Banh mi, a beloved Vietnamese staple, has taken the world by storm. This mouth-watering baguette, filled with a delectable combination of paste, cold cuts, herbs, cucumber, chili sauce, and pickles, recently ranked 4th on a global list of the 60 best sandwiches.

The Vietnam Bánh Mì Festival, now in its second iteration, celebrates this iconic dish. This year’s event, held at Le Van Tam Park in District 1, featured a massive banh mi model showcasing an assortment of variants. From banh mi with pâté and chili salt sauce to creative versions with salmon and lemon sauce or vegetable and cheese, the festival offered a delightful exploration of this versatile sandwich.

Adopting the theme ‘Vietnamese Bánh Mì – World Cuisine Value,’ the three-day festival attracted an impressive 100,000 visitors. Nguyen Thi Khanh, chairwoman of the Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Association, highlighted the enhanced features of the festival, with interactive spaces for guests to engage with this beloved culinary tradition.

The event brought together renowned banh mi brands, some with a rich history spanning decades, alongside restaurants, bakeries, and vendors offering unique banh mi-making ingredients and equipment. With a total of 130 booths, the festival was a testament to the popularity and diversity of this Vietnamese delicacy.

The Vietnam Bánh Mì Festival showcases a giant model of ‘banh mi’ with a variety of fillings and side dishes, earning a national record. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

The opening ceremony, graced by Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa, director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism, praised the festival’s unique celebration of Vietnamese baguette and its distinct global appeal. Hoa affirmed her commitment to collaborating with the Tourism Association to promote the festival to tourists and businesses, as well as continuing research to develop impactful activities that showcase Vietnam’s culinary treasures to the world.

The festival also hosted seminars on banh mi, cuisine, and tourism, and provided carts and experiential sessions for newcomers to the bakery industry, further emphasizing the event’s dedication to preserving and promoting this beloved Vietnamese delicacy.

The first Vietnam Bánh Mì Festival, held last year, was a massive success, drawing a similar crowd of 100,000 visitors. Banh mi continues to captivate palates worldwide, solidifying its place as a culinary ambassador for Vietnam.

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