17/08/2018 14:47 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Banh mi becoming most beloved Vietnamese street food

With its typical flavor, Banh mi in the Old Quarter of Hanoi has established a reputation among both locals and foreign tourists.

There are banh mi shops and stalls in almost every street in Hanoi. The dish features crispy bread and light, fresh and tasty fillings, including pork, pate, chicken, eggs, spicy chilli sauce and herbs.


Some shops say they sell up to 1,000 units per day. Photo: VNA

However, banh mi shops in the Old Quarter of Hanoi have their own secret. Some shops have served for decades. They can sell up to 1,000 sandwiches per day.

Harry Earnshaw, a tourist from the UK, said he loves the fresh ingredients and the crunchy bread of Vietnamese banh mi. He has tasted Vietnamese banh mi in Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An ancient town in the central province of Quang Nam and the capital city of Hanoi.


Harry Earnshaw and Saoirse Murdoch eat Banh mi at a shop on Cha Ca street. Photo: VNA

“During my stay in Hanoi, I have had Banh mi for about five times in total. But banh mi in the Old Quarter of Hanoi is the best,” Earnshaw said.

The uniqueness of Vietnamese Banh mi not only lies within the crunchy French baguette, but also the flavourful and diverse fillings.

Cao Tien Manh is a Hanoi student in Canada. He works part time at a Vietnamese sandwich shop in Canada. On his summer vacation, he came home and enjoyed banh mi at his favourite shop on Cha Ca Street in Hanoi.

Manh said Vietnamese banh mi is very popular in Canada. Although it shares a similarity with foreign sandwiches, most Canadian customers like to call it by the Vietnamese name – banh mi, because of its unique taste.


Manh eats Banh mi at his favourite shop in Hanoi. Photo: VNA

“I want to eat Hanoi banh mi whenever I go home on my vacation. I can tell the difference in flavour right away. I think it is because of the pork liver pate,” Manh said.

Banh mi was listed in top 10 of the “World’s best street food” by Lonely Planet, while the British newspaper The Guardian said the world’s best sandwich isn’t found in Rome, Copenhagen or even New York City, but on the streets of Vietnam.

Most tourists to Vietnam want to try a banh mi, while food lovers put the dish at the top of the street food list.

Saoirse Murdoch, a Scottish visitor, said she was curious about Vietnamese banh mi as the dish is not only recommended by her friends, but also praised by international food bloggers and tourism websites.

“We have a lot of sandwich shops but they are nothing like Vietnamese banh mi,” Murdoch said, adding she loves the fresh native ingredients and crunchy bread of Vietnamese banh mi.

Vietnamese banh mi can be served for any meals during the day. You can take one away wrapped in a paper bag or sit down on a small stool and dig in.

Keiko Sakai, a Japanese national who has lived in Hanoi for more than two years said Vietnamese banh mi is very convenient for foreigners to eat because it is cheap and easy to find.


Keiko Sakai (in black) invites her visiting Japanese friend to her favourite shop. Photo: VNA

“I have eaten banh mi lots, most of the time for breakfast, sometimes for lunch, or even diner,” she said, adding she ate banh mi in different places, so she can tell where to come back.

Vietnamese Banh mi has regional style, stretching from the north to the south.

Besides traditional fillings, Banh mi can be made with various fillings and feature regional tastes, depending on local ingredients and customers’ order.

The dish used to be a food staple of the working poor long before becoming a Vietnamese iconic street food and gaining international fame.
VNA/VNP