It is a big mistake if you miss Bot Chien during your Saigon food tour as it is one of the most famous must-eat dishes in Saigon.
Coming to Saigon, mentioning about Saigon cuisine, the visitors will easily think about Broken rice. However, Saigon food guides will show you the most well-known dish in Saigon which is Bot Chien or Fried rice flour cake with egg. The yellow square dough is mixed with fried eggs, accompanied with sauce has long become a familiar dish of Saigon diners. This delicious dish has contributed to the variety of Vietnam cuisine in general and Saigon cuisine in particular.
Bot Chien appeared in Saigon since the Chinese immigrated to Southern Vietnam. This is one of the popular food of many people, especially the young.
This is one of the popular food of many people
How to make Bot Chien?
Bot Chien is processed in many steps but not too fussy. First, the chef will take pieces of steamed cooked dough and slice it into the small square and thick pieces. Then pour oil coated pan surface and drop the dough into the pan.
When the fried dough pieces turn into yellow color, the chef smashes the egg and spread it onto the dough. Eggs should be spread evenly in order to avoid being bored while eating. Normally, the eateries add little green onions to add some green to decorate the dish. After flipping the two sides, the fried dough will be picked up and ready to serve diners.
Bot Chien is processed in many steps but not too fussy
Drain the dipping sauce into the dishes and mix well, you can enjoy this dish. The fat of the egg, crispy aroma of flour, light sour of vegetable pickles with the tasty sauce will make Bot Chien become an unforgettable afternoon snack to the people and visitors from every corner of the country when visiting Saigon.
This dish is placed on a small plate, served with vegetables pickles and sauces. The sauce will be prepared depending on each chef, but usually, the main ingredients are diluted soy sauce, sugar, and vinegar. Sellers put the vegetable pickle on top of Bot Chien, and the sauce is filled in a small bowl.
You can easily find a Bot Chien eatery in Saigon
Bot Chien is usually prepared and served in smaller or more traditional restaurants, on strollers on the sidewalk. Saigon people always tell that Bot Chien in Ba Huyen Thanh Quan, District 3, Vo Van Tan, or Tran Dinh Xu – District 1 is delicious with reasonable prices from 15,000 to 25,000 VND.
Located on Vo Van Tan Street, District 3, this Bot Chien eatery has opened for 30 years. The ingredients for making a dish are prepared by the family every day. The flour is the decisive factor of the dish. The dough after frying should be soft, not sticky or tough. In addition to the two main ingredients are flour and eggs, the dish also includes scallions and greaves.
Like other restaurants in Saigon, Bot Chien at this address also added soy sauce and served papaya salad. Soy sauce in the eatery is aromatic, papaya is crunchy and not too sour. Pour the waving sauce on the plate and then scoop up small pieces of flour, eaten with papaya, you will feel the full flavor of the dish. The price for a meal is 26,000 VND.
The shop is open from 16:00 every day but from 17:00 there are crowded. You have to come before the open time in case there are too many people. In addition to the famous Bot Chien dish, the menu also includes dried beef salad, chives cakes, fried macaroni, taro, dumpling and many other delicious dishes,
A dried beef salad dish price is about 20,000 VND a plate.
The spring roll is also a favorite dish of many customers. Each roll price is 7,000 VND. The Popiah in this restaurant is made from lettuce, cassava, sausage and dried shrimp, which is appreciated by many guests for the price of 4,000 VND per roll. The restaurant also serves a variety of soft drinks such as chives, orange juice, fresh milk, lemon, salt, fresh water, etc.
Bot Chien is really a delicious dish of many generations in Saigon. With Saigon food tour, you will have a chance to experience this tasty food. Furthermore, there are also many dishes in Saigon waiting you to explore. Don’t miss it.
Do you want to try having dinner at the side of some Saigon street? The following dishes as well as restaurants in Vietnam culinary tours will help you.
Dumping ground broken rice
You should not miss broken rice when having Vietnam street food tours. It is a popular dish in Saigon cuisine. There are various street restaurants serving this but the most famous one is probably the “dumping ground” restaurant.
You should not be afraid of its name because it is just a funny joke made by the locals and regular customers of the restaurant. The owner here is Ms.Bay, who never gave her famous business a name. And her restaurant is accidentally located behind Xom Chieu Market, where people take out the trash. That is where the name “dumping ground” restaurant is given.
Different from that, it is situated on a wide sidewalk and always carefully cleaned. Instead of using glass storage cabinets like other restaurants, Ms.Bay arrange the dishes on two tables.
You will find a great number of common Vietnamese foods to come with broken rice, such as ribs, roasted lean and fat meat mixed, fried chicken, and cuttle-fish stuffed with meat. The rice here is steaming hot, soft, and sweet-smelling.
This is why “dumping ground” restaurant is very crowded every day. Although the price here triples other restaurants, no customer has complained a word because it is equal to the quality of the food.
- Address: 77 Le Van Linh Street, District 4
Among all of the Chinese foods in Saigon, Tieu porridge is always regarded as the most attractive and exclusive one. Due to the unique recipes and flavors of the dish, there are fewer than 10 restaurants in the city. The one in Ban Co Market is definitely the best restaurant that numerous tourists would love to come.
It impresses diners because of not only its wonderful taste but also its price. One miscellaneous dish here can cost 77,000 dongs ($3.38). However, its quality is precisely more than what you expect. Besides common ingredients like pig organs, you will find various other ones in the dish, such as cuttle-fishes, fishes, minced meat, and mushrooms.
Especially, each dish always tastes greasy thanks to the buttery flavor of eggs. Only when customers order does the cook start heating the porridge. After it is ready, other ingredients are added and allowed to get well done. This is the reason why porridge dishes here are so popular and the restaurant is visited by a large number of connoisseurs every year.
- Address: 51/33 Cao Thang Street, District 3
Pho can be an excellent option if you want to begin your Vietnam-food-tour day. The dish has also been spread worldwide and appeared in the offer of different restaurants around the globe. Nevertheless, only in Vietnam and particularly in Saigon can you experience a brand new flavor.
There is one Pho restaurant which has been well-known for its one of a kind dishes. It is Dau Street Restaurant, located in a small alley on Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street. Pho here carries many traditional traits of both Northern and Southern Vietnam.
In over 55 years, the restaurant has never been quiet. Southern citizens come here to try a different taste from their every-day-food. And Northern citizens living in Saigon visit the restaurant to remind themselves of the traditional flavors of their homeland. Although one dish can cost 90,000 dongs ($3.95), the customers have never bargained or complained.
You will not find bean sprouts or vegetables coming with Pho in Dau Restaurant. There are only some green onions to make the dish more attractive. The first thing that you can notice when Pho is served is the clear and sweet odor of its broth.
The noodles are also small, soft, but still tough. The beef is sliced thinly and done in a turn. Looking at the fat in the outer edge of each piece of beef, you will not be able to resist.
- Address: Number 288, Alley 288, Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, District 3
Mixed rice paper
mrvien mixed rice paper
Culinary tours in Vietnam will be disappointed if you don’t try a mixed rice paper. It is an excellent dish for brunches and dinners. The best restaurant in Saigon that you can come and enjoy mixed rice papers is definitely Mr.Vien’s restaurant.
Some years ago, it was famous for being the only place in Saigon where you needed to take a number to have your dish. And because the street was so small, the restaurant was often crowded and caused traffic jams. Now, you cannot find that scene anymore. In fact, you can get your mixed rice paper in less than a minute after ordering.
Mr.Vien, the owner has made all dishes in advance so that customers do not have to spend so much time waiting. A mixed rice paper in Mr.Vien’s restaurant is filled with numerous ingredients, including rice papers, sour mangoes, fried purple onions, peanuts, dried beef, tiny shrimps, quail eggs, mayonnaise sauce, and beef sauce.
Everything is placed in a box. And the only thing you have to do enjoy the dish is spraying beef sauce and mixing all ingredients up. It is a perfect harmony of sourness, sweetness, greasiness, and spiciness. Having traditional recipes, Mr.Vien has created the best-mixed rice papers in Saigon.
The last reason making his restaurant an ideal destination in Vietnam culinary tours is that it is very clean and Mr.Vien is very friendly. So don’t miss the chance to try this outstanding dish in Saigon.
- Address: 38 Nguyen Thuong Hien Street, District 3
Discovering the cuisine of a country is also a way to discover its people and traditions. Today, let’s take a look at 5 best breakfasts in Saigon to find out whether Vietnam cuisine is like what you thought it would be.
Saute bread (Bánh mì chảo)
Sauté bread Saigon
Saute bread is the best Vietnam food in the morning that can give you enough energy for a long day. It depends on the specific recipe of each restaurant that saute bread has different foods to come with. However, a common dish is composed of two sunny-side-up eggs, sausages, ham, jambon, and liver pate. All are placed on a pan.
The secret lies in the eggs, which need to have a certain consistency and still melt when your pork touches them. To do that, they must be fried on medium heat and done to a turn. The more skillful the cook is, the tastier the dish can be.
If the bread that comes with it is baked until hot and crispy, your saute bread will be perfect. After adding some peppers, green onions, and vegetables, you can enjoy the dish immediately. This is a common food to Saigon people due to the harmony of all flavors just on a small pan.
Broken rice (Cơm tấm)
Broken rice Saigon
This is an original dish from Southern Vietnam, which has been spread to all regions in the country and even foreign nations. Nevertheless, according to various connoisseurs, only in Saigon can broken rice has its unique flavor. The main ingredient of the dish is the rest of the rice after it is crushed and ground. Because there is still bran in it, broken rice is very delicious and nutritious.
Therefore, it provides you with enough nutrients for a whole day of working or traveling. The most common foods that come with this dish are ribs, fish sauce, and fried purple onions. Having diverse flavors and many colors from ingredients, broken rice is one of the top breakfasts in Saigon.
Although it has a lot of variants with pork or meat pies at the moment, the traditional recipe is preferred the most.
Beef noodle soup (Bún bò)
Beef noodle soup saigon
You can find beef noodle soup almost everywhere in Saigon. The citizens have it for not only breakfast but also lunch and dinner. Starting from Central Vietnam, the dish has rapidly spread to Southern Vietnam and become one of the best Saigon foods.
After it is imported into Saigon, the cooks have reduced the spiciness and increased the sweetness in its broth. Particularly, the pig feet is added to make the dish more complete and meet the flavors of people in Southern Vietnam.
To satisfy clients, most restaurants in Saigon make the broth by stewing beef bones and ribs in 10 to 12 hours instead of adding seasoning powder. That is why beef noodle soup always has a bland flavor, bringing us a nice warm meal in the morning. There is nothing better than sitting in the restaurant in winter and enjoy a hot bowl of beef noodle soup.
Steamed rolled rice pancake (Bánh cuốn)
Steamed rolled rice pancake saigon
When you cannot decide what to eat in Vietnam for breakfast, steamed rolled rice pancakes will be an excellent option. Original from Northern Vietnam, the dish has been “Saigonized” and strongly affected by cuisines of the Chinese living in Saigon.
In Northern Vietnam, steamed rolled rice pancake comes with fried purple onions and roasted cinnamon pork. But in Saigon, it comes with sweet-and-sour fish sauce and chili peppers. Besides common foods such as fermented pork roll, you will find having the dish with purple taro cakes very interesting.
Don’t miss the chance to try a steamed rolled rice pancake when visiting Saigon. It will tell you the most precious values of Southern cuisines. There are a lot of restaurants serving steamed rolled rice pancakes in the city so looking for them is very easy.
Beef cooked with brine (Bò kho)
Beef cooked with brine saigon
At first glance, beef cooked with brine is somehow similar to ragu or curry in Western countries. Nonetheless, this breakfast dish is completely different. It is much milder than curry in both of its outlook and taste. The broth of beef cooked with brine is less consistent and its flavor is also not as mature as curry.
In fact, the dish has an exclusively sweet taste, which shows a unique Vietnam cuisine and is perfectly fit with the eating habits of people from Southern Vietnam. That is why it is not only a common breakfast but also a famous food to eat between meals.
Because its broth is quite watery so the dish often comes with bread, rice, or noodles. Hence, sometimes, you will see some restaurants serve beef-cooked-with-brine noodle as a special dish. It is simply a variant of the originally popular dish that we love.
Nightlife in Saigon, the biggest, most modern and most bustling city of Vietnam, means very different things in different corners.
Down in district 1, smooth jazz bands, high rolling casinos, and rooftop bars are ideal choice forms of nightlife joy in the downtown. The nearby district 3, however, with its boisterous street bars, budget eateries, and good time vibe, is surely the place to be when night falls. Whatever your favorite nightlife experience in Saigon can be, top 5 guides into nightlife in Saigon from streetfoodofsaigon below will embark you onto a trip of real excitement.
Cocktail at the rooftop bar
Try some cocktails (Source: Internet)
Saigon is no doubt the number one place in Vietnam to offer you one of the most impressive collections of rooftop bars all around the globe. From the modern style of the Chill Sky bar, the chic and the colonial charm of Saigon, a rooftop spot is always here, in Saigon, to suit your any mood. Don’t forget to sit back, treat yourself to a cocktail while soaking up the appealing view of Saigon from sundown till the early hours of daybreak.
Get lucky at a casino
Get some luck at a casino (Source: Internet)
Some of the best hotels in the heart of Saigon offer casinos within, which means you can hit the roulette table, get lucky on the slot machines or play some mah-jong. For those who are interested in casino, the two biggest casinos in the city are located in the Sheraton Saigon Hotel and Tower and the Caravelle Hotel. Casinos in Saigon is no the scale of Las Vegas, but still, having a flutter is an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours.
Live music bars
Live music bar (Source: Internet)
If you are a die-hard fan of live music, Saigon is definitely the place you are looking for. From heavy rock to smooth jazz and everything in between, there is likely a club or a bar that caters to your music tastes. Gather your best buddies and go soak up in the lost frequencies. It’s time to forget all about your stress and the busy outside life, just you and music!
Dinner cruise down the Saigon River
Dinner cruise down the Saigon River (Source: Internet)
For something romance in Saigon, what could be better than taking a leisure cruise down the Saigon River? The Bonsai Dinner Cruise is an ideal choice for a romantic night. Alongside with a scrumptious feast of Western and Vietnamese cuisine, there is also a traditional Vietnamese dance on board and a live jazz performance to enjoy.
Bia Hoi on Pham Ngu Lao
Bia Hoi on Pham Ngu Lao (Source: Internet)
Come last in the least, yet, not the least important guide into nightlife in Saigon is to some Bia Hoi (Vietnamese name of the beer) on Pham Ngu Lao, District 3. This corner is the hub for backpackers from different parts of the world, welcomes a healthy mix of local Vietnamese and foreigners who randomly sit down together, drinking cheap beers on small plastic stools and chat away the night, all along the street. Reasonably-priced restaurants can be easily spotted, as well as several nightclubs if you want to hit the dance for later at midnight.
Hopefully, the above-mentioned information has given you useful guide into nightlife in Saigon. Come and join!
Delicious dishes with affordable prices have made these 4 food stalls famous among Saigon people. Having a food tour around Saigon, you should not miss these.
Hu Tieu Ca Can
There are many stalls selling “hu tieu” in Saigon, but Hu tieu Ca Can is the most delicious. In this stall, hu tieu is cooked in My Tho’s cooking method. The stall is located at the intersection of Nguyen Tri Phuong and Hung Vuong Streets. The space is very simple, even the sign “Hu tieu Ca Can” is faint with dust. However, it is always crowded from morning till afternoon.
A bowl of hu tieu is filled with many layers of ground meat, boiled shrimps, dried shrimps, and dried garlic. But what’s unique and what makes the difference here is the sweet and sour sauce, which is unlike any flavors of other stalls or restaurants.
Bun rieu ganh – Ben Thanh Market
Bun rieu ganh-Ben Thanh market (Source: Internet)
Talking about popular eateries in Saigon, it is impossible not to mention “bun rieu ganh” of Ben Thanh market. Over 30 years, this stalls has become the familiar address of many Saigon people.
A bowl of rice noodles here is not too big, but the quality with broth, fried tofu, pork, tomato slices and large “rieu” are cover the whole bowl. Each bowl of rice noodles here is served with a small bowl of fresh vegetables and a plate of sauce consisting of shrimp, tamarind, and chili flavors.
Bun dau Mrs. Khan
Bun dau Mrs Khan (Source: Internet)
As one of the pioneers who bring “bun dau mam tom” to Saigon, there is no surprise that this stall of Mrs. Khan easily won the hearts of many Saigon people. Because this street food is such an easy dish to eat and is too addictive that this stall is always full of tables.
This stall lies in Cong Quynh Street with simple decoration and it specializes in bun dau (dried rice noodles eating with fried tofu, boiled pork, cucumbers, and herbs, …). Besides, there are other dishes such as bun gia cay or bun oc chuoi dau and other northern snacks such as pillow cakes or fried rolls…
Snail dishes at Oc Dao (Source: Internet)
Located in Saigon center, the famous snail stall Oc Dao on Nguyen Thai Hoc Street can never be missed when it comes to Saigon street food stalls. It’s not only famous for its delicious snail dishes but also accidental celebrities’ meetings.
To many foodies, the quality of dishes here is impeccable: good seasoning with fresh, tough, and firm snail. Therefore, there is a funny saying that when eating snails in Oc Dao, people just want to get bread to eat all the sauce on the snail dish so that the owners do need to wash dishes because they’re too clean. Another plus point for this stall is that fast serving that diners rarely have to wait.
One of the great joys of the Saigon people is that they always have amazing delicacies to munch on. Strolling along Saigon streets, you will find countless shops serving bounteous kinds of Saigon street food. Entrée or side dishes are all tasty and try-worthy. If this is your first visit to Sai Gon, you definitely ought to try the below food list from streetfoodofsaigon:
Sai Gon Street food (Source: Internet)
1. Saigon Broken Rice
When it comes to Sai Gon, the first eat everyone will probably think of is "Broken Rice". This is so familiar that the Saigonese may delightedly have it from breakfast till… dinner! (3 bowls a day). This is also one of the signature dishes of Vietnam cuisine. Other provinces also have their own “Broken Rice” which replicates the style of Saigon’s “Broken Rice” but of course they are not up to par, not to say Saigon’s iconic viand’s level.
Saigon Broken Rice (Source: Internet)
This dish is called “Broken Rice” because it was previously cooked from rice which was cracked, i.e broken or has crooked form, not “beautiful enough” to be classified as high-quality rice. The most popular one is broken rice with grilled ribs, but with the huge creativity of Vietnamese cooks, other versions have been brought to life as well such as “Broken Rice” with roasted chicken, shredded pork, or sunny-side-ups …
2. Hu Tieu Ca
Hu Tieu Ca (Fish Rice Noodles)
Fish Noodle is a famous dish of Chinese originated Saigonese in Saigon. The kind of fish used for this dish is fresh snakehead fish. They are got rid of bones, then cleaned, sliced and marinated with salt and seasoning. The stock is made from pig bones so it has a special flavor. Added to the soup, except the popular herbs, is another special spice known as Cambodian cabbage. Fish noodle will be served with lettuce, mung bean sprout, chili, lemon wedges and soy sauce.
3. Nam Vang Rice Vermicelli
Nam Vang (Phnom Penh) Rice Noodle (Source: Internet)
Nam Vang Rice Noodle is known as a "multi-ethnic" dish because it originates from Cambodia but processed by the Chinese and served in .. Sai Gon. Noodle is also as popular as “Broken Rice” in Saigon city but Nam Vang Noodle has its own taste made of its variety of materials.
Nam Vang Rice Noodle originally has pork chunks and minced pork but in Saigon, it is “recreated” with many kinds of foodstuffs such as shrimp, pig’s liver, quail egg, squid, etc. And the indispensable ingredients when enjoying Nam Vang Rice Noodle are vegetables like cilantro, tongho, chive, and sprout. There are two types of Nam Vang Rice Noodle, dry noodles, and broth-based one. Dry noodles are added with soy sauce, fried garlic and a bowl of soup.
4. Green Papaya Salad
Green Papaya Salad With Shredded Jerky (Source: Internet)
With the sweetness of the beef sauce and crunchiness of papaya, the Vienam groovy cuisine Papaya Salad With Shredded Jerky is another favorite of Saigon people. The price is about 15,000 VND -18,000 VND (less than 1$) per plate. Many young people often go out together to eat this scrumptious salad when in the mood for something tasty. The bestselling papaya salad stall is probably at Le Van Tam Park, District 3. When you arrive there, someone will give you a tiny stool to sit around the tree. After ordering, a person will bring a dish of the papaya salad for you. The papaya salad in Le Van Tam Park is just a pavement stall but has existed for decades. The seller there adds a few pieces of crispy souffle on the dish so its taste is more special than others.
5. Ravioli Soup
Ravioli Soup is an acclaimed eat of Chinese cuisine. On the scale of Saigon in particular and Vietnam in general, not only Chinatown has Ravioli Soup, but the restaurants owned by original Chinese has been creating the up to par dish as well.
In Saigon, Ravioli Soup is sold in diverse streets and the most noteworthy one is Ha Ton Quyen Street (District 11) with over dozens of eateries serving this dish. The Ravioli Soup process is almost identical to that of wonton but Ravioli's size is larger and it has more ingredients in the filler. Now people are generally made it from shrimp, pork, vegetables …which are minced, mixed, added with condiments reasonably and wrapped by the wonton wrapper. Ravioli can be processed in many ways, such as cooking into soup, steaming or frying, and usually served with choysum, low in fat and palatable. It is an amazing choice for your Saigon food tours.
6. Milk Tea
Milk tea (Source: Internet)
The above is about What to eat in Saigon, what about what to drink? In every corner of Saigon, milk tea is sold near and far. Believe it or not, each milk tea shop has its own smashing flavor. If you do not like sitting in shops to enjoy milk tea, the takeaway is your best bet. Phuc Long milk tea is in the mainstream today.
Considered as a groovy location, Bach Dang Wharf earns its stripes in this the map of the best Milk Tea shops in Sai Gon. There is no place more appropriate than this spot to chew the fat with your cronies. The milk tea has a quite strong tea base, so you may be "intoxicated" if you drink it when your stomach is empty. However, it is an adored beverage for many young folks.
If you are craving for a dose of history mixed with exotic culture, Vietnam is waiting for your exploration! But do you know how to happily travel to Vietnam? Let’s check out some Vietnam traveling tips!
How to bargain in Vietnam?
How to bargain in Vietnam? (Source: Internet)
Unlike Europe or North America, where most prices are fixed and well noted, Vietnam, like many other developing countries, likes to play it hidden. Therefore, haggling in Vietnam is not an intimidating, annoying, and time-consuming task but a whole cultural experience. You know what? Many people even choose a Vietnam tour to experience by themselves because of what they have read in some Vietnam travel reviews.
In Vietnam, it is not wise to right away take the first price offered to you whether it is for a hotel room, a motorbike ride, a trip to Halong Bay, or a motorbike ride, almost everything (between individuals or even with travel agencies and tour operator) can be negotiable. How can you prevent yourself from ruining your trip by getting too worked up over money?
The rule of thumb is that before haggling, you need to know the price of certain things. In Vietnam, asking directly how much something cost is not a social taboo. So, do not hesitate to say: “Can you give some discount?” or “It’s too expensive for me”. Start with two third of the quoted price! If your effort is no use in haggling, just walk away! If you have offered a fair price and been rejected the trader will normally call you back and agree. If all the shops offer you the same price, it is exactly what you should be paying for. Another trick to bargain in Vietnam is to do it in Vietnamese, which makes the local vendors think you live there and hopefully, they will tell you the most reasonable price.
How to cross the streets in Vietnam?
How to cross the streets in Vietnam (Source: Internet)
You think that it is ridiculous to learn how to cross the streets in Vietnam? Once you have set foot in busy cities like Hanoi capital city and especially Ho Chi Minh City, you will realize how bad your mistake is. On any normal day, crossing the road in Ho Chi Minh City, the city of over six million populations with the motorbike being the most preferred mode of transportation, is an utterly terrifying act. Of course, the first advice is to respect the traffic law and consequently set the example for others. Do not let the incredible volume of motorbikes on the road make you feel scared!
If there are locals in your entourage, it is highly recommended to enlist their help! Vietnamese people are really famous for their friendliness and they are all more than happy to help you cross the streets.
Busy street in Hanoi (Source: Internet)
If you have to do it alone, all you have to do while crossing is walk out with confidence, take it slow and don’t panic. Walk as slowly as possible, but whatever you do, don’t stop either. Keep moving at an even pace means that you are likely to make it to the other side safe and sound. Crossing the street in Vietnam does sound dangerous, but it’s also a lot of fun once your feet cross the pavement to the other side.
How many days to spend in Vietnam?
Depending on how many destinations you want to visit in Vietnam, the length of your holiday can be different. If you choose Vietnam’s capital city, it is a good idea to spend a couple of days in the city, 2 or 3 days in Halong Bay for an overnight cruise to enjoy the karst islands and a few days in the mountains at Sapa where you can do some trekking to these peaceful remote villages, experience homestay, mingle with the ethnic people, and visit some towering waterfalls, etc. before back to Hanoi.
Dalat (Source: Internet)
If you choose Ho Chi Minh City, after few days in town, you could take a 2-day trip to the Mekong Delta, then head up to the romantic town of Dalat for 1 day, then perhaps to Phu Quoc where you can go island hopping and also enjoy the beach before returning to Saigon. They are all do-it-yourself itinerary. However, if you prefer a pre-arranged tour, let streetfoodofsaigon be your fellow travelers!
No matter how many days you have in Vietnam, you will have a great range of things to do and see.
Vietnam is a kingdom of noodle dishes, and most Vietnamese have at least a bowl of noodles a day, some, maybe even a few more. Therefore, it is not surprising to find many kinds of noodle soups from the North to the South. If Pho is the signature dish of the capital city, bun bo Hue is a heavier flavor the Central Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City in the South also has its own versions of noodle dish.
Bun Thit Nuong (vermicelli noodles with grilled pork)
Attractive appearance of bun thit nuong (Source: Internet)
When it comes to bun, if bun cha is the pride of Hanoi’s cuisine, bun thit nuong is the highlight of Saigon’s food. On your visit to Ho Chi Minh City, bun thit nuong is a dish that you should not miss. So, what is bun? As you might know, bun in bun thit nuong is not a bread roll of various shapes and flavorings but is rice vermicelli made of rice flour that is turned into small, circular and white threads wrapped up into small coils. Vietnamese rice vermicelli is delicious and easy-to-prepare; therefore, it is a preferable as well as a popular dish.
What can draw you to this Vietnamese Vermicelli Recipe? It is the contrast in colors, flavors, temperatures, and textures. A bowl of bun thit nuong is hot rice vermicelli and grilled pork paired with cool crunchy vegetables produced or grown in the neighboring Mekong Delta and Dalat regions like fresh chopped leaf lettuce, bean sprouts, sliced cucumber, pickled daikon and carrot, basil, and mint.
Bun thit nuong (Source: Internet)
The awesome flavor of bun thit nuong is created by the soft and silky noodles, the tender, salty, and sweet pork, a beautiful crunch of cha gio (deep-fried spring rolls), the freshness of many kinds of vegetables and the sweet and salty fish sauce – a flavorful low-fat Vietnamese Dressing. But the first thing to attract you is its picture-like appearance: the yellowish-brown color of a few skewers of grilled pork layered on top of a bowl and the bright color of a handful of chopped up herbs and lettuce at the bottom of a bowl.
Vivid in color and fresh in flavor, bun thit nuong is a great alternative to the heavier pho or com dishes widely served in Saigon. Let’s douse your bowl of bun thit nuong with nuoc cham served on the side and a few scoops of freshly ground chili and what you have is a taste sensation in your mouth.
Where to go for bun thit nuong in Saigon?
- Bun thit nuong Ms. Thong: 195 Co Giang, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
- Bun Thit Nuong Hoang Van, Hai Dang: Chan Hung Street, Ward 6, Tan Binh District
- Bun thit nuong Ms. Tam: 299 Vo Van Tan Street, District 3
- Bun thit nuong Mr. Ba: 126 Le Van Sy Street, Phu Nhuan District
Hu Tieu Nam Vang
Hu tieu Nam Vang (Source: Internet)
Having a huge following of Vietnamese cuisine lovers, hu tieu Nam Vang – the humble cousin of Pho, lighter in flavor with a sweet touch is another must-try noodle soup in Ho Chi Minh City.
Invented by Cambodian, made popular in Saigon by Chinese vendors and eaten by local diners, hu tieu Nam Vang not only has now become a signature dish of the south of Vietnam but also captures the essence of Vietnamese history in one hearty bowl of noodles. Hu tieu is believed to originally come from kuy teav – a flavorful and very common pork and seafood noodle soup in Phnom Penh, the largest and capital city of Cambodia and to be in its simplest and purest form.
Featuring a clear pork-based broth, a variety of different types of soft noodles (flat rice noodles named hu tieu), and an assortment of pork toppings like some slices of pork, liver, intestines, a quail egg, and finally a shrimp, all sprinkled with a touch of pepper, and some chopped green onions and cilantro, hu tieu is a soup that should not be overlooked.
Why do you still hesitate to grab an open seat at one of the metal tables lined up on the sidewalk, and order yourself a bowl of hu tieu Nam Vang?
Where to go for Hu Tieu Nam Vang in Saigon?
Hu tieu Nam Vang Nhan Quan (Source: Internet)
- Hu tieu Mr. Tylum, 93 Huynh Man Dat, Ho Chi Minh City
- Hu tieu Nam Vang Quynh, A65 Nguyen Trai, Nguyen Cu Trinh, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
- Hu tieu Nam Vang Nhan Quan: 27Q Au Co, Ward 14, Ho Chi Minh City.
While Pho – the starlet of Vietnamese cuisine is far from the only noodle soup available in Saigon, bun thit nuong and hu tieu are noodle dishes streetfoodofsaigon thinks you should not miss.
Ho Chi Minh City, or better known as Saigon, is a young and modern city in the south of Vietnam. Like any other city in this country, Saigon is full of mouth-watering foods that you could never get enough. Saigon is the heaven for gourmets all around the world.
Some of the best foods in Saigon, as you might know, do not come from fancy restaurants but traditional markets. Over the past 10 years, Ben Thanh, as the most famous Saigon market, has been a familiar place not only for local people but also for many foreigner tourists. If you don’t know what to eat in Saigon, here are some suggestions from streetfoodofsaigon for a day full of flavors in Ben Thanh Market.
Hue City is famous for the collection of juicy and tasty steamed rice dumpling cakes which are quite popular in other southern regions like Saigon. Banh Beo is one of those. The name means literally the "water fern cake”. The dish is made of rice powder as the basic ingredient with some chopped dried shrimp and crispy fried shallots on top. It’s served with dipping sauce including fish sauce, garlic, and other spices.
Banh Beo (Source: Internet)
You can enjoy the dish in some small food stalls located in the East and West Gate of the market. The stalls here follow the original Hue recipe but still has some modifications in the sauce to fit more with the taste of the Southern people. They are famous for the mixed dish which is a combination of many types of rice cakes with some dried shredded pork or Vietnamese ham. That’s why it attracted many local people coming here for a late afternoon snack.
Bun Mam or Fish Paste Noodle is a famous noodle dish in the Western region of Vietnam and one of the top dishes must-eat in Saigon. There is a popular 40-year-old food stall opposite to the East Gate of Ben Thanh Market selling this famous dish which is cooked in the original style.
Bun Mam (Source: Internet)
The ingredients are various including snakehead fish, shrimp, squid, roasted pork, grilled groundfish and of course, the essential element in every Southern noodle dish: raw vegetables and herbs. The unique feature that makes the dish distinguished is the special broth which has the tasty flavor from the fish paste and the pungent fragrance of lemongrass. This dish will perfectly warm up your cold winter day.
The Fried dough is a simple yet popular snack for local people. As the name suggests, the small piece of dough is deep fried with eggs. The green onions and picked papaya are placed on top to reduce the fatty effect of fried foods.
Fried Dough (Source: Internet)
To enjoy the dish, you dip one piece in a small bowl of seasoned soy sauce. The dish has that yellow charming color of fried foods with the typical “crispy outer and tender inner”.Trust me, you can’t stop after one bite.
We’ve gone on an exciting trip with the most popular street foods in Saigon. Spending few more days in Saigon and discover the special cuisine here will definitely get you a highlight of your trip.
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Among different local cuisines along Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, as known as Saigon, is no doubt one of the best places for food culture. With the unique speciality in each stall, Saigon street food has seduced many tastes, even the pickiest ones. Here in this heaven are top dishes that will make you regret without paying a visit to South Vietnam.
1.Banh my Hoa Ma:
Staying near the intersection of Cao Thang – Nguyen Dinh Chieu, this food stall has been famous for almost 50 years as one of the best places to try a unique style of eating bread in Saigon. People have bread with various food such as omelette, onion, ham, sausage, pâté or cha lua (a kind of grilled chopped pork), accompanied by side dishes like pickles with a slight gingery smell and secret special sour sauce. However, it is the way to eat that makes this food original. You can either taste the whole loaf of bread or in a hot pan with separate ingredients. The price for a pan as below is 47,000 VND, quite high compared to average budget, but this is no doubt worth money.
A full ingredient pan eating with bread
The modest outlook of food stall
Address: 53 Cao Thang St., District 3
Open hours: 6 am – 11 am
Price range: 30,000VND – 60,000VND
2.Banhtrangtron Uncle Vien (Mixed Rice Paper of Uncle Vien):
A top must-eat dish in Saigon that tourist can easily find on any road. The simple, easy cuisine of mixing different available ingredients spread its name around; people rush to learn the recipe and open their own business in almost every corner of the city. The strange combination of rice paper, boiled quail egg and green mango creates an interesting flavour when being chewed. Adding some beef jerky, little chilli paste, mix them up and then enjoy with a glass of iced lemon tea. It is absolutely well-noted if you want to start a Saigon food tour.
It will be a great pity without trying this delicious snack at the food stall of Uncle Vien. Surely you will not disappoint with a full bowl of many appetizing toppings at a reasonable price. Because of its convenience, Saigonese especially youngsters can buy it take-away as their break meals.
A full bowl of banhtrangtron Uncle Vien in Saigon
Address: 38 Nguyen Thuong Hien St., Precinct 3, District 5
Open hours: 1 pm – 7 pm
Price range: 10,000VND – 22,000VND
3.Com tam Tu Map (Broken steamed rice)
Rather than being considered as some random Saigon street food, com tam is a symbol ofSouth Vietnam cuisine culture. It may somehow be too heavy to be called a snack, so the best time to try it is at lunch or dinner time, as the main dish. Customers can freely choose various options to eat with tender, flavoury broken rice grains, but the most common is with BBQ pork rib or grilled chopped pork and shredded pork skin. The golden fatty ribs are cut into small pieces for convenience. In addition, guests can also select either vegetable soup or sour soup to suit their taste.
With the famous hand-made grilled pork skin and rib, Tu Map has earned its reputation as one of the most well-known long-standing restaurants in Saigon. Besides the spacious, regularly cleaned layout; small bowls, fish sauce, toothpicks, chillies are neatly put on a tray, making customers feel comfortable about the hygiene of the restaurant. After a long journey around Saigon in the daytime, a full dish of com tam will be such a deserving award for hard-working and hungry tourists.
The temptation of broken steamed rice with tasty pork rib and side dishes
Address:812 Su Van Hanh, Precinct 12, District 10
Open hours: 7 am – 2 pm
Price range: 12,000VND – 42,000VND
4.Bun Mam PhanBoiChau (Fish sauce Noodle)
Bun mam is specifically a southern Vietnamese dish, and just like most other Saigon street food, you’ll find it at both sit down restaurants and portable street food stalls around town. It has attracted guests with a characteristic aroma of the dark colour broth prepared with a fermented sauce made from specialities available in the South West Rivers. At first, rice noodles are loaded with the entire assortment of meats like squid, prawns and pork are all scattered on top, then sousing the fishy broth over the bowl. In addition, guests can optionally sweeten the flavour with tamarind juice or sugar.
We recommend Bun Mam PhanBoiChau for its great location and serving hot fresh bowls with beautiful tasty broth. You can easily stop by to sample it after going shopping in Ben Thanh market.
Bun mam at 22 PhanBoiChau
Address: 22 PhanBoiChau St., across from Ben Thanh Market, District 1
Open hours: 6 am – 7 pm
Price range: 40,000VND – 70,000VND