There’s a food battle of epic proportions brewing in the little town of Hoi An Vietnam. Before we dive in, you should know the Banh Mi is the holy grail of Vietnamese street food. It’s the perfect street snack, lunch, and meat sandwich all rolled into one. The best banh mi in this popular town of Hoi An is deadlocked between two places: Banh Mi Phuong or Madam Khanh aka the Queen Banh Mi. After years of research (and stuffing our faces) we’re proud to present you our findings!
Banh Mi Phuong
We were actually introduced to Banh Mi Phuong years before our first visit! Yes, that’s right… Anthony Bourdain actually went here on his hit show No Reservations.
So of course on our first trip to Hoi An 4 years ago we had to try it, and Banh Mi Phuong didn’t disappoint. Honestly, we must of ate here every day for the entire week we were in Central Vietnam.
Banh Mi Phuong Pros & Cons
Pros: Pate, pate, and more pate! The creamy meat spread at Banh Mi Phuong is the secret to success and they happily load it on. The sloppiness is actually a plus for us, as we enjoyed the veggies and pork loaded on to the max. There’s also actually 2 locations! A small stand near the central market (where Bourdain ate), and a restaurant just a few minutes down the street.
Cons: Too many options. The menu is so extensive here that it almost confuses people on what to order. Why do you need so many options when you do one thing so well? Also, the line of tourists is kind of a turn off. While it is the sign of a good restaurant in most places, you’ll typically see more locals mixed in at the good banh mi spots.
Hoi An Food Tip: Order a #3 or “mixed” for the original goodness. If the line is too long go upstairs and sit down and you’ll be served right away!
Madam Khanh (Queen Banh Mi)
On to our second incredible sandwich discovery in Hoi An… And let me tell you they don’t call it Queen Banh Mi for nothing!
While you may not see a line like at Banh Mi Phuong, the small seating area here is typically packed from mid-afternoon to close.
Oh, and when we said seating area I meant it has more of a homey feel than that. I mean, you’re basically sitting in Madam Khanh’s kitchen!
So even though you may be surrounded by tourists like at Banh Mi Phuong, this Hoi An food spot has more of a local vibe to it.
Madam Khanh (Queen Banh Mi) Pros & Cons
Pros: Fresh and crispy bread. It’s common to see them run out of bread at Queen Banh Mi, but don’t worry! In 5 minutes or so another giant order will arrive via motorbike. The spices are perfectly blended in with the veggies, and it’s not as heavy a portion as Banh Mi Phuong so you won’t leave feeling overstuffed. Furthermore, the price is right on this one at 20,000 Vietnamese dong which is less than $1!
Cons: This isn’t your traditional banh mi sandwich with mixed lunch meats. It’s more pork oriented, and while this isn’t a bad thing for some people you should know what to expect.
Hoi An Food Tip: Don’t mess around here. Make the Queen proud and go straight for the #1 mixed Banh Mi.
The Best Banh Mi in Hoi An is…
Drum roll please!!! It all comes down to this… This decision may very well set the bar for street food in Hoi An, and all of Central Vietnam! Ok that’s a little dramatic, but this is a very tough call.
After eating at both of these establishments multiple times we are giving a slight edge to Madam Khanh (Queen Banh Mi).
However, it’s very VERY close. Let’s just put it this way. If Queen Banh Mi is 9 out of 10, then Banh Mi Phuong is an 8.9!
Where To Stay In Hoi An Vietnam
Ultra Luxury – Little Riverside Hoi An – Beautiful upscale hotel & spa located on the river just down the street from the central market. The highlight of the hotel is the outdoor pool facing the banks of the Thu Bon river.
Apartment – Quang Vinh Apartment and Hotel Hoi An – Our home away from home for every visit to Hoi An Vietnam. Bright rooms, a wonderful rooftop pool, and a quick walk to the Hoi An Night Market.
Fun Vacation – Hoi An Riverside Villas & Apartments – Just outside the craziness of Hoi An Old Town. Enjoy a stay overlooking the rice paddies while still being a quick bicycle ride away from everything.
Hostel Stay – Cheerful Hoi An Hostel – Cute local hostel that is super popular with backpackers visiting the area. Good option to meet other travelers and has a buffet breakfast included.
Consider yourself an expert on the Hoi An food scene? Tell us your vote for best banh mi Hoi An in the comments below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
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