Banh mi, Vietnamese baguette sandwiches, “have everything we love about subs, only with ‘exotic’ tastes,” says Big Bad Voodoo Lou. “They have more of an emphasis on veggies, with more interesting choices than tasteless shredded lettuce and soggy tomatoes. The pâté, butter, and/or mayo make them taste very rich, but they’re almost always light and refreshing sandwiches, never heavy nor greasy like the best cheesesteaks and Italian hoagies.”

“Frugal as I am, I’d happily pay twice what I pay for the typical bahn mi,” says greygarious. “I think it’s the contrasting flavors and textures. I have the same reaction to other sandwiches if the bread is warm and crusty and the greens cold and crisp, with a creamy condiment.”

“For me, I love a banh mi that has the right balance of each ingredient to make it moist and brightly seasoned—Maggi sauce gives good oomph,” says luckyfatima. “I especially love places that do in-house Vietnamese style mayonnaise, and have found that this makes or breaks good banh mi for me. Somehow it is a filling sandwich that feels light on the palate with bright flavors and a lot of crunch from the cilantro and vegetables. Just delightful!”

Discuss: What is it about Bahn Mi’s that make them so addicting?

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