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  • Writer's pictureTravel Vietnam Local Guide

Exploring the Delicious World of Vietnamese Banh Mi

Banh Mi - the Vietnamese sandwich is a culinary masterpiece that perfectly blends French and Vietnamese influences. Let’s discover the world of Banh Mi and discover the regional variations across Vietnam.

Vietnamese Banh Mi - one of special dish in the world

Banh Mi is more than just a sandwich; it’s a symphony of flavors and textures. It starts with a crispy, airy baguette, usually slathered with pâté and mayonnaise, then packed with a variety of fillings like grilled meats, cold cuts, pickled vegetables, fresh herbs, and a splash of savory sauce. Each bite is a perfect balance of crunchy, creamy, savory, and fresh.

Banh Mi is a popular fast food in Vietnam, commonly enjoyed for breakfast or any meal of the day. Its affordable price and widespread availability have made this Vietnamese sandwich a favorite among many people.

Banh Mi in different regions of Vietnam

In each region, Banh Mi will have different characteristics and flavors, formed from the eating habits of the people in that region.

Banh Mi in Northern Vietnam: Simple and Savory

In the north, particularly in Ha Noi, Banh Mi tends to be simpler but incredibly flavorful. The focus is on the quality of the ingredients and the perfect balance of flavors. The obvious characteristic of Banh Mi in Ha Noi is that it is not too thick, and the crust is crispy and spongy.

Banh Mi Ha Noi
Banh Mi Ha Noi (Source: Internet)
  • Main ingredients: Pâté, Vietnamese ham, fresh cilantro, and cucumber slices. It’s usually less loaded with pickled vegetables compared to other regions.

  • Try it:

    • Banh Mi 25: 25 Hang Ca Street, Ha Noi - Known for its delicious, freshly made sandwiches.

    • Banh Mi Pho: 2 Hang Bong Street, Ha Noi - Offers a range of fillings and is a favorite among locals.

    • Banh Mi Dan To, Tran Nhat Duat and Cao Thang Street, Ha Noi

    • Banh mi Pho Co, Banh mi Ba Dan, or Banh mi Nguyen Sinh in Ha Noi

  • Cost: Around 20,000 - 30,000 VND ($1 - $1.5 USD)

Hai Phong is famous for its breadsticks (Banh Mi Que), usually the size of 2-3 fingers combined, with a crispy crust and not a thick core. Breadsticks are filled with pate and spicy chili sauce or buttermilk filling. The cake is often grilled over charcoal before being sprinkled with fat to make the crust more crispy and spongy.

  • Cost: Around 2,000 - 5,000 VND

Banh Mi Que Hai Phong
Banh Mi Que Hai Phong (Source: Internet)

Banh Mi in Central Vietnam: Spicy and Flavorful

Central Vietnam, especially Hoi An, is famous for its Banh Mi with a kick of spice and unique regional flavors.

Banh Mi Hoi An
Banh Mi Hoi An (Source: Internet)
  • Main ingredients: Pork liver pâté, grilled pork, homemade chili sauce, fresh herbs, and a variety of pickled vegetables.

  • Try it:

    • Banh Mi Phuong: 2B Phan Chau Trinh, Hoi An - Often hailed as one of the best Banh Mi spots in Vietnam.

    • Banh Mi Queen (Madam Khanh): 115 Tran Cao Van Street, Hoi An - Renowned for its rich flavors and generous fillings.

    • Banh Mi Co Lanh, Hoi An

  • Cost: Around 20,000 - 40,000 VND ($1 - $2 USD)

Nha Trang has bread dipped in bowls of quail eggs, fried eggs, shumai, cucumber, vegetables, pork rolls, fish cakes and sweet and sour dishes, chili sauce, and chicken egg sauce. The accompanying bread is a thick type, always placed in the oven to keep it hot and crispy. When eating, diners tear off the bread, dip it in the sauce and then pick up the filling to eat.

Banh Mi Nha Trang
Banh Mi Nha Trang (Source: Internet)

Meatballs bread (Banh Mi Xiu Mai) is a Da Lat specialty, a bread served with a hot bowl of meatballs. Not strong in sour, spicy, salty or sweet like other regions, Da Lat meatballs has a gentle, easy-to-eat flavor, a little greasy and very easy to eat.

  • Cost: Around 20,000 - 30,000 VND

Banh Mi Xiu Mai Da Lat
Banh Mi Xiu Mai Da Lat (Source: Internet)

Banh Mi in Southern Vietnam: Rich and Diverse

In the south, especially in Ho Chi Minh City, Banh Mi is all about variety and richness. The sandwiches are often more loaded with a mix of savory and sweet flavors.

Banh Mi Sai Gon
Banh Mi Sai Gon (Source: Internet)
  • Main ingredients: Roasted pork, grilled chicken, cold cuts, pickled carrots and daikon, fresh cilantro, jalapeño slices, and a drizzle of soy or fish sauce.

  • Try it:

    • Banh Mi Huynh Hoa: 26 Le Thi Rieng Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City - Famous for its generous portions and multiple layers of meat and veggies.

    • Banh Mi Bay Ho: 23 Huynh Khuong Ninh Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City - Known for its deliciously seasoned fillings and fresh bread.

    • Banh Mi Hoa Ma or some shops on Nguyen Trai Street

  • Cost: Around 25,000 - 50,000 VND ($1.25 - $2.5 USD)

Whether you’re wandering the bustling streets of Hanoi, exploring the historic alleys of Hoi An, or soaking in the vibrant energy of Ho Chi Minh City, Banh Mi is a must-try. Each region offers its own unique twist on this beloved sandwich, making every bite a new adventure. So, grab a Banh Mi from a local vendor, take a big bite, and let the flavors transport you through Vietnam’s rich culinary landscape.

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