When we set out to find the best banh mi in Manhattan, we used the mixed cold cut banh mi as our benchmark. With this criteria, we know that within the confines of Chinatown, Saigon Vietnamese Sandwich on Broome Street serves the best. That said, how do their other sandwiches stack up? Do they do as well with hot sandwiches? Vegetarian sandwiches? Chicken? Are any of their salads worth a damn? And what about those summer roll appetizers?
We decided to find out the only way we know how: by tasting everything on the menu.
CliffsNotes Version: The mixed cold cut and pâté sandwiches are by far the best of the bunch. The plain chicken is the best chicken option, grilled minced pork is better around the corner at Paris Sandwich, and the spring rolls are good (especially in terms of value for money), but if pure flavor is what you're after, the slightly more expensive spring rolls at Banh Mi Saigon on Grand Street are superior.
Click through the slideshow for a complete break down of all 12 sandwiches and five appetizers.
Saigon Vietnamese Sandwich
369 Broome Street, New York NY (map); 212-219-8341
About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Managing Editor of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.