Although Mrs Hoi doesn’t speak English, she does what she does best, making the tasty vegan Banh Mi and spreading her life faith to live healthier and happier.
For my first time eating vegan banh Mi at “Banh Mi Chay Lê Hội” at a small corner in Hoi An ancient town, I just said “wow” and so surprised that it was over my expectation. It’s flavourful and so delicious. I’m a big fan of Banh Mi and I’ve tried many Banh Mi in different cities spread across from North to South but by far, this is the best.
Only 15,000 VND ($-0.7) for a tasty vegan Banh Mi
At the corner of Nguyen Hue street and Phan Chau Trinh Street, Banh Mi Chay Lê Hội offers the most delicious vegan Banh Mi in town. Whereas most of the Banh Mi Carts sell many different varieties, the lady here only does one kind of Banh Mi, the vegan version, and honestly that’s good enough and it’s cheap, only 15,000 VND.
To keep the texture of the bread, she puts them on small fired charcoal to make it crispy outside, soft and warm inside. This vegan Banh Mi is very light but full of flavourful thanks to diced mushrooms, marinated tofu, homemade chilli sauce, cucumber, pickled daikon & carrot, Vietnamese coriander, homemade sauce and crushed peanuts.
The meaningful story behind the small stall
The vegan bread at Banh Mi Chay Lê Hội is cheap & tasty, but the reason why we often come back here (at least once a week) is to talk to Mrs Hoi who always smiles and has a positive thinking.
Mrs Hoi used to sell normal Banh Mi with pork pate and vegetables for many years. But nearly 10 years ago, her son had a mental illness, and he goes to the hospital to get treatment regularly. No one could say anything about how the future of her son look like and it was the very hard time in her life.
At that moment, she was so worried and lost her faith. Then she devoted to the Buddha that if her son could live, she would become vegan and do many charity activities to help other people till the end of her life.
And then the magic happened. The son’s health became better. To keep her promise, she has become vegan ever since and has sold vegan food from that day. Sometimes when coming here, we see her son – a man in his 20s with the mind of a child cycling around the ancient town and selling incense sticks.
"No matter you are Vietnamese or foreigner, you just pay same price 15,000 VND for one Banh Mi. I do all ingredients myself carefully and hope to bring nutritious food with a cheap price for everyone. Then, I'll spend some money from this profit to help the poor and the homeless. When thinking about other people, I feel I'm still be luckier and I want to help them." - Mrs Hoi said.
Although she doesn’t speak English, she does her best in trying every time, making the tasty vegan Banh Mi and spreading her life faith to live healthier and happier.
After nearly 10 years, Banh Mi Chay Lê Hội is becoming a popular spot for both the locals especially Buddhists who eat vegan at least twice a month and tourists who look for the meatless option of the Banh Mi.
She sells only in the morning from 6:00-10:00 and could be earlier if she sells out.
With only 15,000 VND, you not only have the best vegan Banh Mi but also have a cheerful talk with the kindest seller smiling every time.