Banh mi recipe — how to make hoi an's best vietnamese sandwich

The distinguished và well known Vietnamese sandwich Banh Mi is a traveller’s best friend. It’s reliable, safe, transportable, & commonly found around the majority of towns and cities in Vietphái nam. While Hoi An is a relatively small thành phố in the gr& scheme of things. It is host lớn some very reputable vendors when it comes to this masterpiece of culinary fusion. Each a valid contender for the best banh mi in Hoi An.

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The hard question is if there is a best one? Between personal favourites, TripAdvisor Review và celebrity recommendations, we put them to the test! In this guide, we give you an understanding of the revolutionary sandwich. As well as the best banh mày Hoi An stands, our favourites, and where khổng lồ find them. There’s more than you think behind this snachồng.


The history of banh miBanh ngươi ingredientsBread is better in Hoi An

The history of banh mi

It’s hard lớn believe sầu that this small sandwich can hold so much more than the filling inside. The history of banh mày is one of the more recent times. It speaks of freedom và independence for Vietphái mạnh, along with the death of colonialism.

The history begins with the colonialism of Vietphái nam by the French in the mid-1800s. Wanting creature comforts và familiar foods, the French brought with them a number of food items lớn the region. Such as carrots, coffee, cheese, deli meats, và wheat. However, cultivating wheat proved incredibly difficult in the tropical climate. Resulting in diminishing yields và poor chất lượng protein. With that, the only way khổng lồ fill the demvà was through the importation of the flour và grains from Europe.

Fresh banh mày prepared at Banh Mi Lanh- one of the best banh mày contenders in Hoi An. Photo: Kristen Wells

French Occupation

Through the period of French occupation, the French adopted a poor pseudoscience. The belief that bread & meat made you svào, while the local diet of rice and fish made you weak. With this false idea, coupled with the high cost of wheat imported from Europe, bread was unattainable by the local people of Vietphái mạnh. Unless they were wealthy and powerful.

The introduction of rice flour during WWI

It wasn’t until WWI that shipments were disrupted. Needing lớn fill the gap for wheat, some bakeries began incorporating inexpensive sầu rice flour into lớn the recipe. The yielding result was a baguette that was fluffier và lighter with a thin crisp crust. Compared lớn its dense and chewy French counterpart.

Along with that, two of the leading import companies in Saigon were German-owned. Both seized by the authorities. With the French sailing off to lớn war, large amounts of perishable goods were left behind in the once German warehouses. These goods then flooded the Vietnamese markets in Saigon và were affordable lớn the locals.

For once, the Vietnamese working class could afford cheese, pate, deli meats, bread, butter and condensed milk. However, bread still appeared as it always had. Accompanying a platter of cured meats và cheese, or in the form of a jambon-beurre. The only real local creation seen was a breakfast version for the Vietnamese. Called Bánh mì bơ—butter và sugar.

Birth of the banh mi

The true birth of the banh ngươi came about in 1954 in Saigon, after the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu. Up to this point, Vietnamese people could not alter the food of their coloniamenu masters. After the withdrawal of the French, the Vietnamese were không tính phí lớn customise the food using local ingredients. Tailoring the flavours khổng lồ the local tongue & creating some of the best banh mi’s not only in Hoi An but across Vietnam giới.

It wasn’t until the fall of Saigon in 1975 that banh ngươi travelled internationally. South Vietnamese people fled as refugees, seeking a new trang chính. They may have sầu travelled with few physical possessions. But they were plentiful with culture and tradition, of which banh mi was a part of.

Buyers wait as their banh mày is made to order in Hoi An. Photo: Agnuush

Banh ngươi ingredients

The components that go into a banh mi vary from a wide assortment of items. Only restricted by one’s imagination. For this instance, we’ll be going through the fillings more commonly found if you’re walking up khổng lồ a st& and ordering a banh mi. Some of the more established stands that are frequented by foreigners will have sầu menus in English. But the majority bởi vì not. Just don’t let this danh sách lead you into thinking there isn’t more out there in terms of combinations and variety.


The bread used in banh mi is a relative of the baguette from colonial times. It’s lighter và less chewy with a thin và crisp crust. Some may argue that it’s the most critical part of the sandwich, but it’s not. However, it does make a big difference in the result. The banh mi bread in Hoi An is by far the best compared to lớn bread found elsewhere in Vietnam giới.


Chicken or, sometimes, duck livers are used in making this French spread. It adds a subtle flavour that is hard khổng lồ pichồng out in the sandwich when you’re not looking for it—but the importance of this rich và savoury paste is paramount.


Mayo is most commonly used, although margarine or butter can also be found. These are used to lớn provide a richness in the sandwich & to protect the bread from moist ingredients và sauces.


Most places will employ the use of one or more homemade sauces, oils or pastes to lớn add moisture and flavour khổng lồ the banh ngươi. At the very least, Maggi sauce will be used (usually found at smaller banh mày stands), which is a soy and vegetable protein based sauce from Switzerl&.


Strips of cucumber are comtháng, along with shredded pickled carrot & papaya or daikon. They provide the banh mi with a good layer of texture, while the pickled vegetables are a great way of adding some acidity to balance the richness of the fillings.


The herbs help elevate the sandwich with wonderful floral & medicinal flavours. Coriander và Vietnamese mint are the most common.

A banh mi seller’s cart piled high with tasty sandwich fillings. Photo: Hidden Hoi An

Proteins in banh mi

Cha Lua – Ground pork that has been seasoned & packed tightly in a banamãng cầu leaf and steamed. Usually seen as thin slices in the banh mày and one of the more commonly seen ingredients in the sandwich.

Thit Nguoi – It usually consists of cubes of meat that can be layered with strips of fat that are cooked & mix in the shape of a log. The flavour is similar lớn cured mê mẩn và a comtháng and tasty filling found in banh ngươi.

Gio Thu – The Vietnamese version of headcheese, where parts of the animal that are less desirable such as the tails, skin, tendon, và meat from the head are cooked down khổng lồ release their gelatin. When cooled, the resulting Gio Thu is sliced thin and used as a cold cut.

Thit Nuong – Pieces of pork are cut and marinated and then grilled over charcoal. The meat can come from different parts of the animal & are dependent on the chef. The texture is dry, & the flavour is sweet and savoury with a wonderful flavour from coals.

Xa Xiu – Barbequed pork that is very similar in style lớn Chinese char siu. Once again, the cuts of meat used will depend on the chef.

Nem Nuong – Ground pork is mixed with seasonings & aromatics, formed into lớn small patties or sausages and grilled over charcoal.

Bread is better in Hoi An

The bread used for the banh ngươi is not the be all and over all of the sandwich, but it does make a big difference. As we said earlier, in the past, some banh ngươi bakeries would incorporate rice flour to lớn reduce the cost of production. While this is still sometimes used, it’s less common as wheat flour is now more easily attainable within the country. Along with that, most bakeries will bake twice a day, sometimes more, due khổng lồ the short shelf life of bread in the tropical climate.

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Hoi An’s bakers work hard lớn keep up with the demvà for the best banh mi Hoi An. Photo: Kristen Wells

The bread in Hoi An is light, with a thin và crisp crust pointed at the ends & considered to be the best by many. The loaf scored once lengthwise forms a small bread ear when baked. Most consumers may overlook the bread ear, but it’s a sign that dough has been properly kneaded, shaped, và baked—though this doesn’t apply for all types of bread. When heated again for service, this ear quickly toasts up and adds a great texture lớn the roll.

So why is the bread better in Hoi An compared to lớn other areas of Vietnam?

A lot of bakeries say the reason is because the French first left recipes in this area from when they began trading in Hoi An and Da Nang in the mid-1800s, và bakeries haven’t bothered changing what they’ve sầu learned. Additionally, bakeries in towns north và south of the area have tried khổng lồ copy the recipes without a full understanding of how khổng lồ use them. It’s a possibility that some bakeries are still even using rice flour or inferior wheat flour.

Another reason comes from the standard of the banh mày st&. Ensuring the bread is adequately toasted before handing it over khổng lồ the customer. While you may think that this is a no-brainer, there are still stands out there that khuyễn mãi giảm giá up untoasted rolls that lack the crunch of a toasted one.

At the end of the day, the answer is that it’s better because…it just is. Likely all stemming from one good recipe left years ago that was adopted by the five sầu bakeries within Hoi An. There are no gimmicks here, no filler, and no rice flour, just water, salternative text, and yeast—and you can’t forget the three types of carefully measured wheat flours.

The best banh mày fresh from the oven in Hoi An. Photo: Agnuush

Where to lớn find the best banh mi in Hoi An?

Hoi An has a fair nói qua of banh mày stands mix around this ancient city. None of them particularly bad. But a few vì chưng rise above sầu, known for a top quality sandwich và hence contenders for our best banh mi in Hoi An title. Since each stvà usually offers a number of different kinds of banh mi, we based our descriptions and opinions on the traditional style banh mày served. It’s worth noting that most stands vị offer vegetarian versions, not only for the influx of tourists but for the local vegetarian community as well.

Banh Mi Phuong

Address: 2b Phan Chu Trinh – Opening Hours: 6:30 a.m – 9:30 p.m. Monday – Sunday – Cost: 15,000 to lớn 35,000 VND (0.65 c lớn 1.50 USD)

Behind the well-stocked glass counter, five sầu to lớn seven employees assemble banh ngươi non-stop for the hordes of people that flock to lớn this once small st& operation. Phuong is one of the hardest to lớn miss banh mày businesses in Hoi An, mainly due khổng lồ the queue that spills out onkhổng lồ the street for the majority of the day – definitely one of the best.

The team at Banh Mi Phuong work to lớn make banh mi for the hungry hordes of tourists. Photo: Kristen Wells

The banh ngươi with pork, yêu thích, and pate (or number nine on the board) filled khổng lồ the brlặng with grilled meat, Vietnamese sausage, & loads more. Their pate with whole pieces of blaông chồng pepper is fantastic, not khổng lồ mention their secret meaty sauce. Another great aspect is that the bakery that provides them with their bread is just next door. Their baking schedule ensures that fresh bread comes out periodically throughout the day.

Hidden Hint: Banh Mi Phuong was made famous after appearing in Anthony Bourdain’s – No Reservations, the reason why they now mainly operate out of their new location. If you’re up for a small adventure, head lớn the east side of the Central Market và locate the original stand. It’s a small st& with no queues that is open in the morning & evenings.

Banh Mi Phuong’s famous Vietnamese sandwich, as recommended by Anthony Bourdain. Photo: Kristen Wells

Phi Banh Mi

Address: Cam Pho tp – Opening Hours: 8 a.m – 8 p.m. Monday – Sunday – Cost: 15,000 lớn 35,000 VND (0.65c lớn 1.50 USD)

Phi Banh Mi has been in business since 2013 & is still new khổng lồ the scene, considering the other banh mi veterans in town have been around for decades. However, in the short period since opening, Phi Banh Mi has achieved a higher rating on TripAdvisor and have sầu equalled or exceeded their popularity with locals, expats & travellers. Phi and his wife Tau run the business, & they’re located at Phi’s parent’s home page just north of the Old Town.

Phi offers a slightly smaller banh ngươi than other stands for a lower price, and it’s perfect for pretty much any time of the day. Their traditional banh ngươi comes with slices of five sầu spice braised pork belly, Vietnamese sausage, pate, cucumber, slaw và herbs. A tasty sandwich well-balanced within the bun. They also have an excellent selection to lớn choose from on their English menu, with a delicious option to lớn add avocado khổng lồ your banh mi for a small extra price. Additionally offered are two great vegetarian banh mi’s including cheese or seared tofu. The staff are happy to do a vegan version if you ask.

Hidden Hint: For the price point và unique, Phi’s cheese banh mày is a great choice to lớn fill up on when going out for the day. Try lớn avoid meat-based banh mi’s in these situations, as they’ll spoil faster in the heat if not consumed soon after.

Banh Mi made at Phi Banh Mi Hoi An. Photo: Kristen Wells

Madam Kkhô cứng – The Banh Mi Queen

Address: 115 Tran Cao Van – Opening Hours: 7 a.m – 7 p.m. Monday – Sunday – Cost: 20,000 VND (0.85c USD)

One of the Hoi An powerhouses of banh ngươi, Madam Kkhô giòn – The Banh Mi Queen, has been constructing banh ngươi gems for over 30 years và has been selling street food for over 50. Named after her husbvà, who can usually be found quietly walking through the restaurant assisting customers. The storefront, only a short distance north of the Old Town, easily missed by passersbys not paying attention.

The Queen’s banh mi stands out from the crowd with easily distinguishable fillings and sauces—It’s saucy, rich, sweet, và savoury. This may sound lượt thích a regular banh ngươi, but it’s not. Inside the sandwich, you’ll find roast pork or chicken depending on your choice, Vietnamese sausage, the usual herb và vegetable phối, as well as a strip of a well-seasoned omelette. The highlight though, their secret sauce, slathered in just before the filling. This incredible sauce is a huge part of the flavour protệp tin of the final banh mi. While most stands provide a number of choices, the Queen specialises in only this one, along with a vegetarian version.

Hidden Hint: The Queen does have pre-made banh mi for people looking for a takeaway order. The banh mi is good, but the texture not as nice as a freshly made one. If ordering one for takeaway, asking for a fresh one is advisable. If you have time, sitting in the restaurant is the best choice lớn get the best chất lượng banh mi from The Queen.

Banh Mi magic from Madam Khanh – The Banh Mi Queen of Hoi An. Photo: Hidden Hoi An

Banh Mi Lanh

Address: Cam Chau – Opening Hours: Advertised as 6:00 a.m – 9:30 p.m. Monday – Sunday – Cost: trăng tròn,000 VND (0.85c USD)

A seemingly non-descript banh mày st& easily driven past all day long without a second glance. What many people don’t know is that Lanh serves up a fantastic banh ngươi that’s worth the trip or the stop if driving down Cua Dai Road. Banh Mi Lanh isn’t on TripAdvisor or found dominating social media or guidebooks. But it’s a hot spot among muốn the local community, preferred by many over the other banh ngươi juggernauts in town.

While the stand doesn’t have a selling point or major stvà out feature lớn set itself apart, it’s almost impossible lớn find a fault in the sandwich. One of the exciting choices is their pate option. Wetter than some of the ones used by other stands which are on the dryer side. At one bite into the roll, we know you’ll agree Lanh is worth the stop.

Banh Mi Lanh on Cua Dai Road does a swift trade in banh mi’s lớn go. Photos: Kristen Wells

Banh Mi Chay

Address: Phan chau trinch và Nguyen hue – Opening Hours: 6:30 a.m. – 10 a.m (or when she sells out) – Cost: 15,000 VND (0.60c USD)

While vegetarian và vegan banh mi’s may be scoffed at in other countries. They’re perfectly acceptable in Vietnam giới. With at least one stand dedicated to this speciality in every town—Hoi An is no exception. A very kind woman named Hoi runs the stvà located in Old Town. Although she doesn’t speak English, she does her best in trying every time. That being said, not much needs to lớn be said. She only does one kind of banh mi—and quite honestly that’s good enough!

Her vegan banh mày full of flavourful diced mushrooms, marinated tofu, slaw, chopped peanuts, herbs và a flavourful liquid drizzled in the sandwich to moisten the bread. Apart from it being a great banh ngươi in terms of flavour, it costs only 15,000 VND (0.60c USD), making this a tasty steal within Hoi An.

Hidden Hint: If you pay an extra 5,000 VND (0.20c USD), you can get additional fillings in your sandwich.

Customers enjoy a vegan banh mày from Hoi Banh Mi Chay in Hoi An. Photos: Kristen Wells và Hidden Hoi An

Drunk Banh Mi Stand

Address: An Hoi – Opening Hours: After 9.30 p.m. unfixed days – Cost: 25,000 VND (1 USD) – 30,000 VND (1.30 USD)

The following st& may be a strange choice lớn include in an article outlining the best banh mày. However, for those caught in the late-night hunger game—the struggle is real. Hoi An does not have a large late-night scene. But those who vị take khổng lồ the bars until cchiến bại will find themselves released inlớn a land where food is near impossible lớn find in the early hours. Fear not, there is a banh ngươi stand located right across from Tiger Tiger Bar on An Hoi. It appears in the late evening và will stay open until the last of the befuddled patrons have moved on. This stvà isn’t out there khổng lồ corner the banh mi market and rise into lớn the elite status as some of the others in town. They’re there to provide late night revellers with the food that they need.

They have a good selection of choices to lớn cover your cravings—from pork, rotisserie chicken with cheese, to lớn egg, và more. On the window of their stand is an English thực đơn lớn help you with your decision.

Hidden’s thoughts

After considering all the factors, including bread, fillings, and physical locations, as well as excluding TripAdvisor Đánh Giá & celebrity mentions. We at Hidden find it impossible lớn name a banh mi to stvà above sầu all others as the best.

At the over of the day, the banh ngươi is a sandwich of preference, và preferences vary widely between people. Additionally, looking past the lines and tour groups, each business has a loyal local và expat following that equals the next. For the price point and kích cỡ, it’s possible to try them all. However, if you’d have lớn choose we recommover aiming for Phi, Queen and Phuong banh ngươi. These three will give sầu you the best representation of the banh mày spectrum in Hoi An.