Is it Bánh Mì or Baguette?

Is it Bánh Mì or Baguette?

Banh MiImage Credit: Mark Wiens

They may look and taste very similar, and the differences between the two are unknown to many. The bánh mì is the Vietnamese version of a baguette, and there’s a lot more that sets it apart from its French predecessor other than its name.

Here are some fun facts about these two breads!

Two Different Breads with Similar Influences

The colonisation of Vietnam by the French back in the 19th century has inevitably left a great impression, and it’s no wonder why the bánh mì bears a resemblance to the baguette.

Bánh MìImage Credit: Banhmi Kitchen

The fusion of the French bread with Vietnamese ingredients resulted in the bánh mì that we know and love today. You can also find out more about how a bánh mì is made traditionally here!

Baguettes Image Credit: BBC

The popularity of baguettes can be traced back to the year 1920, as a solution to a French law preventing bakers from working before 4 am. However, it was only a century later that it got its name we all know today.

Spotting The Differences

History aside, one of the easiest ways to tell the difference between a baguette and a bánh mì is the size of the breads.

Spotting The Differences - Baguettes and Bánh MìImage Credit: Go Vietnam!

The length of a baguette is anywhere between 65cm to a metre, while the bánh mì is much smaller — around 20cm.

The bánh mì is also lighter, airier, and with a thinner crust that is crisp and crackly. It is inexpensive and available throughout Vietnam.

Bánh MìImage Credit: The Best Ever Food Review Show

The bánh mì is typically stuffed with pork pâté and fresh vegetables such as pickled carrots and radish, coriander, and cucumber slices. It is also often paired with dishes like bò kho (beef stew).

Bò khoBò kho / Image Credit: Yeunoitro

The French enjoy their baguette with simple spreads like butter or cream cheese, or have them as a sandwich with a variety of meats and vegetables.

Baguette with Butter SpreadImage Credit: Once Upon a Chef

Baguette Sandwich with a Variety of Meats and VegetablesImage Credit: 109 Cheese & Wine

Bánh Mì and Baguette at Shophouse by Shangri-La

Shophouse by Shangri-LaImage Credit: Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore

These days, both the bánh mì and the baguette are widely available, no matter which part of the world you may be in.

Before you leave your hotel to explore the sights and sounds of Singapore, pick either of them (or both) at Shophouse by Shangri-La, a takeaway deli concept that serves artisanal loaves and a variety of pastries. Additionally, breads are all handmade with sourdough and baked fresh daily so you can be sure that you’re getting only the freshest breads.

Shophouse by Shangri-La is open daily from 7am to 9pm.
For enquiries or orders, call +65 6213 4377, or email


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Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore

Author Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore

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