Saigonese queue for $3 banh mi (VND 58,000)

After HCMC eased Covid restrictions, queues have formed every afternoon in front of a famous banh mi shop in District 1.

A long line of customers and shippers wait their turn in front of the Huynh Hoa stall on Le Thi Rieng Street in District 1, which has been operating for over 30 years.
Nguyen Quang Huy, 37, the owner, said the shop has been as crowded as before the pandemic since the city eased social distancing measures.
The banh mi here is among the most expensive in the city at VND58,000 ($2.54), but still has loyal customers for its layers of meat, cold cuts and generous sprinkling of pork floss. Some also love its unique mayonnaise mix.
Before the pandemic, a banh mi here cost VND48,000.
Each loaf weighs about 400 grams, filled with four to six different kinds of meats, pork floss, pate, butter, cucumber, daikon and carrot pickle, cilantro and chili. According to the shop owner, all the fillings are homemade based on their own recipe, so they have a unique flavor that has attracted customers for years.
The shop has 16 staff and all have been fully vaccinated
The shop sells from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day, peaking between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. when queues form outside.
The shop owner said because most of the ingredients are homemade while the number of staff is still limited, it’s impossible to start business from the early morning.
“I’ve been eating Huynh Hoa bread for nearly a decade now and got used to the taste here. I always visit the shop at least once a week to buy a few loaves for the whole family,” Kim Uyen, a resident of District 4, said while waiting her turn.
During peak hours, customers have to wait from 20 minutes to over half an hour.
Riding a motorbike for more than 10 kilometers from home in Binh Thanh District to buy four loaves of bread, Tran Thi Mong Lien said: “The bread here is a bit expensive compared to other places but it’s delicious with its own unique flavor.”
The shop sells hundreds of loaves of bread per day. In future, it plans to open a new branch.

Bánh Mì Huỳnh Hoa
26 Lê Thị Riêng, Phường Phạm Ngũ Lão, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh

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This is an Article of By Quynh Tran

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