Whether or not you're still working from home, here's something easy to do: A few minutes before noon, call up a Vietnamese restaurant and order a banh mi sandwich, maybe some spring rolls. Then hop in the car and pick it up, bring it back, and you've got an unparalleled Houston lunch.
If you're craving the perfect bite of savory meat, raw jalapeño, and fresh veggies with scratchy, crispy baguette, or if you just want a big ol' vermicelli dish or bowl of pho, we've got you covered. Here are six of our favorites for Vietnamese fare doing takeout.
Open since last summer, this Westchase eatery offers classics you've come to expect, like banh mi with charbroiled beef, chicken, pork, and fried egg. There's experimental fare, too, such as a banh mi served with stew or curry, to be enjoyed like a French dip. Round out your order with cream cheese egg rolls (hey, cream cheese is in crab rangoon).
Lunch tip: Get one of this Midtown stalwart's vermicelli dishes (a large for $10), because the volume of food you're getting is bound to last at least two meals, if not three. The standard bun thit nuong (chicken and vegetables) is a good start. The cafe's extensive banh mi sandwich menu includes typical hits (pork roll, pate), but specialty items like Porter's Balls (four pork meatballs ground together) pack the most protein and satisfy even the biggest hungers.
Love when the roof of your mouth gets a little sensitive from that sharp baguette? Here's where you go for that sensation. Cali Sandwich's banh mi sandwiches have that durable, crispy sleeve to hold its proteins. This favorite spot among Midtown dwellers also has hefty spring rolls with snappy veggies and a whole lot of vermicelli, as well as Chinese-American lunch specials like General Tso chicken. Cali is rolling along with takeout, and I recommend calling ahead to place an order, as lunch especially seems to be a bustling time.
Bellaire's popular place for pho and banh mi sandwiches is open for dine-in service, but it also offers online ordering through Grubhub, plus standard takeout. Several types of pho are available, including seafood bowls, and the sandwich menu is tight, focusing on tried-and-true items like grilled pork, two eggs, and fluffy, intensely shredded chicken floss.
Both locations of this addictive sandwich concept are open for takeout (including online ordering), and its counter service setup is perfect for those wanting to keep a distance while still picking up delicious Vietnamese grub. Look for the usual hits like chopped ribeye and smoked ham, and you can also grab a bento box with proteins like that ribeye and crispy tofu.
Over on Hillcroft near Mid-West, longtime favorite Vietnam Coast has been offering takeout and delivery for weeks. Bigger on fried rice and noodle dishes, plus larger Chinese-style dinner plates like Mongolian beef and Hunan chicken, this is a spot that makes sense when you and your partner can't decide on a specific cuisine. Call 713-266-0884 to place your order.