Best Vietnamese Restaurant

Bahn Mi So #1, Saigon Gourmet

If you're heading down to South Grand for some authentic Vietnamese food, make sure you're going far south. Bahn Mi So #1 is almost to Meramec Street. A neon sign reads "Best Spring Rolls in St. Louis," and it ain't an exaggeration. Check out the dry-erase board at the back of the dining room for off-menu specials, like the outstanding mung bean cake spring rolls, or try the pho or the tofu bun soup. Curries, noodle bowls and other regional favorites are executed with spot-on precision. Naturally, the place whose name means "No. 1 Sandwich" can back up the claim in spades, and the bahn mi on crusty French bread with pickled daikon, carrot and fresh cilantro is nothing short of stellar. Get the standard pork and paté, or go with the vegan "Joe B," made with a house "veggie beef" that will fool even the most steadfast carnivores. Say you like it hot, and the server will produce a bowl full of volcanic chile peppers that the owners grow themselves.

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