Bahn mi is a Vietnamese sandwich, which is very popular around Vietnam. Finding it in the city of Chicago is not difficult, but only a few sub-neighborhoods have them. Bahn mi is a freestyle street food, which varies greatly. It is most commonly made with pork belly, pork floss, pork balls, pork liver, or Vietnamese sausage as the main meat. The meat is thrown on a toasted baguette with cilantro, carrot, daikon, and cucumber. The sandwich is usually topped off with mayonnaise, cheese, chilis, or a spicy chili sauce.
Although these sandwiches can be found in many downtown Vietnamese restaurants, the best is found on the North side in a sub-neighborhood called Little Saigon. Also known as New Chinatown, New Koreatown, and many other undescriptive misnamings, Little Saigon is seated at Broadway and Argyle in the Uptown neighborhood. These sandwiches are found at most noodle houses and Vietnamese BBQ joints, but one of the best is located at Tank Noodle at the intersection of Broadway and Argyle. Across the street in Ba Li, which is my 2nd favorite. But if you’re looking for the best bahn mi in Chicago, check out Nhu Lan Bakery on Lawrence, just a mile or two west of Little Saigon.
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