Meat banh mi — Vietnamese sandwich — is the definitive Saigon street food. For 10,000 VND (about 60 cents) street vendors pile on the ingredients: the ubiquitous white porous pork, gristly bacon, spicy pate, cucumber, onion and cilantro.
But if you’re not keen on street food, you can try banh mi at the new franchise Bamizon. Think Vietnamese Subway. I personally have deep and evolved ideas about street food, but I thought I’d give Bamizon a shot anyhow. The verdict? Pretty good. The sandwich (starts at 22,000 VND) benefits most from Bamizon’s fresh crusty bread, a welcome replacement for the standard street rolls that’ve gone chewy with time. The pate is much milder, the bacon leaner — both cons in my book, but in line with Bamizon’s sanitized take on banh mi.
A tourist-friendly Bamizon location is on Nguyen Van Chiem across the street from Diamond Plaza, located across Le Duan from Notre Dame Cathedral.