Looking for places selling vegetarian and vegan bánh mì (sandwiches) in Hanoi, Vietnam? You’re at the right spot.
Bánh mì (bread in Vietnamese) is an important Vietnamese food. This sandwich is made with a short baguette that is slightly toasted and sliced horizontally to include delicious fillings.
While many banh mi fillings are meat made from pork, there are healthy, plant-based options. Chay is vegetarian in Vietnamese.
Since they’re accessible and super affordable, they’re eaten at any time of the day from breakfast to a quick snack.
In this post, I’m sharing where to find vegetarian and vegan banh mi in Hanoi, Vietnam. This post highlights four vegetarian banh mi shops around the Hanoi Old Quarter area and my thoughts on each of them. All of these sandwiches were paid for by me so there are no sponsored posts.
While I’m a pescatarian, a person who eats seafood but no meat, and not fully vegetarian, I consume a mostly plant-based diet. I’m always looking to try new vegetarian places on my travels.
*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on them and make a purchase, we receive a small commission. There is no additional cost to you. Appreciate the support.
Tips for Visiting a Vegan/Vegetarian Banh Mi Shop in Hanoi
- Look for the word, chay (a general word for vegetarian in Vietnamese), on the signs or menu.
- The sandwiches are on the smaller side, so you may need to order two if you need a larger meal.
- The banh mi shops are cash only. Some may accept digital payments/bank transfers (for those who live in Vietnam long-term).
- Some of the sandwiches contain peanuts. If you’re allergic, you’ll want to avoid specific sandwiches.
- The term vegan and vegetarian get mixed up in Vietnam.
- Many of the vegan shops use vegan-only products. But, if you see a questionable food item on the menu, then you’ll need to inquire if they use eggs or milk products.
- After living as expats in Vietnam for over 5+ years, I’ve noticed that there are vegan restaurants that do not know the difference between vegan (animal-free products or by-products, so no eggs or butter) and vegetarian. It’s a topic that gets discussed in the Vegan and Vegetarian Ho Chi Minh City Facebook Groups often.
- If you have any questions about any of these places, feel free to send a message directly through Facebook. You can also call them.
Map of Vegetarian Banh Mi Shops
Bánh Mì Lòng Hội
Bánh Mì Lòng Hội, located in the heart of Hanoi Old Quarter, is a popular banh mi shop for foreigners.
While this place is not a fully vegetarian shop, the menu has 8 banh mi options. There is 1 vegetarian, 1 seafood (tuna), and 6 meat options with pork. For those who don’t want sandwiches, this place has a Hoi An specialty noodle dish, cao lầu.
Non-vegetarian banh mi are between 30,000 to 50,000 VND ($1.80 to $2.10 USD). Vegetarian banh mi is 28,000 VND ($1.20).
The vegetarian option is called bánh mì an lạc (an lạc is translated to “peace” in English). This banh mi has vegetarian meatball (xíu mại chay), mushroom char siu (nấm đùi gà xíu), vegetarian sausage (chả lụa chay), and fresh herbs.
The bread is super toasted, so prepared to have crumbs flying everywhere when eating.
The filling has good flavor, especially the vegetarian meatball and mushroom char siu.
I noticed that the filling doesn’t have distinctive layers, unlike other places. Therefore, the meatballs, mushroom char siu, and vegetarian sausage are crumbled into smaller pieces. While it’s easier to eat, the texture tends to blend.
I loved the deep-fried tofu bits and peanuts to give the sandwich an extra crunch.
Since Hanoi gets super hot and humid in the daytime, hang out and enjoy your banh mi in the air-conditioned sitting area on the second level.
The food takes time to prepare, so do not come here if you’re limited in time.
If you’re dining in, you will receive a number from the cashier. Food and beverages will be brought directly to your table.
Address: 1 P. Hàng Dầu, Hàng Bạc, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội 100000
Opening Hours: 6:30am to 10:00pm
Bánh Mì Vegan (Vegan Vietnam)
If you’re walking from the Temple of Literature or Hoa Lu Prison towards the Old Quarter area, then consider stopping by Bánh Mì Vegan (also referred to as Vegan Vietnam on social media).
This vegan restaurant has a variety of foods such as vegan sandwiches, noodle soup, fried noodles, and curry. There are Western options such as burgers, spaghetti, and pizza.
Since we’re talking about sandwiches, this place has six vegan options:
- Mixed (bánh mì thập cẩm chay)
- Five spiced mushroom (bánh mì nấm ngũ vị chay)
- Grilled faux meat (bánh mì căn nướng chay)
- BBQ faux pork meat (bánh mì xá xíu chay)
- Shu mai with bread (bánh mì xíu mại chay) – With this option, pieces of bread are dipped into a bowl of shu mai.
- Curry with bread (bánh mì cà ri chay) – Same as above. Pieces of bread are dipped into a bowl of curry.
The cost of the banh mi is 30,000 VND ($1.30), while the shu mai and curry banh mi are 35,000 VND ($1.50) each. The pricing is affordable.
I ordered the mixed sandwich (bánh mì thập cẩm chay) and it was yummy.
The filling had a variety of everything – mushroom, faux meat in the form of dried beancurd, vegetarian sausages (chả lụa chay) (made from tofu), and some veggies. There was a lot of flavor, so I didn’t need to add sauces to the sandwich. The toasty bread was also a plus.
If you dine in at the restaurant, you’ll get a glass of water for free.
There are two tables in the front of the restaurant and more seating on the second floor. You can get a better view of the streets from the second level.
Address: 15 P. Thợ Nhuộm, Hàng Bông, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội
Opening Hours: 7:00am to 10:00pm
Bánh Mì Chay Vegan
Bánh Mì Chay Vegan is a 100% vegan sandwich shop located in the center of Hanoi Old Quarter and nearby the St. Joseph Cathedral. You can’t miss this sandwich shop as the outside trimming is painted in a green color.
It’s a tiny shop with no seating inside. But you can sit outside on the squatty plastic chairs or do takeaway. If you sit outside, there will be fans and mist blowing to cool you off.
The storefront has a menu, and there are 15 banh mi options to choose from.
The cost of the sandwiches varies from 25,000 to 40,000 VND ($1.10 to $1.70).
I ordered the mixed sandwich (bánh mì thập cẩm chay) for 40,000 VND.
Out of the mixed vegan sandwiches that I’ve eaten, Bánh Mì Chay Vegan’s version is my favorite.
The sandwich came in an adorable paper bag. Each bag has a unique hand drawing and a “Have a nice day” message. My bag had a smiling blue alpaca-like creature.
The sandwich had a generous amount of filling. There was a little bit of everything – vegetarian sausage (chả lụa chay), seitan, beancurd, braised bread, mushroom, and other soy protein stuffed into the sandwich.
The addition of the slices of mango with spicy powder gave the sandwich an extra kick. The spicy level isn’t overpowering. But if you don’t like spicy food, then you can request the sandwich to not be spicy.
Next time, I would try the peanut butter sandwich (bánh mì bơ đậu). I tried one in Ninh Binh and it was peanuts with butter. Not the typical peanut butter spread, so I’m curious how this shop would make it.
Free iced tea is available in front of the shop.
Address: 64 P. Hàng Trống, Hàng Trống, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội
Opening Hours: 9:00am to 9:00pm (Monday to Saturday), 12:00pm to 7:00pm (Sunday)
Vegan Banh Mi
If you’re nearby Hoa Lu Prison, check out this tiny vegan shop, Vegan Banh Mi.
It’s hidden in an alleyway and located in someone’s house. You can easily miss the entrance to the alley as there is a sidewalk vendor selling drinks in front of it. Look for a small sign that says “Vegan Banh Mi” pointing in the direction.
When you arrive, you’ll be greeted by the chef who will direct you to the small dining area, located across from the kitchen and cooking area.
There are five kinds of banh mi to choose from:
- Protein – Made with vegetarian pate, soy protein, and mayo
- Shredded mushroom – Made with pate, salted shredded mushroom, and mayo
- Shu mai tofu ball – Made with tofu and mushroom, onion, and peanuts (optional)
- Mixed – This has everything included from pati, soy protein, mushroom, and shu mai
- Falafel – Made with chickpeas and mayo
The cost varies from 30,000 to 45,000 VND ($1.30 to $1.90). The mixed and falafel banh mi cost the most at 45,000 VND each.
Besides sandwiches, there are other options such as phở, tofu krab noodles, mixed noodles, fried tofu noodles, and fried spring rolls.
All of the food is made to order.
I ordered the shu mai tofu ball banh mi since it sounded interesting. It was also reasonable at 35,000 VND ($1.50).
The sandwich came with 4+ small tofu mushroom balls that were slightly warmed, purple slaw, lettuce, and peanuts.
The menu said peanut sauce, but it was just a pile of chopped roasted peanuts along one side of the bread. If you’re allergic to peanuts, you can notify the chef to not include them. (As a caveat, I don’t know if the chef cooks or fries things in peanut oil).
To be honest, the banh mi was a bit dry and needed extra flavor which is why chili sauce is provided. Although, I loved the peanuts! This wasn’t the right sandwich for me.
Next time, I’ll try the mixed banh mi (bánh mì thập cẩm) or the falafel banh mi as these are recommended by other reviewers.
Tip: If you’re in the area and want to refill your water bottle, this shop offers free water refills. No questions asked. They have an RO water system and want to reduce plastic waste.
Address: 66B Trần Hưng Đạo, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội (In an alley)
Opening Hours: 8:00am to 7:00pm (Monday to Saturday)
Which of these vegetarian and vegan banh mi places would you like to eat at in Hanoi?
There are a lot of options to choose from. If any of these shops interest you, save the address or pin them to your Google Maps.
Since I only had a sampling, I look forward to returning to Hanoi to try more places in the future. If you have any recommendations on where to go, please share them in the comment section below.
If you’re continuing your Vietnam travels and plan to visit Ho Chi Minh City, check out our post on Vegetarian and Vegan Places to Eat in HCMC here.