We’re currently in Hoi An, Vietnam. Hoi An is known for its fantastic tailoring and custom shoes . While poking around on the internet, searching for tips on restaurants in Hoi An, Jen found some information on two banh mi shops. I’m pretty sure that banh mi is different everywhere, here are some typical ingredients – some kind of pork (whether it’s pork sausage or grilled pork), cucumbers, pickled veggies, mayo, cheese, cliantro, perhaps an egg, cheese, chili sauce, all served in a french roll (mini baguette if you will). Delcious if you ask me.
Madam Khanh’s was closer to our hotel, so we decided to check her stand out first. After wandering up Tran Cao Van a bit, we saw her sign on her cart and knew we had arrived.
A little woman greeted us (the Banh Mi Queen herself) and ushered us to the only table, which seats 4. We sat down, and just like the Soup Nazi, you only order one thing on the menu. Banh Mi. She moves back into the little kitchen and gets to work moving between the stand with all of the toppings, heating the french roll in a makeshift oven and cooking eggs on a single burner stove.
After a few minutes the sandwich, with the majority of the toppings gets put into the warming oven, just waiting for the egg for the final touch. The banh mi is served to you in a bowl, and you are given a tiny plastic bag, so that you will be able to pick it up.
I loved this place, the sandwich, the experience, the iced coffee, and certainly the price! We had two banh mi sandwiches and two iced coffees all for the price of 80,000D, which is $4USD. You simply cannot beat that! Jen and I loved visiting the Banh Mi Queen so much that we rounded up Taanya (an Aussie we met on our Halong Bay cruise) and Nic (another Aussie we met in Hoi An) to join us in banh mi the very next day.
A few days later we decided to check out the other banh mi place that is famous for Anthony Bourdain stopping by.
We had a little trouble finding this place. We rode up and down on Hoang Dieu before spotting it. It’s mixed in with a bunch of tailor shops.
The sandwich itself was the same price as the Bahn Mi Queen, 20,000D. No egg, and they did ask the spiciness level, which I appreciated. The iced coffee was only 10,000D. The sandwich was equally delicious. I’d say that the veggie ratio was higher in this particular banh mi.
Here is a picture of the cart/stand that is Phuong Banh Mi-
I found Phuong Banh Mi to be more of a stand where you are rushed and people are waiting in line for sandwiches. More hustle and bustle. They are both fantastic banh mi sandwiches. Personally, I’d take Madam Khanh as I enjoyed the entire experience of her making the sandwich more. If you have the time, try them both. And you truly can’t beat the price!
Where did we stay in Hoi An?
The Nhi Trung Hotel – A little outside of downtown Hoi An, but a great location with a nice breakfast.