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Best Banh Mi in Hoi An

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The best example of the best type of sandwich, in the country that makes them the best.

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    Considered “the most delicious sandwich in the world” – ‘banh mi Hoi An’ has been the choice of most visitors because of its uniqueness and taste which has become a masterpiece of the charming of Hoi An people. Although it appears simply - used for breakfast, making an attractive ‘banh mi' is a culinary achievement of the local baker. Referring to ‘banh mi Hoi An', it is a mistake without mentioning Banh Mi Phuong which undeniably the best place in Hoi An to indulge in a fantastic ‘banh mi’.

    Nobody gives a thump down for Banh Mi Phuong

    Nobody gives a thumb down to Banh mi Phuong!

    Banh Mi Phuong, basically means Phuong’s banh mi shop, a little eatery that offers several different types of ‘banh mi’ and has long been known as the go-to place for ‘banh mi’. Google ‘the best banh mi in Vietnam’ and “Banh Mi Phuong in Hoi An” will be the first result. The owner of Banh Mi Phuong in Hoi An, Ms. Phuong has experienced in making millions loaves of 'manh mi' to serve both local citizens and worldwide travelers over 20 years. You know you’re in the right place when you see the sign board ‘Banh Mi Phuong’ in front of the shop located at 2B Phan Chau Trinh Street.

    The shop is always crowded

    Banh Mi Phuong Shop is always crowded

    Every day, she gets up from 3am am to have enough time preparing ‘banh mi’ for customers. What makes her ‘banh mi’ different is the crispy but ultra-soft baguette, yummy fillings and special accompaniments. A local bakery next door brings over baguettes right out of the oven for the stunning sandwiches. Phuong gently warms her baguettes in a wooden box by the heat of slowly burning coal embers. The soul of ‘banh mi’ lies in the heart of the sandwich: the fillings and accompaniments. Banh mi Phuong is a good combination of many ingredients together: homemade pork liver pate, mayonnaise, grilled pork, head cheese, pork patty, pickled papaya, carrot, long sliced cucumber, sliced tomato and cilantro, spring onion, mints, chili sauce, soy sauce, and her secret sauce. All are made by members in her family. She is careful with every step of the process to make the perfect sandwich: choosing the ingredients, slicing the meat, picking the vegetables, frying the eggs… to make the tourist feel happy. Phuong and her staffs don’t just haphazardly stuff the fillings into the sliced baguette; rather, they methodically assemble each 'banh mi' in identical fashion.  The result is a well-balanced with layers of flavors ranging from salty, sweet, sour and spicy. Her most popular sandwich, ‘banh mi day du’ or banh mi “deluxe”, consists of thin slices of roast pork loin, ham and ‘cha lua’, a pork sausage loaf. 

    Banh mi is made with fresh ingredients

    Fresh Ingredients

    In Vietnam, people try to make food following oriental philosophy: food needs to have 5 tastes “sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and spicy” which are similar to five elements of the universe “earth, wood, water, fire, and metal” or includes five colors “red, green, yellow, white, and black” or has the harmony between“yin” and “yang”. Banh mi Phuong is just fabulous for this. When eating ‘banh mi Phuong’, you can find 5 tastes mingled together perfectly. More special than that is the secret sauce Phuong put inside the sandwich which will fall down when you take a bite. She calls it magic sauce she won’t tell you how to make it for sure to keep her secret for her own family only. Banh Mi Phuong’s legendary recipe was praised by none other than Anthony Bourdain, the famous American chef, author and television personality with “No Reservations” travel show, as the best 'banh mi' in Vietnam. He described that it was a symphony in a sandwich.

    Every day, she sells up to 2000 loaves of ‘banh mi’, for about only one-half to one dollar each. Around noon and in the evening, it’s easy to see her restaurant is packed with people and outside of her shop, a long row of people are waiting. It can be said that ‘Banh Mi Phuong’ has attracted many tourists to Hoi An and her ‘banh mi’ got the international quality. Cheap price goes along with good quality, there is no doubt that Banh Mi Phuong’s sandwiches have managed to win the hearts of hardened locals as well as travelers from everywhere. If you travel to Hoian, don't forget to try Banh Mi Phuong!

    Nora Tran

    Images source: Internet

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