When you are exploring Ho Chi Minh City, you might be interested as to where you can find a good meal no matter how tough of an eater you can be. The locals may suggest you drop by the famous Lesbian sandwich. Guess what? It is actually just an eatery that serves the local delicacy – Vietnamese sandwich or “Banh Mi Thit”, is what the locals call it.
What is Vietnamese sandwich?
Before we get ahead of ourselves, not everyone may know what a “Vietnamese sandwich” is. When it comes to Vietnamese cuisine, Vietnamese sandwich or banh mi, has the same level of status as Pho. You cannot talk about Vietnamese cuisine without referring to the sandwich. The dish is essentially Vietnamese baguette filled with various stuffing, including meat and fresh/ pickle vegetables. Unlike the usual baguette, the Vietnamese sandwich is soft and more airy inside with a crunchy exterior and you can choose what and how much stuffing you want for your sandwich. This dish is best enjoyed with either cold beer or coffee on the side.
The dish is so popular that it can be found almost everywhere in Saigon. But not all of us have the iron stomach to try street food. However, at Banh Mi Huynh Hoa or Lesbian Sandwich, you can eat banh mi to your heart’s delight. The shop is frequented by both locals and tourists so you know that in terms of hygiene, it’s very safe.
Why do the locals call it “Lesbian Sandwich?”
The official name for the eatery is called Banh Mi Huynh Hoa. The local Vietnamese people call it the Banh Mi O Moi or in English, Lesbian Sandwich. As the name tells you, the shop is run by a lesbian couple who has been running the business since 1970s. What so special about the Lesbian Sandwich is that the couple ensures a safe LGBT working space for their staff. Most of the staff are female and given the friendly environment, you can ensure that the sandwich will be tasty.
What does the lesbian couple have to offer in their sandwich?
When it comes to Vietnamese Sandwich, the bread and vegetables are yummy but let’s face it, it’s all about the meat. Lesbian Sandwich has a myriad of meats to choose from. Aside from the typical slices of roasted pork, the shop also offers liver pâté, pork floss, and different types of 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 a “DAY DU”, which means everything. All of lesbian sandwich food selections are good to eat! Indeed, the price might be so much higher than most other sandwich shops but the ingredients used by the lesbian couple for their shop are all home-made, not from factories.
Things to remember before ordering the sandwich
- The chilli the lesbian owners use can be extremely hot. If you can’t handle spicy food, remember to tell the staff “no chili”. They speak basic English.
- As Lesbian Sandwich is very popular, you might have to wait a while for your order. And you should always queue.
- It’s a take-away dish. You won’t find tables and chairs to sit and enjoy your sandwich but don’t let this deter you from trying out this shop. It’s really good.
So, how to find this place?
In the hectic streets of Saigon, it may seem impossible to find Lesbian Sandwich. 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.
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 Lesbian Sandwich, especially since their sandwich is so delicious.