If you’re on your way to visit or spend time in Saigon (Ho bỏ ra Minh City), one of the questions you’re probably wandering (especially if you love Vietnamese food, lượt thích I do) is, “where can I get the best bánh mì (banh mi) sandwich?”
…And if you didn’t ask that khổng lồ yourself, you probably should have!
I definitely asked that exact question lớn myself when I was on my way to Saigon for the first time.
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During my stay in Saigon, along with conquering many other delicious dishes, one of my food missions was lớn devour some of the best banh mi sandwiches Saigon has to lớn offer.
Banh mi is one of the greatest examples of fusion food done extremely well – a representation of Vietnam và France, all stuffed into a handheld crusty baguette.
Many have called it one of the finest sandwiches in the world, and I can’t disagree, it’s an absolute gem of a sandwich, fully worth traveling to Vietnam (or Saigon) just to eat.
Note: In this post I’ll cover 3 banh mày sandwich stalls / restaurants in central downtown Saigon. The reason I could never say these are “the 3 best,” is because I think there are probably hundreds of the best banh mày in Saigon. You literally can’t go more than a few steps in the city without bumping into the next banh mày stall, and many are incredibly delicious. So these are just 3 of the hundreds of choices you have when you’re in Saigon.
I know you already know what banh mày is (and if you didn’t, the first photo may have given it away), but just so we’re all on the same page here, let’s quickly go over the basics of banh mi.
First of all, & I didn’t know this before going to Vietnam myself, is that bánh mỳ (banh mi), in Vietnamese actually just means bread.
However, the word, especially in the Western world, has morphed into referring lớn a full Vietnamese sandwich – not just the bread itself, but the entire sandwich.
But for the purposes of this article about the best bánh mì (banh mi) in the city, I’ll stick to phrase as referring to the Vietnamese sub sandwich, not just bread in general.
Bánh mì (banh mi) sandwiches are normally served in the signature personal sized 3 phần tư foot long baguettes.
The bread is sliced down the side, filled with a number of different meats, from luncheon meats lớn grilled pork patties, to pâté, và often complemented with Vietnamese pickles, cucumbers, cilantro, and finally a bit of chili sauce and spicy peppers to đứng top it off.
Jimmy, from Jimmy Eat World, breaks it down nice và simple – the bread, the protein, the pickled & vegetables, the seasonings and garnishes.
There are many different types of meat và ingredients that can make up a banh mi, và if you’re interested, here’s a pretty extensive các mục of different banh ngươi fillings you can try và order.
But really, when you’re walking around the streets of Vietnam, and you see that glass cabinet full of baguettes & other ingredients, all you’ve got to vị is stop, smile, and order.
Here are a few of the most famous and most well know banh mi stalls in Saigon.
The first two restaurants on this list were recommended to lớn me when I asked on a YouTube đoạn phim about where to lớn eat the best food in the city, and the third one, I just stumbled into when I was walking around.
While I haven’t even scratched the surface of eating even a fraction of all the best banh ngươi the thành phố has to lớn offer, here are some places you can try.
All 3 of these places are located within a 5 minute walk of each other, so you can go on a little Vietnamese sandwich marathon if you’d like.
Easily the most praised and most well recognized banh mày sandwich restaurant in all of Saigon, with almost what seems khổng lồ be a cult following, is bánh mì Huỳnh Hoa (Banh ngươi Huynh Hoa).
Many people from the YouTube video, & even the great bloggers at Eating Saigon, call it the best in Saigon.
You’ll know you’ve arrived by the scores of motorbikes out front, the bright trắng fluorescent lights shining in the restaurant, the red shirted sandwich makers, & the insane quantities of pre-sliced cold cut meats – plus a small mountain of pork floss – all stacked & lined up, và ready to lớn be loaded into toasted baguettes.
Their business is so successful, there isn’t just one, but two fully loaded glass cabinets, brimming with all the ingredients needed to lớn make monstrous Vietnamese sandwiches.
If you’re going lớn get a sandwich from bánh mì Huỳnh Hoa (Banh mày Huynh Hoa), the first thing you’ll have to vị is be a bit aggressive – they handle a lot of customers, and there’s no real system of a queue.
But just be persistent until someone takes your order, and your money, và you’ll eventually come out of the restaurant with your sandwich in hand.
The first thing I noticed is that the banh mi at bánh mỳ Huỳnh Hoa (Banh mày Huynh Hoa) was extremely heavy – it was probably the most heavy of all the versions I tried… và the weight didn’t come from the bread, that’s for sure.
After unwrapping my sandwich, và dissecting the insides, I could see they added the most layers of meat of any banh mi I ate in Saigon.
Along with a substantial layer of mayonnaise & pate, there were easily 6 – 8 layers of salty luncheon meats and grilled pork, ranging from pink to white, & quite a generous sprinkle of pork floss tossed in as well. It reminded me of the Vietnamese version of the monstrous Mexican torta.
While it was heavy on the meat, it was light on the vegetables, with just a few slices slices of cucumber, cilantro, & a small amount of thickly cut Vietnamese pickles – daikon and carrots.
Bánh Mì Huỳnh Hoa (Banh mi Huynh Hoa) is the most well known banh ngươi in Saigon (and many people’s, both locals và foreigners favorite for best sandwich in Saigon) for a reason: it was incredibly good, & incredibly meaty and rich.
However, I thought it was packed with almost too much meat.
I know for meat lovers, lượt thích I am myself, that might sound impossible, but with so much salty hot-dog lượt thích luncheon meat, and with a thick layer of mayonnaise, it was honestly almost too rich for me.
But perhaps I’m more of a tín đồ of a balance of meat with cucumbers, green onions, cilantro và pickles, and I thought their version was a little lopsided.
Don’t get me wrong though, I did thoroughly enjoy all of it (to the final bite), and if you’re looking for Saigon’s most meat filled banh mi, this would likely be the best you can find.
Address: 26 Lê Thị Riêng, Bến Thành, 1, hồ nước Chí Minh, VietnamOpen hours: 3:30 pm – midnight, dailyPrice: 30,000 VND ($1.40) – this is one of the most expensive in Saigon, but it’s also one of the most meat packed, so it’s easily worth the price
Another one of the Vietnamese street food stalls I was recommended to try by numerous people, was a street food cart that goes by the name Banh ngươi 37 Nguyen Trai (that’s the address where they park, but it’s really on Hem 39).
After learning about this spot, & doing a quick search, I found out my friend Kevin also loved the banh mày here.
Instead of serving banh ngươi pate, she serves Bánh Mì giết Nướng, or grilled pork sandwiches.
I arrived on the early side, just as she had opened, và noticed her cart from the signature red thiết kế on the bottom & fancy cursive writing, plus a “google search” printed on the side of her cart.
At Banh mày 37 Nguyen Trai, you simply stand in line, pay, và wait however long it takes before your sandwich is wrapped up và handed khổng lồ you in a bag.
The sandwich included, I think about 5 or 6 pork patties, all charcoal grilled, flipped with chopsticks, and coated in a sauce that smelled & tasted nearly like a yakitori sauce.
On vị trí cao nhất of the pork patties was a generous amount of cucumber chunks, strands of cilantro, green onions, Vietnamese pickles, & finally some sweet chili sauce.
I highly enjoyed my banh mi sandwich at Banh mày 37 Nguyen Trai.
The little pork patties were lượt thích slider hamburgers, & they were seasoned, both within the minced pork itself, maybe some garlic & salt, và also that teriyaki like glaze on the outside.
Along with the pork patties, I was overjoyed with the quantity of vegetables packed into the sandwich.
The pork was extremely tasty, và the vegetables và sauces all worked together for an insanely delicious balance of flavors and a wonderful sandwich.
I also liked how she barely kept any extra stock of grilled patties, they were literally plucked right off the grill and into the baguette – so it was fresh và hot when I got it.
Address: 37 Nguyễn Trãi, Ho đưa ra Minh City, Vietnam (but it’s right at Hem 39)Open hours: Usually from around 5 pm – 7:30 pm or so daily, but I went at about 4:30 pm, & she was open, but just a little ways down the alley. I think at about 5 pm she might roll her cart up to the front of the street. But don’t come too late, or she’ll be sold out.Price: 16,000 VND ($0.75)
Bánh Mì Hồng Hoa is just sort of a classic normal, but wonderful, banh mi shophouse in Saigon. In the morning is when their business thrives, with motorbikes rolling in for drive-though takeaway.
The baguettes are baked fresh, & despite selling plenty of sandwiches, when I was there, I noticed they also had quite a business of selling just plain baguettes, which were loaded into big baskets, and whisked away by motorbike delivery men – likely to other smaller banh ngươi vendors & bread sellers around the area.
I ordered their standard banh mi, which was of the sliced triple pork version, including grilled pork, pork sausage, & some type of luncheon meat.
Along with serving, what I thought, was an extremely well balanced bánh mì (banh mi), the owners were all extremely friendly, và despite being busy và chaotic in the morning, they seemed to really care about taking my order (whereas some other places you need to lớn really be aggressive).