What I eat in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam

Here is a collection of what I have eaten so far since landing in Saigon 3 weeks ago. I know that travel during Covid is tricky and exhausting as I experienced it first hand in, but if you can make it to my country and city, I hope this will help you get to know our cuisine. I don’t claim that the list below is the best in class. I visited some shops after some quick Google search while others were just sheer coincidence. Since most of them offer street food, always remember to ask for prices or a menu before making an order to avoid being ripped off.

Broken Rice

If you visit Vietnam, this is one dish that you have to eat. You can have it outside Vietnam, but it’s the most authentic and tasty here. Where to eat: Cay Diep: 58D Cao Thang, Ward 2, District 3. Price: 50,000 VND a plate or Mai: 129 Doan Van Bo, Ward 12, District 4. Around 50,000 VND/plate

Vietnamese broken rice
Figure 1 – Long Xuyen Broken Rice
Vietnamese broken rice
Figure 2 – Vietnamese broken rice

Bún Bò Huế – Vietnamese Spicy Beef Noodle Soup

A very traditional dish in Vietnam that originates from Hue, our old capital. There are plenty of options in Saigon. The shop where I had the above bowl is right at the corner of Phan Boi Chau and Le Loi in District 1. It’s pretty convenient if you wander around Ben Thanh market. Price is about 40,000k a bowl.

Bún Bò Huế - Vietnamese Spicy Beef Noodle
Figure 3 – Bún Bò Huế – Vietnamese Spicy Beef Noodle

Súp Cua – Crab Soup

Easy to eat and delicious. Beware that if you are not used to having an empty stomach, you may need to eat again 1-2 hours after the soup. Sup Cua Doanh: 75 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, District 1. Around 50,000 to 60,000 VND a small bowl

Súp Cua Sò Điệp - Crab Soup
Figure 4 – Súp Cua Sò Điệp – Crab Soup

Noodle Soup – My Tho Style

This shop is small and looks rugged on Tôn Thất Thiệp street in District 1, near Bitexco Tower, but the food is just excellent and not pricey at all for its quality and location.

Hủ Tiếu Mì Mỹ Tho - Noodle Soup Mỹ Tho
Figure 5 – Hủ Tiếu Mì Mỹ Tho – Noodle Soup Mỹ Tho

Laairai Restaurant

This one is a bit biased because the owner is my close friend. Nonetheless, the food is really excellent and the ambience is nice. The prices are a bit high, but understandable if you want to be positioned as an upper market eatery place.

Laairai: 98 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Da Kao Ward, District 1.

Laairai Restaurant
Figure 6 – Laairai Restaurant

Bột Chiên – Fried Rice Flour Cakes

It’s a small cart on Su Van Hanh Street, District 10. You can see what the cart looks like in the video below. The food is tasty and affordable at only 25,000 VND for a plate

Bột Chiên - Fried Rice Flour Cakes
Figure 7 – Bột Chiên – Fried Rice Flour Cakes

Dumpling

A popular snack here in Vietnam that originates from our annoying neighbor, China. This small cart is located on Co Giang Street in District 1. It doesn’t have a business sign and I forgot to film where it was. But just go to Co Giang Street, near Nguyen Thai Hoc Street and you should see it. Each dumpling costs 4,000 and there is a good variety for you to choose from.

Figure 8 - Há Cảo - Dumpling
Figure 8 – Há Cảo – Dumpling

Sticky Rice

This snack is not healthy as it has a lot of carb, but boy, does it taste good! I miss it tremendously as you can’t find the authentic version in Nebraska. There are countless shops in Saigon, but I got the below from Minh Phung Street, District 6. Only 20,000 VND for a portion like below

Xôi Mặn - Sticky Rice
Figure 9 – Xôi Mặn – Sticky Rice

Bún Riêu

Bún Riêu Gánh: 163 Le Thanh Ton, District 1. At the corner of Le Thanh Ton and Nguyen Trung Truc. Price: about 50,000 VND a bowl

Bún Riêu
Figure 10 – Bún Riêu

Smoothie Phố

This shop is very near and dear to me. It operates from 6pm to midnight 6 days a week. Customers are loyal and love what the shop has to offer: affordable but great smoothie. Don’t take my words for it. Just visit it between 8pm and 10pm and you’ll see a crowd on the pavement and the street. Address: 119 Nguyen Van Cu, District 5.

Smoothie Phố
Figure 11 – Smoothie Phố

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