Top 5 best banh mi Hanoi Old Quarter dish honored worldwide

Hanoi, the vibrant capital city of Vietnam, is renowned for its rich culinary scene. Among its many culinary delights, Banh Mi stands out as a must-try street food. These Vietnamese sandwiches have gained popularity worldwide, and Hanoi offers some of the best Banh Mi spots in the country. In this blog post, we will delve into the origins of Banh Mi Hanoi, explore the top spots in the Old Quarter, learn how to make Banh Mi at home, and discover the perfect drink pairings to enhance your Banh Mi experience.

Origin of Banh mi Hanoi

Banh mi, a Vietnamese term for bread, generally refers to a type of sandwich made with a baguette, typically filled with various savory ingredients. While Banh mi is known throughout Vietnam, the Hanoi-style Banh mi has its unique origins and flavors.

Origin of Banh mi Hanoi
Origin of Banh mi Hanoi

Hanoi-style Banh mi reflects the culinary traditions of northern Vietnam, particularly Hanoi, the capital city. Its origins date back to the French colonial period in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when the French introduced baguettes and various baking techniques to Vietnam.

The Hanoi-style Banh mi distinguishes itself by its choice of fillings and condiments. It often contains a combination of ingredients such as:

  • Pate: A legacy of French influence, pate is a common spread in Hanoi-style Banh mi.
  • Cured or cold cuts of meat: Pork belly, Vietnamese sausage (gio lua), grilled pork, or other meats are commonly used.
  • Fresh herbs and vegetables: Cilantro, cucumber, pickled carrots and daikon radish, and sometimes sliced chili peppers for heat.
  • Sauces and condiments: May include mayonnaise, soy sauce, Maggi seasoning, or chili sauce for added flavor.

The Hanoi-style Banh mi tends to be less spicy than its southern counterparts and often focuses on the balance of flavors between the savory, slightly sweet, and tangy elements. The bread itself is a crucial component, typically a lighter and airier baguette with a thin, crispy crust.

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Over time, Banh mi has evolved, and regional variations exist throughout Vietnam. Each region incorporates local ingredients and preferences, resulting in diverse and delicious versions of this beloved Vietnamese sandwich.

Top 5 Best Banh Mi Hanoi Old Quarter

Best Banh Mi Hanoi Old Quarter
Best Banh Mi Hanoi Old Quarter

1. Banh Mi 25 (Bánh mì 25)

Banh Mi 25
Banh Mi 25

In the heart of Hanoi’s historic Old Quarter, where culinary traditions intertwine like fragrant threads, lies a humble eatery named Banh Mi 25. This unassuming gem has become a pilgrimage site for banh mi aficionados, drawn by its reputation for generous fillings and artisanal bread that forms a symphony of textures in every bite.

Step inside Banh Mi 25, and the air is filled with the tantalizing aroma of freshly baked baguettes, their crusts boasting a golden-brown hue that whispers of crispy perfection. These culinary canvases are then adorned with an array of fillings that dance upon the taste buds with their harmonious blend of flavors.

From the classic combination of grilled pork, pate, and pickled vegetables to the adventurous fusion of smoked salmon and cream cheese, Banh Mi 25 offers a culinary odyssey that caters to every palate. Each ingredient is carefully selected and prepared with meticulous attention to detail, transforming the humble banh mi into an orchestra of flavors that sings with every bite.

With its focus on culinary excellence and its unwavering commitment to using only the freshest ingredients, Banh Mi 25 has earned a place as a culinary institution in Hanoi. It is more than just a sandwich shop; it is a sanctuary for those who seek a taste of authentic Vietnamese cuisine, a place where tradition meets innovation in a mouthwatering embrace.

2. Banh Mi Pho Co (Bánh mì phố cổ)

Banh Mi Pho Co
Banh Mi Pho Co

If it is an authentic Banh Mi Hanoi experience you seek, the Banh Mi Pho Co stall in Hanoi’s vibrant Old Quarter is the place to go. They have been serving locals and international tourists for generations, and have become known for their dedication to preserving the traditions of this famous Vietnamese sandwich.

The quality and flavor of their ingredients is a vital part of this dedication. All their ingredients are locally sourced to maintain the distinctive flavors, making it a banh mi experience that is truly authentic. The meats are carefully marinated to perfection and are complemented with pickled vegetables sauces. The combination of these elements creates a satisfying flavor journey that perfectly complements the expertly-baked baguette.

3. Vegan Banh Mi (Bánh mì chay)

Vegan Banh Mi
Vegan Banh Mi

In Hanoi’s captivating Old Quarter brimming with culinary delights, a vibrant new option has emerged catering to the growing movement of ethical eating – Vegan Banh Mi. This innovative eatery takes a bold step towards inclusivity while maintaining the authentic flavors of traditional Vietnamese cuisine.

Imagine indulging in a symphony of flavors, where succulent grilled tofu, marinated mushrooms, and a plethora of vibrant herbs and vegetables come together to create a symphony of plant-based delight. Each bite of Vegan Banh Mi showcases the versatility and creativity of vegetarian cuisine, offering a taste experience that meat-lovers and vegans alike will find irresistible.

The combination of textures – crisp vegetables, tender tofu, and chewy mushrooms – is a testament to the culinary mastery of Vegan Banh Mi. Every element harmonizes perfectly, creating a burst of natural flavors that tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving more.

Whether you’re a committed vegan or simply seeking a healthier, more sustainable dining option, Vegan Banh Mi in Hanoi’s Old Quarter is an absolute must-visit. Its dedication to inclusivity and its unwavering commitment to creating exceptional plant-based dishes make it a beacon of culinary innovation and a foodie’s paradise.

4. Banh Mi Pho Hue (Bánh mì phố Huế)

Banh Mi Pho Hue
Banh Mi Pho Hue

For the ultimate Banh mi experience in Hanoi, locals often direct you to Banh Mi Pho Hue. This longstanding family-owned establishment, established in 1976, has consistently crafted outstanding Banh mi.

Their signature sandwich features a blend of pork floss and deli meat, generously coated in a delectable pork-chili gravy. This straightforward yet sensational recipe has remained unchanged since the shop’s inception—an enduring tradition cherished by patrons.

5. Banh Mi Lan Ong (Bánh mì Lãn Ông)

Banh Mi Lan Ong
Banh Mi Lan Ong

As the saying goes, “Save the best for last.” Banh Mi Lan Ong is a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Hanoi’s Old Quarter. This small, unassuming stall might not catch your attention at first glance, but the banh mi it offers is truly a revelation.

What makes Banh Mi Lan Ong special is its secret family recipe that has been passed down for generations. The stall’s signature banh mi features succulent grilled pork, homemade pate, and a flavorful sauce that elevates the entire experience. The combination of flavors, coupled with the warm hospitality of the stall owners, creates an unforgettable culinary adventure.

How to Make Banh Mi Hanoi at Home

Make Banh Mi Hanoi at Home
Make Banh Mi Hanoi at Home

If you want to recreate the magic of Banh Mi in your own kitchen, follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Prepare the Baguette:

Start by selecting a fresh baguette with a crispy crust and soft interior. Slice it lengthwise without cutting all the way through.

Step 2: Choose Your Fillings:

Traditional fillings include grilled pork or chicken, pate, pickled vegetables (carrots and daikon radish), cucumber slices, cilantro, and mayonnaise. Feel free to experiment with other ingredients based on your preferences.

Step 3: Assemble the Sandwich:

Spread mayonnaise on the bottom half of the baguette. Layer your chosen fillings on top, making sure to distribute them evenly.

Step 4: Enjoy!

Once your sandwich is assembled, it’s ready to be enjoyed! You can either savor it right away or wrap it tightly in parchment paper for later consumption.

Perfect Drink Pairings with Banh Mi

To complement the flavors of Banh Mi, consider these drink options:

Tra Da (Iced Tea): Traditional Vietnamese iced tea, known as Tra Da, is a refreshing choice that helps balance the richness of Banh Mi. Its subtle sweetness and earthy notes enhance the overall dining experience.

Ginger Soda: For a zesty twist, try pairing your Banh Mi with a glass of ginger soda. The spicy kick of ginger complements the savory elements of the sandwich and adds an extra layer of refreshment.


Banh Mi Hanoi scene is a testament to Vietnam’s culinary diversity and innovation. From the traditional flavors to creative variations, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you explore the bustling streets of the Old Quarter or recreate the magic at home, indulging in a Banh Mi sandwich is an essential part of any foodie’s journey through Hanoi.