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Vietnamese Eatery ‘Mango and Mint’ Opens on Webster

Mango and Mint restaurant made its debut in March at 1606 Webster Street, where Left Field Dogs used to be. Their website promises “Fast casual, authentic Vietnamese food,” and so far that promise is true.

Alameda Post - the outside of Mango and Mint is bright yellow with red metal chairs and tables. The inside has colorful art and a soda fridge
The exterior and interior of Mango and Mint. Photos Kelsey Goeres.

Loan Nguyen, who immigrated from Viet Nam 15 years ago with her family and now lives in Oakland, owns the new eatery. This isn’t her first experience as a restaurateur. “I have owned a cafe in Oakland called Alice Street for 10 years and now we want to introduce Vietnamese food, especially bánh mì, Vietnamese sandwiches, to the Alameda community,” she told the Alameda Post.

Nguyen’s goal is to create easily accessible yet delicious and nostalgic Vietnamese food for people who are familiar with the flavors, and introduce newcomers to the eatery’s menu of Vietnamese dishes, which includes bánh mì, bún (vermicelli noodle bowls), gỏi cuốn (fresh spring rolls), cóm (rice bowls), chả giò (egg rolls), salads, smoothies, tea, and coffee.



In their first month of business, Mango and Mint seems to be pretty popular with the Alameda crowd. Around lunch and dinner time, particularly on weekends, there’s often a line of people inside the small eatery next to Cookiebar Scoop Shop, as well as a pair or two eating at the fire-engine red metal tables out front.

“Webster Street is a good home for Mango and Mint because it’s surrounded by businesses and residents, and it’s near Alameda College, too,” said Nguyen.

Alameda Post - a photo of a Mango and Mint chef preparing a pork roll, and a photo of the cross section of the sandwich in front of the restaurant
The fresh food is as colorful as the building. Photos Mango and Mint / Instagram.

Inside the Vietnamese eatery, customers will find a clean, white aesthetic with bamboo lining the lower half of the walls and art adorning the upper half. Order at a Chipotle-style counter with all of the ingredients laid out behind a glass for efficient assembly. The signature mango-colored menu hangs from the ceiling for easy ordering. Inside are a couple of tables for in-house dining.

While Nguyen says the lemongrass pork bánh mì is the most popular item on the menu, her favorite item is the combo bánh mì, which comes with cold cuts of pork roll, ham, head cheese, and pâté.

“I got the lemongrass pork and the combination bánh mìs,” Alameda resident Victoria Liu Heefner told the Post. “The lemongrass pork was delicious. The meat was juicy and tender, the pâté creamy, and the combination was good, like an Italian sub with Asian flair. We’ll definitely try the smoothies and the Vietnamese coffee next time. I love the location on Webster, right next to an ice cream shop that offers yummy Asian flavors.”

Alameda Post - a customer in a bike helmet who is wearing a backpack stands at the counter of Mango and Mint
A customer orders lunch. Photo Kelsey Goeres.

Local resident Brian Lau told the Post, “The bus stop is close outside so there’s lots of foot traffic. Their combination bánh mì was really good. The baguette bread they used was fresh and not so hard where it scratches the roof of your mouth. All stuffed full of fresh ingredients in a larger-than-normal sized bánh mì. Even though I’m used to paying around $5 for one, I can’t complain about the (higher) price since this is in Alameda and the portion is large.”

Lau also noted, “It will be interesting to compare them to CamHuong Alameda once they open their shop. Nice not to leave the island for a good Vietnamese sandwich.”

Though the bánh mì is the star of the show, the fresh spring rolls are also quite good. On my first trip to Mango and Mint, I ordered the tofu spring rolls and they were huge, fresh, and filling. Also available with shrimp, chicken, or avocado in place of tofu, they include lettuce, vermicelli noodles, mint, cilantro, and pickled carrots wrapped in rice paper. They’re served with a house-made peanut sauce that compliments the fresh vegetables nicely, as well as some soy sauce, which adds a more robust flavor to the dish. In addition to their large, fresh salads, I’ve also tried their smoothies, which are delicious. The ginger peach smoothie is subtle yet interesting. And you can’t go wrong with one of their fruit smoothies, which I have found to be sweet and refreshing—strawberry mango is my personal favorite.

Mango and Mint is open Tuesday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Kelsey Goeres is a contributing writer for the Alameda Post. Contact her via [email protected]. Her writing is collected at AlamedaPost.com/Kelsey-Goeres.

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