Nhu Lan Bakery

Restaurants, Bakeries Lincoln Square
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Nhu Lan Bakery

On Argyle Street, finding a good banh mi sandwich is easy. But until the recent arrival of Nhu Lan Bakery, scoring a pork-packed Vietnamese sandwich elsewhere was a tough task.

When Nhu Lan recently took over a Ravenswood Greek bakery’s space, it inherited its massive ovens as well. Only now, instead of churning out baklava, the ovens produce about 1,000 deliciously crusty loaves of bread a day, providing the canvas for eight different banh mi. A chicken and a vegetarian variety are available, but why bother? Go with tradition and pig out on the meaty grilled-pork version or the “seasoning pork,” which layers glistening pork belly atop a slather of peppery house-made pâté. All come with lightly pickled carrot and jicama slivers, jalapeño slices, cilantro sprigs and a sweet house-made mayo.

To make a meal, grab sides from the pastry case and fridge. (The owner is quick to warm up items and offer cups for wine if you choose to eat at one of two tables.) Don’t miss the dried shrimp sticky rice topped with Chinese sausage and “pork roll”; steamed buns packed with black pepper–seasoned pork, hard-boiled quail eggs and bits of black mushroom; smoky, tartarelike “ham snacks” with raw garlic and chilies; and cheese-filled croissants, evidence that the French occupation of Vietnam had at least one positive outcome.

By: Heather Shouse

Posted:

Venue name: Nhu Lan Bakery
Contact:
Address: 2612 W Lawrence Ave
Chicago
60625
Cross street: between Rockwell St and Talman Ave
Opening hours: Breakfast, lunch, dinner (closed Tue)
Transport: El stop: Brown to Rockwell.Bus: 49, 81.
Price: Average sandwich: $4
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Average User Rating

4 / 5

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Tastemaker

Word on the street is that this place has the best Banh Mi, and I was pretty impressed. The bread was a little too hard for my taste, but the actual sandwich taste pretty good considering I am not a fan of liver. The #1 is what they recommended to me, and it contained (I think) Headcheese, a couple kinds of pork, pork liver pate, topped with mayo, daikon, carrots, cucumber, jalapeños, and cilantro. In fact, as I write this, I believe the picture shown above is what I ordered. 


In addition to the banh mi, they also serve Pho, and a large variety of prepared foods in a cooler that you can grab and go if you like. Mind you, its very authentic, so expect to see raw beef bites, large spring rolls, and various plastic cups filled with varying colored gelatin, pudding, fruits, and beans.