Ho Chi Minh City launchs its first ever Viet Nam Banh Mi (Vietnamese Sandwich) Festival from March 30th to April 2nd at District 1’s Youth Cultural House, in order to promote the traditional dish to locals and tourists.
The first of its kind in Viet Nam, the event features 120 stalls from leading bakeries, restaurants and food suppliers from around the country, as well as foreign businesses.
It is expected to attract around 50,000 people to enjoy the famous dish and learn about its history.
Visitors can browse and enjoy a wide variety of Vietnamese Banh Mi with many types of fillings, including vegetarian, as well as other baked goods and sweets.
Want to try various types of Banh Mi but don’t know where to start? Check our complete guide to the Vietnamese Sandwich!
Duc Anh, 21, arrived early and told Vietnam News that he really enjoyed the atmosphere of the festival.
He said: “Banh mi has been an essential part of my life, along with Pho (beef noodle soup) and Bun Bo Hue (Hue beef noodle soup). Pho usually takes the spotlight while Banh Mi seems to be “too humble”. The festival provides great opportunities for Banh Mi to shine through.”
Visitor Thu Thao, 27, added that she initially knew of the festival via a Facebook post.
“The scale of the event amazes me! I will definitely bring some of my foreign friends to enjoy the Vietnamese signature dish later,” she said.
German national Lothar Schreiner added: “We love bread, so we love sandwiches. In Việt Nam, bánh mì is very delicious and everybody loves it, me too.“
In addition to food-related activities, there are also musical performances, a conference on the history and development of bánh mì and an award ceremony to honour top, long-standing bakery brands which have been established for more than 50 years in Việt Nam as well as other exhibition events.
The festival is being organised by the HCM City Tourism Association and the city’s Department of Tourism, and runs until the end of April 2.
Tran Thanh Huy, a member of the organising board, said: “Through this festival, the organisers want to expand the value of Banh Mi to spread to international friends. From there, they know more about Viet Nam and facilitate tourism to thrive after a long time of being restricted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through this programme, young people can start a business to make new and more diverse types of bread.“
Over the years, Vietnamese Banh Mi has been gaining popularity among international visitors as one of Viet Nam’s signature dishes and was even recognised in the Oxford English Dictionary in 2011.
Let’s soak up the energy of this festival and enjoy the heat!