Today: 29/09/2023 19:50:13 (GMT+7)

British tourist spends three months in search of the best banh mi in Vietnam

British tourist Rose can’t remember exactly how many loaves of bread she consumed during her three-month journey from the north to the south of Vietnam.

But she does know that she loved the banh mi version in the ancient town of Hoi An in central Vietnam.

"After three months in Vietnam, I ate a lot of banh mi," Rose said. "Even if you just have two weeks in Vietnam, I advise you to eat them daily."

British tourist,  spends three months, the best banh mi, Vietnam, British tourist Rose, three-month journey, north to the south

Rose during a trip to Sa Pa in north Vietnam.

Banh mi is Vietnam’s version of a sandwich, a fusion of cold cuts and vegetables, such as coriander, cucumber, pickled carrots and daikon, combined with condiments from French cuisine such as pate and mayonnaise.

However, a wide variety of other popular fillings are used, including cha lua (Vietnamese pork bologna), fried eggs, grilled pork, and meat balls.

A loaf of banh mi with full toppings mi costs from VND15,000 to VND50,000 (US$0.65-2.10).

"You’ll find banh mi served from carts on corners, in traditional stores and even banh mi chains which pretty much resemble Subway outlets. Whatever your preference, you’re likely to find a banh mi you love," Rose added.

Visiting Hanoi's Old Quarter, Rose said she felt overwhelmed because there were so many banh mi stalls, making it difficult to find the best place to try the iconic street food. However, some of her friends recommended the Maison de Lien stall, one of the most famous addresses in Hanoi.

"My banh mi was dinky but what it lacked in size, it made up for in flavor. It was full of meat and a delicious and smooth pate," she said. "The only greens inside were coriander, which I don’t really like, so if you want a fresh, veggie banh mi, you might be in the wrong place.

With the richness of the pate, I couldn’t really taste the butter but I trust it was good. All round, a strong contender for the best banh mi in Hanoi... and without a doubt the prettiest surroundings to eat it in."

Rose also suggested some other sellers, such as Banh mi 25, Nguyen Sinh Hanoi and Tram banh mi.

In Hoi An, which is crowded with foreign tourists, Rose found the best banh mi in Vietnam.

"I was taken to Madame Khanh by the Hoi An Food Tour as my fourth meal one evening," said Rose. "What a meal it was! The crusty banh mi at Madame Khanh are packed with meat, pate, veggies and sauce. There was just the right amount of everything and it was deliciously messy."

This restaurant has been in the same hands for 50 years and each banh mi is made by 80-year-old owner Nguyen Thi Loc.

"It really was banh mi royalty! The owner has dedicated her life to creating the perfect banh mi and it shows," added Rose.

"Apparently, she keeps the letters from happy customers on her wall. I bet that’s one very, very full wall."

British tourist,  spends three months, the best banh mi, Vietnam, British tourist Rose, three-month journey, north to the south

Loaves of banh mi at Madame Khanh stall in Hoi An ancient town, Vietnam.

She spent several months in Hoi An before flying to Ho Chi Minh City where she sampled countless local dishes, banh mi being just one of them.

As she spent the least amount of time in Ho Chi Minh City during her Vietnam trip, Rose only got to visit the Huynh Hoa stall on Le Thi Rieng Street in District 1, which is famous for serving one of the most expensive banh mi the southern metropolis: around $3 a sandwich.

She says her favorite city is Hanoi thanks to the charming yet hectic Old Quarter and the fantastic food and coffee.

"Although I’m also a big fan of Saigon, it’s safe to say Vietnam isn’t just about city life," she explained.

"Destinations like Ha Long Bay, Sa Pa and Hue also make Vietnam a natural and cultural wonderland to be explored."

Spicy ‘banh mi’: A speciality of Hai Phong city
Among the different versions of ‘banh mi’ available in Vietnam, the ‘banh mi cay’ (spicy ‘banh mi’) of Hai Phong may be the humblest, consisting of just a baguette, some pate and a squeeze of local chilli sauce.
'Banh mi' among new words added to Merriam-Webster's dictionary
Merriam-Webster has added more than 370 new words to its dictionary this month, including the world-famous Vietnamese sandwich banh mi.
Le Monde newspaper: Vietnamese ‘banh mi’ is formidable rival of American burger
As a simple, relatively balanced, cheap and, above all, tasty treat, the Vietnamese ‘banh mi’ (sandwich) is a ‘formidable rival’ of the American burger.
A fine dining banh mi
Peter Cuong Franklin, head chef of Anan Saigon restaurant, decided to step up the game, turning a cheap street food into fine dining.

Source: VnExpress

British tourist, spends three months, the best banh mi, Vietnam, British tourist Rose, three-month journey, north to the south
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