6 must-try banh mi sandwiches in Charlotte, including one for beer lovers and a hidden gem

6 must-try banh mi sandwiches in Charlotte, including one for beer lovers and a hidden gem
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Charlotte’s not a sandwich town.

I grew up in Philadelphia, where the steak sandwich is as much the city’s symbol as the Liberty Bell. New York? Chicago? New Orleans? Those are sandwich towns.

Charlotte’s still figuring out its niche when it comes to putting meat and bread together, but there is one sandwich that’s coming into its own here: The banh mi.

If you’re new to it, a banh mi is a wondrous blend of French and Vietnamese food culture, with marinated pork and pickled vegetables married with jalapeños and aioli on a crispy, flaky baguette (which, it is important to note, is the key to the whole thing).

To simply refer to it as a sandwich undersells the cultural gravitas the banh mi employs. It’s East-meets-West on a roll.

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So, where do you find a good banh mi in Charlotte?

You don’t have to look far. They’re popping up on menus all over the city, from high-end to BBQ to vegetarian to the traditional haunts amid Charlotte’s international eateries.

But if you need the list narrowed a bit, here are 6 must-try banh mi sandwiches.


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The O.G. banh mi: Le’s Sandwiches and Cafe

It’s almost a right of passage for folks in Charlotte to learn about the incredible banh mi, tucked away in the Asian Corner Mall, a shopping center off Sugar Creek Road and North Tryon.

Once you’ve been let in on the secret though, you’ll brave the rugged parking lot again and again for easily the best bread for a banh mi in town.

Find it at 4520 North Tryon Street.


The banh mi for beer lovers: Legion Brewing

Need a tall, cold beer with your banh mi? Legion Brewing has you covered.

They marinate their pork in their Juicy Jay IPA then add fresh, local veggies and cilantro with a sriracha aioli. The sandwich is fantastic on its own but is best enjoyed with a buzz.

Find it at 1906 Commonwealth Avenue.


The vegan-friendly banh mi: Füd at Queen City Grounds

I hate tofu. Hate it. And yet, I can’t help but order the vegan banh mi from Queen City Grounds each time I go.

Formerly Füd at Salud, the “Michelle O-Banh-Mi” has been renamed in its new location, but the sandwich retains its smokey, delicious marinated tofu to go with avocado, jalapeños and cilantro on a top-notch hoagie roll.

Find it at 644 North Church Street.


The Blue Line banh mi: Banh Mi Brothers

Taking the Blue Line extension north and looking for a quick bite? Stop off at Harris Boulevard for a sandwich from Banh Mi Brothers, which combines authenticity with inventiveness in its banh mi options.

The bonus? You can also add a Mama Doan’s Hangover Tea to your order, which, when combined with your banh mi, should fix all of life’s problems.

Find it at 230 East W.T. Harris Boulevard.


The upscale banh mi: Soul Gastrolounge

Love a good banh mi, but want to live a little? Soul’s Duck Banh Fit will make your mouth water and your belt seem a little tighter.

Soul replaces the typical marinated pork with a foie gras pate and ham-cured duck breast, adding in the more expected daikon and carrots on a French baguette.

I don’t want to say it’s life-changing, but it’s certainly life-improving.

Find it at 1500 Central Avenue.

inside-soul-gastrolounge


The hidden gem banh mi: Thanh Huong

Sometimes the best banh mis are the ones you stumble upon when exploring a new spot. Such is the case at Thanh Huong, which has a dining space large enough to seat four, only accepts cash and has its menu written in marker on the tile wall.

For $4 though, you’re walking away with a feast, and the barbecue pork is marinated in what can only be described as pure bliss.

Find it at 3023 Central Avenue.


Looking for even more banh mi options? Here’s a list of 5 honorable mentions.

  • Earl’s Grocery offers a mouth-watering Banh Mi with lemongrass pork
  • Crispy Banh Mi opened recently on Shamrock Road, offering a huge array of great options
  • South Charlotte folks can make a dash for Banh Mi and Tea Company on Ayrsley Town Boulevard or Be’s Noodles and Banh Mi on North Community House Road
  • CO in Park Road Shopping Center offers a nice variety of high-end Banh Mi options, including a delicious Korean take on the sandwich

[Related Agenda guide: 15 best sandwiches in Charlotte]

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