What is Banh Mi?
Banh Mi is a traditional Vietnamese food that you can find on just about every corner of Vietnam. Banh mi is a foot-long baguette stuffed with delicious ingredients. This popular lunch dish is a remnant of the influences of Vietnam's colonial period, when the country was a constituent of French Indochina in the 19th and 20th centuries. Here in Vietnam, you'll never go hungry, especially when there is a banh mi shop just around the corner!
Banh mi are usually stuffed full of all sorts of delicious ingredients - often pate, fried egg, barbecued pork, and lots and lots of fresh herbs and veggies, and drizzled in a chili sauce. You can always order a banh mi just the way you like it.
Where to find Banh Mi in Hanoi?
You can find Banh Mi (or "Banh My", as it's sometimes spelled) all throughout Hanoi. In fact, it would be difficult to find a street corner without a banh mi shop or two! Although this ubiquitous food is easy to find, we scoured the city's Old Quarter around the Hoan Kiem Lake area to find some of the best and most delicious banh mi shops in all of Hanoi.
Some top banh mi shops in Hanoi''s Old Quarter (in no particular order)
1. Pate Banh Mi at phố cổ -11 Hàng Gà
A secret gem of the corner of 11th street:
As I wandered around to find delicious banh mi, I stumbled on this place by accident. What makes it so special? This banh mi is stuffed with lots of good stuff. This fresh and crispy baguette is stuffed full with fatty BBQ pork, very rich patê, fresh veggies (cucumber, cilantro, raw papaya, and carrot) with additional chili sauce. If you can handle a little spice, I highly recommend you to say YES to the chili sauce! It's not too spicy, TRUST ME ;) and it gives the sandwich a delicious kick. I think this could be love at first bite!
This isn't so much a restaurant as an open-air street-side shop. It's located on the sidewalk at the corner of 11th street. So grab a tiny plastic stool, order an ice cold beer, and enjoy your delicious banh mi right on the side of the busy street!
Lots of fillings - the lady who makes the sandwiches stuffs them so full!
Lots of delicious and healthy veggies
Cool open-air location - eat like a local on a plastic stool outside of an old temple
Price: 20.000 VND
2. Banh Mi 25
One of the most famous and popular shops among tourists and locals:
So many reviewers wrote absolutely glowing reviews of Banh Mi 25. Some have gone as far as to say that it's the best banh mi in all of Hanoi! I had to come for lunch myself to find out. Banh mi 25 offers so many different types of sandwiches, with an excellent selection of vegetarian options. The first banh mi that I ordered was a vegetarian sandwich: oyster mushroom with fired garlic. I also ordered one with honey chicken grilled.
This really is a wonderful restaurant, and they have lots of places to sit looking out over the busy street too. They give lots of ingredients stuffed in the bread, and of course big pieces too! They have a nice area to sit and sip some beers or juice. It's very clean and open air. This place is very popular and can be quite busy during lunch time. Don't be confused when you order; the shop has 2 sections across the street from one another. One side is the kitchen and cashier where you place your order and pay. You can order and take a seat in the area across the street. They will come serve you. After your meal, you have to cross the tiny road to pay at the cashier.
a bit more expensive than other banh mi shops, but totally worth the extra price
great atmosphere and comfortable seating
amazing vegetarian options - nearly half the menu is vegetarian
a great place to sit with a nice beer while enjoying your lunch
they give lots and lots of ingredients in the banh mi!
Price: 25.000 - 30.000 VND
3. Banh Mi Lan Ong
Banh Mi Lan Ong is a famous pate banh mi shop that is very close to Hoan Kiam Lake. I heard that they have been making fresh homemade patê every day in the traditional style for three generations! I ordered one of their famous banh mi pate. It's their special family recipe, and it is wonderful! They add fried onion to the sandwich as an ingredients, and that's just one thing that makes this banh mi different from other banh mi in Hanoi. Their savory and rich patê is stuffed together with pork, veggies, and ham. This shop is a nice restaurant with proper tables and chairs.
special homemade pate is made every morning with the secret family recipe
home-style family-run shop
super friendly staff and comfortable seating
Price: 25.000 VND
4. Bread More
I visited Bread More for lunch. This is a trendy and modern shop with a great menu. I ordered one of their recommended grilled pork sandwiches, which surprisingly had a lot more than only grilled pork inside! This banh mi also came stuffed with omelette, pâté, lots of veggies (mostly carrot, raw papaya and cucumber), some sort of delicious peppery sauce, and mayonnaise. If you want, you can even add a few extra chilies to your sandwich for a bit of extra flavor and spice! The baguette was freshly baked out of the oven and served warm. In fact, they were still baking the bread when we walked in out of the rain!
As for the taste, it's just perfect! The grilled pork came in big pieces (not too much fat), and all of the flavors are blended so well together that non overpowered any other. I really love the pepper sauce and veggies so much! Besides banh mi, they also sell milk tea! The shop is very close to Hoan Kiem Lake. They have seats and tiny tables inside for customers.
nice seating area
delicious fresh breat
they also sell milk tea!
lots and lots of veggies
Price 25.000 VND
Of course, these are only just a few of the many incredible banh mi restaurants throughout Hanoi's Old Quarter! Try a few for yourself! If you visit any other banh mi shops that you think are amazing, leave a comment!