Earlier this year, my office moved from the East Village to Midtown. We were across from the Physical Graffiti building before, and are now across from a parking garage in case you’re wondering just how big this cool to uncool change has been. We’ve adjusted for the most part, but our taste buds still have not forgotten the tastier, cheaper food fare of Lower Manhattan no matter how many Subways open near our block. And they always remind us of the same place first each time – Nicky’s Vietnamese Sandwiches.
I get that these Banh Mi sandwiches and their cute little shredded carrots are popping up everywhere, but this place leaves a mark. Food Network heavy hitters Aaron Sanchez and Anne Burrell even picked it for the “The Best Thing I Ever Ate… Between Bread!” special. I’ve tried every sandwich except for the vegetarian Portobello Mushroom offering and despite thoroughly enjoying each one, would pick the Chicken and order it spicy if it was the last Nicky’s Sandwich I was ever going to eat. No matter what you go with, the bread is always toasted to crunchy perfection and the homemade aioli compliments the pickled carrots, cucumbers and cilantro topping in a fantastic way. Of course, it all tastes even more delicious since each one is only $5-$5.50 and will leave you full for hours after.
The only warnings I have are that it’s cash only and the space is a little tight, so I’d probably plan on getting it to go. I would also recommend calling ahead to order your sandwich if you’re in a hurry… apparently there are a lot of people who live in NYC and like delicious food so there can be a bit of a wait sometimes. And for my sake, I would also appreciate any encouragement to open a spot in Midtown you can give the owners while you’re there.
Nicky’s Vietnamese Sandwiches
150 E. 2nd Street at Ave A [East Village]
311 Atlantic Ave btn Smith and Hoyt [Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn]