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TRENDING: BANH MI SANDWICHES

French-inspired Vietnamese sandwich creations.

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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.

Insider's tip: 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.


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