The Best Vegan Banh Mi in Sydney

All the Banh Mi I picked up from Pyrmont. Top: OBUNMEE, Left: Banh Mi Co., Right: DK Station.

All the Banh Mi I picked up from Pyrmont. Top: OBUNMEE, Left: Banh Mi Co., Right: DK Station.

MISSION BANH MI

Before this grand quest for Banh Mi, I actually hadn't had that many vegan Banh Mi apart from the one at Great Aunty Three's which I had totally forgotten about. Now, I have eaten 11 Banh Mis and I'm SO not mad about it - GA3's was good but not as good as I remembered. I'm always surprised at how differently I enjoy things when I eat the same dish over and over again, the stand-outs are really obvious! 

Initially when I made the list for vegan banh mi, initially it didn't include; Saigon Summer, Banh & Butter, So. 9 or Let's DU Coffee - but I added them because WHAT IF PERCHANCE THEY HAD THE BEST VEGAN BANH MI, ya dig? I needed to see for myself. Also I stumbled accross OBUNMEE whilst buying 2 other banh mi in Pyrmont which was a very pleasant surprise. 

To sum up, NO - I have no regrets about buying any of the banh mi and YES - I visited every single spot on the list, even the ones which didn't have Banh Mi anymore (... I walked away awkwardly and sad) and YES - all the information is below.

WHAT IS BANH MI? A LITTLE HISTORY OF ONE OF THE WORLD'S FAVOURITE SANDWICHES

Banh Mi, which literally means bread in Viet, is now more commonly known as the Vietnamese Sandwich. It's actually Vietnamese and French as a result of French colonisation in Vietnam around the 1860's. This colonisation is also one of the reasons why the Vietnamese have conquered the art of baking and taken it to new heights - you may notice many bakeries are owned by Vietnamese families!

So when the Vietnamese embraced baguettes, initially they enjoyed them the same way as the french: with pate, mayonnaise, cold cuts of meat and butter. But as time went on, the Viet got adventurous and the Banh Mi we know today was born; thanks to the additions of Coriander, Chilli, Seasoning Sauce, Pickled Daikon and Carrot (as well as experimenting with their own styles of cooked meats - but meh). 

LOCATION LIST

Delicious Vegan Roll from Allan's Bakery, Newtown

Delicious Vegan Roll from Allan's Bakery, Newtown

Day 1

1) Great Aunty Three - NEWTOWN

2) Allan’s Cake Shop –  Newtown

3) Delish – Newtown/Marrickville

Day 2

4) Just Green – Cabramatta 

Day3

5) + Saigon Summer – Ashfield/Summer Hill 

6) Banh Mi Co. - Pyrmont

7) DK Station – Pyrmont 

8) + OBUNMEE – Pyrmont

Day 4

9) + So. 9 – Waterloo 

10) + Banh and Butter – CBD

11) Rolls Vietnam – North Sydney 

REJECT LIST

A) Rising Sun WorkshOp – Newtown

No longer offered a vegan Banh Mi

B) + Let’s DU Coffee

No longer offered a vegan Banh Mi

C) BANH MI K

Permanently Closed

Spring Rolls in Banh Mi? Find it at OBUNMEE, Pyrmont. Also features cooked cabbage, mushroom chinese veg.

Spring Rolls in Banh Mi? Find it at OBUNMEE, Pyrmont. Also features cooked cabbage, mushroom chinese veg.

LOWEST-TO-HIGHEST SCORING + STAND-OUT TRAITS

NOTE ON SCORING: I don't think any of the Banh Mi I ate were bad (which was also a total surprise!). Now you may know already, I like full and bold flavours, I don't really care about the health factor, I like fake meat, and I looove a good bread. So I guess was searching for the most full-flavoured Banh Mi with LOTS of texture.

11) OBUNMEE, PYRMONT (ask for no mayo)

Score: 3/5      Price: $7

Stand Out Traits: NO FAKE MEAT, spring rolls were fun + sautéed asian vegetables.

10) BANH MI CO, PYRMONT (ask for no mayo)

Score: 3.5/5      Price: $6

Stand Out Traits: NO FAKE MEAT, packed with salad (easily the most generous with veggies!) and drowned in sauce.

9) DELISH, NEWTOWN 

Salad packed Banh Mi from Banh Mi Co, Pyrmont

Salad packed Banh Mi from Banh Mi Co, Pyrmont

Score: 3.6/5      Price: $6.5

Stand Out Traits: NO FAKE MEAT, very salady, tofu + beetroot flavour combo is yummy!

8) SAIGON SUMMER, SUMMER HILL 

Score: 3.6/5      Price: $6

Stand Out Traits: NO FAKE MEAT, just a solid good tofu + salad banh mi. Very satisfying

7) So. 9, Waterloo (ask for vegan)

Score: 4.2/5      Price: REG $7 / BABY ROLL $4.5 / TWO BABY ROLLS $8

Stand Out Traits: NO FAKE MEAT, Tofu + Vermicelli mix is delicious, no filler salad leaves or lettuce, just heaps of pickled daikon, carrot and coriander!

6) great aunty three, newtown

Score: 4.5/5      Price: $10

Stand Out Traits: FAKE MEAT: Prawn and Chicken (get both!), flavour-packed with fried shallots in there, a little but fancy with the apple slices which are a very nice texture and flavour addition.

Chicken and Prawn Banh Mi for $10 (for both meats) from Great Aunty Three, Newtown

Chicken and Prawn Banh Mi for $10 (for both meats) from Great Aunty Three, Newtown

5) ALLAN'S CAKE SHOP, NEWTOWN 

Score: 4.6/5      Price: $5

Stand Out Traits: FAKE MEAT: thick-sliced vegan pork, heaps of coriander, nice salad, good amount of sauce, yummy beetroot in there too.

4) BANH & BUTTER, cbd

(ASK FOR VEGAN - NO MAYO, no special b&b sauce, no pate)

Score: 4.6/5      Price: $8

Stand Out Traits: NO FAKE MEAT: Caramelised Tofu, Marinated Shiitake Mushroom. The bread is amazing here - a real stand out. Easily the best baguette out of all the Banh Mi!

3) DK STATION, PYRMONT

Score: 4.8/5      Price: $7.5

Stand Out Traits: NO FAKE MEAT: Lemongrass crusted caramelised tofu is amazing. Great amount of sauce.

Left: Large Banh Mi from Rolls Vietnam, North Sydney  Right: Delicious Baguette stuffed with Caramelised Tofu and Shiitake Mushroom from Banh & Butter, CBD

Left: Large Banh Mi from Rolls Vietnam, North Sydney

Right: Delicious Baguette stuffed with Caramelised Tofu and Shiitake Mushroom from Banh & Butter, CBD

2) ROLLS VIETNAM, NORTH SYDNEY

(ASK FOR VEGAn)

Banh Mi with Lemongrass Tofu from DK Station, Pyrmont

Banh Mi with Lemongrass Tofu from DK Station, Pyrmont

Score: 4.8/5      Price: REG $7.9 / LARGE $12.9

Stand Out Traits: FAKE MEAT: vegan chicken slices + vegan pate + vegenaise! YUM! Also love the size and the amount of pickled carrot. 

1) JUST GREEN, CABRAMATTA

Score: 5/5      Price: $4.5

Stand Out Traits: PRICE!!! FAKE MEAT: Shredded Tofu and Vegan Chicken, Nutellex, Seasoning Sauce, Mushroom Pate  - everything is happening on this Banh Mi. No filler salad ingredients, just heaps of coriander, spring onion and pickled daikon/carrot. Perfection!

Elizabeth Miu