The latest Bloomberg study on breakfast spending versus daily incomes reveals wide affordability gaps between the top and bottom cities in some regions.
Findings were calculated based on market prices in the last 12-18 months provided by Numbeo, a database that compiles the global cost of living.
According to Numbeo, Hanoians must shell out about 12 percent of their average daily incomes for breakfast. In other Asian cities, such as Osaka in Japan, the morning meal costs less than 1 percent of a day’s pay.
Vietnam belongs to the Asia-Pacific region of emerging countries where breakfast costs on average 4.8 percent of a day's wage.
On average, each Hanoian earns around VND6.1 million ($270) per month, meaning a breakfast costs approximately $1.07, higher the average of $0.97 for the region, data showed. Breakfast can be even pricier in Ho Chi Minh City where living costs are 2.62 percent higher than in Hanoi.
But it should be noted that the Bloomberg survey is calculated on what many would class as a "western" breakfast: one cup of whole milk, one egg, two slices of toast and a piece of fruit -- which is not what Vietnamese people usually have in the morning.
In fact, most Vietnamese prefer going out for breakfast rather than having it at home, according to a survey released in December last year, and with banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich) costing just half a dollar, who can blame them?