The 3 Best Vegan Banh Mi Spots in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)

Behold, the best vegan Banh Mi in HCMC!

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The 3 Best Vegan Banh Mi Spots in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)

THE humble yet extremely tasty banh mi sandwich is a must-try foodie experience for anyone heading to Vietnam.

Vietnam has earned a reputation as a food paradise for vegans and that, of course, includes the famous banh mi sandwich.

Travellers to Saigon are spoiled for choice with a plethora of banh mi vendors scattered across the city.

The “Problem”? This can make the task of finding only the truly best vegan banh mi in Saigon overwhelming at the best of times.

Without further ado, here are the 3 VERY BEST began banh mi vendors in Ho Chi Minh City.

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Banh Mi Thien Van

Is this the best vegan banh mi in Ho Chi Minh City?

Banh Mi Thien Van in District 1 for sure gives a strong argument for that illustrious title.

Found in District 1, you’ll know you have come to the right place when you find the red and yellow banh mi cart with the “BANH MI CHAY” LED sign.

First of all don’t be fooled by appearances, while this banh mi may appear to be lacking in ingredients. It more than makes up for that in terms of flavour and punchiness.

Fresh crunchy vegetables, perfectly seasoned tofu, doused in an irresistibly tasty sauce and placed on a crisp baguette. Devine.

A quick tip: To ensure that what you receive is indeed vegan, make sure you ask for no mayonnaise.

If you are feeling extra peckish there is also a fantastic vegetarian/vegan restaurant at this same location called Quan Chay Sala.

71c Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai, Phường Phạm Ngũ Lão, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
PRICE: 20000 VND


Situated close to the historic Notre Dame Cathedral of Saigon, Chaystation boasts a scrumptious selection of vegan dishes.

But we’re here for the banh mi, and boy does the banh mi at Chaystation sure deliver!

Banh mi fanatics at Chaystation have a choice of five scrumptious sandwich options.

Our recommendation? The Vegan Baguette Cochin: vegan pate, tofu sausage, roasted special tofu, dried papaya salad, vegetables.

Something that sets the banh mi at Chaystation apart is the lightly grilled baguettes which give the sandwich an extra crunch.

Other menu items (all vegan) include steamed rolled rice pancakes with tofu sausage, mung bean and fried onion, steamed buns filled with mushroom, lotus seed and vege as well as an array of freshly squeezed fruit juices.

Tip: Be sure to give “Bold”, the Chaystations adorable little dog lots of pats and attention!

26/18B Đ. Lê Văn Duyệt, Phường 1, Bình Thạnh, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
PRICE: 22000 VND

Fingerprint Chay

Serving up some of the very best vegan banh mi in all of Ho Chi Minh City is Fingerprint Chay.

Though technically situated in District 3, Fingerprint Chay is still a super convenient choice. Being only a 5-minute Grab or taxi ride from the War Remnants Museum or alternatively a 20-minute walk.

With 10 different varieties (all vegetarian/vegan of course) banh mi lovers are spoiled for choice!

Tip: While you can’t go wrong with any of the choices at Fingerprint Chay, the two most popular items are the fried mushroom and tofu lemongrass options.

If you are still feeling hungry then Fingerprint Chay also has an array of vegan salad/rice/noodle options.

303 Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa, st Ward 7, Quận 3, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
PRICE: 20000 VND

What is banh mi?

Just like its South-East Asian neighbours, Thailand and Cambodia. Vietnam is world-famous for its abundance of mouth-watering street food.

With the exception of the noodle dish phở (pho), possibly the most well known Vietnamese street food is the banh mi sandwich.

Bánh mì (pronounced BUN-mee) in the Vietnamese language actually translates to literally just bread. For unknown reasons, the words “banh mi” morphed to mean both bread as well as the extremely delicious banh mi sandwich.

For the reasons of this guide, when we say “banh mi” we are obviously referring to the delicious sandwich itself.

What is inside banh mi?

Banh mi is a Vietnamese sandwich that is made using a French-style baguette bread roll.

The baguette is sliced through the middle, spread with pate and mayonnaise and then filled with a variety of banh mi ingredients.

These fillings usually consist of different types of meats, from luncheon style meats to grilled pork to meatballs as well as pork floss.

The meat filling is then accompanied with fresh vegetables including cucumber slices, Vietnamese pickles and cilantro (coriander).

Then, a soy-based sauce (vendors mix their own, which usually includes fish sauce and garlic) is added which ties everything together. A splash of Maggi seasoning is also common.

Finally, a sprinkling of chopped fresh chilli is added to top it all off.

Other varieties of banh mi are common. These include bánh mì ốp la (fried egg banh mi) as well as vegan and vegetarian banh mi options.

Who invented banh mi?

The modern-day banh mi sandwich is believed to have been created in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) in the late 1950s.

Various people over history have laid claim to being the original inventors of the banh mi sandwich. The most famous (and most credible) of these claims are a couple called Mr and Mrs Le.

The story goes that Mr and Mrs Le had the genius idea to start filling their french style baguettes with pate, mayonnaise, luncheon meats, vegetables and coriander (cilantro).

Just like that, the banh mi sandwich was born.

As it turns out this was the perfect, portable lunch for the highly mobile working force that makes up Vietnam’s population. The banh mi sandwich was not only convenient but also extremely affordable for the everyday citizen of Vietnam.

Banh mi exploded in popularity. Within no time not only Saigon but the whole of Vietnam was covered in thousands of banh mi carts.

To this day the Le family run the same banh mi business called Banh Mi Hoa Ma, still located in Saigon.

Banh mi pronunciation

Bánh mì is pronounced in English as (BUN-mee).

banh mi cart in saigon
One of the hundreds of banh mi carts found all over Saigon


Are you travelling to Vietnam and wondering whether you will need to tip or not?

We have all the answers you seek in our ultimate guide to tipping in Vietnam.