111 Bakery (San Jose, CA)

8:00:00 AM

LOCAL FAVORITES: Cream Puffs & Banh Mi

Continuing with the trend of exploring the local restaurants and shops around my neighborhood (See: Pho Pasteur & Chatime post), we head over to McKee road and to this little Chinese/Vietnamese bakery by the name of 111 Bakery.

Honestly, I didn’t even know the name of this place until I snapped the photo of the sign a few months ago. And even then, I had to yelp to make sure that I got the place right. For me, I have never called that place by its name. It was always the place to get my favorite: shredded chicken banh mi, or Vietnamese sandwich.

And if you know me long enough, you’d probably heard me talking about this place before. Or at least heard me mention the shredded chicken sandwich, which is by-the-way,  AMAZING~

This bakery has been around for as long as I can remember. Even when the K-Mart became Kohl’s and the craft store changed into a grocery market, that place stood the test of time. My family has been going here for sandwiches, baked goods and the occasional cream puffs for many many years.

Needless to say, I have a lot of memories from this place.

The store itself is nothing impressive. It’s a small bakery, with no seating inside or outside. The baked goods on display take up more than half the room inside and to my knowledge, they only accept cash. There’s an ATM in the corner if you need to withdraw cash, but I’ve never seen anybody use it before.

They sell an assortment of Chinese and Vietnamese baked goods like Hot Dog Bun (essentially a large pigs in blankets), turnovers, paté chaud, cream puffs (regular custard filling and they also do durian), egg tarts, shredded pork buns, coconut buns and etc. Depending on the holiday, they have seasonal varieties like mooncakes.

Cake Rolls. Individual Cake Slices.
Their cream puffs are also a hit with my family. One of my relatives almost always bring a box over to a family party. Most of the time, you smell the cream puffs before you see the pink box.

The gem though is the little sandwich stand they have at the end of the bakery.

That’s where the magic happen.

It’s a simple arrangement. They have a piece of paper taped onto the glass display showing what kind of meats they offer. You indicate which one you want and they’ll prepare it for you, on the spot. If you plan to order a lot of sandwiches, or perhaps you’re planning to eat the sandwich later, you can ask them to separate the veggies and they’ll put it in a ziploc bag for you.

My favorite, the shredded chicken banh mi is composed of a fat baguette sliced in half (I prefer the wider baguette over the ones from Lee Sandwiches). They smear this magical spread (that, to this day I can’t figure out. I want to say it’s some sort of whipped butter or emulsion. If you know what it is, please leave me a comment because I would love to know!) onto the baguette. Afterwards they put a generous heaping of shredded chicken, followed by pickled daikon, carrots, cilantro (if you like it, I always ask them to leave it out), cucumber, jalapeno (I leave this out too), black pepper and soy sauce.

Opened at 6 AM and closed at 8 PM, their hours are long enough to fit almost everybody’s schedule. So next time when you’re in the area and you crave a snack, I say 111 Bakery is worth a try. Hell, it’s worth the drive if you love Vietnamese sandwiches.

Where’s your favorite Vietnamese Sandwich place? What type of banh mi do you like to get? And Happy Mardi Gras!

111 Bakery
2347 McKee Road
San Jose, CA 95116

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  1. Are their baguettes more of the softer version? The Lee's Sandwich breads scrapped the roof of my mouth once and I never quite looked at baguettes in the same way ever again...hahaha.

    1. Yup! It's softer with a more oblong/football shape in comparison to Lee's Sandwiches ruler baguettes. I like the football shape more because you can also put more filling in without worrying about it spilling out.

      Totally. The Lee's Sandwiches are dangerous to eat.. with pointy ridges wreaking havoc on the roof of your mouth. D:

  2. Well I am finding some good local San Francisco restaurants and here I landed on your blog. I really love baked food. I would like to try Vietnamese sandwich from this bakery. I am sure that will be delicious.