History of Banh Mi

The history of Banh Mi goes back to

French colonialism in Vietnam dating from the 1880s and lasting more than six decades. By the late 1880s, the French controlled Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, which were collectively referred to as French Indochina.


Vietnam was one of France's most lucrative colonial possessions.  During this period, the French’s influence permeated Vietnamese society. This was evident in many ways, such as building architecture, the way people dressed, religion and especially in the country’s cuisine.


There is nothing more enduring than the French baguette and the mixture of fresh vegetables and spiced seasoned meats, creating the iconic French/ Vietnamese sandwich, the “Banh Mi”


Since introduction of the French baguette, in the early 20th century, it became a staple of Vietnamese culture. By the 1950s, a distinctly style of the Banh Mi developed in Saigon, becoming a popular street food.

The French-Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwiches became an instant success and gained fame quickly throughout North and South Vietnam.

The Banh Mi is a savory sandwich fitting perfectly into the hustle and bustle of the Vietnamese culture.


Bánh mì sandwich consists of a Vietnamese single-serving baguette, split lengthwise and filled with various savory ingredients. This famous BANH MI sandwich became a staple food by the early 20th century.


Metropolitan areas are packed with people on bicycles, tricycles and motor bicycles. The Banh Mi is wrapped in paper making it a perfect to- go food that can be eaten at stop lights or a quick break at the street corner.

It started out as a breakfast item because it complimented the famous Café Sua Da, a Vietnamese ice coffee. 


Now, Banh Mi is considering a national food much like an American hamburger eaten by people in all walks of life. Vietnamese consider the Banh Mi a national treasure.


Following the Vietnam War, which ended on April 30 1975. Vietnamese immigrants popularized the BANH MI sandwich in many countries including the United States. Two main Vietnamese immigration camps located in Fort Smith, Arkansas and Westminster, California is where Banh Mi was first introduced along with many other Vietnamese cuisines. 

Today, the words Banh Mi are recognized in the United States along with the famous Pho soup.


M – Banh Mi is the first Banh Mi shop in the San Mateo CA area.  M-Banh Mi opened its doors in August 2017. In less than 2 years it has consistently received over 4.5 rating on Yelp.


M- Banh Mi menu:


Grilled Lemongrass Beef, smoky char with lemongrass fragrant. This is our best-selling Banh Mi it was created here in our cafe by My Linh our extraordinary and creative chef.

The Original, combination of French ham, Vietnamese pork loaf, Black forest ham and pate.

Grilled Pork, peppery pork, spices and hoisin sauce flavor

Roast Chicken sautéed with 5 spices

Lemongrass Tofu, an extraordinary banh mi favored by vegetarians.


If you have never tried a Banh Mi please come in and be prepared to experience something very special, if you have tried one in the past then you know why you keep returning.


              Bon Appetit (xin moi)


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