Smile Politely

I had a terrific lunch at 83 Vietnamese

A cropped photo of banh mi from 83 Vietnamese in Champaign. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.
Alyssa Buckley

I’ve been on a banh mi kick lately, and yesterday, I stopped by 83 Vietnamese with my heart set on 83’s banh mi. 83 Vietnamese opened their own restaurant last summer at The Crossing, but it was a vendor at Broadway Food Hall pre-pandemic.

An over head photo of a banh mi sandwich at 83 Vietnamese. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.
Alyssa Buckley

I ordered the banh mi ($13), which had two layers of slow-roasted pork (char sui) with carrot slaw, fresh cilantro, mayo, cucumber, and jalapeño slices on a French baguette served with three Asian shrimp chips. The sandwich was so thick that it was hard to get a bite with everything, but when I did, it was awesome. The roasted pork was flavorful, tender, and had delicious rendered fat. Most buns I can take it or leave it, but this toasty baguette was especially good. All the fresh toppings on the porky sandwich tasted great, particularly the sweet pickled carrots and daikon with the savory char sui.

Alyssa Buckley

I also ordered the veggie egg rolls ($8). Filled with soft veggies, six rolls came with crisp romaine to wrap around the egg rolls plus a spicy-sweet sauce to dip. They came out piping hot and would make a great appetizer to share. I liked the flavor of the rolls, and the lettuce was a great carrier for more of the housemade sweet chili sauce.

The restaurant has a small, curated menu of just 11 dishes including pho. With patio tables and local beer on the menu, 83 Vietnamese is a solid spot for a terrific meal. I need to come back for the wonton nachos, which are a nacho version of a crab rangoon: deep fried wontons covered with diced crab, cream cheese, sweet and sour sauce, and chopped green onions.

Follow 83 Vietnamese on Instagram and Facebook.

83 Vietnamese
2502 Village Green Place
M-Sa 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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