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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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