Banh mày for breakfast? Of course!!! Food writer and street food expert Robyn Eckhardt suggested that we go out to lớn find the best banh mi in Saigon. There are lots of vendors in the morning so we decided lớn hit the streets around 9am. Her husband, photographer David Hagerman, joined us lớn document the experience.

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Robyn & Dave live in Malaysia and we’ve been friends for years; they often work together on a popular culinary and travel site called Eating
Asia. We were traveling together in Southeast Asia in January.

I don’t know if this is news to you but just lượt thích in the US, there are stellar, good, & uninspiring banh mày in Vietnam. To lớn find stellar ones, you have to keep an eye out -- keep your banh mày radar up, as I say in Robyn’s story that was just published on the Wall Street Journal’s Scene Asia website.

Robyn went to three spots for the piece and I accompanied her to lớn two of them. The Viet sandwiches were well crafted, not slapped together and handed to you less than 30 seconds after you placed an order. That’s thoughtful, skilled cooking, described by the term kheo in Vietnamese.

We had to lớn wait about 10 minutes for banh mi from vendor Mai Thi Hoang, who caught my eye with a brazier mix up inside her thiết bị di động cart to lớn fry up eggs & warm the bread. She had regulars in the neighborhood who came by for their banh mi fix. I think they knew how lucky there were to lớn have someone lượt thích her around to lớn make banh ngươi with freshly made pate and mayo.


Mai Thi Hoang with a regular customer

She was only xuất hiện for a few hours a day. A trang chủ cook with a cart, she prepared banh mày with the kind of care you’d take if you were doing it yourself.

Then we went to lớn Hoa Ma, a banh mày joint owned by Thi khô hanh Le. Her family had owned the business since 1960 she told me. Out of bread when we first arrived, she was stressed and barking orders everyone. But the bread delivery man soon came by on a scooter and her calm & smile returned. Her bread was dense, with a good chew -- the way my family & I remembered it long ago. It wasn't the lightweight stuff you typically encounter.


Thanh Thi Le of Hoa Ma Banh mày in Saigon

We ate our sandwiches & a skillet of fried eggs in the alleyway with iced tea và coffee. Motorbikes zoomed past us, sometimes in droves. It was the quintessential way khổng lồ spend a morning in Saigon.

To read Robyn's complete banh ngươi story và grab addresses & other details, go to this link at the Wall Street Journal; there should not be a paywall. Then whet your banh mày appetite with Dave’s stunning slideshow (a sample below).

Eating the best banh mày in Saigon.. This one’s from Banh ngươi Hong Hoa (Bánh Mì Hồng Hoa)

If you’re on your way to lớn visit or spend time in Saigon (Ho chi 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 mỳ (banh mi) sandwich?

…And if you didn’t ask that to yourself, you probably should have!

I definitely asked that exact question to myself when I was on my way lớn Saigon for the first time.

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 mày sandwiches Saigon has khổng lồ offer.

Banh mi is one of the greatest examples of fusion food done extremely well – a representation of Vietnam & France, all stuffed into a handheld crusty baguette.

Many have called it one of the finest sandwiches in the world, và I can’t disagree, it’s an absolute gem of a sandwich, fully worth traveling lớn Vietnam (or Saigon) just khổng lồ eat.

Note: In this post I’ll cover 3 banh ngươi 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 mi in Saigon. You literally can’t go more than a few steps in the thành phố without bumping into the next banh mi stall, & many are incredibly delicious. So these are just 3 of the hundreds of choices you have when you’re in Saigon.

What is banh mi?
What is banh mi?

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.

Vietnamese baguettes

First of all, & I didn’t know this before going to lớn 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 to 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 khổng lồ phrase as referring lớn the Vietnamese sub sandwich, not just bread in general.

Bánh mì (banh mi) sandwiches are normally served in the signature personal sized 3/4 foot long baguettes.

The bread is sliced down the side, filled with a number of different meats, from luncheon meats to lớn grilled pork patties, to lớn pâté, & often complemented with Vietnamese pickles, cucumbers, cilantro, và finally a bit of chili sauce and spicy peppers to đứng đầu it off.

Jimmy, from Jimmy Eat World, breaks it down nice & simple – the bread, the protein, the pickled and vegetables, the seasonings và garnishes.

There are many different types of meat & ingredients that can ảo diệu a banh mi, và if you’re interested, here’s a pretty extensive danh sách of different banh mi fillings you can try & order.

But really, when you’re walking around the streets of Vietnam, và you see that glass cabinet full of baguettes and other ingredients, all you’ve got to vày is stop, smile, và order.

The sandwich at Banh mày Huynh Hoa (Bánh Mì Huỳnh Hoa)Where lớn eat the best in Saigon?

Here are a few of the most famous và most well know banh ngươi stalls in Saigon.

The first two restaurants on this list were recommended khổng lồ me when I asked on a You
Tube clip about where to eat the best food in the city, & 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 city 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.

The outside of Banh ngươi Huynh Hoa (Bánh Mì Huỳnh Hoa) – often considered the best in Saigon1. Banh mày Huynh Hoa (Bánh Mì Huỳnh Hoa)

Easily the most praised và most well recognized banh mi sandwich restaurant in all of Saigon, with almost what seems to be a cult following, is bánh mì Huỳnh Hoa (Banh ngươi Huynh Hoa).

Many people from the You
Tube video, and even the great bloggers at Eating Saigon, hotline it the best in Saigon.

The amount of pre-sliced meat will blow your mind!

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 and lined up, and ready to 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 khổng lồ make monstrous Vietnamese sandwiches.

If you’re going to get a sandwich from bánh mỳ Huỳnh Hoa (Banh mi Huynh Hoa), the first thing you’ll have to vày 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, & you’ll eventually come out of the restaurant with your sandwich in hand.

The first thing I noticed is that the banh ngươi at bánh mỳ Huỳnh Hoa (Banh ngươi 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 ngươi I ate in Saigon.

Along with a substantial layer of mayonnaise and pate, there were easily 6 – 8 layers of salty luncheon meats and grilled pork, ranging from pink khổng lồ 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, and a small amount of thickly cut Vietnamese pickles – daikon and carrots.

The super-rich banh mi at bánh mì Huỳnh Hoa (Banh mi Huynh Hoa)

The Verdict

How many layers of meat!?

Bánh Mì Huỳnh Hoa (Banh ngươi Huynh Hoa) is the most well known banh mày in Saigon (and many people’s, both locals and 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, like I am myself, that might sound impossible, but with so much salty hot-dog lượt thích luncheon meat, & with a thick layer of mayonnaise, it was honestly almost too rich for me.

But perhaps I’m more of a fan hâm mộ of a balance of meat with cucumbers, green onions, cilantro & 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 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

Banh mày 37 Nguyen Trai (Bánh Mì giết mổ Nướng ngóc ngách 37) street food stall2. Banh mày 37 Nguyen Trai (Bánh Mì thịt Nướng hẻm 39)

Another one of the Vietnamese street food stalls I was recommended khổng lồ 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, and doing a quick search, I found out my friend Kevin also loved the banh ngươi here.

The beautiful little patties of meat at Banh ngươi 37 Nguyen Trai

Instead of serving banh mày pate, she serves Bánh Mì giết mổ 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 and 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, and wait however long it takes before your sandwich is wrapped up và handed lớn you in a bag.

The sandwich included, I think about 5 or 6 pork patties, all charcoal grilled, flipped with chopsticks, và coated in a sauce that smelled & tasted nearly like a yakitori sauce.

On đứng đầu of the pork patties was a generous amount of cucumber chunks, strands of cilantro, green onions, Vietnamese pickles, and finally some sweet chili sauce.

Bánh Mì thịt Nướng in Saigon

The Verdict

I highly enjoyed my banh mi sandwich at Banh ngươi 37 Nguyen Trai.

The little pork patties were like slider hamburgers, & they were seasoned, both within the minced pork itself, maybe some garlic & salt, and also that teriyaki lượt thích 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 and sauces all worked together for an insanely delicious balance of flavors và 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 & hot when I got it.

Address: 37 Nguyễn Trãi, Ho bỏ 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, và she was open, but just a little ways down the alley. I think at about 5 pm she might roll her cart up lớn the front of the street. But don’t come too late, or she’ll be sold out.Price: 16,000 VND ($0.75)

Stopping for a morning banh mi at Banh mày Hong Hoa (Bánh Mì Hồng Hoa)3. Banh mi Hong Hoa (Bánh Mì Hồng Hoa)

Bánh Mì Hồng Hoa is just sort of a classic normal, but wonderful, banh mày shophouse in Saigon. In the morning is when their business thrives, with motorbikes rolling in for drive-though takeaway.

The baguettes are baked fresh, và 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 lớn other smaller banh mày 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.

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Along with serving, what I thought, was an extremely well balanced bánh mỳ (banh mi), the owners were all extremely friendly, và despite being busy and chaotic in the morning, they seemed khổng lồ really care about taking my order (whereas some other places you need lớn really be aggressive).