Over the past decade, Vietnamese food has taken American cities by storm. Specifically, in Los Angeles, Vietnamese restaurants have popped off all over, with some becoming widely recognized and critically acclaimed. One of the most basic dishes served – and easily one of the most popular – is the banh mi sandwich. With a baguette sliced in half, the sandwich has meat, jalapeños, cilantro, cucumber, carrots and daikon. If it sounds delicious, well, it’s because it is. Thankfully, there are many great places in Los Angeles to grab a banh mi, but here are the best of the lot. Want some more options? Visit our original list of the Best Spots to get Banh Mi Sandwiches.
9810 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
Fusing traditional elements with modern day restauranteurs (or in this case a Fraiche Vietnamese), East Borough’s banh mi is one of the most memorable in the city. Taking meats ranging from brisket to fried chicken, the Culver City spot’s flavorful meat isn’t too overwhelming as the seasonings and crispy baguette balance it out to make this a complete sandwich. Add to that a side of pho to dip your sandwich, and you have the making on a banh mi you’re likely to remember long after its digested.
2396 Glendale Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90039
With a crunchy baguette that’s longer than the other banh mi’s, what separates Gingergrass from others is the variation. In fact, you’ll be hard pressed to find a sandwich that’s as versatile to fit both breakfast or lunch. They have the right amount of jalapeños – even a bit more than other places – that provide enough of a jolt to accentuate your taste buds and a healthy serving of meat that will leave you full, but not overwhelmed.
Gjelina Take Away
1427 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291
Standing adjacent to the flagship Gjelina restaurant, this smaller to-go restaurant offers choices that are just as delicious as the main eatery. While there isn’t a shortage of sandwiches to choose from, the banh mi certainly stands out. With the right amount of spice and a tender brisket that is more of a Jewish style than Vietnamese, shows that the menu is just as innovative and forward thinking as the restaurant. That said, the veggies are refreshing and balance the spice of the jalapeños and though not-traditional, Gjelina Take Away knows how to make a great banh mi.
8360 Melrose Avenue #107
Los Angeles, CA 90069
Tender and flavorful, Ink Sack offers several banh mi meats and a veggie version as well. It doesn’t taste like a traditional Vietnamese sandwich, which in this case is a good thing. The fusion works here though. Resting on a square, small baguette, the cost is affordable, and the chicharrónes are so delicious to where you’ll scarf it down in two bites and be disappointed you already finished.
Nong La Cafe
2055 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
The 12-inch banh mi served at this Sawtelle eatery is easily one of the best in Los Angeles. While Nong La Cafe serves all types of fresh Vietnamese fare, the banh mi sandwiches are something you shouldn’t miss. A favorite here is grilled pork and a fried egg, which melts not only on the scrumptious baguette and meat, but your mouth as well. Served on either an 8 or 12 inches bun, this banh mi features the delicious house mayo that adds to an already tasty sandwich that has the standard veggies and peppers.