Ah, the humble Banh Mi, what a delicious, exotic and highly eatable little bundle of joy you truly are. Fusing the creative baking skills of the French with the fragrant and spice-driven gastronomy of Vietnam, you have been satisfying the tastebuds of the world for over 60 years.
The secret has to be the soft yet crunchy baguette piled high with crispy pork, a dash of mayonnaise, crunchy julienne carrots, fresh coriander and finely chopped chilli. It’s a strong case for IYKYK, but if you haven’t had one of these delights, we strongly suggest you fix that, stat.
To find only the best Banh Mi worthy of its lofty heritage, you have to know where to find them on the Gold Coast.
Make your way to Southport’s China Town, and amongst the flavours of China you’ll find a well-executed Vietnamese cafe offering some incredible dishes. The Banh Mi Breakfast Board is packed to the rafters, and when you pair this with one of their Hanoi Egg Coffee’s, you’ll be experiencing Vietnam without the need of your passport.
Where: 9 Davenport St, Southport
Perfectly positioned on the ever-busy James Street, this welcoming little space packs a punch when it comes to flavour and choice. Choose between traditional pork, beef, chicken and even tofu. And if it’s that time of day for a caffeine hit, be sure to try their on-tap nitro coffee with a generous dash of coconut cream.
Where: 26 James St, Burleigh Heads
PORKEEz Vietnamese Cuisine
Quick, easy, and fresh as they come, PORKEEz in Broadbeach is a must visit for traditional street style Vietnamese food. Their version of Banh Mi includes crunchy segments of pork crackling and takes it to an entirely new level. There’s also tasty side dishes like Rice Paper Rolls and Spring Rolls — just in case you’re still hungry.
Where: 6/88 Surf Parade, Broadbeach
Business up front and party round the back might just be the best way to describe this Burleigh Heads hotspot. During the day, the front shop space is a fresh-as-they-come Banh Mi slinging eatery and also doubles as the entry space for the speakeasy bar at the rear. Our advice: fuel up on one of these before trying Breeana Erica’s divine cocktail list.
Where: 47 James St, Burleigh Heads
A Mermaid Beach institution, if you’ve checked this little modest business out before, you’ll know how good it is; and if you haven’t, what are you doing?! Your options are chicken as well as pork, and you have a few Asian style sweet treats to choose from to finish things off! How good?
Where: 2477 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
Technically not the Gold Coast, but now the border is open; we know you’re all keen to make trips down this way. What these guys do with a Banh Mi is pure genius! You gotta try their Kaarage Chicken Banh Mi with teriyaki and kewpie mayo or their Hot Pork Banh Mi. Trust us, neither will disappoint and will single handedly make you fill in a border pass just for one of these bad boys.
Where: 162 Chinderah Bay Dr, Chinderah
Already renowned for their astonishing menu, this hatted restaurant is one of the best places for a weekend long lunch or a decadent weeknight escape: make no mistake. Their version of Banh Mi has been taken up a notch — or two — by replacing pork with tempura soft shell crab with all of the traditional extras. The taste? Well, let’s just say you will be back for more.
Where: 1724 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads
Words by Alex Mitcheson.