The latest dining trends keep Chicago abuzz and the food scene fresh. Here's the heads up on bánh mì.
WHY IT ROCKS
These Vietnamese-style sandwiches offer a break from the basic with culturally inspired, flavorful fillers – like lemongrass chicken topped with pickled carrots and daikon radishes – that are especially delicious when combined on a warm, crusty baguette.
Prepare to brush off the crumbs and hear some loud crunching at these spots both in Uptown's "Little Vietnam" off Argyle Street and beyond.
WHERE TO GO
- Ba Le in Uptown and Chinatown
This hand-held creation reigns supreme on many best bánh mì lists, and for good reason. Well-balanced flavors and fresh ingredients are inexpensive at both modern and bright quick-serve locations.
- Saigon Sisters in the West Loop
A warm, industrial space at this full-service sit-down under the ‘L' is the offshoot of the ever-popular booth at the French Market. Enjoy a simple sandwich, explore Vietnamese cuisine more fully with playful takes on the traditional or go global with their other upscale offerings.
- Nhu Lan Saigon Subs in Lincoln Square and Lakeview
Two options for dining: the colorful and new Belmont Avenue storefront or the original Lawrence Avenue institution. Regardless of location, both feature fresh bread from Nhu Lan bakery, rock-bottom prices and the oft-raved about Lemongrass Tofu option so it's a win-win.
- Del Seoul in Lincoln Park
Adding an Asian bbq spin on the traditional bánh mì, this fusion hotspot brings Korean-style flavors to the forefront including a Sesame-Chili Aioli and spicy Gochujang Marinade.
- Bun Mi Express and Bánh Mì & Co. in Lakeview
At these neighboring sister restaurants, pair the signature sammie with either a hot soup or tasty drink, perhaps the Vietnamese Iced Coffee or Lychee Lemonade, for a filling meal that won't break the bank.
When it comes to banh mi, it's all about the bread. Pick a place here it's made in-house or supplied fresh by a local bakery.
Browse for even more Chicago restaurants and foodie stops on ChooseChicago.com and get the inside scoop from our Chicago Like A Local dining blog.