Where to find the best Banh mi in Hoi An?

Reading Time: 13 minutes

Last Updated on 2 years by Tam Le Van

Banh mi is a must-eat Vietnamese food. Basically, it’s a barguette filled by different proteins, pate, raw vegetables coming with a rich sauce that boast of its crunchy outside and its mouth-watering inside. Banh mi gets suited for every times during the day, no matter breakfast, lunch or evening meals.

Not all about charming centuries-old town or tailoring, Hoi An foods are emient as well including the most flavoursome Banh mi around the country. Sandwiches made in this city shows their own differences to others else, at Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh city. In this article, Hoi An Life reveals where to find the best Banh mi in Hoi An to help you quickly get distinguished places to eat near you. Information about history, ingredients and relating stories are also covered. Check out and share us your thinking!

Should see also Hoi An’s local food specialties to know other delicacies in town, best places to try them and guided tours.

Banh mi’s history and ingredients

First introductions of French into Vietnam

In the 19th century, Vietnam was a part of former French Indochina Federation so the country received various influences from this culture. Some of them were welcomed, strongly stayed and became the insert of featured Vietnamese culture today such as foods and their ingredients&ways of cooking.

First of all, the wheat itself is a very new thing to Vietnamese who mainly use rice for their daily meals. At the beginning of the introduction of it, not many people liked but year after year, more and more persons saluted. Changes of French barguette were made then to adapt Vietnam’s long-lived culinary culture. ‘Banh mi’ means ‘wheat cake’ in Vietnamese language. Second introduction, that is pate, spreadable paste made by livers and spices. Diffirentiate to the wheat, pork shows its usual presence within local dishes therefore easier to popularize. Nowadays, it’s an unmissable part of any Banh mi.

From a food for upper classes to Vietnamese daily dish

In the past, the wheat had to be imported making it very costy. For that reason, French barguette (Vietnamese Banh mi later) was used mostly for high-class people like rich mans or government workers who have money to pay for. Following French departure in 1945, gradually it has the chance to become popular for all.

Nowadays, there is no difficulty to find a Banh mi stall across the country. Sellers usually wake up very early for preparing everything for a new day of business. In fact, the bulk of buyers take away on the way they go to work and then enjoy in the office or in coffee shops with traditional drinks (the most common kinds of coffee are Ca phe den and Ca phe sua da). Banh mi also is a well-favored food to locals for lunch and dinner as well.

Ingredients of a Banh mi

In common, a Banh mi encompasses crispy barguette, proteins, pate, raw vegetables and flavourful sauce. Among all, protein additions have the greatest variety, from pork, beef, chicken, egg or even crocodile meat. Each has its own abundance as well, basing on different ways of cooking. For instance, we have choices to eat stewed pork (seasoned by fish sauce, sugar and spices), barbecued pork, roasted pork, pork bologna (cha lua/Vietnamese sausage) or ham.

French-influenced Pate is another must-have ingredient in every tasty Banh mi. It gets fully home-made by ground pork livers and proper spices. That’ reason why it seems that stalls give us not the same flavour. For lots of Vietnamese, there is no appetizing taste given if eat without an awesome pate. In fact, the best Banh mi in Hoi An often comes with the outstanding one.

To make the sandwiches more juicy, a sauce is necessary. The most popularly used kind of sauce roots from water body left after cooking seasoned pork pieces (these eye-catching ones shown at many places). Little fat, savoury, rich and salty if you taste it alone. About vegetarian Banh mi, people use soy sauce instead of. In addition to, there are two kinds of chilli creation available for spicy food lovers into the bargain. While one kind is quite sweet and not too much spicy (called as Hoi An chilli jam), another one brings high rate of spiciness.

Name and brief description of Vietnamese ingredients: Know before order

Cha lua (Gio lua): the most common sausage in Vietnamese cuisine that made by lean pork and spices like pepper, chilli, garlic. The pork must be fresh, taken from the slaughterhouse in very early morning and washed before grounded until pasty. The mixture then is wrapped tightly in banana leaves in a cylindrical shape and boiled. Banh mi makers often chop this ingredient just some to keep its juiciness, especially in the heat of the country.

Gio thu (Gio xao): also known as a Vietnamese head cheese, it’s made by fresh pork belly, pork’s ears, garlic, scallions, onion, black fungus, fish sauce and cracked black pepper. Alongside with Banh mi, this delicious dish is popular in Tet lunar new year.

Thit nguoi (Giam bong): ham made in Vietnam, usually cut into thin slices.

Thit nuong: barbecued seasoning porks or sometimes beef, often offered the late afternoon and evening. Grilled chicken’s really not popular.

Thap cam: means “everything” in local language. Local makers will take any kind of proteins available in the sandwich, however, can be select what you like in a same price. The best option is to try new ingredients.

Xa xiu: big pieces of charsiu pork will be sliced thinly just before your order made, favourite ingredient of many locals.

Nem muong: grilled pork sausages and also another well-liked street foods.

Xiu mai: meatballs made by minced pork, onion, scallion and shreeded bread.

Heo quay: roasting pork, going with sour-sweet root vetagetables, sliced chilli and sauce in Banh mi.

Differences of Banh mi Hoi An

Bread used to make Banh mi originates from French barguette, however, it has the difference to its first verson. Vietnam is a ‘rice country’ so in former times, some bakeries took this advantage and added rice powder as the supplement. This way of mixing created a lighter and more crispy bread. Although the eateries of the best Banh mi in Hoi An do not produce it, they have the close collaboration with certain leading bakeries. For example, Banh Mi Phuong restaurant stands next to one.

Besides that, Banh mi Hoi An’s raw vegetables feature the small-size, high richness in essential oil and organic growth what are unlike usual types we see. Local sellers prefer to Tra Que village sourced greenages because of their good qualities (as same as other Hoi An food specialties).

The best Banh mi in Hoi An

#1: Banh Mi Phuong

General information about Banh Mi Phuong and its sandwich choices

Address: 2B Phan Chu Trinh street

Opening hours: 6:30 a.m to 9:30 p.m

Price of a Banh mi: Banh mi op la (Banh mi with omlette) and Banh mi with cheese -15.000 VND, Banh mi ga (Banh mi with chicken), Banh mi with grilled sausages, Banh mi with ham, Banh mi with smoked pork, Banh mi with roasted pork and Banh mi thit nuong (Banh mi with grilled pork)-20.000 VND, Banh mi thap cam (Banh mi with multi proteins)-25.000 VND, Banh mi with tuna-30.000 VND.

Less-told stories about Banh Mi Phuong

The owner of Banh Mi Phuong-Miss Phuong studied to be a teacher. After graduated, she hadn’t  found a position in the primary school as expected. ‘Life doesn’t stop when you take a new road’ Ms.Phuong opened a small Banh mi stall to earn for living. A period later, she got a full-time job and since then, worked in teaching students and as food vendor in the market parallelly. Her delicious Banh mi is familiar with locals.

Nothing changes in her business until the visit of famed American chef Anthony Bourdian. He filmed and praised that Phuong’s sandwich was the best Banh mi in Hoi An. From this turning point, people living in different parts of the world know about and willing to give a try. She moved to current location 2B Phan Chu Trinh street following saving enough money. At the moment, Ms.Phuong still is a teacher. After work, she manages to keep all Banh mi made at her restaurant in a good quality.

Experience of the Hoi An Life at Banh Mi Phuong restaurant

There is quite too long queue of diners at its front when we came. Although table service is available inside but we decided to join the line because wanted to experience something different to last times. After 20 minutes wait, our turn came. We made an eye contact to a middle-aged lady to call out Banh mi thap cam (all types mix), Banh mi thit nuong (grilled pork) plus Banh mi chay (vegan) and then paid for her. Everything done was in very short time.

When had all needed on hands, we moved to second floor where able to get a street view (we were shared that it’s usually less crowded than the ground floor). Our first touch was on Banh mi thit nuong. Its outside was crispy-fresh and inside filled with properly-marinating barbecued porks, salads, pate and a perfect sauce. The sauce itself worked well until very last bite. Little spicy but tasty. Additionally, pate also made us impressive and really deserved to be noted as a highlight: great taste of black pepper and fat from carefully-cooked pork liver.

Our Banh mi thap cam includes grilled pork & pork belly, generally the meat was juicy and achieved a good balance. Next, we tried Banh mi chay. It contains loads of fillings by tofu, cuts of fresh avocado, cucumber and tomato slices. Flavorful soy sauce kicked us for enjoying till the end.

Not only Banh mi!

There is no doubt that Banh Mi Phuong is famous for its awesome sandwiches. But not everything, you’ll find other local foods such as Cao lau noodles, Com ga (chicken rice) or Banh xeo (pancake) such easy right on last pages of the menu. Western foods and cold drinks are also available.

While relaxing, we’re attracted by lovely passport photos under glass on the table. They were put a few years ago and daily someone brought their photo to do the same. This is actually fantastic!

#2: Madam Khanh-The Banh Mi Queen

All you need to know about Madam Khanh restaurant

Address: 115 Tran Cao Van street

Opening hours: 6:30 a.m to 7:30 p.m

Prices of Banh mi: Banh mi thit heo (Banh mi with pork)-25.000 VND, Banh mi thap cam (pork, ham, eggs, pate, egg sauce, papaya, cucumber and herbs), Banh mi ga (Banh mi with chicken), Banh mi thi nuong (Banh mi with barbecued pork) and Banh mi trung chien (Banh mi with omlette)-30.000 VND.

At the moment, family-run restaurant Madam Khanh is standing as one of the best Banh mi in Hoi An due to its pleasant-tasting sandwiches. It situates just some walks from core of the Ancient town so still convenient for who do not have time much.

Food court of Madam Khanh is arranged right at its main door where every Banh mi lovers enable to make an order for taking away easily. That’s fun while watching the ladies are preparing sandwiches with different ingredients. If like to sit and get cool down, just come inside and enjoy the electric fans. Keep in mind that seatings may be in shortage during peak tourist seasons so making a table reservation in advance and showing on time are should do-s. Additionally, the restaurant offers an English menu with clear prices to guests making it unlike the large number of Banh mi makers all over Hoi An.

In comparison to Banh Mi Phuong, the queue here is usually shorter than during lunch and dinner times. If you’re looking for a place whose sandwiches standing out and possible to provide them unlengthy, Madam Khanh will be better choice. Hoi An Life advises you to give a try to others as well.

Fact: Madam Khanh have been running by a happy family of Mr.Khanh and Mrs.Loc for over thirty years. Because Mr.Khanh is always available to help his wife for table services, local people habitually call it as Khanh’s restaurant. This is origin of present-day name of Madam Khanh.

Why call Banh Mi Queen?

#3: Phi Banh Mi

Address: 88 Thai Phien street

Opening hours: 8 a.m to 8 p.m

Prices of Banh mi: Cheese sandwiches-15.000 VND, Traditional Vietnamese sandwich, Banh mi with pork and Banh mi with egg-20.000 VND, Vegetarian Banh mi-25.000 VND

Together with the Hoi An Ancient Town, Thai Phien street is another culinary heaven what covers a variety of foods from local specialties to western-styled dishes. As a delight of the city’s cuisine, Banh mi does not stand outside of this collection. Phi Banh Mi is one of the brightest stars on the street.

Established by Mr.Phi many years ago, Phi Banh Mi now is well-operated by love from both locals and expats. If come in nonbusy times, outdoor and indoor seatings are usually available for you. Take note that they’re in small number so if travel with group of friends, you need to tell people at the restaurant or give a call to (+84) 905755283 in advance.

#4: Banh Mi Chay Co Hoi (The best vegetarian Banh mi in Hoi An)

Address: 03 Nguyen Hue street (near Hoi An Tourism Information Center)

Opening hours: 7 to 10 a.m

Price of a Banh mi: Vegetarian Banh mi-15.000 VND

In a diferent way to other food meccas owning the best Banh mi in Hoi An, Banh Mi Chay Co Hoi specialises in Banh mi with vegetarian friendly additions. This small street stall provides meat-like ingredients made by wheat and rice powders, chill jam and soy sauce. Although almost all vegan places to eat just open in 1st and 15th dates of each lunar month, Ms. Hoi keeps her stall’s operation daily. Soy milk (with or without ice) is also ready to serve you. Check out caferias nearby to get a Vietnamese traditional coffee if like to enjoy your Banh mi as same as locals.

#5: Banh Mi Pho Co

Address: Intersection of Tran Hung Dao and Le Loi streets (near Cafe Tinh Thuong)

Opening hours: 6-10 a.m and 2:30 to 11 p.m

Prices of Banh mi: Stewed pork, Vietnamese pork bologna (cha lua), sausage, ham and egg options are available, with a price starting from 15.000 VND.

Banh mi Pho Co’s location is at the edge of Hoi An ancient town designated area. It’s runned by a couple of middle-aged husband and wife whose sandwiches are fantastic. Especially, you can find out the perfect balance between spices within pate they made. The husband is known by his enthusiasm when usually give people bonus of meat into the sandwich. Keep in mind that there is no food menu at this best Banh mi in Hoi An therefore if possible, prepare what you like in a Vietnamese translation.

#6: Mrs Lanh Banh Mi (Banh Mi Co Lanh)

Address: 430 Cua Dai street (Chua Nam Quang Tu pagoda)

Opening hours: 6-10 a.m and 2:30-10 p.m

Prices of Banh mi: Banh mi thap cam (Banh mi with multi proteins), Banh mi cha (Banh mi with pork bologna), Banh mi op la (Banh mi with omelette) and Banh mi thit xiu (Banh mi with charsiu pork)-20.000 VND, Banh mi thit nuong (Banh mi with grilled pork)-25.000 VND.

This long-standing street stall are known by such Hoianians with its charsiu pork sandwiches. Historically, Cantonese brought the charsiu way of cooking into Hoi An and today Ms.Lanh is just one of thoundsands locals learnt it for making sandwiches. However, few persons do exceptionally like her. It’s no wonder to have an idea that Banh Mi Co Lanh is busy during time for major meals such as the morning (from opening to around 8).

#7: Banh Mi Bich

Address: 51 Phan Chu Trinh street

Opening hours: 7:30-10 a.m and 3:30-9:30 p.m

Prices of Banh mi: Banh mi thit xiu (Banh mi with charsiu pork), Banh mi op la (Banh mi with omelette), Banh mi cha (Banh mi with pork bologna) and Banh mi thap cam (all types mix)-15.000 VND.

Banh mi Bich is another small stall but offers us sandwiches of great taste that considered as the best Banh mi in Hoi An by foodies. There is an bakery at its same corner allowing fresh breads quickly available. If lucky, your sandwiches are made straightaway by warm ones and uncessary for being heated up after filling addings. This hidden gem positions very close by the most celebrated chicken rice restaurants as well as other must-eat local specialties making it turn into an ideal spot for who want to arrange their self-guided food tour around.

# Banh Mi Phuong in Hoi An central market

Address: Left side of Hoi An central market

Opening hours: 6:30 a.m to 9:30 p.m daily

Prices of Banh mi: Banh mi thit nuong (grilled pork sandwich)-20.000 VND, Banh mi thap cam (mixed sandwich)-25.000 VND, Banh mi with grilled sausage-20.000 VND, Banh mi with cheese and salad-25.000 VND, Banh mi with ham and pate-20.000VND, Banh mi with bacon-20.000 VND, Banh mi with beef and egg-30.000 VND.

#Banh Mi Ha

Address: 360 Nguyen Duy Hieu street (next to Chaozhou assembly hall)

Opening hours: 7 a.m to 8:30 p.m daily

Prices of Banh mi: Banh mi thit xiu (Banh mi with charsiu pork), Banh mi op la (Banh mi with omelette), Banh mi cha (Banh mi with pork bologna) and Banh mi thap cam (all types mix)-15.000 VND.

#Banh Mi Sum

Address: 51 Phan Chu Trinh street

Opening hours: 6 a.m to 9:30 p.m everyday

Prices of Banh mi: Banh mi thit xiu (Banh mi with charsiu pork), Banh mi op la (Banh mi with omelette), Banh mi cha (Banh mi with pork bologna) and Banh mi thap cam (all types mix)-15.000 VND.

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Tam Le Van

Tam is a tour leader and passionate traveler who has beautiful memories over 50 provinces of Vietnam. During the time Corona virus spreads out globally, he decides to become a blogger to share his experiences.
Contacts for work: Levantam0906@gmail.com or (+84) 968009827

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