Saigon fed by half century of banh mi

By Bich Phuong   April 8, 2023 | 12:30 am PT
These 10 Saigon banh mi shops have been serving authentic and delicious sandwiches for over 50 years.
Saigon fed by half century of banh mi

Banh Mi Bay Ho

This stall has been serving banh mi at 19 Huynh Khuong Ninh Street, District 1, since 1930. The three-generation family business is one of the most well-known in Ho Chi Minh City. You can get a delicious banh mi here for VND20,000 ($0.85). The bread comes from a partner bakery and the fillings – pate, meatballs, cha (pork roll), meat, and pork floss – are all homemade by the family. The stall has maintained its original recipes for over 90 years.

Bread and various fillings are neatly arranged in the stall's glass display case.

Photo by VnExpress/Phong Vinh

Saigon fed by half century of banh mi

Nguyen Sinh Bistro

This brand started as a stall in Hanoi in 1942 and quickly became known for its delicious cold cuts. The founder, Nguyen Van Mieu (deceased), moved to Ho Chi Minh City in 1979 and opened his first store there three years later. Now, the shop is run by Nguyen Manh Tung, the youngest of Mieu's eight children. The Hanoi branch is managed by his granddaughter and fourth daughter-in-law.

Nguyen Sinh Bistro at 141 Tran Dinh Xu, District 1, offers banh mi with seven kinds of fillings, including chicken liver pate, mixed cheese, ham, pork rolls and smoked ham. Carrots, pickled radish, cucumber and avocado can also be added. You can enjoy this dish for VND50,000 to VND300,000 ($2.13 to $12.79), depending on the fixings.

Customers often order a separate plate of tasty cold cuts when dining in.

Photo by 9493.corner on Instagram

Saigon fed by half century of banh mi

Banh Mi Mr. Ly

At the sidewalk corner of Hai Ba Trung Street in District 3, you can find Mr. Ly's banh mi stall. He only sells banh mi with pork rolls, onions, and cucumbers, and for just three hours every morning. Mr. Ly is a northern immigrant who came to Ho Chi Minh City and started the stall in the 1950s. It has since been run by his family for 70 years. His third-generation successor now runs the business. A banh mi here costs about VND20,000.

Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

Saigon fed by half century of banh mi

Banh Mi Bay Quang

This stall has been selling banh mi at 7 Huynh Khuong Ninh Street, District 1 for over 60 years. The banh mi here has a simple but tasty filling of pate, pork rolls, meat, pickled vegetables, and sauces. The shop is named after its founder, Mr. Quang, whose daughter, Tran Thi Chin, now runs the stall. You can enjoy a banh mi here for VND20,000.

Photo by Hugo Finix on Instagram

Saigon fed by half century of banh mi

Banh Mi Hoa Ma

This shop at 53 Cao Thang, District 3, was founded by a northern couple who moved to Ho Chi Minh City 60 years ago. It has since been passed down through three generations of their family. It is also known as banh mi chao (bread with combo pan) Hoa Ma because the fillings come in a hot skillet. A mixed serving includes eggs, cold cuts, sausages, fish cakes, hot fried pork rolls, with bread and pickles on the side. The shop only opens for breakfast, from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. every day. A serving costs about VND50,000 - VND60,000 ($2.13 - $2.56).

Photo by VnExpress/Di Vy

Saigon fed by half century of banh mi

Banh Mi Tang

This shop at 822 Nguyen Trai, District 5, started as a banh mi cart founded by a Chinese immigrant in 1950. Mr. Tang Tan, the current owner, took it over in 1982 and moved it to a house near the T-junction of the busy Nam Ngon area.

Banh mi Tang is known for its baked pate and meatballs fillings. The meatballs are huge, topped with quail eggs. Other fillings include pork rolls and cold cuts. Prices run around VND20,000 to VND40,000.

Photo by The hungry pigg on Instagram

Saigon fed by half century of banh mi

Nhu Lan Bakery

This brand has three shops on major streets and is possibly the most famous banh mi eatery in Ho Chi Minh City. Nhu Lan Bakery started from a humble cart on Ly Chinh Thang Street, District 3, in 1968.

Now, Nhu Lan offers not only banh mi but also various kinds of pate, pork rolls, cakes, and moon cakes. All of its branches are always busy with customers. Prices vary from VND15,000 to VND30,000 (64 cents to $1.28).

Photo by sor_sb_eat on Instagram

Saigon fed by half century of banh mi

Banh Mi Hoang Oanh

Owned by Le Tran Ngoc Dung, the banh mi shop at 8 Phan Van Han Street, Binh Thanh District is always packed with customers waiting for her classic sandwiches. This spot has been in business since 1968. The banh mi here is made traditionally with the familiar fillings of pate, meat, pork rolls, pork floss, and pickled vegetables. Price ranges from VND25,000 to VN30,000 ($1.07 to $1.28).

Photo by Biteallfood on Instagram

Saigon fed by half century of banh mi

Banh Mi Tuan 7 Keo

This brand was founded by Mr and Mrs 7 Keo in around 1972. The shop first opened at the 5-way intersection area by Thu Duc market, serving banh mi stuffed with meat. The shop has since gone through three generations of family ownership. From selling banh mi on the sidewalk, the brand now has a large shop at 147 Hoang Dieu 2 Street, Thu Duc City.

Besides traditional banh mi, Tuan 7 Keo also offers sticky rice, fried rice, braised beef with bread and many kinds of che (sweet soup). A banh mi costs around VND30,000.

Photo by Tuan 7 Keo

Saigon fed by half century of banh mi

Banh Mi Co Diep

This stall has been open since before 1975 at 238 Vo Thanh Trang, a tiny street in Tan Binh District. It still serves home-made ingredients after all these years. The stall is always crowded with customers in the morning. One of the reasons why people love this stall is the aromatic and rich pate. A banh mi here costs about VND25,000.

Photo courtesy of Food storytelling on Instagram

The 10 shops were named by Vietnam Records Organization (VietKings) VietKings at the country's first Banh Mi Festival held in HCMC March 30-April 2.

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