In the Vietnamese language the word “Bánh mì” ( or Bánh Mỳ in North Vietnam ) means plain “bread” however, in daily vernacular it is commonly understood as a crunchy, baguette-like, bread roll, generously filled with meat and vegetables. It’s super popular among Vietnamese as their take-way fast-food snack. It’s not as filling as our western-style burger but because it’s so cheap (around 15000VND / 0.6USD) it’s easy to get two of them to make sure it leaves your belly full.
A more accurate but less common name name is “bánh mì kẹp” or “bánh mì Sài Gòn” after the city in which it was popularized.
Bánh mì thịt – the crunchy baguette-like bread roll with meat and vegetables
The most popular variety of Vietnamese “bánh mì ” sandwich is bánh mì thịt, where thịt means “meat”. As the name implies, it’s made with various Vietnamese cold cuts, such as sliced pork or pork belly, chả lụa (pork sausage), and cheese, along with the liver pâté and vegetables such as shredded carrots and cucumbers.
A bánh mì bread typically consists of one or more meats, accompanying vegetables, and condiments (see images below).