Seattle is a serious sandwich destination, with Salumi, Where Ya At Matt and Paseo all making uniquely convincing cases for the supremacy of meat-between-bread. But the most popular sandwich genre around town is surely the banh mi, the ludicrously affordable crusty sandwich that is among the most enduring culinary legacies of French colonialism. Here, our picks for the best entries in a very crowded field. As always, there's no significance to the ordering of the first nine restaurants listed, but we've saved the number one slot for our very favorite banh mi joint.
10. Thanh Vi
So much meat! Thanh Vi's huge sandwiches are stuffed with multiple meats, plus an egg or tofu if you so desire.
Most banh mi fans agree that it's the bread that makes the sandwich, and the baguette enveloping the freshly-grilled pork at Pho Cyclo is perfectly crisped.
8. Café Pho
Maybe it's the name, but most Café Pho patrons make a beeline for the beef broth. Their loss: The banh mi earns praise for its heaps of fresh cilantro, pickled vegetables and housemade mayonnaise.
7. Baguette Box
Banh mi lovers who refuse to pay more than a few bucks for a sandwich are missing out on Baguette Box's extraordinary organic tofu banh mi, topped with red onion and avocado.
Bakeries are often the source of the finest banh mi, and this Columbia City favorite is no exception. The flaky baguettes are especially fine when topped with scrambled eggs.
No matter where you buy a banh mi in Seattle, there's a better-than-even chance it will be served on a Seattle Roll baguette. To skip the middleman, head straight to the White Center source for a sandwich made with just-baked bread.
4. Saigon Deli
Located in the heart of Seattle's banh mi battleground, Saigon Deli's sandwiches win points for their perfect construction, featuring the exact right ratio of bread to meat to vegetables.
Unlike other International District banh mi specialists, New Saigon doesn't mess with spring rolls and salads. Believers say that unerring focus is responsible for the deli's standout sandwich on a soft, toasted roll.
2. Sub Sand
Even if the pickled vegetables and grilled meats weren't spot-on, the newly-expanded Sub Sand would probably earn "best of" status for successfully melding the Subway service model with Vietnamese ingredients.
1. Seattle Deli
The promise of Seattle Deli's barbecue pork banh mi, classically finished with cilantro, jalapenos, pickled carrots and daikon, makes it well worth waiting in the inevitable line at this revered International District shop.
Find the best Seattle has to offer on-the-go with our 'Best Of' Mobile App!