The title of best banh mi in Sydney is ongoing, and not since Ali vs. Frazier has there been a more contentious battle. Over the years, competitors have risen and fallen, and today we name our top 12 in Sydney. Leave the fake campaigns to the Liberals because these establishments are the real deal.
Marrickville Pork Roll
You can’t mention banh mi without name dropping Marrickville Pork Roll. The humble hole-in-the-wall tuckshop never fails to draw a lunchtime crowd, and with good reason. Freshly baked baguettes in-house and delicious pate will make you see god.
Hong Ha Bakery
Hong Ha is to Marrickville Pork Roll like GSW is to the Cavs. Both have their die hard fans and cult followers. We here at The Urban List sit firmly on the fence and will happily surrender our tastebuds and bodies to both. Hong Ha’s consistently fab banh mi and low prices will get returns every single time.
As the new Vietnamese kid on the block, So 9 offers a wide variety of protein to suit your banh mi needs, from pulled chicken to tomato meatballs. Purists will encourage you to order the traditional combination pork roll and, of course, no disappointments will be met here.
Banh Mi Co
When Pyrmont finally decided to catch on to the banh mi game, Vietnamese shops exploded onto the scene faster than trolls on a Facebook post. Banh Mi Co is no stranger to the lunch time crowd with their freshly made pork rolls to go. Although slightly pricier than your average banh mi, the taste is never compromised, though you may need to compromise others to get in the line.
Viet Hoa Hot Bread
If you’re in Cabramatta and not 1) eating banh mi, 2) eating pho, or 3) getting lost in the fabric stores, what are you even doing there in the first place? Viet Hoa has been around for three decades and are open 24/7 so you know it’s legit. Their crunchy baguettes with soft spongy insides and heavily flavoured pate will have you walking out holding three pork rolls thinking it’s the best decision of your life. And it is.
Banh Mi Bay Ngo
Coming within a two metre radius of Bay Ngo, the heavenly smell of fresh bread will hit you right in the schnozz. You cannot help but be drawn to its banh mi station, pointing your way through their delicate pork, mayo, and pate to create a pork roll masterpiece. Chow down as you watch the oldies play Chinese checkers next door.
Sydney Pork Rolls
If you don’t have time to make it out to Sydney’s west, pop into Sydney Pork Rolls on George Street for a quick fix. Fast hands pump out delicious banh mi, so it’s perfect if you are time poor. But you don’t have to be cash poor to get in on the action. Their rolls are only $4.50.
King’s Hot Bread
Their ingredient ratio is second to none. King’s Hot Bread have perfected the art of filling distribution, and the long lunch lines are testament to that fact. If you’re heading to the Hurstville Westfield, skip the food court for jesters and cop a traditional banh mi here instead. Made for royalty.
Jamison Bakery knows the secret to any good banh mi is 1. freshly baked rolls and 2. more filling = always better. Oh yeah, they’re a go-to for banh mi that packs as much flavour as it does filling. You’ll need two hands (and a freaking huge appetite) to tackle all of the salty pate, juicy pork and fresh herbs and one of these babies will cost you less than your daily train commute, as it should.
Ashfield Vietnamese Healthy Rolls
The combination of fresh rolls stuffed with crispy pork crackling, a big ol’ slathering of house made pate, and (often) no cue makes travelling to Ashfield Vietnamese Healthy Rolls a must. That means less time waiting and more time scoffing.
Nam Fong serves the kind of Banh Mi that sees loyal customers returning year upon year. No, really. They’re keeping it classic here, combining fresh crusty rolls with pickles, big pops of chilli and (of course) layer upon layer of juicy pork, meatballs and chicken. This one is a damn institution.
Lim’s Hot Bread
Family owned and run, Lim’s Hot Bread have spent decades satisfying Eastwood locals’ banh mi cravings so they’ve got the ideal proportions down to a fine science. That’s equal parts, spice, zest and crunch with every bite. Their banh mi have just the right amount of pork, coconut chicken or crispy pork belly and a generous slather of pate—it’s a family recipe and it’s one of the best.
Want more Vietnamese food in your life? Check out our list for Sydney's best pho.
So 9 | Image credit: Federica Portentoso