Banh Mi Bay

Restaurants, Vietnamese Holborn
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(29user reviews)
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Banh Mi Bay
Britta Jaschinski

Most of London’s Vietnamese restaurants are clustered around Shoreditch and Hackney, so it’s a bonus to find a more centrally located venue in which to load up on pho (rice noodle soup), summer rolls, banh xeo (pancake) and other Viet classics. At lunchtime, many local workers pop in for takeaway banh mi: a crisp baguette stuffed with pickled carrot and daikon, cucumber, coriander and chilli, plus a filling of your choice – perhaps chargrilled beef or prawn, or spicy pork.

Pho comes in beef and chicken variants, plus a vegetarian option that’s packed with tofu, mushrooms, carrots and daikon; the broth doesn’t have the depth of flavour it could, but is a decent enough rendition. For a zingy starter, go for the goi: crisp, shredded vegetables in a chilli-citrus dressing topped with crushed peanuts, with prawns and pork as optional extras.

The decor is more country kitchen than oriental café, with soothing pale green walls, scrubbed pine tables, white-painted chairs and mini chandeliers, and the huge windows mean it’s light and bright on even the gloomiest winter’s day.



Venue name: Banh Mi Bay
Address: 4-6 Theobald's Road
Opening hours: Lunch served 11.30am-4.30pm, dinner served 5.30-9.45pm Mon-Fri. Meals served noon-9.45pm Sat
Transport: Tube: Chancery Lane tube; Bus: 19, 38, 243
Price: Main courses £6-£7.50
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Average User Rating

3.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:13
  • 4 star:5
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:7
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Evonne M

I never write reviews, but this was so bad I had to share. Ordered a pho and a bun noodle salad and both were so bad as to be inedible - the pho was sweet and otherwise tasteless, and the bun had prawns which were so salty my son refused to eat them. Very disappointed as I've been to the St Pauls branch many times and enjoyed every time

Jenni H

Having recently come back to London from a trip to Vietnam, I immediately took comfort at Banh mi Bay. On the main Theobalds Road, the restaurant isn't huge, but you can often pop in and hope for a free table. I'd always recommend the Pho which is delicious and freshly prepared. The food is all really good value and not at all expensive which is a bonus. I'll be coming back to Banh mi Bay a lot more to satisfy my Vietnam nostalgia - you can always order and takeaway here for a quick lunch or takeaway dinner which is a real plus.

Michael S

The staff are fantastic here, and the food quality is off the scale. The stl aff are relaxed, professional and really welcome their customers very well and the weekly specials area great. The barbecued pork and garlic starter is amazing!

Claire C

I love Banh Mi Bay, the food is delicious and there's lots of choice. The staff in all the branches are friendly and efficient. There's a really nice atmosphere too! Highly recommend you visit.

aaron w

I love this place,the service is absolutely terrific and the food is unbelievably fresh!I would recommend to anyone..

Chu K

I've traveled here back in June and I was looking for an authentic Vietnamese restaurant to go to and came across this beautifully decorated small eatery in Holborn and loved it..the staff was attentive and the food is as good as it is back in saigon. I will most definitely come back again on my travels back to London.

Izzy K

It’s rare that I betray Kingsland Road with any Vietnamese cafes beyond East End, but I’m glad I did. Bahn Mi Bay is like many Vietnamese posts, more of a café than restaurant. It’s very cosy and has a homey atmosphere. Seems like a family business.

Their springs rolls were fresh, crispy and delicious. The vermicelli salad was generous and rich in ingredients, I wish there was more peanuts and herbs. Overall, we had a nice dinner. Also on offer are phos, grilled meats and curries. You can match them with European and Asian drinks.

The waiters, however, have a lot to learn. Each time they were coming with the dish they seemed to be lost and had no clue where they were supposed to serve. Maybe it was their first day, but still, learning the table number in such a small place shouldn’t be a problem.

Misha M.

I love this place and it's my favorite local place to get pho or banh mi sandwiches! I even got their food delivered via TakeEatEasy app when I had the flu at home. The broth is super tasty and prices are very reasonable. You can also finish off with their three colored dessert too!

Babs - Working Girl London

This is my favourite lunch spot and so reasonably priced! It's great either to take away or to sit in for a long lunch - get there early though as queues form pretty much as soon as 12noon hits! The Special Banh Mi Baguette is full of flavour and only £5 so that's my top recommendation.

Staff WriterStaff Comp

Great pho and banh mi, a nice spot to stop off for lunch or to pick up food on the go.

Louise H

A great option for Vietnamese in the City. Quick, efficient service and tasty food at cheap prices. A steaming bowl of their beef pho on a cold winters evening can’t be beaten.


Utterly grim.... few stringy bits of cold pork with no real flavour, plus they use French sticks instead of the traditional Vietnamese baguettes. I went to the Fiztrovia branch, so not sure if this is the same in all of them, but I will not be going back. Have been wanting to try this place for ages, so a huge disappointment… Had to throw half of the sandwich away and I DO NOT throw away food!! Take your £ to Keu in Soho instead for absolutely delectable Banh Mi....

Albert B

Well, rice with chicken is hard to chew, don't understand the fuss about this place. Few pieces of chicken and only taste turmeric, what on earth !!!! you better off go to Tossed cross the road for a healthy meal and generous yummy portion, or ride the bus 55,243 to Kingsland (Shoreditch) for a truly Vietnamese meal. Not forget to mention the man behind the counter is rather rude and arrogant when you wanted to change the order while still placing the order with him...


Really disappointed with the baguette tried out today with a colleague, grilled chicken is so dry and tasteless...would not come back. Overpriced for a small baguette. 


Hmmm.... Not sure about the "packed with tofu". I spent about £15 on standard vegetarian spring rolls, a boring plate of rice with a few bits of carrot and a lone mushroom and two pieces of tofu braving it out there, and a drink. I had to go home and make myself a cheese sandwich to get through the evening, so I didn't think it was cheap, nor very enjoyable. Perhaps because I am a vegetarian? But aren't we beyond the era where vegetarians are expected to live on air, white rice and pieces of carrot?


The address is actually 127 Theobald's! not 4-6. Use the postal code if you are looking up directions. I split a beek brisket pho and a pork banh mi with my friend, and we both really enjoyed both. The pho really hit the spot, especially if you are feeling a little under the weather.

Jack Will

Not the best one but Banh Mi Bay is so hard to beat. Really nice restaurant, especially the delicious pancake.

Food is not great..... really excited to try one of their baguettes, but was really let down as the taste felt rubbery and did not taste authentic!! being half vietnamese myself, i would not say this was a great vietnamese baguette!! Also the soup noodle banh canh.... i have tasted many in my life...and this was certianly something not quite right here, tasted a little off and was not edible!! only good point i could say was the ice coffee, but thats about it, would not go back all reccomend!!!


Dined here twice in late September. Fresh tasty fare, good value and perfectly delightful service. A rare find in London.


Banh MI Bay is not very nice. Big fan of vietnamese Banh Mi so decided to try this place out. The line was hugh outside the shop, so I thought it must be nice. Waited about 10 minute to be served. Once i received my Banh Mi i was excited to try it however i found it to be quite tasteless and not very nice will definately be sticking to the Banh MI shop in Deptford from now on.

David McCleary

Banh Mi Bay's pho is extraordinarily good - Bankstown (Sydney) standard. This goes without saying their banh mi is also the best in London!


Alright food but definitely not the real thing and owner seems to be quite moody. Not going back