When you are exploring Ho Chi Minh City, you might be interested as to where every kind of eaters can find a good meal for themselves. The locals may suggest to drop by Lesbian Banh Mi. Say what? It is actually just an eatery that serves the local delicacy, banh mi thit.
What is Banh Mi?
Before we get ahead of ourselves, not everyone may know what a “banh mi” is. When it comes to Vietnamese cuisine, banh mi has the same level of status as Pho. You cannot talk about Vietnamese cuisine without referring to banh mi. The dish is essentially Vietnamese baguette filled with various stuffing, including meat and fresh vegetables. Unlike the usual baguette, the Vietnamese version is soft with a crunchy exterior and you have choice on how much stuffing you want to put inside. This dish is best enjoyed with Vietnamese beer on the side.
Now, the dish can be found almost everywhere in Saigon but not all of us have the iron stomach to try street food. However, at Huynh Hoa Bakery or Lesbian Banh Mi, you can eat banh mi to your heart’s delight. The shop is frequented by both local Vietnamese people and foreigners so you know that in terms of hygiene, it’s very safe.
Why is this eatery called “Lesbian Banh Mi?”
The official name for the eatery is called Huynh Hoa Bakery. The local Vietnamese people call it the Banh Mì O Moi or in English, Lesbian Banh Mi. As the name says it, the shop is run by a lesbian couple who has been running the business since 1970s. What so special about the Lesbian Banh Mi is that the couple ensures a safe LGBT working space for their staff. All the staff are female and given the friendly environment, you can ensure that the banh mì will be tasty.
When it comes to banh mi, the bread and vegetables are yummy but let’s face it, it’s all about the meat. Lesbian Banh Mi has a myriad of meats to choose from. Aside from the typical slices of roast chicken and roast pork, the restaurant also offers liver pâté, cha lua (steamed ham), pork floss, and sausages. In addition to meat, you have a choice to add on home-made butter as a condiment.
However, if it is your first time there, just order anything. All of lesbian banh mi food selections are good to eat! Indeed, the price might be slightly higher than most other banh mi restaurants but the ingredients used by the lesbian couple for their eatery are all home-made, not from factories.
Things to take note of before ordering the banh mi
- The chilli the lesbian owners use can be extremely spicy. If you can’t handle spicy food, remember to tell the staff in the bakery “no chí lí”. They understand basic English.
- As Lesbian Banh Mi is very popular, you might have to wait a while for your order.
- Due to the crowd and small area, you might not find a place to sit and enjoy your banh mi but don’t let this deter you from trying out this place. It’s really good.
So, where is this eatery run by the lesbian couple?
In the hectic street of Ho Chi Minh City, it may seem impossible to find Lesbian Banh Mi. However, the restaurant couldn’t be any easier to find than you may think.
1) From Ben Thanh Market front entrance, just walk along Le Lai Street until you come to a junction.
2) Turn into Pham Hong Thai street until you see a roundabout.
3) Take the third exit to Le Thi Rieng street.
4) In approximately 60m, turn to your left into an alley.
5) The eatery has a yellowish awning and it is adjacent to the 5THEWAY Mini Flagship Store.
The entire walking journey is about 5+ min.
The address is Banh Mi Huynh Hoa – 26 Le Thi Rieng, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
If you are a supporter of the LGBT community, it would be great to show some supports to Banh Mi O Moi, especially since their banh mi is so delicious.