I would never call myself a heavy drinker, but I would call myself a revealer of universal truths. The fact is, anyone who has every gone out to a bar before, knows about the drunk munchies. You know, it’s that insatiable craving for food you get at the end of the night. Most of the time, it will be so late that only a few establishments are still open. In the United States (at least on the East Coast), this limits your choices to pizza and french fries, among a few other greasy delicacies. I've recently had an epiphany; Banh mi in Vietnam is the perfect drunk munchies food.
Technically, Banh mi (which is usually spelled as the accented “Bánh mì”) just means “bread” in Vietnamese. However, it has also become the ubiquitous term for the fast-food sandwiches served on street corners. Basically, a street vendor takes a baguette and stuffs it with vegetables, and then either adds a fried egg or meat.
So why is Banh mi the perfect drunk munchies food? Why am I so enamored with this Vietnamese specialty? Here are five reasons:
It usually costs no more than 75 cents to buy a Banh mi sandwich from a street vendor, and remember those fifteen cent beers I told you about? An entire night of drinking, plus a sandwich (or two) at the end of the night, will still cost you less than a single beer at a bar in the United States. It’s cheap and I’m cheap, so there you go.
It’s Got Carbs
When you’re more than a bit tipsy, you want something you can really sink your teeth into. There’s nothing more satisfying than eating a baguette with your friends on your way back to the hostel.
It’s Also Healthy
Banh mi is waaay healthier than pizza and french fries. It’s not particularly greasy, and is stuffed full of vegetables and egg. Obviously, nothing can compare to the taste of pizza; however, you can easily have two or three Bahn mi and not feel regretfully bloated the next morning.
It’s Fast Food
Banh mi vendors can prepare a sandwich faster than most pizzerias can reheat a slice of pizza. When you’re craving a quick bite, the last thing you want to do is wait. Within a few seconds of ordering your meal, it’s ready.
Banh mi is kind of hard mess up. In your pseudo-buzzed state, you’ll usually end up ordering a second or third sandwich, just because it tastes so darn good! Forget about it just being a drunk munchies food; I often eat Banh mi for breakfast.
So there you have it: five stellar reasons why Banh mi is the perfect drunk munchies food. Stay hungry, my friends.
My name is Yonah Paley. I quit my job in the United States to travel. I also write movies and do photography. As I backpack across the world, I share stories, philosophy, and travel tips.