Paul and I have tried many banh mi Vietnamese sandwiches on our travels in Vietnam. The quality has varied greatly and so has the amount of filling.
As we buy vegetarian banh mi, the prices we’ve paid have ranged from 5,000 VND (about USD $0.25) to 25,000 VND. So if you’re a meat eater you can expect to pay about twice as much.
What we’ve found is that in the big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, they prices are more expensive as we expected.
Now, if you’re backpacking Vietnam, are on a strict budget, or want to have ingredients you want… rather than buying banh mi’s from a street food stall or Vietnamese restaurant MYO!
So in this blog post I’m going to run through how we can make 4 banh mi Vietnamese sandwiches for about 25,000 VND… that’s a crazy cheap USD $1 or thereabouts!
Look Out For The Red, White And Yellow Signs
On your travels through Vietnam, you may have seen stores with signs like this for Vinmart Supermarkets…
There are smaller versions of these supermarkets called VinMart Plus…
Yet, when we were in Hanoi, I went into a VinMart Supermarket in Hanoi. The one I went to was in the Syrena Shopping Center, at 51 Xuan Dieu in West Lake (Tay Ho).
And while I was in there I found this mammoth Vietnamese baguette…
The size of this baguette was about 64cm (25 inches) in length… and the circumference was about 28cm (11 inches). So I reckon that’s a pretty darn big Vietnamese baguette, what do you think?!
Now, while I was in there I also saw tomatoes…
And I also saw a big cucumber, which would help make up the Vietnamese sandwich.
Plus, I also saw small 10g portions of New Zealand Anchor butter. The pack size sold at VinMart is usually 10 x 10g, which is about 28,000 VND.
Now, about 3 portions would be great. And I made sure I got the SALTED butter for more flavor.
And if you really wanted… you could put in some spring onions for added flavor, which you can get in a small bunch.
What It Could Cost To Make Your Own Banh Mi Sandwiches
So how much would it cost to make the banh mi Vietnamese sandwiches?
- The big Vietnamese baguette from VinMart = ~9,000 VND
- A large cucumber = ~3,000 VND
- 4 small tomatoes = ~5,000 VND
- 3 portions of 10g size salted butters = ~8,000 VND
- OPTIONAL: Small amount of spring onions = ~1,000 VND
And because the Vietnamese baguette in the VinMart Supermarket is HUGE… I cut it up into 4 smaller portions. The size of each would then be like the ones you can buy on the street.
So here’s what our banh mi Vietnamese baguettes ended up like…
And the total cost to make these was ~25,000 VND (about USD $1.00).
They were tasty and filling for a quick, easy and cheap lunch.
And the great thing was, the baguette I bought at the VinMart was freshly baked that same day too… crusty on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, with an “OH SO YUMMY” flavor!
I could eat the baguette on its own as it’s that delicious.
If you can’t find a VinMart with these delicious Vietnamese baguettes… You can get them from one of the street food stall owners or at a local Vietnamese market.
Buying them from the market will be cheaper, but the street food stalls are usually more convenient.
So as a rough guide, I pay anywhere from 2,000 VND to 5,000 VND per banh mi bread.
You can also get baguettes at a café or bakery, which generally has a lot more options including dark bread. Yet bear in mind that if you’re watching your budget, you’ll most like have to pay more.
And of course, you can adjust the fillings according to your taste and budget. We also like to put in salt, pepper, and fried eggs or even sliced up cabbage sometimes.
Yet, this blog was to give you an idea for making your own banh mi sandwiches on the cheap, while you’re traveling. And to give you an idea of the price you’d expect to pay for the ingredients in Vietnam.
And as I write this, I’m getting hungry… So I’m off to make some banh mi Vietnamese sandwiches!
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