photo credit: Melissa Zink

stacked banh mi halves and vietnamese iced coffee

Saigon Sandwich



$$$$Perfect For:LunchSerious Take-Out Operation

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Just outside of Little Saigon in the Tenderloin is Saigon Sandwich, a cash-only institution that’s been around for decades, and for good reason—it’s home to the best bánh mì in San Francisco, hands down.

The Vietnamese counter-serve spot on Larkin runs a tight ship. There’s usually a line around lunchtime, but it moves pretty quickly. And after you place your order, your sandwich will be made, tightly wrapped, and handed to you, seemingly within seconds. The short menu consists of bánh mì with different fillings, from roast chicken or tofu to a special combination with ham and thick pâté, plus a swath of creamy mayo, pickled carrots and daikon, cilantro, and jalapeño.

We’re not being hyperbolic when we say we’ve never been disappointed with anything here. The proteins are tender and well-seasoned, the French rolls are crackly and fresh, and each sandwich is loaded with an impressive amount of filling. It all adds up to a fantastic lunch that we consider picking up at least once a week. Plus, at around $5 each, one bánh mì will cost you less than an hour of parking on Hayes St.

Food Rundown

cross section of banh mi

photo credit: Melissa Zink

Roast Chicken Bánh Mì

The best option on the menu. The chicken is always juicy and flavorful, and it’s balanced out really nicely with the crunchy veggies and creamy mayo.
cross section of banh mi

photo credit: Melissa Zink

Roast Pork Bánh Mì

Our other go-to. They don’t skimp on the pork, and for that, we are very grateful.
cross section of banh mi

photo credit: Melissa Zink

Combination Bánh Mì

The combination comes with steamed pork, roast pork, and a generous helping of rich pâté, which we wish we could save to spread on every sandwich and charcuterie board we encounter for the rest of our lives.

Meat Ball Pork Bánh Mì

If the sandwiches on this menu had superlatives, this xiu mai one would be crowned Sauciest Of All Time. The meat is tender, salty-sweet, and soaks up all the mayo.
vietnamese iced coffee and banh mi

photo credit: Melissa Zink

Vietnamese Coffee

The iced Vietnamese coffee works wonders as a midday pick-me-up. It’s strong, creamy, and on the sweeter side.

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Suggested Reading

The exterior storefront at Molinari Delicatessen

Molinari Delicatessen

Molinari Delicatessen in North Beach sells delicious Italian sandwiches and other grocery items.

Bunn Mike image

Bunn Mike is a tiny restaurant serving banh mis in North Beach.

cross section of banh mi with duck and veg

Looking for a bánh mì? These are the best options in San Francisco.

Yamo image

Yamo is a small Burmese spot in the Mission with great (and cheap) food.

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