8 Great Bánh Mì In The East Bay

Where to go for this excellent Vietnamese sandwich.
8 Great Bánh Mì In The East Bay image

photo credit: Julia Chen

If you are what you eat, we’re pretty sure we’re at least 87% bánh mì. And we’re okay with that—especially because there are so many great ones in the East Bay that occupy permanent brain space. Here are eight of our favorite bánh mì spots in Berkeley, Oakland, and beyond. And for our guide to where to get bánh mì in SF, head here.


photo credit: Julia Chen



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You’ve made it to this small sandwich shop on International (not to be confused with Bánh Mì Ba Le in El Cerrito) when you see the line stretching down the block. Hop in it, because this place makes some of the best bánh mì in Oakland. They have 24 different sandwiches, ranging from grilled pork to sardine to roasted eel, all stuffed into an airy-crackly French roll. The perfect sandwich deserves a fantastic drink to enjoy with it, so don’t leave without one of their iced Vietnamese coffees.

Mom’s Bun Mi is a counter-service spot located in a strip mall off of International, and it’s a destination for bánh mì that’ll fill you up for less than $7. We’re big fans of the BBQ pork, which is slightly sweet and slathered with mayo. If you need a serious caffeine boost, grab an iced Vietnamese coffee—their version is surprisingly stronger than most, and will easily power you through an afternoon slump.

Vermicelli bowls, phở, and excellent bánh mì await at this counter-service Vietnamese spot on Telegraph. We flock here for the sandwiches, which have the usual bánh mì fillings—pâté, carrots, daikon, cilantro, a single strip of cucumber, and a generous helping of meat, grilled fish, tofu, and more. When in doubt, roll with the standout grilled pork. 

The bánh mì at this counter-service spot in Albany are on crusty fresh baguettes, as opposed to the more typical French rolls. What else sets this place apart: you can choose to order a sandwich as a large or small, which is ideal for quick afternoon snacks or anytime you want to try multiple fillings. The grilled pork and BBQ chicken are super tender, and the lemongrass tofu is always a hit. 

Monster Phở is our go-to spot for fantastic phở, rice plates, and vermicelli bowls in Temescal. But their bánh mì are also great, and often overlooked. You can choose between four options: beef, pork, chicken, or tofu, all of which come with the usual fixings on soft French rolls. But the best part is that with each order, you’ll get two mini bánh mì, which are as adorable as they are delicious. 

This casual spot in Berkeley makes their rolls fresh in-house and puts green onions in sandwiches for added freshness. They have 15 kinds of bánh mì filled with things like lemongrass grilled pork or sardines with tomato sauce. Whatever you go with, know that sandwiches are about the size of a football. But don’t let that stop you from also getting their fresh, well-stuffed shrimp spring rolls. 

Nom Nom Bánh Mì is located right near UC Berkeley, making it an ideal lunch stop for students or anyone touring the campus. Seek this spot out even if you’re not scheduled to be in area—their bánh mì with grilled chicken is perfection. This spot also has several vegetarian bánh mì options, like cream cheese, fried eggs, and lemongrass grilled tofu. And be sure to grab one of their lychee iced teas to wash it all down.

This downtown Oakland cafe is a one-stop shop for all your lunch needs—they have everything from green smoothies and vermicelli bowls to deli-style sandwiches. Hone in on the bánh mì, which are loaded with fillings like spicy chicken and coconut pork. This spot is also one of the few places where you can opt for a bánh mì on a Dutch crunch roll, a very Bay Area offering we endorse.

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