My 5: Banh Mi – Hanoi, Vietnam.

Banh Mi cart Hanoi

1. April 2018. I was wandering around the exterior of Hanoi’s famous Dong Xuan Market when I felt myself drawn to a long queue of people waiting at what looked like some kind of mobile sandwich station. Aaaaah it’s Banh Mi, I realized upon closer inspection. I’d heard all about Banh Mi during my Vietnam research. It’s basically a crispy French baguette that comes with a variety of tempting fillings.

2. April 2018. Not really knowing what I was ordering, I ended up with a filling of minced beef pâté, topped with thin strips of carrot, sliced cucumber, a sprinkling of cilantro leaves, a touch of chili pepper and a drizzle of some kind of spicy sauce. I paid 10.000 VND (£0.32/€0.36/$0.44). 

3. April 2018. The queue showed no sign of abating while I was there, with both locals and tourists patiently awaiting their pocket-sized slabs of yumminess. I’d just received my Banh Mi when these girls rolled up on their motorbike at the back of the queue.

4. April 2018. One of the motorbike girls took this photo for me just before I devoured my Banh Mi. The bread was fresh, the pâté had a nice tang to it and it filled a small hole. But overall I felt it was… unsensational. Which left me determined to try a different variety.

5. April 2018. So I tried my luck the next day at a chain called Don Bread in The Old Quarter that specializes in a style of Banh Mi popular in the city of Hoi An. Stuffed with grilled pork and lemongrass, it was a vast improvement on my first experience. Win! This one was priced at 25000 VND (£0.80/€0.90/$1.10). Double win!

For more on Vietnam’s amazing capital, have a look at more My 5s from around Hanoi

Like these? Then why not have a leaf through my articles from across Vietnam.

Leighton Literature travel reports short stories travel blogger

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Freelance travel writer, voice over and English teacher from London. Former music and film journalist, interviewer of the stars. Passionate about travel, film, music, football, Indian food.

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