Banh Mi News

Restaurant dedicated to banh mi and French bread opens in Arlington

Restaurant dedicated to banh mi and French bread opens in Arlington

banh mi
Behold the banh mi, propped on a stand. Lo Banh Mi Bakery

A new restaurant dedicated to the banh mi, the delectable Vietnamese sandwich, has opened in Arlington. Called Lo Banh Mi French Bakery, it's a family-owned restaurant featuring a variety of banh mi sandwiches, as well as the unique French baguettes that are a key banh mi ingredient.

Lo Banh opened in early August at 6516 New York Ave., in a space that was most recently Pho Son Nam Vietnamese Restaurant but was previously an Italian restaurant called Little Italy.

The menu includes appetizers, sandwiches, and coffee, including the much-sought-after authentic Vietnamese coffee.

There are seven kinds of banh mi, the sub-style sandwich that combines flavorful meats with "do chua" — pickled daikon and carrots — brought together with a rich mayonnaise spread.

Their sandwich options include:

  • Đặc biệt. Special sandwich with grilled pork and pork meatball, along with the trademark spread of liver pate, mayonnaise, and pickled veggies
  • Xiu Mai. Vietnamese pork meatballs in a tomato sauce
  • Thit Nuong. Grilled pork with lemongrass
  • Cha lua. Pork sausage with pate 
  • Thit Xa Xiu. Barbecued pork
  • Ham, goi thu, pate. Goi thu is head cheese.
  • Ga. Grilled chicken thighs, shredded

They also have a cool selection of sides that include egg rolls, spring rolls, pork buns, and pâté chaud — like a Vietnamese version of a meat pie, consisting of a flaky, savory puff pastry filled with spicy ground meat.

The restaurant is owned by the Cao family, who previously owned the well-liked ABC Bakery. "We closed it a few years ago, but people still remember our bread," a spokesperson says.

That's because they made the very specific kind of French bread required for a good banh mi: a baguette with a shatter-crisp exterior and an almost feather-light crumb inside, lighter and more fragile than a traditional French baguette.

Their prices are low — banh mi run about $4 to $5 — and they offer specials such as the option to buy three sandwiches and they'll throw in a free order of spring rolls or a sandwich of your choice, and baguettes are $1.75.