Go Eat This Now: Crispy Duck Banh Mi at Cafe Bunn Mi

It tastes like the best Shake ’n Bake cutlet you’ve ever had.

(Ryan Basso)

The bánh mì has charged into the sandwich hall of greats. Its popularity and downright deliciousness have bánh mì made it into a Vietnamese-French classic that transcends borders. With no shortage of great Vietnamese food in San Francisco, a plethora of tasty bánh mì choices abound from the Sunset to the Tenderloin.

Everyone seems to have the one they like best, from the behemoths at Saigon Sandwich to the trendier options at places like Dragon Eats or Dinosaurs. Because of all the choices, San Franciscans tend to find our favorites at different places for different reasons. Some sandwich shops have the best pâté while others are known for the freshest baguettes, but whatever it is, everyone is looking for something special. The sandwich that currently holds that special place in my heart hails from the Richmond, and even if you live nowhere near there, it’s well worth the trip.

(Ryan Basso)

Café Bunn Mì is a little Vietnamese sandwich-and-soup joint on Clement Street whose crispy duck sandwich that is one for the books. The duck breast is breaded and fried, then smothered with fresh cabbage, carrots, jalapeños, and cilantro. The baguette bursts with duck meat and veggies, and a spread of creamy mayo brings all the ingredients together.

Although the overall sandwich relatively simple, the true star of this show is the duck. It’s fatty, it’s crispy, and it essentially tastes like the best Shake ’n Bake cutlet you’ve ever had in your life. I love tradition as much as anyone, but once in a while it’s nice to take a walk on the wild side. Duck can be expensive, so it doesn’t hurt that this sandwich is only $7.50. If game bird isn’t your thing, Café Bunn Mì also offers a crispy chicken, a smoky vegetable option, classics like combination pork and fried tofu. Until then, bring on the duck. Believe me, it’s all it’s quacked up to be.

Cafe Bunn Mi, 417 Clement St., 415-668-8908, no website.

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