The Vietnamese took such a liking to crispy baguettes during their country’s period under French colonization that they soon made it part of their own street-food cuisine. “Bánh mì” sandwiches are rather filling, since in addition to various kinds of meat and other Southeast Asian specialties, the baguette also embraces plenty of vegetables and coriander. While we’ve been able to taste these rich sandwiches before as a special offer at some local restaurants, now Budapest has a place where bánh mì is the star attraction, led by an adventurous Vietnamese couple on Dob Street.
Located on bustling Dob Street in downtown District VII near the Grand Boulevard, Bánh Mì is a fresh addition to Budapest’s street-food scene. There has been no shortage of places offering Vietnamese delicacies in this city, but most of those eateries focus on pho soup. Bánh Mì breaks the mold by instead offering tightly packed baguette sandwiches born from a fusion of French baguettes and Vietnamese specialties.
After working for awhile in commerce, a young Vietnamese couple decided to open their own eatery, and created Bánh Mì to fill a gap in the local market, serving their native country’s popular sandwiches; soon they will also sell meat-filled steamed dumplings, as well.
But for now, the sandwiches prevail – wrapped in half a baguette that’s pleasantly crisp on the outside and filled with Vietnamese liver pâté, cold cuts, fried eggs, and chicken, along with cucumber, grated carrot, and the essential fresh coriander. It’s a hearty sandwich – we need both hands to keep it together and ready to bite. Bánh mì can be prepared in a number of variations: with fish, crab, or even meatballs, so the small shop will always have plenty of options to offer. The prices of their current selection ranges between 900 and 1,500 forints.
While we still have a soft spot for pho soup (especially as the colder months arrive), Bánh Mì is a welcome addition to Budapest’s Vietnamese street-food scene.