Like most cuisine in Vietnam, the best pork meatball sandwich (bánh mì thịt nướng) you’ll find in Ho Chi Minh City comes from an unassuming roadside food cart. Banh Mi 37 Nguyen Trai (Vietnamese: Bánh Mì 37 Nguyễn Trãi) is stationed at the entrance of an alleyway off of Nguyen Trai Street in District 1.
You’ll start smelling the grilled pork as you approach this tiny two-person cooking operation. And while you’re standing in line, stomach rumbling, you can watch the owner flipping and rearranging the little pork patties on her small charcoal grill.
This hugely popular banh mi stand is only open for 4 hours a day (from 4:00pm – 8:00pm) and you can expect a line of at least a few hungry customers. But the wait is well worth it for one of the best banh mi sandwiches in all of Saigon!
Banh Mi 37 Nguyen Trai is just a small food cart on the side of Nguyen Trai street, so don’t expect much in terms of ambiance. It is easy to spot, however, thanks to its distinctive pink color and the long queue of Vietnamese customers that line up in the afternoons and evenings.
Most customers get their banh mi to go. In fact, some don’t even bother to get off of their motorbikes and treat the cart as a drive-through. There is really nowhere to sit at Banh Mi 37 Nguyen Trai so plan on eating your banh mi elsewhere.
There is only one item on the menu at Banh Mi 37 Nguyen Trai, the pork meatball banh mi sandwich.
In addition to the small succulent pork patties, you can expect a couple of slices of fresh cucumber, pickled carrots and daikon, and cilantro all topped with chili sauce and piled onto a light, flaky french baguette.
The grilled pork is cooked to perfection and when paired with chili sauce and vegetables it is irresistible!
Tip: Don’t want cilantro? Learn how to say “No Cilantro” in Vietnamese.
A pork meatball banh mi from Banh Mi 37 Nguyen Trai will cost you 20,000 VND (~$1 USD). I would recommend getting at least 2 because they are so delicious.
In my humble opinion, if you get one banh mi while you’re in Saigon, this should be it. Sure you’ll have to wait in line but trust me, you won’t be disappointed. Banh Mi 37 Nguyen Trai is definitely a top eat in Ho Chi Minh City.
Location: 37 Nguyễn Trãi, Phường Phạm Ngũ Lão, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
More Info: TripAdvisor