Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Jan 5, 2009 10:33 PM

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:

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:

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  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.

        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

                  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

                            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

                       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


                        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.