Our Adventure To Find The Best Banh Mi In Hanoi

One of our goals was to find the best banh mi in Hanoi. And, especially because at the time of writing this travel blog… Hanoi won the best food destination in Vietnam, according to TripAdvisor contributors.

So for us, being major foodies… this was going to be a great food adventure for us! And boy, do we LOVE our banh mi.

Now, when traveling around Vietnam… you’ll discover that one of the staple “fast foods” or meals is the banh mi. While it is popular for both locals and tourists alike… they do have some differences in the various regions around the country.

On this trip to Hanoi we spent half the time in the Tay Ho area of Hanoi… and the other half in the Old Quarter. Yet, in this We Drink Eat Travel Blog… we’ll run through some of the best banh mi in Hanoi Old Quarter and the Hoan Kiem Lake areas only. 

We’ll also alert you to some not so great ones too, from our perspective anyway.

Let’s begin with this place…

1. Banh My 17

So, for our very first banh mi in Hanoi Old Quarter… it was a need not a want! And, that’s because one of the first things we did on our arrival in Hanoi… was to check out the lively Beer Street area. And, after having had several beers we were getting ravenous. 

Banh Mi 17 was on our list of banh mi places to try. Plus, it was a convenient stroll of around only 50 metres from top of Ta Hien beer street… where we’d been watching the world go by. Plus, they apparently open up until the wee hours of the morning to 4am. Now that, we didn’t experience.

Out the front were several tables and chairs… including the iconic little plastic chairs!

It did look busy at the time we went. Yet, after going inside to put our order in… we didn’t have to wait long. And, thank goodness as we could’ve eaten the legs off those little plastic stools… ha ha! So, our orders were for the veggie banh mi… of which the filling had tofu, mushroom and vegetables.

Now, this is one thing on our quest to find the best banh mi in Hanoi… many of the places use lettuce as an ingredient in the fillings. Yet, lettuce wasn’t a staple in other parts around Vietnam. There was also something else that was strange with some of the banh mis in Hanoi… that we’ll run through later.

So, for 25,000 VND… it was tasty and just what our bellies were needing to satisfy our hunger. That’s only about USD $1, 0.90 Euros or GBP 0.80. So, you may be thinking that this is crazy cheap, which it is. Yet, you’ll discover further in our blog that you can get even cheaper! Yep, you read that correctly.

2. Bami 34

After a night out drinking in the beer street area… we found this place on our way back to our accommodation. Now, it wasn’t on our list. Yet, at this banh mi place they did have several vegetarian options, which was positive for us. So, we chose the tofu and mushroom one for 25,000 VND each. 

Now, it had the big leaf of lettuce which was fresh and some other veggies. They also put it under the grill to flatten it like a panini. 

Yet, for our second banh mi in Hanoi we don’t rate it highly. And, that’s mainly because it literally had one piece of tofu… as well as a few small mushrooms. Further to that, the tofu was so thinly sliced it was almost like paper thin.

OK, we did have quite a few beers out before getting to Bami 34… but we weren’t that drunk. We knew what we were getting, which wasn’t a lot.

While we didn’t have the best banh mi in Hanoi here… hopefully you have a better experience!

3. Xoi Banh Mi Kim Huong 

Not too far from our accommodation was Xoi Banh Mi Kim Huong. This Mama had a variety of different banh mi on offer to suit meat eaters through to vegan. 

Now, what we did like about this place is that even though she had run out of an ingredient… she was quick to offer a substitute. Smart woman.

The price was 25,000 VND for the tofu and mushroom banh mi. She was telling us that her tofu is special… and the only one with the distinct flavor like it in Hanoi. Well, we’d have to agree that it sure was delicious.

Plus, another of the major differences between all of the banh mi in Hanoi that we had was… the chili sauce was actually spicy. We’d say that out of the all banh mi that we had… and it was a lot, Ms Kim’s was the only one that had a decent spice to the chili. All the others which had chili, even in the sauce bottles were mild at best.

Needless to say, we did go back again to indulge in her yummy banh mi.

4. Vân Mít Bánh Mì 

Now, after a big day of sightseeing… we did have the intention of going to the infamous Banh My Mama. Yet, as we were tired and so hungry… we didn’t have the patience to line up and wait. So, next to this place was Vân Mít Bánh Mì. 

We chose the egg banh mi which had one egg, one egg, fresh coriander, and veg. And, it didn’t take long to whip up the banh mi… as most people were at the other place. So, it was better option for us at the time than lining up at Banh My Mama… as we were getting hangry! 

Was it the best banh mi in Hanoi? Well, for 15,000 VND each, we give it a thumbs up. Not the best yet but very tasty and great value. We sat down on the little plastic stools, enjoying our banh mi… while watching the other tourists lining up opposite.

5. Banh mi Vui 

As we were walking in the morning for a day of sightseeing… we made the decision to start our day with a breakfast of banh mi. And, as we were strolling down Nguyễn Thái Học Street… we came across this small coffee and banh mi place.

There were two young girls whipping up coffees and banh mi for a few others before us. So, it was a good opportunity to check out the menu while we were waiting. Although a tiny place, we could sit at front on the little iconic stools. You’ll be sitting very close to other customers, if that doesn’t bother you.

So, we chose the egg banh mi with chili sauce. And, the pickled veggies that were in these banh mi were thicker than others, which was nice. Plus, we did like the fresh coriander that they put in to, adding more yummy flavor.

For only 15,000 VND each, it was a great way to start the day. Plus, the size of the banh mi was pretty generous for this price, too. Give the girls a visit if you’re in the area.


6. Banh My 38 Dinh Liet

While we were strolling round the cute and busy streets in Hanoi Old Quarter… we came across Banh My 38 on Dinh Liet Street. At the time we were the only customers there. We chose the egg banh mi, which was 20,000 VND each. 

The egg was cooked well and there was pickled veg beneath the egg. And, the way this banh mi was given to us was on a silver tray… like a boat with filling! That’s the best way I can describe it, ha ha ha!

It tasted OK, and one night after many drinks in surprise, surprise… Beer Street, we came back again. Unfortunately, that would be the last time we would come back to this banh mi place. There was an older lady making the banh mi and she was grumpy. 

We did order the egg banh mi again, and that’s all it had. No other ingredients, not even a coriander leaf. It was bland and boring for 20,000 VND. One of the worst banh mi in Vietnam, which is a shame… since our first banh mi here was quite good. We guess she had a bad day and we copped the brunt of it!

It definitely was not the best banh mi in Hanoi Old Quarter.

OK, so the only time we went to line up to get a banh mi in Hanoi was at this place…

7. Banh My Mama 

This was on our list of places to try and we had to see if the hype was worth it. We went one afternoon around 2:30pm. And there was already a sizeable line of people ahead of us… as well as other orders.

Yet, it was our mission to try Banh My Mama, so this time we patiently waited. 

Now, you may feel like you’re not getting any attention. Yet, the process is this:

  1. Wait in line. You can download the menu if you like via QR code on their stall… or take a photo of to peruse, while you’re waiting for service to put your order in.
  2. Once the line progresses and orders are being delivered to others… one of the ladies will take your order and write it down on a piece of paper with your name on it. 
  3. Wait for the ladies to cook up the banh mi orders.
  4. They will then call your name once your order is ready.
  5. You choose what sauces you want on it.
  6. You pay for the banh mi and enjoy.

They do flatten the banh mi, panini-style.  So, our one egg banh mi, had pickled veggies, lettuce and coriander. We did like the freshness of the ingredients. For only 12,000 VND it was the cheapest banh mi we’d had. 

Yet, while it was the cheapest banh mi we found… would it be worth the wait? Is this the best banh mi in Hanoi? 

Our honest opinion is that it was tasty, even though again, the chili sauce was very mild. 

Yet, we wouldn’t ever line up again even though it’s so inexpensive. We’d rather not wait for 45 minutes or even longer. We’d prefer to spend less time waiting and get a tasty banh mi elsewhere… even though it would cost more. Yet, we guess some people are on a strict budget. 

8. Delicious Banh Mi 34a Hang Buom 

This Mama has her little banh mi stall on 34a Hang Buom Street, opposite Sportivo bar. She can speak some English and her banh mi place was a surprise for us. 

We chose to go with an egg banh mi with veggies. And, what gave this even more flavor is that she put onion in it. She was the only one we had come across that put onion in the banh mi. No, not spring onion, but like slices of brown onion. And, it sure did make a huge flavorful difference. 

In addition to that, she did toast the banh mi… and put butter on the outside before cooking it. This gave it even more flavor. Plus, there was a good amount of filling in it for only 20,000 VND.

You can sit back at her stall sitting on the chairs… while hearing the roars of customers watching the live sports across the road. 

She was even telling us to put more chili or other sauces on if we wanted to. And we did, as the chili sauce again was so mild!

Now, after another night out in the Beer Street area… yes, it was a common theme for us… we were ravenous. And, rather than trying to work out where to go… we were at the top end of Ta Hien Street, so we went to visit our Mama again. 

She did remember us, and she told us she had tofu that day. So, we had to try it and with egg too. This was one of the most packed banh mi that we had… and it sure was really tasty. OK, it was a more pricey than others at 30,000 VND. Yet, she did cook up 2 eggs and tofu as well as the other veggies. It was great value.

She was very glad we came back and was proud of her little banh mi stall… showing us photos of her with other travelers who had stopped by.

Now, last but not least is this place… which we believe makes one of the best banh mi in Hanoi Old Quarter. 

9. Banh Mi LongHoi

While it is more expensive than most of the other banh mi that we did try… it sure is worth the money spent. These banh mi are full of fresh and delicious ingredients. It also did sound gourmet.

We chose the Banh Mi Peace, which is the vegetarian option. The ingredients included vegetarian meatball and mushroom charsiu, to name a few. We did love the pickled vegetables too. And, the ones in Banh Mi Long Hoi are delicious, chunky and fresh. 

Now, we had read some reviews… where customers say that it’s gimmicky having names for the banh mi. Yet, why not. It’s good to be different and stand out. It’s like the owner has taken the time and effort to make each one unique in their own way. Plus, it’s easy to order by just saying the name of the banh mi… rather than having to describe what you want in it!

You can get a super delicious, chock-full banh mi starting from 30,000 VND. We thought it was delicious, great value… and was definitely one of the best banh mi in Hanoi we had.

10. Vegan Pho Stall

OK, don’t let the name of this place fool you. While we did try the pho here, we had to try the banh mi too. And, as the name would suggest it’s vegan only. 

When you see this place, you’ll discover that there is more seating as you walk in. It was very busy when we were there, yet it didn’t take long to get our food. Many of the customers were locals. They would be there on their lunch break… have their meal and swiftly head off.

The banh mi was tasty… including ingredients such as vegan pate, mock meat and some veggies. For only 20,000 VND you can’t go wrong at this place. 

You can find Vegan Pho Stall on 74 Quan Su Street… only a few minutes walk from Hoa Lo Prison. 


When you go to some of these banh mi places, some will not have any prices. Thus, once you know what banh mi you want to have… ALWAYS ask what the price is BEFORE you commit. We’ve had a few instances where the prices were much more than what we thought… and average tasting.

And, on other occasions the prices were justified… as they would include two eggs, rather than only one egg in the banh mi, for example.

At the end of the day, more often than not you’ll know if they’re overcharging you as you walk away… and then some of them lower the price.

So, there you have some of the worst and best banh mi in Hanoi Old Quarter and the Hoan Kiem Lake area. In general, you can never really get a terrible banh mi. Although, a few have come close!

Now, one of the great things about banh mi in Hanoi, is that whether you’re a heavy meat eater, vegetarian or vegan… there are many places that can cater to your dietary requirements.

While we like chili sauce on our banh mi, preferably the home made type… one of the surprising things we found in Hanoi is that the chili sauce is very mild. It didn’t matter if we were piling up the sauce… it still wasn’t spicy enough for us. We thought that was strange for an Asian country, especially for Vietnam.

We also found with some of the banh mi places is that they toast them… so they end up flat like a panini. That didn’t bother us, but something you may like to know. Plus, often times they would put lettuce in the banh mi… which was unlike all the others that we’d had in Vietnam so far.

What you can expect though is this… wherever you go to get banh mi in Hanoi, they will be cheap. And mind you, some of the cheapest we’ve had in Vietnam. This is surprising considering it is the capital of the country.

So, the least expensive was 12,000 VND and the most expensive we had was 30,000 VND. And, at the end of the day that’s only around USD $1.20… for the more expensive banh mi. Just goes to show you can eat cheaply you can eat in Hanoi. Plus, it’s relatively healthy in comparison to many other foods.

The top places for us was Banh Mi LongHoi, Xoi Banh Mi Kim Huong… and Mama’s little stall Delicious Banh Mi on 34a Hang Buom Street. Make sure you try them! 


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