The bánh mì sandwich is one of Vietnam’s greatest culinary exports, and no place does it better than its home town of Ho Chi Minh City. There are thousands of options in this city, from humble food carts to high-end restaurants, but here are the ten best spots to enjoy an amazing bánh mì.
Bánh Mì Huỳnh Hoa
Bakery, Restaurant, Vietnamese
You should expect a line when you arrive at this place, as it’s one of the most famous bánh mì spots in a city with thousands of them – and when you see their sandwiches, you’ll understand why. You’ll never see a bánh mì so full of amazing ingredients. The meat slices are thick, the bread is large and flaky, and the veggies are flavored to perfection. If you only have time to try one bánh mì restaurant, this is it.
Look for the yellow food cart out on the sidewalk, packed with heaps of fresh ingredients for the crowds of repeat customers to fawn over as they wait for their favorite dish. They serve the typical bánh mì—a take-away style baguette sandwich, with your choice of fillings—but for a different, more traditional take, try their sizzling hot plate. It’s how the bánh mì first started in Vietnam.
This food cart may by unassuming, but don’t let that distract you from the the delicious bánh mì sandwiches made here. This is how millions of people get their bánh mì every day – from a simple food cart. And once you finish your tasty meal, head over to Turtle Lake to see one of the most famous landmarks in the city. There isn’t a set address for this place, but have a look around the corner of Võ Văn Tần and Pasteur and you’ll find it.
One of the best things about ordering a bánh mì at a place like this is that you don’t even need to step off your motorbike to get an amazing meal. Bánh Mì Hồng Hoa serves up tasty bánh mì sandwiches for an excellent price—no pomp or ceremony—which is exactly why so many people love this place.
If you’re a meat eater, you have to try the grilled pork bánh mì at this spot. They grill the little meat patties next to the food cart, and the smell is enough to have you salivating as you watch them shovel ingredients into your baguette. This place is only open for dinner, though, so don’t show up expecting breakfast.
Tiny plastic chairs and a delicious bánh mì go together oh so well. Bánh Mì Hòa Mã is the kind of place where you can sit and enjoy the care that went into selecting and preparing your meal. Be sure to try their hot plate variety, where the fresh baguettes are almost a side dish to the amazing fillings.
Located just a short walk from the Phạm Ngũ Lão backpackers area, this restaurant would be an excellent way for newcomers to the city to try one of its best culinary exports while also exploring this vibrant area. Add one of their fruit juices to your meal and you’ll have all the energy you need to enjoy a walking tour of District 1.
Should you find yourself in little Thao Dien Ward in District 2, look for this little hole-in-the-wall for a bánh mì any way you like it. They have all the standard fillings, including vegetarian, pork, egg and more. And if you don’t know any Vietnamese, their menu is also in English.
For those of you who’d like to have a seat in a nice restaurant while you eat, My Bánh Mì is for you. And since they’re mere steps from the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Post Office, this place would make a great stop as you tour the sights of Ho Chi Minh City.
You’ll have to wake up early if you want to try this place, because they finish serving just after 9 a.m. – but you’ll be glad you did. There’s often a crowd here, waiting for some of the thickest cuts of meat you’ll ever see on a bánh mì sandwich. You might be surprised by how low-key this place is, but don’t let that put you off. They make a fantastic bánh mì.