A Completely Subjective Ranking of 20 Places to Get Banh Mi (Plus 11 More I Need to Try)

If I could only eat one food forever, it would have to be banh mi. These Vietnamese sandwiches are crispy, fatty, crunchy, spicy, and savory all at the same time, and I never get tired of finding new places that make them all around the Seattle area. While I enjoy seeking out new flavor combinations, I usually order the restaurant’s version of the pork banh mi – and it’s slightly different every time. Sometimes the meat is roasted, but more often it’s grilled. The marinade may have notes of lemongrass or fish sauce, or it might be a little sweeter. There might be a smear of pate on the sandwich along with the pork. Or there might be a modern twist with a sauce or a topping that you wouldn’t find in a traditional Seattle banh mi.

When I’m looking for a perfect banh mi, I want the bread to have a crispy crust and a soft interior, the daikon and carrot pickles to have a sharp acidity, the cucumbers to be crunchy, and the cilantro and jalapeno accompaniments to be crisp but not overpowering. And there should be a light coating of creamy mayonnaise that ties the whole sandwich together.

Just about every banh mi is magnificent, but it’s rare to find every element I’m looking for in a single sandwich. Here’s my entirely subjective ranking of 20 places where I’ve eaten banh mi across western Washington – and another handful of places where I’ll keep searching for that Platonic ideal.

  1. Huong Xua, White Center. The roast pork banh mi, with crispy bits of skin and fatty meat, is one of the best things I’ve ever eaten in Seattle.
  2. Yummy Pho, Redmond. What makes this sandwich great is the baguette, which is always crispy and slightly warm.
  3. Banh Town, Greenwood. The grilled pork banh mi includes a smear of creamy pate.
  4. Huong Duong, Beacon Hill. You’ll get a traditional sandwich here, with flavorful grilled pork.
  5. Le’s Deli & Bakery, Beacon Hill. Their catfish banh mi is a real standout.
  6. Banh Mi Deluxe, Beacon Hill. The pork belly is outstanding, and you can add egg and avocado to make your sandwich even richer.
  7. Luu’s Café, Wedgwood. Their banh mi is notable for the extra veggies they pile on, along with pate.
  8. Saigon Bistro, International District. A great choice for a banh mi pit stop when you’re shopping at Uwajimaya.
  9. Pho Cyclo Café, Bellevue. My go-to banh mi joint for years, they’re still a solid choice on the Eastside.
  10. iSandwiches & Teriyaki, Shoreline. During my only visit, I branched out by ordering a tofu banh mi, but it was packed with flavor.
  11. Toast Mi, Tacoma. A good sandwich with fresh, crispy ingredients, and a slightly sweeter pork marinade.
  12. Ba Sa, Bainbridge Island. It’s an upscale sandwich with a price to match.
  13. Unphogettable, North Bend. Here’s where to stop when you need a good banh mi to fuel your hike up Mt. Si.
  14. Tang Food Mart, Georgetown. The banh mi was served on a fluffy roll but the crust could have been crisper.
  15. Green Tree, Greenwood. A traditional sandwich that wasn’t especially noteworthy.
  16. Cafe Banh Mi, Northgate. I find the pork here a little too sweet for my taste.
  17. Sizzle and Crunch, University District. The meat on my sandwich was a little bland.
  18. Lan Hue, International District. The vegetables on my banh mi didn’t seem particularly fresh.
  19. Saigon Café & Deli, Bellevue. The baguette seemed like it was a couple days old.
  20. The Pho Broadway, Capitol Hill. The sandwiches here aren’t as good as they were when the location was the Pho Cyclo Café.

Seattle banh mi I need to try (or try again, if it’s been a few years)

  1. Billiard Hoang, Columbia City
  2. Oh’s Sandwiches, West Seattle
  3. Pho Hanoi, Rainier Beach
  4. Pho Liu, Burien
  5. Q Bakery, Hillman City
  6. Rise & Shine, Shoreline
  7. Saigon Deli, International District
  8. Seattle Deli, International District
  9. Tony’s Bakery & Deli, Hillman City
  10. Urban Chops, Auburn
  11. Yeh Yeh’s Sandwiches, Lynnwood

Where are your favorite places to get Seattle banh mi? Leave a comment and let me know!

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