Cam Huong in Oakland Chinatown is arguably the East Bay’s equivalent of SF’s Saigon Sandwich — a longtime, trusty hole-in-the-wall for top-notch banh mi at ridiculously affordable prices. But after service today at 7 p.m., Cam Huong is closing for good.
The lease on the Vietnamese cafe, which also serves a variety of noodles, spring rolls, and steam tray items, is nearing its end, but the owner also told Berkeleyside that she wanted to retire after more than 30 years of long, tiring days.
It’s the latest in a long string of Oakland Chinatown closures, including Shanghai Restaurant, Silver Dragon, and Legendary Palace. But while large banquet-style restaurants have famously struggled in the neighborhood, the smaller takeout-oriented spots like Cam Huong have mostly managed to survive.
Not all hope is lost, though. Cam Huong is sort of a mini-chain, and while the Oakland Chinatown location has the best reputation, there is also a Cam Huong Cafe at 702 International Boulevard in Oakland, which will stay open. There is also Cam Huong Bakery, which makes all the crusty baguettes and other baked goods for the Cam Huong restaurants, nearby in Chinatown at 1088 Webster Street. The bakery will also remain open and serve banh mi — at the same price of $3.50 — as well as some of the other offerings Cam Huong became known for, but it can’t prepare the whole Cam Huong menu because the bakery’s kitchen is too small.
- Oakland Chinatown’s Cam Huong Cafe will close today [Berkeleyside]