Bánh mì in Saigon


banh mi in saigon
Bánh mì in Saigon
Image credit: @cheapycat69, @bonbonheo85, Ben Thanh Street Food Market, Bánh Năm

Bánh mì is a staple in Vietnamese cuisine, and has inspired cooks everywhere to improvise on the original dish by coming up with different types of toppings.

So if you think there is only one version of bánh mì, think again – here’s a list of variations of bánh mì in Saigon that you might not know existed.


1. Fishball bánh mì (bánh mì chả cá)


banh mi fishball
Image credit: @cheapycat69

Nothing helps a busy local get out of bed on a chilly morning faster with a fishball bánh mì, for a change from the usual bánh mì in Saigon that comes with fried egg and roasted pork.

banh mi with fishball
Image credit: @luongthanh123

This freshly baked baguette stuffed with mouthful deep-fried fish balls, cucumber slices, coriander, layered with soy sauce and chilli sauce can awaken all your taste buds immediately.

Price range: VND10,000-VND15,000 (~USD0.43-USD0.65)
Find this bánh mì here:

  • Bánh mì cá Hàng Xanh, 246D Xo Viet Nghe Tinh Street, Ward 21, Binh Thanh District
  • Bánh mì Má Hải, 187 Vinh Vien Street, Ward 4, District 10
  • Mì Cá Viên Cà Ri – Phá Lấu lòng bò, 436 Nguyen Trai Street, Ward 7, District 5
  • Bánh mì chả cá Long Hải, 101 Nguyen Duy Duong Street, Ward 9, District 5

2. Dumpling bánh mì (bánh mì há cảo)


banh mi with dumplings
Image credit: Avi Hồ

Dumpling bánh mì (bánh mì há cảo) is a unique crossover between Chinese street cuisine and Vietnamese street food. This bánh mì is stuffed with fat, juicy steamed dumplings sprinkled with some pepper and salt.

Put together, the crustiness of the baguette coupled with the chewiness and succulence of the dumplings you an oddly satisfying taste .

Price range: VND17,000-VND25,000 (~USD0.73-USD1.08)
Find this bánh mì here:

  • 358 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, Ward 5, District 3
  • 57 De Tham Street, Co Giang Ward, District 1
  • 78 Nguyen Tri Phuong Street, Ward 7, District 5

3. Ice-cream bánh mì (bánh mì kẹp kem)


ice cream banh mi 2
Image credit: @bonbonheo85

Ice-cream bánh mì (bánh mì kẹp kem) might look like an innovative dish, but it has been around for decades and is a sweet memory for millennials who grew up in the 90s in the south of Vietnam.

ice cream banh mi - banh mi kem
Image credit: @numaiiiii

One portion contains 2-3 scoops of ice cream and crushed peanuts, and is layered with milk or chocolate sauce. The idea of putting ice-cream in bánh mì may make traditional foodies cringe, but it’s worth a try especially on a hot day.

Price range: VND15,000-VND25,000 (~USD0.65-USD1.08)
Find this bánh mì here:

  • Phan Van Tri & Huynh Man Dat intersection, Ward 2, District 5
  • Bánh mì kem ông Diệu street cart, 50 Tran Quy Cap Street, Ward 6, District 11

4. Fried tofu bánh mì (bánh mì đậu hũ chiên)


banh mi with tofu
Image credit: Bánh Năm

For vegetarians who are fans of bánh mì, fried tofu bánh mì (bánh mì đậu hũ chiên) is an ideal treat.

A heap of deep-fried tofu, coriander, Vietnamese pickles, and cucumber slices arrive with a scoop of soy sauce and chilli sauce in a crispy and soft baguette. While this is a guilt-free healthy snack, it’s no less of a sensory experience.

Price range: VND15,000-VND25,000 (~USD0.65-USD1.08)
Find this bánh mì here:

  • Bánh Năm, 213 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

5. Mussel bánh mì (bánh mì hến)


banh mi with mussels
Image credit: bánh mì Tôm – Hến Queen

Seafood fans will absolutely adore this weird yet tasty version of bánh mì called mussel bánh mì (bánh mì hến).  The baguette is stuffed with fried mussels, cucumber, mushroom, coriander, and Vietnamese fermented cucumber slices then layered with soy sauce. The mussel is sauteed with onion, garlic, oyster sauce, cashew oil, tamarind sauce, Dalat chili, then stir-fried with butter for a richer flavor.

banh mi with mussels
Image adapted from: @rosh551kmktosgntongo

The natural sweet and sour tastes come from the mussel flesh and the different spices used as a seasoning. Plus, the laksa leaves get rid of the mussels’ fishy smell.

Price range: VND15,000-VND25,000 (~USD0.65-USD1.08)
Find this bánh mì here:

  • Bánh mì Hến Anh Bon, 366 Nguyen Tri Phuong Street, Ward 4, District 10
  • Bánh mì Hến Anh Bon, 9 Thanh Thai Street, Ward 14, District 10
  • 50 Thanh Thai Street, Ward 12, District 10
  •  31/40 Ung Van Khiem Street, Ward 25, Binh Thanh District

6. Mixed banh mi (bánh mì trộn)


banh mi with mixed fillings
Image credit: @sin.vo27

Mixed bánh mì (bánh mì trộn) is a modified version of the popular street snack grilled rice sheets: same toppings but now wrapped in a baguette instead of grilled rice sheets. Simple yet diverse toppings with veggies, shredded pork, fried quail eggs, dry beef, coriander layered with fried onions, and lots of chilli sauce bring a distinctive flavor to the dish.

For those who worry that grilled rice sheets are not filling enough, rest assured the dish is now upgraded to a whole new level with bánh mì as the base.

Price range: VND15,000-VND25,000 (~USD0.65-USD1.08)
Find this bánh mì here:

  • Bánh mì Moha269/13 De Tham Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1
  • Bánh mì anh Phán, 145 Cong Quynh Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1

7. Fried shrimp bánh mì (bánh mì tôm chiên)


banh mi with fried shrimps
Image credit: @riley_daring_nguyen

Deep-fried bánh mì are traditionally seasoned with sugar and egg before frying, giving them their characteristic taste. But when shrimps are added instead of pork to make fried shrimp bánh mì (bánh mì tôm chiên), it tastes so much better.

One baguette is cut into slices, each is layered with butter and honey, then plastered with three fried shrimps. Deep-fried baguette itself has a crispy texture, and the smell coming from fried shrimp and butter and honey makes its flavor even more irresistible. 

Price range: VND15,000-VND25,000 (~USD0.65-USD1.08)
Find this bánh mì here:

  • Huỳnh Kim – bánh mì chiên tôm, C006 Le Hong Phong Street , Ward 2, District 5
  • 69 De Tham Street, Co Giang Ward, District 1
  • Le Hong Phong Street -Phan Văn Trị intersection, across 62 Le Hong Phong Street, District 5

8. Pork organ bánh mì (bánh mì phá lấu)


banh mi with pork organ 2
Image credit: @hanh_ng

Pork organ bánh mì (bánh mì phá lấu) is a versatile meal. It can either be served with by having baguette and pork organ soup in separate dishes, or by stuffing pork organs into the baguette and eating it like a dry dish.

banh mi with pork organ 1
Image credit: @banhmimania

Either way, the crunchy yet tender texture of the baguette blends well with the intense flavor of marinated pork organs. You also find diverse toppings that go with marinated organs, such as liver, tongue, quail eggs, duck organs, etc., as well as a packet of greens to balance the taste.

Price range: VND15,000-VND25,000 (~USD0.65-USD1.08)
Find this bánh mì here:

  • Quán Phá Lấu Bò Cô Thảo, 243 Ton Dan Street, Ward 15, District 4
  • Phá lấu dì Nủi, 30 Ton Dan Street, Ward 15, District 4
  • Phá Lấu Cô Oanh, 200 Lane, Xom Chieu Street, Ward 14, District 4
  • Bánh mì Tâm Kỳ, 823 Nguyen Trai Street, Ward 14, District 1

9. Cambodian pork buttered bánh mì (bánh mì bò bơ Campuchia)


banh mi Campuchia
Image credit: @dungg19mayy

Pork is no stranger to bánh mì, but pork satay is new. In Cambodian pork buttered bánh mì (bánh mì bò bơ Campuchia), the baguette is cut into slices, stir-fried for crunchiness, then coated with butter and honey.

Marinated pork satay coupled with spicy salad is served on the side to accent the flavor. What’s special about the satay is that it is marinated using Cambodian condiments such as tamarind sauce, garlic, palm sugar, and chili peppers.

Price range: VND15,000-VND25,000 (~USD0.65-USD1.08)
Find this bánh mì here:

  • A Tùng, 171 Cong Quynh Street, Nguyen Cu Trinh Ward, District 1
  • 165 Lane, Cong Quynh Street, Nguyen Cu Trinh Ward, District 1

10. Pig skin bánh mì (bánh mì bì)


banh mi with pig skin
Image credit: Ben Thanh Street Food Market

If you love pork but are always taken aback by the fattiness of roasted pork slices in bánh mì, pig skin bánh mì (bánh mì bì) is a good alternative.

Instead of the usual roasted pork, this bánh mì uses pig skin as the main filling. Pig skin is shredded and placed inside the baguette, mixed with slices of cucumbers, herbs, and chili, then layered with homemade sauces, making it a scrumptious and light dish for brunch or supper.

Price range: VND8,000-VND 15,000 (~USD0.34-USD0.65)
Find this bánh mì here:

  • Lò heo quay Hòa Đạt, 95 Tran Mai Ninh, Ward 12, Tan Binh District
  • Lò heo quay Liên Thái, 95 – 97 Tran Đinh Xu, District 1
  • Bến Thành Street Food market, 26-28-30 Thu Khoa Huan Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1
  • 37 Nguyen Trai Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1
  • 172 Tran Hung Dao Street, Ward 7, District 5

11. Chiew mai and salted egg bánh mì (bánh mì xíu mại trứng muối)


banh mi with chiew mai & salt eggs
Image credit: Nguyễn Hoàng Lam

Foodies in Ho Chi Minh city are hailing chiew mai and salted egg bánh mì (bánh mì xíu mại trứng muối) as a new must-have street dish, because it comes from a vendor’s homemade recipe that you can’t find anywhere else. Inside the freshly baked bánh mì rests one piece of roasted beef, two to three pieces of chiew mai with protein-laden steamed salted egg inside, and layers of pork crackling for a crunchy and fatty texture.

banh mi with chiew mai and salted egg
Image adapted from: @quynh270897

This comfort food can keep you full for the whole day, so order it with only one piece of chiew mai if you want to save some stomach space for dessert.

Price range: VND22,000-VND30,000 (~USD0.95-USD1.29)
Find this bánh mì here:

  • Bánh mì xíu mại trứng muối cô Lành, 6 Ho Xuan Huong Street, Ward 14, Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City

Bonus: dragon fruit bánh mì (bánh mì thanh long)


dragon fruit banh mi
Image credit: @olym_oscar

In an attempt to rescue unsold dragon fruits amid the COVID-19 outbreak, ABC Bakery, a chain bakery in Vietnam, purchased a large amount of dragonfruits from local farmers.

With Vietnamese ingenuity, they launched a selection of bánh mì made with these dragon fruits (bánh mì thanh long) as a key ingredient that proved to be wildly popular with locals. However, due to the long queues of excited customers coming in every day, this bánh mì gets sold out within 5 minutes from the time it comes out of the oven.

Each customer can only purchase at most 5 bánh mì at a time – if you get lucky. Each costs VND5,000 (~USD0.22). Keep in mind that these are plain baguettes with a subtle hint of dragon fruit, and you’ll still need to stuff it with fillings such as eggs, sausages, or meats, for a more complete version of the treat.

Find this bánh mì here:

  • ABC Bakery, 227 Nguyen Trai Street, Ward 2, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City
  • ABC Bakery, 91-91B Cach Mang Thang Tam Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
  • ABC Bakery, 368 Nguyen Thi Thap Street, Tan Quy Ward, District 7, Ho Chi Minh City

Different types of bánh mì in Saigon


Though it’s a humble dish, bánh mì has inspired countless innovative Vietnamese cooks, from street vendors to restaurant chefs, to incessantly look for new ingredients to create fantastic toppings and breathe new life into the dish.

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