New Restaurant Review: Banh Mi Bay

Photography by Chris Osburn

Londonist is just back from having a delicious, filling and inexpensive late lunch (or was that an early dinner) at the newly opened (as in today’s the first day) Banh Mi Bay in Holborn. A total surprise to us (especially considering the recent opening of Cafe VN just down the street!), we were pleased to happen upon this new Vietnamese restaurant/cafe while running Sunday errands.

Not expecting a Southeast Asian feast, we were a bit overwhelmed by the menu’s impressive choice of dishes and went for this quaint eatery’s Banh Mi Dac Biet Bay Special baguette filled with home made pate, spiced pork and pork roll along with pickled carrot and mooli, sliced cucumber and coriander. And for a mere £3.50 we found this yummy sandwich to be excellent value for money. The actual baguette itself provided a delightfully crispy and light container for those aforementioned Bay Special fillings. Upon our return trip (which we suspect will be soon), we’ll be a bit more prepared to explore the menu’s other tasty looking options – the vast majority of which are at or under the £5 price mark.

Owned by the folks behind Bay Cafe in Denmark Hill, Banh Mi Bay is located at 4-6 Theobald’s Road (WC1X 8PN) and, incredibly is scheduled to be open until 10pm every night of the week (but best call ahead first). There doesn’t seem to be a website up and running yet but the restaurant can be reached by phone (0207 831 4079) or email (

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  • odarraugh

    I love to eat hotdog sandwich even on the late night. Banh Mi Bay serves delicious food and their sandwich is a must-try!

  • Kieran66

    I must say that I was intrigued by Vietnamese cuisinee on my one and only visit to the country, it was an interesting mix of local and French styles as with many things in Vietnam.

    • Chris Osburn

      Hey Kieran66,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Have you tried any Vietnamese places here in London? Got any faves?


  • http://undefined chibaken

    Just had lunch from here – absolutely delicious Bahn Mi sandwich with spicy pork, nice spike of heat too. Pork and prawn rolls were freshly cooked, so a little wait but worth it as they were light and crispy.

    This place make such a nice change to the choices on Kingsland road, nice decor and friendly staff – definately a keeper…

  • http://undefined ifenn

    After reading this review I paid Banh Mi Bay a visit and found them closed – it seems they take a mid-afternoon siesta and close around 4pm. What’s worse is that the leave the pavement board outside suggesting they’re open, so you pull at the door like nuts until you realize what is going on. Needless to say, it was a wasted trip. So, in future please add opening times to your reviews?

    • Chris Osburn


      Thanks for being interested in our take on this new restaurant! Please note that Londonist is not a listing site (but I did update the post to reflect your experience). We were told by staff at Banh Mi Bay simply that they were open until 10pm, The take out menu we grabbed said nothing of mid-afternoon siesta. As they’re a new business, we suspect there may be a few hiccups for them to work out.

      I hope this didn’t put you off giving Banh Mi Bay a go. I think it’s a really nice eatery and I’m hoping to get back there this week!


      • http://undefined ifenn

        Chris, the email address you provided also doesn’t appear to work – I’ve had two emails to that address bounced back to me. I appreciate you’re not a listing website, but you ought to mention things that I don’t meet the norm – and it’s relatively unusual these days for a cafe/restaurant to close mid-afternoon.

        • http://undefined ifenn

          For clarity, what I’m suggesting is that you talk to owners and check opening hours, etc., if you’re going to mention them – which you did. :-/

        • Chris Osburn


          Again, I just posted the address that was written on their take away menu. As said, Banh Mi Bay is new to the scene. You and I may be just a little too eager to dive in before they’ve tied up all their loose ends. Perhaps they were hoping for a very soft opening and just weren’t ready for reviews etc.

          This review wasn’t written based on a PR or restaurant invite. It’s just my experience popping in and giving the place a try. It’s always our pref at Londonist to write from a true personal experience (and when we do write revs based on PR led or venue invitations, we let you know that’s the case).


  • eddiemzaragoza

    This looks deliciously interesting. :)
    It’s pretty affordable too…

    • indialoka

      Man.. wish I could come over! Looks affordable yet tasty!

  • http://undefined Johnwhite

    Just tried this. Was super excited because I love banh mi. I found banh mi bay good, but not as good as mon me in Sunday up Market near bricklane.

    • Chris Osburn

      Love the Sunday Up Market. Mon Me, hey? I’ll have to give it a try. Thanks!