FOOD: Saigon Shack – Vietnamese in the Village

Crab cake banh mi from Saigon Shack

I will be the first to admit that I’m not the most adventurous when it comes to trying new things.  But once I find something I love, whether it’s food, a drink, or a new item of clothing, I will eat, drink, or wear it pretty much non-stop.  The crab cake banh mi at Saigon Shack in the West Village is now a classic for me, but it started as something that once I tried it, I had to have at least once a week.

Since sandwiches are one of my favorite foods, it seemed natural that I would get banh mi on my first trip to Saigon Shack.  And I am so glad I did.  The sauce is unreal, the crab cake is full of flavor, and the cilantro makes me want to eat it all day long.  I guess this is assumed, but you should probably not be one of those people who hate cilantro because it really does make the sandwich.  I have tried the catfish banh mi on another trip and while it’s good, I still stick by the crab cake as the best.

The staff at Saigon Shack is incredibly efficient and attentive.  It’s a small place, being on Macdougal—it’s understandable—but they make the most of their space and as long as you’re not more than four people you won’t really have to wait that long.  And they will even take your order while you’re waiting so that once you sit down your food comes out in a few minutes—perfect if you’re on your lunch break (which I am often on when I go there)!

Next time you find yourself in the West Village, do yourself a favor and hit up Saigon Shack.  While I’ve only ever had the banh mi, I’ve gone with several other people who have been a little more adventurous and they only had great things to say.  The only downside: they don’t serve alcohol.  And maybe that’s why they get people in and out so quickly!

Saigon Shack
114 Macdougal St
New York, NY 10012