamese.
                                                        Banh mi thit nguoi means Bread cold cuts meat.
                                                        Banh mi bo ko is what she ordered means bread beef stew, which is the costliest of all Banh mi, and only the cool men eat those along with their caphe su den, and a cigarrette. It's like French Onion Soup with bread, u dip the bread in the soup duh.. She's probably not cool or manly enough, so better to stick with the sandwiches.

                                                        The best banh mi bo ko is on Bolsa Street close to Magnolia St, in Little Saigon, Santa Ana. All they sell is Beef Stew with bread. You know its good when there is just one item on the menu and a bunch of old men camping at the tables playing chess, gambling their retirement away.

                                                      3. re: zippo

                                                        I ended up at Thanh Thuy since Ba Le was closed. I ordered a #3 banh mi bi / shredded pork skin but they gave me a #4 cha lua / pork cake. I was too hungry to wait for a remake so I ate it. Bread was cold, there was something slightly sweet (Miracle Whip?). Not bad but one of the least good banh mi I've had.

                                                         
                                                      4. Close to my office downtown is Cafe Dolci. I'm a big fan of their vegetarian bahn mi with tofu.

                                                        -----
                                                        Cafe Dolci
                                                        740 Market St, San Francisco, CA

                                                        1. Lee's Noodle House
                                                          1010 Hopper Ave
                                                          Santa Rosa, CA 95403
                                                          707-523-2358
                                                          http://leesnoodlehouse.com/Menu.htm

                                                          -----
                                                          Lee's Noodle House
                                                          1010 Hopper Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: Columba

                                                            Added Cafe Dolci and Lee's Noodle House to map- thanks!

                                                          2. Banh Mi Ba Le at 1909 International Blvd, Oakland

                                                            Eel Banh Mi (Banh Mi Luon), $2.75
                                                            Not listed on their overhead menus but the roll is #14 in the sandwich section of their postcard-size paper menu.
                                                            A crispy roll with pan-fried or broiled eel , julienned carrots, onions, cilantro, mayo, jalapeños. There's black and white pepper on the eel as well as a slightly sweet, hoisin-like brown sauce. The eel was soft and fresh, not fishy or muddy tasting. After looking at some pictures of the bbq eel banh mi at Sea Salt, the eel pieces in the Ba Le version were smaller and there's less total eel. I liked the sandwich and will order it again.

                                                            I don't know if the other Ba Le shops carry the eel sandwich. Also, the Ba Le location at 1500 International Blvd., which had been closed for some time has been reopened as of a few weeks ago. It's open every day except Wednesday and I don't know if they sell everything that their larger location at 1909 Int'l does.

                                                            -----
                                                            Banh Mi Ba Le
                                                            1909 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: zippo

                                                              What a great tip ... and so much less expensive than Sea Salt. Will have to try it.

                                                              Has anyone tried the bahn mi at Boston Cafe at Van Ness and Market? They are supposed to have a good won ton soup for $3 as well.
                                                              http://www.chow.com/places/47961

                                                            2. Muffins Muffins offers bahn mi but the vegetarian one is only so-so. They offer about 4-5 different kinds and cost around $4. It's close to my office so I'll get one when the craving strikes.

                                                              -----
                                                              Muffins Muffins
                                                              123 2nd St, San Francisco, CA

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: tatertot

                                                                Pho Asian Bistro in Dublin has banh mi. They have a full menu (apps, pho, rice plates, noodle bowls, desserts) with beef, chicken, and pork banh mi ($3.95). We really like this place. It's in the Hacienda Center with Best Buy and the 21 theaters. Here's a link to the Contra Costa Times review. They liked it.
                                                                http://www.contracostatimes.com/enter...

                                                                Pho Asian Bistro
                                                                4920 Dublin Blvd Dublin, CA 94568
                                                                www.phoasianbistro.com

                                                              2. Please add new one in Pleasanton:

                                                                Pho Minh (previously known as Swenson's Pho)
                                                                1991 Santa Rita Rd Ste. A
                                                                (at Morganfield Rd)
                                                                Pleasanton, CA 94566
                                                                (925) 249-9312
                                                                www.pho-minh.com

                                                                They just started serving Banh Mi as of May 1st 2009. Price is about $3.50. If you are coming after lunch, please call ahead if they still have it; supposedly it's only available during lunch time.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: Mul

                                                                  link

                                                                  -----
                                                                  Pho Minh
                                                                  1991-A Santa Rita Road, Pleasanton, CA

                                                                  1. re: Mul

                                                                    Added.

                                                                  2. Schlomo's Banh Mi truck, a Cushman three-wheeler like meter maids use, usually in the Mission District of SF. Anyone seen it?
                                                                    Link to article in Thrillist:
                                                                    http://www.thrillist.com/san-francisc...

                                                                    his Twitter:
                                                                    http://twitter.com/BanhMiSF

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: zippo

                                                                      He was at Dolores Park the other day on Dolores very close to the tennis courts. I didn't get a taste. By the time I walked by he was packing up, though I did see plenty of the folks on the hill chowing down on banh mi. No doubt he'll hit that spot again.

                                                                    2. Just added Pho Cali Pho Nia on San Bruno & Silver Ave. in San Francisco. I tried the banh mi after seeing a sign outside advertising it and it was pretty good! The bread is light and delicate inside and is wispy like a cloud when you tear it with a nice thin crispy toasted crust outside. The meats were flavorful and generous, though not knock-your-socks-off good (I tried thit nuong and cha lua). The veggies were fine but the carrots were too finely shredded for my tastes, radish was used sparingly, both pickled veggies could've used more zing, and I would've liked more chiles, but overall definitely solid for my local go-to shop.

                                                                      -----
                                                                      Cali Pho Nia Vietnamese Bistro
                                                                      2428 San Bruno Ave, San Francisco, CA 94134

                                                                      1. The Richmond has at least a dozen places that make banh mi but my favorite is Little Vietnam‎, 309 6th Ave. 94118, 415-876-0283. Their veg (tofu) and grilled pork are both most excellent.

                                                                        Thanks for the map!

                                                                        1. New bahn mi opportunity for those around San Ramon. Pho Sam Restaurant has now opened in place of a Chinese restaurant in the Twin Canyon Shopping Center across from the Safeway on San Ramon Valley Blvd.
                                                                          I tried the BBQ Pork, and it will satisfy an occasional craving, but pales in comparison to versions available in San Jose or Oakland. The bread has a nice exterior crust, but falls apart too easily.
                                                                          Also available with Vietnamese Ham, BBQ Beef & Chicken, each sandwich is $4.50.

                                                                          -----
                                                                          Pho Sam Restaurant
                                                                          2550 San Ramon Valley Blvd, San Ramon, CA 94583

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: KatoK

                                                                            KatoK, thanks for the tip! I headed down to Pho Sam yesterday after reading your post. I had the BBQ pork, as well as the 'Pork roll' banh mis. As you said, it was decent but not great. The meat was very tasty and fresh. The cilantro was kinda messy, as they didn't really bother to 'pluck' it and threw the whole shoot in there, fibrous stems and all. I'm not complaining though, as in this neighborhood, I can't be choosy!

                                                                            FYIs to the board, this location is about 150 yards South of the 'Ao Zai' location (now defunct) referenced on the Banh Mi map.

                                                                            -----
                                                                            Pho Sam Restaurant
                                                                            2550 San Ramon Valley Blvd, San Ramon, CA 94583

                                                                            1. re: pushslice

                                                                              I should mention that if your travels take you to Livermore, that Me & Cha's on Vasco road has added banh mi to their menu, "for take out only".
                                                                              Their sandwiches are more satisfying in my opinion, if a bit messy.
                                                                              One of their offerings is a Lemongrass Chicken sandwich, which is quite good. They also add pate to their mix, which I've found to be specific to some shops but not others.
                                                                              As is common with the banh mi experience in the suburbs, these are pricey at $5.50 each, and they are made to order, so you'll wait a few minutes unless you order ahead by phone. Super nice staff too.

                                                                              -----
                                                                              Me & Cha's Flavor of Vietnam
                                                                              1548 N Vasco Rd, Livermore, CA 94551

                                                                              1. re: KatoK

                                                                                Nice, thanks! that would be a extremely handy for our occasional spur-of-the-moment Livermore winery tasting-n-picnic afternoons.
                                                                                The pate option is a plus.

                                                                          2. Great map, kudos to P Punko!

                                                                            1. This is the best Google Map ever. I <3 Banh Mi!! Thank you so much for putting this map together!

                                                                              1. Just added 4 spots
                                                                                Thanh Huong, N. Capitol Ave, San Jose
                                                                                Saigon Grill, 7th St, Oakland
                                                                                Green Apple Smoothies & Crepes, Piedmont Ave, Oakland
                                                                                Crayfish Sandwiches & Food To Go, S Abel St, Milpitas

                                                                                That's in the order I liked them.
                                                                                - First two above average
                                                                                - Green Apple OK, but pricey ($5!! :-O )
                                                                                - Crayfish below average

                                                                                -----
                                                                                Thanh Huong
                                                                                2050 N Capitol Ave, San Jose, CA 95132

                                                                                Saigon Grill
                                                                                417 7th St, Oakland, CA 94607

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: drewskiSF

                                                                                  Just saw Crayfish Sandwiches in Milpitas is now called Thuy Anh Sandwiches and apparently under new management.

                                                                                  1. re: drewskiSF

                                                                                    Hopefully that's an improvement, pls let us know if you try Thuy Anh. Although I was excited about the idea of a crayfish banh mi . . . if such a thing had been offered.

                                                                                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                      the banh mi were the traditional toppings not crayfish. i had tried the Thit Nuong (grilled pork) and their combo (pate, ham, head cheese)

                                                                                2. There's one near the Fruitvale BART station that I noticed a few weeks ago but haven't yet tried. It's Nhu Lan Sandwich with 14 banh mi on the menu including fried fish cake (Cha Ca - $3) and ham and egg (Trung Chien - $3). Most others are $2.50. Pho, bun and rice plates are about $6.50. I think that there was a Ba Le Express in that spot previously and Delicieuse Princesse Bakery before that. Haven't figured how to put it on the map yet.

                                                                                  Nhu Lan Sandwich
                                                                                  3331 International Blvd.
                                                                                  Oakland, Ca 94601
                                                                                  tel: 510-261-7271

                                                                                  Open 7 days a week
                                                                                  7 am - 6 pm

                                                                                  1. Baguette Express in SF is Closed.

                                                                                    -----
                                                                                    Baguette Express
                                                                                    668 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109

                                                                                    1. Would love to see an update to this thread - wonderful resource!

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: RWCFoodie

                                                                                        I walked past a tiny spot near Potrero by the hospital. Uni's Deli. They have a sign in the window for Banh Mi.
                                                                                        1200 Vermont Street
                                                                                        Mixed comments on yelp.

                                                                                        Does anyone know a place close to Dogpatch for a fix?

                                                                                      2. Hopefully not irrelevant, but Huong Lan in Milpitas has the "baguette option". Go for it, if you like you prefer baguette to loafer. Say "baguette, please"i. This option offer came from their need to compete with the nearby Lee's Sandwich when it opened some year ago. Lee's is inferior to Huong Lan in all aspect, IMO. Also there's an unlisted choice of egg sunny-side-up banh mi at HL. It's quite delicious (if you like ssu egg) but it needs to consumed immediately, before the egg soggies out the bread.

                                                                                        -----
                                                                                        Huong Lan Sandwich IV
                                                                                        41 Serra Way, Milpitas, CA 95035

                                                                                        Huong Lan
                                                                                        404 S 2nd St, San Jose, CA

                                                                                        Lee's Sandwich
                                                                                        5200 Mowry Ave, Fremont, CA 94538

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: ahong

                                                                                          "ahong" - welcome back! I've missed your great tips on the Vietnamese scene like this one, thanks.

                                                                                        2. A happy note that Irving Cafe now has an Irving Cafe too on Mission near Geneva. We found Little Yangon closed, and stopped in.

                                                                                          Meatball banh mi as good as ever, but they have a full kitchen and menu including soups and weird jelly drinks. Great addition to Vietnamese on the south side of town now that Lotus Garden is gone. Same friendly ladies in the kitchen.

                                                                                          -----
                                                                                          Lotus Garden
                                                                                          3216 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                                                                                          Irving Cafe & Deli Too
                                                                                          4845 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94112

                                                                                          Little Yangon
                                                                                          6318 Mission St, Daly City, CA 94014

                                                                                          1. How Delicious ...... today we had the Bahn Mi @ Little Paris.... on Irving x 24th Ave SF, right next to Sunset Music...It's the (#1 on the menu) with fresh Jalapenos (just say yes).

                                                                                            This little Vietnamese place appears at 1st glance to be a burger joint, but this sandwich is a fresh very crisp light Baguette roll with Mayo, thin layer of Pate, Cilantro, carrot, pickled onion and cucumber, fresh jalapeno, and a couple of types of pork/ham. Not lot of meat, but perfectly balanced, super fresh - just delicious, and great at the $3.25 price!

                                                                                            on Irving x 24th SF

                                                                                            LITTLE PARIS

                                                                                            Here's the Bay Area Bahn Mi roundup map
                                                                                            http://tinyurl.com/BayAreaBanhMi

                                                                                            -----
                                                                                            Little Paris Coffee Shop
                                                                                            939 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA 94108

                                                                                            1. Bun Mee on Fillmore www.bunmee.co
                                                                                              Great cookies too!

                                                                                              -----
                                                                                              Bun Mee
                                                                                              2015 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115

                                                                                              1. Saigon Sandwich Shop should be one of the first places on anyone's Banh Mi list. There's always a line, no matter what time of day. It's to go only and sort of like the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld Banh Mi shops. The lady running the place is not very nice, so know what you want, ask for it and move quickly in the line and you won't be disappointed. lol!

                                                                                                -----
                                                                                                Saigon Sandwich Shop
                                                                                                560 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                                                                                                1. Is this map being maintained?

                                                                                                  - Madame Tam in Palo Alto has bahn mi
                                                                                                  - Hometown Noodle in RWC doesn't any more
                                                                                                  - I think the San Mateo Shopping Center place closed

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: bbulkow

                                                                                                    The map is set up such that anyone can edit. Go for it.