Banh Mi Hoi An - The World Famous Street Food to Taste in Vietnam

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Considered one of the most delicious street foods in the world, ‘banh mi Hoi An’ or ‘banh mi Da Nang’ has become more and more popular among foreign visitors to Vietnam. Let’s see how unique ‘banh mi Hoi An’ is and where to taste the best ‘banh mi Hoi An’ – a masterpiece of the charming ancient town.

In Vietnam, the locals usually have ‘banh mi’ for breakfast or snack in the afternoon. With the great combination and savory taste, ‘banh mi’ is definitely a street food that makes your mouth water. That’s the reason why ‘banh mi Vietnam’ is recommended by many reputable travel bloggers as well as famous people in the world. And your visit to Vietnam will be incomplete without a taste of ‘banh mi Hoi An’, the best version of this Vietnamese sandwich.

Banh mi Vietnam is one of the Obama's favorite foods

The history of 'banh mi Vietnam'

Rooted from the influence of French colonialism in the mid-1800s, Vietnamese people had been familiar with the food of their colonialist masters. At that time, the birth of ‘banh mi Vietnam’ came in the late 20th century in Saigon, after the withdrawal of France. Between the year of 1970 and 1975, the Vietnamese taste of banh mi was customized by the local ingredients and became internationally when the southern people fled as refugees to settle abroad. As a feature of Vietnamese cuisine, ‘banh mi’ became a must-try dish that held much more than the filling inside.

A guide to 'banh mi Hoi An'

At first, let’s find out which ingredients make ‘banh mi Hoi An’ fantastic. The components of filling inside can be diverse, depending on one’s recipe. You can find the fillings of ‘banh mi’ different in every restaurant and street vendor in Hoi An. However, the main ingredients of ‘banh mi Hoi An’ include these following layer of texture.

Fresh ingredients to make 'banh mi' in Vietnam

+ Bread: As a relative of the baguette from colonial times, ‘banh mi Hoi An’ is made from lighter and less chewy bread with a thin crust. The bread will be crispy when being ready to eat, which make the best ‘banh mi’ found nowhere else in Vietnam.

+ Pate: The rich and savory paste made from poultry’s liver is one of the most important subtle flavors to add in ‘banh mi Hoi An’.

+ Mayo: Mayo, which can be altered by margarine or butter, is the most popular ingredient to provide richness in ‘banh mi'.

+ Sauces: The most commonly used sauces is homemade in order to give the best flavor and moisture.

+ Vegetables: Hoi An locals often use strips of cucumber and shredded pickled carrot or papaya with a view to adding some acidity for the richness balance of the fillings.

+ Herbs: Another balanced component in ‘banh mi Hoi An’ is the herbs such as coriander and Vietnamese mint.

+ Proteins: The main nutritive proteins in ‘banh mi Hoi An’ contain a great diversity of meat, including ground pork, ham, head cheese, grilled pork, char siu, sausages and other more.

Where to taste the best 'banh mi Hoi An'

It goes without saying that Hoi An and Da Nang are the best places to taste ‘banh mi Vietnam’. In Vietnam, people try to make food following oriental philosophy: food needs to have 5 tastes “sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and spicy” which are similar to five elements of the universe “earth, wood, water, fire, and metal” or includes five colors “red, green, yellow, white, and black” or has the harmony between “yin” and “yang”. ‘Banh mi Hoi An’ is just fabulous for this. When eating ‘banh mi Hoi An’, you can find 5 tastes mingled together perfectly.

With only 1 USD, you can enjoy a set of ‘banh mi’ in everywhere around Hoi An ancient town. Among the rising number of bread stands in Hoi An, we highly recommend top 3 must-try stands based on the reviews of food critics, travel bloggers and tourists visiting to Hoi An.

Banh Mi Phuong

Address: 2B Phan Chu Trinh Street

Opening hours: 6:30 am – 9:30 pm daily

Price range: 15,000 – 35,000 VND (0.65c to 1.50 USD)

Banh Mi Phuong has attracted plenty of travelers in Hoi An 

Banh Mi Phuong is a little eatery that offers several different types of ‘banh mi’ and has long been known as the go-to place for ‘banh mi’. Google ‘the best banh mi in Vietnam’ and “Banh Mi Phuong in Hoi An” will be the first result. Ms. Phuong, the owner of Banh Mi Phuong in Hoi An, has experienced in making millions loaves of 'banh mi' to serve both local citizens and worldwide travelers over 20 years. All are made by members in her family. She is careful with every step of the process to make the perfect sandwich: choosing the ingredients, slicing the meat, picking the vegetables, frying the eggs… to make the tourist feel happy.

What makes her ‘banh mi’ different is the crispy but ultra-soft baguette, yummy fillings and special accompaniments. The soul of ‘banh mi’ lies in the heart of the sandwich: the fillings and accompaniments. Her most popular sandwich, ‘banh mi day du’ or banh mi “deluxe”, consists of thin slices of roast pork loin, ham and ‘cha lua’, a pork sausage loaf. Banh Mi Phuong’s legendary recipe was praised by none other than Anthony Bourdain, the famous American chef, author and television personality with “No Reservations” travel show, as the best 'banh mi' in Vietnam. He described that it was a symphony in a sandwich.

It can be said that ‘Banh Mi Phuong’ has attracted many tourists to Hoi An and her ‘banh mi’ got the international quality. Cheap price goes along with good quality, there is no doubt that Banh Mi Phuong’s sandwiches have managed to win the hearts of hardened locals as well as travelers from everywhere. If you travel to Hoi An, don't forget to try Banh Mi Phuong!

The South Korea's branch of Banh Mi Phuong featuring the iconic Hoi An architecture

Madam Khanh – The Banh Mi Queen

Address: 115 Tran Cao Van

Opening hours: 7:00 am – 7:00 pm daily

Price range: 20,000 VND (0.85c USD)

Flavorsome 'banh mi Hoi An' at Madam Khanh

The second famous Hoi An powerhouse of ‘banh mi’ is Madam Khanh – The Banh Mi Queen, which has built the tradition of banh mi gems for more than 30 years. Madam Khanh – The Banh Mi Queen is only a short distance north of the old town. Despite being missed by the storefront’s sign, the Banh Mi Queen is outstanding with the uniquely distinguishable fillings and sauces. Unlike a regular ‘banh mi’ in Hoi An, the Queen banh mi offers an impressively saucy, rich, sweet and savory taste.

Without offering various options like other stands in Hoi An, the Queen specializes in vegetarian version and non-vegan one with the fillings of roast pork or chicken, along with Vietnamese sausage, well-seasoned omelette, herb and vegetable mix. What makes the Queen Banh Mi extraordinary is the secret sauce. And it is best to sit down at the restaurant and enjoy the best quality of banh mi from Madam Khanh.

Banh Mi Lanh

Address: 430 Cua Dai

Opening hours: 6:00 am – 9:30 pm daily

Price range: 10,000 – 20,000 VND (0.45 – 0.85c USD)

Small stand of Banh Mi Lanh in Hoi An

Another must-try banh mi stand in Hoi An must be Banh Mi Lanh, a brand new local stand on the way of driving down Cua Dai Road. At first, Banh Mi Lanh seems to be unignorable without a second glance. Even you can’t find any information about Banh Mi Lanh on TripAdvisor or Now/Foody, the famous Vietnamese social media for foodies. However, the stand is really famous among the local community. Despite no unique selling point, Banh Mi Lanh is somehow mesmerizing thanks to the secret recipe of wet pate, not dry like the other stands. If you have a transfer between Hoi An and Cua Dai, don’t miss out the chance to try this unique taste of ‘banh mi’ in Vietnam.

Finally, no one can resist the charm of ‘banh mi’, which is best tasted in Hoi An, Vietnam. If you have enough time, try to savor 'banh mi Hoi An' in all three suggested places. It is really worth visiting the captivating ancient town in Hoi An and enjoy the best street food in the world. 

You may also like: 5 Cities for Foodie in Vietnam

Hong Nhung

(Image source: Internet)

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