Beat's guide to Melbourne's best Bánh Mì

A true sandwich masterpiece. 

Image source: 
Pexels/Flo Dahm

The art of a Bánh Mì is surprisingly tricky to master. Born in the streets of Saigon, the coveted sandwich follows a particular recipe that seems to be lost in part when you step outside of Vietnam. A traditional Bánh Mì features a crisp baguette filled with roast pork, cucumber, pickled carrot and daikon radish, fresh chillies, coriander, mayonnaise and pork pâté. While it may sound simple, the search for the perfect Bánh Mì outside of its homeland can prove bitterly disappointing. There is much debate over the ingredients, namely the choice in protein and whether or not pâté is a necessity, but we can all agree that even loosely followed, you’ve got a recipe for magic.

Moonee Ponds

While Minh’s may seem unassuming at a glance, the constant line at the counter which is known to stretch out the door suggests you’re in for something special. Though purists may argue there is no place for chicken on a Bánh Mì, Minh’s is sure to change your mind. Extra points for their warm, crunchy bread.

La Panella Bakery

While a traditional Bánh Mì is off the menu for vegos, La Panella whip up a pretty damn good vegan alternative. You can choose from faux bacon, tofu, ‘meatballs’, and just about every other variation of mock meat you can imagine. Make sure you order it with vegan margarine and prepare yourself for a life-changing sandwich experience – even if you are a meat eater.

N. Lee

N. Lee know that the secret to an ace Bánh Mì is a baguette that’s crusty on the outside and pillowy on the inside. That's why they bake three times a day – including one round right before lunchtime. With house-made pork-liver pâté and mayonnaise, it doesn’t get much fresher or tastier than this.

Phuoc Thanh

You can get everything from egg salad to tuna on your Bánh Mì at Phuoc Thanh, though their shredded pork is a must try. The sandwich makers here set themselves apart by piling as much filling as physically possible between those crispy pieces of bread. You may have trouble fitting it in your mouth and there is no graceful way to eat it, but this sandwich is worth the lap full of crumbs you'll be left with. 

Nhu Lan Bakery

Two words: BBQ pork. Traditional? Not quite, but Nhu Lan Bakery sure are onto something. Fried shallots and roasted peanuts take these Bánh Mìs to a whole new level – not to mention they’re about $5 a pop. If Footscray is too far to travel for a sandwich, they have a second location in Richmond.

Sunny’s Bakery

You can’t even mention the words Bánh Mì in Melbourne without someone jumping in with “Sunny’s is better” – and for good reason. While Collingwood locals are known to take sides between Sunny’s and N. Lee, you can’t go wrong with either. Not to mention there are three different pork variations on the menu, including a kebab/Bánh Mì hybrid. 

Hungry for more? Check out Beat Eats