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“Great food, but definitely not if you're in a hurry” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Banh Mi So

Banh Mi So
Ranked #740 of 2,874 Restaurants in Saint Louis
Cuisines: Asian, Vietnamese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Cheap Eats, Child-friendly
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Seating, Takeout, Waitstaff
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
25 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Great food, but definitely not if you're in a hurry”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 June 2011

To start, Bahn Mi So has the best tasting Vietnamese food in St Louis. Coming here is like having a best friend who is Vietnamese, and getting invited to their house where grandmother is cooking the meal. The downside to this, is that the "grandmother" in back cooking is a 70-something couple who don't rush for anyone or anything, and seems to cook everything you order completely from scratch with no advance prep work. Of course, this leads to very tasty food, but you're likely to wait a good amount of time for your food. Sometimes it gets to the point of wondering if they plant the cilantro for your meal when you order it then need to wait for it to grow before they can add it to your food. Or are waiting for a chicken to hatch from an egg before they add it to your bowl of Pho. It's not uncommon for the restaurant to be brought to a near standstill by the presence of a mere 3 or 4 tables of guests. To give you an idea, the restaurant actually suggests that you call in your meal order in advance of coming to eat at their restaurant to reduce your waiting time.

That being said, the owners and waiters are very friendly, and if you can wait out your meal it is outstanding once it arives. The location (very far down south Grand Avenue) is a bit sketchy as well, but not somewhere you'd feel the need to avoid.

Visited May 2011
Helpful?
Thank glenn1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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19 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    13
    3
    0
    2
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
85 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
“Amazing food, family fun, fresh ingredients.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 December 2010

Once you try Bahn Mi So on Grand -- you will not go to any other Vietnamese restaurant in Saint Louis. Mom is in the back making your food while father and son take your order, chat with you and bring you the feast! Well known for their amazing FRESH spring rolls -- I would also highly recommend the Bahn MI sandwiches, spicy beef noodle soup and salmon curry. And don't be afraid to ask for a recommendation! This is a "mom & pop" shop that will blow your mind! Enjoy!

    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank xjgrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Illinois
Level Contributor
105 reviews
84 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Wonderful find!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 December 2010

This is a wonderful little find, lovingly run by a sweet family. The restaurant and the food are so clean, fresh, and delicious. The Banh Mi sandwich is to die for! Great for eat in or take out. This is not fast food so either prepare for a relaxing meal or call ahead to take out.

    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank pacyabags
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Best Vietnamese food in St. Louis”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 June 2010

A hole in the wall, but the best food and best owners.

    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank KGB5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
118 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
“Better than going to Vietnam!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 May 2008

Vietnamese cuisine has not ranked very high on my list in the past, but my experience at Banh Mi So #1 changed that.

The proprietress has spent a lot of time and energy trying to guage the American palate. She has altered her menu to suite American tastes, but kept the exotic flair of Vietnamese cooking, a fine line to walk. For instance she would not recommend Vietnamese fish balls or meat balls for a first timer (right on target in my books).

Spring rolls are bursting with flavor and freshness. She makes her own Nuoc mam from scratch, and can customize it to your taste even further at your table. Just explain your likes and dislikes to the proprietress, and her recommendations are spot on. Also nice to see that Vietnamese locals also dine here, ordering more 'traditional' items from the 'real' menu.

Be warned that there are two menus; the 'right' one -laminated and used in the restaurant, and the 'other' one- the paper copies with lots of misprints.

I live in Los Angeles which has a big resident Vietnamese population, and have found no restaurant that I love as much as this place. I also prefer the style of this restaurant to any of the places at which I ate while travelling around Vietnam.

Overall, Banh Mi So #1 is highly recommended!

Helpful?
Thank Livetowander
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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