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Jan 26, 2012 10:32 AM

Looking for best bahn mi in greater Boston

Extra bonus points if anyone knows of any bahn mi establishments that are north of Boston.

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  1. banh mi ba le on dot ave in dorchester

    2 Replies
    1. re: galangatron

      Is Banh Mi Ba Le near a T stop? (5 min walk or less)

      1. re: Alcachofa

        it's a short walk from savin hill t-station

        exit the train station, take a left onto savin hill road, walk until you hit dot ave, and it's about three or four blocks on your right. you can't miss it

    2. cali sandwich on union street in lynn is north of boston

      1 Reply
      1. re: galangatron

        I work in Lynn so I finally I tried it yesterday. Awesome. Thanks for the tip!

      2. My favorites are Pho Viet's, Mei Sum Bakery, and Bánh Mì Ba Le (or Ba-Le, depending on which sign you look at).

        5 Replies
        1. re: MC Slim JB

          If North of Boston includes Lowell (in order of personal preference):

          Hong Cuc
          Yummy Express
          Heng Heng

          1. re: justbeingpolite

            mmm we love Hong Cuc in lowell.. Will have to try the others. Where is yummy express.

            1. re: lexpatti

              yummy express is right off middlesex street on branch street. a little further down the road from pailin plaza and right past where the two streets split. they share a parking lot with khmer angkor market and some type of electronics store

              1. re: galangatron

                thanks, I went yesterday for lunch. Love the place but I think my vote goes to Hung Cuc for the bahn mi and the egg rolls too. I like the place a lot though and like to try other things in there.

          2. re: MC Slim JB

            I don't like the Mei Sum Bakery's as much, but Pho Viet's and Bánh Mì Ba Le are definitely my favorites. Bobalicious in Newton, sadly no longer exists --- I really liked their's as well "back in the day"!

          3. You'll find it at Pho Viet. About to go eat one myself right now, in fact.

            4 Replies
              1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                Last year, i went and tried banh mi at all the places listed above- in chinatown and dorchester. we came to decide that Pho Viet's beef banh mi was better than all of them. bread, filling, all of it. and you can keep them a few days and successfully reheat to crispy bread (do a search; my technique is in one of the threads!) It's most fortunate because there is a parking lot and they are wicked fast at making them. And you can call ahead and order. we often do that because we drive in from winchester to get them (happy to pick up for you next time we go in; just email me through my profile pg.)

                1. re: opinionatedchef

                  Thanks for the info on the parking lot and of course the Bahn Mi. Is this the one in the Super 88? Not familiar with the area, but do have a GPS. About how long is the trip in and out? I am right off 93 in Woburn.


                  1. re: mcel215

                    yes, that's where it is. i call it the super 88 too though it's now the hong kong apparently. we go: montvale ,down 93, sullivan sq exit, over Prison Point bridge, Mem drive to BU bridge, R on Comm Ave, past EMS 1 block, on the R. Pkg lot next to bldg. If you're going in just for that, you might want to consider picking up from other nearby spots (allston chock a block w/ them)!
                    About 30 min in.

              2. The BBQ Beef at 163 in Chinatown.

                13 Replies
                1. re: Tonality666

                  love Banh Mi Ba Le and Pho Viet but have added the unconventional egg plant banh mi at Strip T's to my list of favorite bahn mis.

                  1. re: teezeetoo

                    I've had that Strip-T's one, too, and it's awesome -- love the tempura tofu -- but I must note that it's $9.

                    Bánh mì.

                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                      Perhaps not ultra-authentic, maybe "too expensive" for banh-mi purists ($6), but the 'shiitake and pâte' (my paraphrasing) banh-mi from the BonMe truck in Dewey Sq. (usually there weekdays with the Clover and Mamagoose trucks, opposite S. Station) I had was revelatory. They appear to be based out of Malden, but don't know if they maintain a retail front there. Perhaps "authenticity is overrated", as someone I don't always agree with put it...

                      1. re: BrettLove

                        Into this same gussied-up, significantly-more-than-$3 bánh mì category, I'll add the fried egg and soy-glazed house-cured bacon version at Myers + Chang's weekend dim sum brunch.


                        1. re: BrettLove

                          This is great to know! I always go to Momogoose out of habit, and balked at the idea of $6 banh mi, but I'll have to try BonMe if it's that good.

                    2. re: Tonality666

                      Second the BBQ Beef at 163 but sometimes I'm left asking "Where's the beef?"

                      1. re: bizkat

                        i find banh mi places indistinguishable. maybe i'm just not picky, but can't discern 88 food court, kam man, dot places, 163, that cart which was inside a jewelry shop just north of combat-zone c-mart apart.

                        imo the key is the bread. a toaster oven is i guess a compromise, but the best one ive had was just walking around until i smelled smoke and walking into a 95 F bakery where you could barely see back to the ovens. and watching them pour a big pile of loaves out and buying one, and rushing home and putting some fillings in it. total cost about 80 cents

                        1. re: ix9

                          I agree that good bread is crucial: I know Ba Le is baking their own, and I think Mei Sum is (not sure). What distinguishes Pho Viet's (their apostrophe-S, not mine) from others is that they're more generous with their protein fillings.


                          1. re: MC Slim JB

                            Yeah, there are times when the Pho Viet's banh mi has pork literally falling out of it.

                            Incidentally, you can ask for extra vegetables -- there's usually a 25-cent upcharge, which big deal -- and have an enormous mound of pickled carrots and daikon, cucumber, cilantro and jalapenos atop what's already a fairly overstuffed sandwich.

                            1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                              I always get a chuckle when, on the topic of their protein-packedness, my Vietnamese buddy politely adds, "... to American tastes."

                            2. re: MC Slim JB

                              Just had Mei Sum's banh mi yesterday, and they use Quinzani's rolls for their bread. I personally don't mind since I think it overs good chewiness, without the overly crispiness of some baguettes.

                              1. re: kobuta

                                Well, at least it's a local bakery, and they're presumably getting a daily load. But I'd hoped they made their own.


                                1. re: MC Slim JB

                                  MC- I'm 99% sure they get daily deliveries. I've walked by early in the morning and seen them opening up shop with a bunch of brown paper bags full of loaves out on the counters.