Saigon food – Com Tam

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What do you know about Saigon food? Have you ever heard about Com Tam or broken rice? It is one of the specialities of Saigon in particular and Vietnam in general

What do you know about Saigon food? Have you ever heard about Com Tamor broken rice? It is one of the specialities of Saigon in particular and Vietnam in general.

Traveling to Vietnam, most people think the first thing to do in Vietnam is exploring Vietnam cuisine. Forget about Pho, Com Tam is one of the top dishes must-eat in Vietnam for you. It is voted onto one of the tastiest dishes of Saigon by CNN.

Com Tam (broken rice) – a speciality of Saigon

Com Tam (broken rice) – a speciality of Saigon

Visitors can find Com Tam at anywhere from Hanoi to Saigon but the most famous Com Tam is Com Tam Saigon (Saigon-style broken rice). The name Com Tam has its own meaning. Com refers to cooked rice while Tam refers to the broken rice grains.

Com Tam is originated from Vietnam. It’s one of the best-loved dishes in Vietnamese. The grains often damaged during the process of harvesting and transporting rice. Most people preferred eating the long, whole grain rice. Therefore, these fractured grains were difficult to sell. Farmers used those unsold broken rice as animal feed. However, some poor families who can’t afford the whole grain rice started to cook the broken rice for their own consumption as it was cheaper.

Broken rice grains

Broken rice grains

Nowadays, Com Tam contributed to the variety of Saigon street food. It is still remained being cooked by broken rice. Like Pho, it can be a breakfast, lunch or even dinner. Basically, Com Tam of each region remains the same ingredient in most cases.

It is usually served with grilled pork and bì (thinly shredded pork mixed with cooked and thinly shredded pork skin)over the rice. Adding some pickled carrot and sliced cucumber makes the dish colorful. The grilled pork chop is marinated in fish sauce and spices. Sometimes Com Tam is served with chả(made of egg, pork, mushrooms and glass noodle). On the top of Com Tam are a fried egg and a drizzle of chopped spring onion in oil. Some eateries served a small clear broth soup bowl to line the stomach.

An essential part of Com Tam isn’t the rice but the dipping sauce, a mixture of fish sauce, sugar, lime and, chili.Good rice is not too wet or too dry, not too sweet or not too salty. The pork is chosen carefully before being marinated. If we replace broken rice by normal rice, but even with the same fish sauce, green onion, and grilled pork…the taste will change completely! Moreover, people can choose whatever they want in their dishes. They can eat Com Tam without grilled pork, fried egg or chả, etc.

It is known to be one of the most delicious Saigon street food dishes. Local Com Tam eateries can be found on practically every street and every corner in Saigon. However, you should go to some "branded" places to enjoy Com Tam. Here are suggestions for you:

Com Tam Ba Ghien

Add: 84 Dang Van Ngu Street, Ward 10, Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City

Don’t hesitate to pass by “Com Tam Ba Ghien”. Once you eat at Com Tam Ba Ghien, you’ll want to come back there next time. The average price is really cheap; it’s just about $1.5 per dish. Come before the rush hours if you don’t want to wait for so long.

Com Tam Ba Ghien

Com Tam Ba Ghien

Com Tam Cali

Add 1: 32 Nguyen Trai Street, District 1

Add 2: 35Bis Le Thanh Ton Street, District 1

Add 3: 449 Vo Van Tan Street, District 3

Com Tam Cali is a franchise with 10 locations. The staff is friendly and the menu has translations. A dish of Com Tam Cali costs $3.50 which is quite cheap.

Com Tam Cali

Com Tam Cali

Com Tam Moc

Add 1: 85 LýTựTrọng Street, BếnThành Ward, District 1

Add 2: 48 Lê ThánhTôn Street, District 1

Add 3: 82 Nguyễn Du Street, District 1

Com Tam Moc

Com Tam Moc

Com Tam Thuan Kieu

Add 1: 46 Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Da Kao Ward, District 1

Add 2: 114 Yersin Street, Nguyen Thai Binh Ward, District 1

Add 3: 54 Thuan Kieu Street, Ward 4, District 11

Com tam Thuan Kieu

Com Tam Thuan Kieu

 

 

7 scrumptious Vietnamese cuisines around Saigon market

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Tan Dinh Market was built in 1926, where guests can enjoy delicious Vietnamese cuisine such as Chinese noodles, tapioca noodles, pork rib porridge or specialties throughout the region in Vietnam. If you have a chance to go to Saigon and wonder what to eat when traveling in Vietnam – This article is for you.

Hu Tieu Go (Noodles)

Hu Tieu Go

Hu Tieu Go (Noodles) (Source: Internet)

Most Chinese restaurants have their own recipe for noodles, so when you eat, you will feel a lot of different flavors. The vendors inform their presence by tapping two sticks together. The smell is fragrant; the noodles are soft but still retain the toughness. The “mobile shop” is on the side of the market on Nguyen Huu Cau Street. Guests will find this address easily by the typical noodle “car” of the Chinese people. In addition to noodles, there are uncountable street foods in Vietnam such as wonton, dry noodles, and pork noodles … with the average price of 25,000 VND per bowl.

Tapioca Noodles with beef

The thing that you cannot miss this pavement restaurant on your Vietnam culinary tour is the big piece of pork bone, which is crispy and fragrant. The broth is not made from artificial flavors but by brewing marinated bones. By the side of the road, this mobile shop is frequented by the office workers in the afternoon. The restaurant is at the end of Nguyen Van Nguyen Street, open from 3 pm to about 7 pm every day. Price for a bowl of soup is from 25,000 VND.

Wonton

Wonton

Wonton (Source: Internet)

This Chinese dish can be either fried or transformed into soup and eaten with noodles. The stall that serves wonton is also famous for the soft drink bar and dumpling. You can add slices of pork and crispy shrimp cake to boost the taste. You can add some lime juice or chili to add flavor or to try a whole different version. The average price for a serving is 30,000 VND.

Bun Thit Nuong (Vietnamese Grilled Pork Noodle)

Bun Thit Nuong

Vietnamese Grilled Pork Noodle (Source: Internet)

This kind of noodle is in the top of Vietnamese Cuisines list that you must give it a try! The biggest selling point of the restaurant is the meat and spring rolls that are cooked to soft. In addition, the fish sauce in the restaurant has just enough sour taste, slightly paste. If you like to eat more onions or peanuts, you can tell the proprietor in advance. Price for a bowl is from 25,000 VND.

Pork rib porridge

Pork rib porridge

Pork rib porridge (Source: Internet)

Near the market, there are dozens of porridge carts, but the best one is right opposite the market. This is usually crowded at night to late night. The followings are the reasons: It’s simple and easy to eat. Moreover, people are swept off their feet by the attractive colors, warmth and the taste of the ribs. The porridge is always smoking hot with a little pepper sprinkled on top. You cannot resist the seductive and charming smell of this pork rib porridge. It is a perfect warming dish on the rainy days in Saigon. Prices range from 15,000 to 25,000, depending on the request.

Hue dishes

Hue dishes

Hue dishes (Source: Internet)

Located on Nguyen Huu Cau Street, on the side of Tan Dinh Market is a row of restaurants selling Hue dishes. Coming here in the morning or afternoon, you can always find Hue’s culinary delicacies that can satisfy even picky eaters. Some highlights are Nam Pho tapioca noodles, bloating Fern-shaped cake, rice dumpling cake, and beef vermicelli.

Fried Noodles

Fried noodles

Fried Noodles (Source: Internet)

Located at the back of Tan Dinh Market, the restaurant is for the devotees who are night street food connoisseur. It usually opens until 2 or 3 a.m. The main dish is fried crunchy and crispy yellow noodles, served with seafood and vegetables. Over and above, you can also have a good meal with fried rice noodles or stir-fried Pho.

Western dishes

For those who like Western cuisine, Kieu's steak bar with authentic South Vietnamese dishes is worth a try: steamed cassava with coconut, bitter herbs and fish porridge, broken rice, sweet cakes, banana bread steamed rice, turnip cake, shrimp soup … The food here is very hygienic and delicious.

This restaurant is at 459B Hai Ba Trung Street, Ward 8, District 3, HCMC. The restaurant is open from 6 am to 7 pm every day. The food here is priced from 30,000 VND.

The above dishes are highly recommended Vietnamese Cuisine by streetfoodofsaigon. We hope you will find it useful for your interesting adventure!

[Nguyên Duy]

Saigon street food tour

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Recently, the Food and Wine Magazine, a US food and beverage magazine, has released a list of the 10 most popular street food destinations in the world including Ho Chi Minh City, often called Sai Gon with familiar dishes such as noodles, pancakes, sour soup … in which the patty sandwich stands at No. 1.

It is undeniably that Saigon cuisine is the crystallization of delicious and unique dishes in the South area and it is the cross- culinary of many different cultures. Many delicious and unique dishes of provinces and cities across the country and many countries in the world (China, India, France, America, Italy, Russia, Japan, Australia, …) have become part of Saigon cuisine such as Pho, Fried fish in Hanoi; Ho Tay shrimp in batter; Northern rice; Lang Son fermented pork roll; Hue beef rice noodles; Quang noodle; Hoi An Cao Lau; Peking duck; pate pies, meat, sausages; salad; Sushi. However, this interference makes the culture of Saigon cuisine more delicate, more attractive in international visitors’ eyes without losing the traditional beauty.

Saigon street food market

Saigon Street food market

Dubbed as "Non-sleeping City", Sai Gon has always been so bustling and dynamic. What makes Saigon unique is the street food paradise which serves day and night. Going to Saigon, if you don't enjoy the street food here, it is like you have never come to Saigon. Therefore, in Saigon, people have built Food Street, Ben Thanh Market or food tours like Saigon Food Tour to cater to food lovers.

The culinary tours of Saigon last about 4 hours but the choice of food and destination is in their own way. Saigon Food Tour will take guests to enjoy unique dishes in the places where Saigon people usually frequent. These are the eateries that attract many locals to eat and drink and have a historical thickness to tell guests its stories. During the tour, guests will enjoy more than 10 dishes. Foreign tourists prefer the riverside or in the winding alleyways, or the small shops are close together on the Hoang Sa, Truong Sa Street from the famous Thanh Mai noodle on Truong Dinh street, duck porridge in Thanh Da to the snail shops and delicious seafood everywhere in the city. They interact directly with the indigenous person, which brings the real experience that is very difficult before for foreigners to get.

Now, let's follow us to explore the Saigon street cuisine paradise.

1. The Sweet dishes

During hot summer days, Saigon is the paradise for the "sweet believer", you can sip tea, tofu, and fruit.

Che Saigon

Sweet gruel

Saigon has many delicious and famous sweet gruel stores like the three- color sweet gruel on Nguyen Phi Khanh Street which is also known as the 'picky sweet gruel' or “Chảnh chè” in Vietnamese or you can also enjoy the special sweet gruel tray (apartment Su Van Hanh, District 10) with 12 cups of sweet gruel. In addition, Ky Dong sweet gruel (Ky Dong Street, District 3) also has a variety of sweet gruels such as mixed gruel, green bean gruel, green bean jelly, coconut jelly, Thai gruel, fruit gruel…

Street fruit in VIetnam

Street Fruit

It is impossible to not mention about Nguyen Canh Chan. This street is known as the 'land' of the fruit usually eaten with coconut jam. The coconuts are grated and then simmer with jaggery to make a special fruit jam with a very unique and delicious scent.

Tofu is also one of the delicious sweet dishes of Saigon. Saigon tofu tastes good and characteristic with the rich combination of tofu with baby jackfruit, red bean, aloe vera, sticky rice, jelly, pearl bubble…All of them make a great dish.

2. The salty dishes

Roadside stalls are always a top choice for young people who love freedom, cool and airy space. Rice noodle soup, “Phá Lấu”- the food that mixes the organs of animals such as beef, pork, chicken, duck, … with affordable prices that allows you to enjoy them.

Phung Hung fried rice

Phung Hung fried rice flour   

Phung Hung fried rice flour is famous for the expensive price in Saigon, up to 35 thousand per dish. However, the unique spice in this shop is not always available. It is a very strange mixture, including green onion, tamarind, garlic and chili powder. A little of chili mixed with the sweet taste of fermented- turnip, the smell of green onion have made Phung Hung fried dishes become incredibly attractive.

Kuy- teav or “Hủ tiếu” in Vietnamese gets visitor's attention in the ability to cut the meat of the store owner. You will be amazed at the thin meat slices like the paper. This popular dish is favored here by the convenience and ease of eating. Diners are always served as soon as this dish has been cooked.    

Crab soup is quite popular in Saigon, with the most famous destination is Nguyen Du also known as 'church crab soup'. Crab soup is very delicious, full of meat, eggs, chicken. In addition, it has a popular price. If you want, you can ask for more eggs or crab-meat for 'monumental' soup

Pha Lau is made from the stomach and small intestine, lungs, liver, heart pig …, marinated, fried and cooked. Coconut milk is the main ingredient of the Pha Lau broth making the sweet and fat characteristic. Some famous Pha Lau stores are Pha Lau of apartment 1A – 1B (Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street, District 1), Huynh Van Banh Street- Phu Nhuan district, Xo Viet Nghe Tinh street- Binh Thanh district, near to Marie Curie school (Ngo Thoi Nhiem Street, District 3).    

Gridle cake

Girdle cake

The girdle-cake is a delicious snack of the younger, this dish is mixed of the sweet and spicy of dried beef, the smell of egg yolks, the fragrant crust of peanuts, the sour of mango, the spicy of satay and laksa leaves … all make up a great snack.

Let's quickly record the famous stores such as Ms. Thao store, Ms. Long (Nguyen Thuong Hien), the gate of the Polytechnic University or the area near Ho Con Rua Street.

It is not difficult to find a crowded snail restaurant in Saigon. Snail restaurant is the popular name because there are other types of seafood in there. There are many ways to make the snail attractive, from steaming, boiling, and frying to baking … with all kinds of spices such as garlic, onions, peppers, chopped vegetables.    

It is true to say that street food has made Saigon more attractive than ever. So why do not you quickly come to Saigon to enjoy the culinary paradise here?

A day with Saigon food tour

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Ho Chi Minh City, as known as Saigon, is the most dynamic and developed city in Vietnam. Understanding your desire to explore every corner of local life as well as culture, streetfoodofsaigon takes the pleasure in guiding you in one of the most-wanted tours in the city ever: Saigon food tours.

If you have ever joined any Vietnam food tours before, you might probably be surprised with the diversity of Vietnamese cuisines all along the country. When you travel to southern Vietnam, a wide range of delicious dishes will gradually appear such as hu tieu (rice noodles soup, different from phở), bun mam, nem nuong, banh xeo, banh mi, etc. I know you have started salivating, so let’s jump right into our menu today.

Hu tieu (rice noodle soup)

This dish is actually derived from Cambodia but it’s now one of the most favorite specialties in Saigon. Hu tieu differs from phở in the ingredients used and the way it’s cooked. The rice noodle used for hủ tiếu can be different and hu tieu is also sweeter than pho because it’s the mixture of minced meat, dried shrimps, dried onions, garlic, and chives. Hu tieu can be easily found in any Saigon market and cost only 30.000 VND (~1,5$) per big bowl. Only 1 bowl of hu tieu can make you full for half of a day.

Hu Tieu

Hu tieu Rice noodle soup

Banh xeo (Crispy pancake)

Banh xeo is actually savoury crepes filled with pork, shrimps, and bean sprouts. Like most of the Vietnamese specialties, this dish is an artful combination of a variety of ingredients, from seafood, meat to vegetable. One bite of banh xeo, therefore, brings to the people different feelings and eventually, full satisfaction. Banh xeo is usually eaten with some garlic vinegar and raw vegetable, a very traditional way to enjoy Vietnamese cuisines. If you hang out with friends in Saigon, it’s undeniable that banh xeo is the best choice to serve.

Banh Xeo

Banh Xeo

Bun mam (Rice vermicelli fermented paste soup)

Bun is a kind of rice vermicelli, which is not flat and thin like pho but rounder. Mam, whereas, refers to fermented paste. There are a lot of kinds of mam, such as mam ca loc (fermented fish paste), mam tom (fermented shrimp paste). The fermented paste is cooked in the broth thoroughly and then poured over the bowl of bun, seafood (shrimps, fish, etc.), fried onions, and vegetables. The sweet smell of this dish can be detected even from 10 meters away, which makes everyone who passes by a bun mam food stall can’t help but drop in for a bowl.

Bun Mam

Che (Vietnamese sweet dessert soup)

Famous for being one of the best desserts in Vietnam, che really varies in ingredients and taste. Generally, che is also sweet dessert soup and usually used with a couple of ice spoons. The most popular che in Saigon is che bưởi (grapefruit soup), che Thai (Thai soup), che chuoi (banana soup), che ngo (corn soup), etc. Che is a combination of different ingredients, all of which are agricultural products. On a hot summer day, nothing can cool you down as well as a bowl of che can.

Che

Che Saigon 

Saigon street food, the unique of Saigon

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Saigon street food makes this place different from other regions.One of the unique features of Saigon cuisine is that even though the night has come down, the roadside diners still bustle and hustle.

The roadside diners still crowded at night

The roadside diners still crowded at night

Whoever knows when the nocturnal eating habit is established. Everyone just knows that walking the streets, we can easy to see the scattered shops are still light up late into the night to serve diners. The night workers, late-night staffs or adolescents who had just stepped out of the work, all come to some restaurants to fill their belly before returning home. Gradually, Saigon cuisine did not sleep to harmonize with this demand.

Enjoying the irresistible street food at night is one of the things to do in Saigon.

Chastity with small corner along the road

A place to save people who work late into the night, the small restaurants with rows of tables are familiar and simple places to many people. Dishes are as varied as the day, the rice is firmly cooked, warm white porridge or snails plates which make unforgettable taste.

White porridge

White porridge, a rustic dish but has unforgettable flavor

Most of these restaurants open from evening to the day after, so you do not have to worry about hunger when going home. The unique feature of rice dishes, night noodle is to give you the opportunity to settle yourself after a busy day. At here, travelers can look at Saigon more quietly and enjoy the warm flavor of the middle of the night.

Duong Thanh is one of the famous restaurants that anyone visits to explore the cuisine of Saigon, Vietnam also has to visit. This is the famous Chinese restaurant in Phan Xich Long street. At here, you can enjoy healthy food such as chicken, potatoes, pork chops, … with little more expensive than the normal price. In addition, the restaurant also serves Chinese dishes for tourist who like to explore Chinese cuisine such as crispy noodles, fried noodles, fried rice, hot pot … At the restaurant, you also dispel the sunshine of Saigon with the dishes bearing bold Vietnamese style such as grapefruit sweet soup, lotus sweet soup, and so forth with the price only about15,000 VND per one.

Addition to the restaurant is spacious, clean, friendly staff and consistent service home delivery. This is one of the attractive places to eat when visiting Saigon.

spring rolls

Any tourist visits Saigon must try the taste of Spring rolls

Another place to eat at night when traveling to Saigon is the intersection of Le Quang Dinh. Rice spaghetti in here is dubbed as the best food in Saigon. Here only sell rice spaghetti and spring rolls. Spring rolls big and cheap so this dish usually out of stock. If you want to eat, come here a little soon.

Rice spaghetti has three types: lean meat, ribs, sausages with a little – featured sauce make a characteristic soup. The broth is cooked from bones, turnips, carrots, so sweet, but not too fat. The only exception is the narrow space for eating so you have to queue. But compensate for friendly staff, quick service. It really becomes a popular place to eat in Saigon.

Bustling in luxury restaurants

Do not think only the roadside restaurant can serve until late, Saigon is not lack of restaurants that ready to open the door to welcome guests at any time. In Saigon, you do not need to worry about missing items because the menu of these restaurants stretches from the folk dishes to the luxury dishes all around the world.

If you want to gather with your close friends, why do you visit Din Ky where familiar with the spirit of eating through the night? Just start bustling from dark until midnight, this is the place to find and recharge the energy of young people who just left the fun at the bar, club. And maybe even eating up to the dawn.

Din Ky rice noodle

Din Ky rice noodle

If you want to accidentally meet famous people, please visit Hung Xuyen restaurant with chicken chili sauce and duck tongue. The fresh, delicious food and thoughtful service have helped this restaurant become the first choice for the famous people as well as tourists from others areas.

7 must-visit food stalls when coming to Ho Chi Minh City (Part 1)

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Turtle Lake, 200 bis Xom Chieu alley, 76 Hai Ba Trung narrow passage … are the place where you can find most of tasty Vietnam food of Saigon.

Lane 200 Xom Chieu Street, District 4

Lane 200 Xom Chieu Street

Lane 200 Xom Chieu Street

The location is almost the "haggard" district of the city, but the food here always attracts customers from the start of the sale until 2-3 am. The dishes that are appreciated here are Vietnamese chitterlings, a bowl of snail, crab vermicelli soup, spicy beef noodle soup …

Located near the end of Xom Chieu Street, the snails’ stops are not named but famous by some "snail addicted”, who casually discovered, enjoyed and loved the name for quite popular: "bowl of snail" due to the container for this dish is a bowl and . . . a bowl.

Alley 76 Hai Ba Trung, District 3

Alley 76 Hai Ba Trung

Alley 76 Hai Ba Trung

In the area of Ho Chi Minh street food, 76 Hai Ba Trung pathway is also known as "cheap food heaven". The number of items sold here is quite various. However, it mostly focuses on broken rice, beef noodle soup, sticky rice, crab soup, barbecue rice vermicelli, porridge ….. The price of food here ranges from 10.000 VND –  15,000 VND. The most expensive item is only 20,000 VND. It is really an affordable price but the food is both good quantity and perfect quality. Alley opens from 3 pm to 6 pm every day. Therefore, if you are wonder where to eat in Ho Chi Minh city, you can give it a try!

Lake of the Turtle, District 3

Lake of the Turtle

Lake of the Turtle

Lake Turtle is the destination of the young generation (Gen Y), especially students. The food carts are here all day to serve the needs of snacks and friendly conversation with young people. The peak time starts at 5 pm daily, with operating frequencies of hundreds of different trolleys/vehicles. You should not miss it when you are interested in Vietnam food and on Ho Chi Minh food tour!

Some of the highlights you should check out here are the fried corn (nestled under the lamppost on Pham Ngoc Thach Street). Moreover, there are also some special snacks such as meatballs, the grilled rice paper, the mixed rice paper. Together with that, a cart which sells scrumptious snails starts from 8 pm.

Alley 195 Xo Viet Nghe Tinh, Binh Thanh District

Alley 195 Xo Viet Nghe Tinh

Alley 195 Xo Viet Nghe Tinh

Referring to the alley leading to Gia Dinh High School, people think that the Vietnamese intestine stew trolley has a higher age than any student in the school. But if you just stroll into the car with enchanting food and the students of this school, you missed a lot of delicious food here as the mixed rice paper, water fern cake, milk tea, noodles …

Lane 51 Cao Thang (Ban Co Market), District 3

Lane 51 Cao Thang (Ban Co Market)

Lane 51 Cao Thang (Ban Co Market)

When running along Cao Thang Road, do not forget to turn into alley number 51, explore the world of snacks here. Like other districts of Saigon, alley 51 Cao Thang is popular with many people like Co Ut porridge, 30 different versions of quail eggs and Vietnamese intestine stew.

Snack area at An Duong Vuong street, District 5

Snack area at An Duong Vuong street

Snack area at An Duong Vuong street

This snack bar has an active time of 16 hours with the most abundant food available. Here, you can find out simple dishes such as bo bia (stir-fried jimica and carrots), crab rice vermicelli, beef noodles soup, smoothies … to the high level such as grilled squid, dim sum … plus point is comfortable space and minus point is only some served with vitamins near Nguyen Van Cu – An Duong Vuong street where you can sit and have some talk and the rest of the restaurant, you have to stand up to make room for people who come later.

Cao Thang Grilled Rice Paper Area, District 3

Cao Thang Grilled Rice Paper Area

Cao Thang Grilled Rice Paper Area

Grilled Rice Paper or Vietnamese pizza on Cao Thang street is easily recognizable as the sale time from 17h, with the charcoal stove with piles of rice paper, the number of customers to dizzy … The cake is here originally from Dalat and is transformed to various materials to meet the tastes of many people. No matter how addictive, this Vietnam food still fascinated people with brittle, fragrant, bold, irresistible in the fairly cold of Saigon in recent days.

7 must-visit food stalls when coming to Ho Chi Minh City (Part 2)

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If you are visiting Ho Chi Minh city for the first time, do not pass over the famous food street, from snacks to regional dishes and you can feel the full flavors. The 7 following Ho Chi Minh street food will take you to the various kind of Vietnam food.

1. Nguyen Canh Chan Street

This place is called the fruit plate road. Under the hot and sultry weather of Saigon, it's great to enjoy a fruit plate with enough fruit to cool off immediately. Therefore, Nguyen Canh Chan Street is always busy, crowded with many different shops. The most prominent dish here is the plate of 7-8 seasonal fruits with milk and syrup enjoyed by many Vietnam food connoisseur. All fresh fruits are wholesome and natural. Moreover, its food safety and hygiene should be pleasing to every customer when savoring.

Address: Nguyen Canh Chan, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Nguyen Canh Chan Street

Nguyen Canh Chan street

2. Vinh Khanh food courts

Vinh Khanh is the most much-publicized street in Saigon. Unlike the only business buildings at night, the motels in this street began to open in the early hours. If you are a fan of snails, this is a great place for you and your friends. Here you can take joy in the choice of different types of snails with various types of cooking from the roast, boiled, fried with tamarind sauce, and so forth.

Besides the types of snail familiar as a razor shell, a blood cockle or one or half crenate ark. More than that, you also have the good fortune to taste the type of snail such as white snail, jellyfish or cellana, etc.  If you are wondering where to eat Vietnam cuisine in Ho Chi Minh City, this place is designed just for you!

Address: Vinh Khanh, District 4, Ho Chi Minh City

Vinh Khanh food courts

Vinh Khanh food courts

3. The streets of Ha Ton Quyen

Ha Ton Quyen Street is a bridge between Nguyen Chi Thanh Street and 3rd February Street in District 11. This place is notable for its scrumptious and attractive dim sum that are processed by the Chinese. This place is only about 50 meters long, but there are nearly ten bars are always close to each other crowded with diners chatting, laughing and chattering with the scoop, the euphoric dishes, the effervescence along with the scents of the dish all create a lively harmony. The secret to making the characteristic of the restaurants here is the unique seasonings of each shop.

Address: Ha Ton Quyen, District 11, Ho Chi Minh City

The streets of Ha Ton Quyen

The streets of Ha Ton Quyen

4. Phan Xich Long Food lane

To this street, you crave something that has served it immediately. The quality of the food here is not controversial with the extremely competitive prices. Besides the restaurants and luxury class, Phan Xich Long Street also has many delicious snack foods are many favorite customers such as Singapore frog porridge, tea meditation or Ban Me dessert with a moderate price under VND 50,000.

Address: Phan Xich Long, Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City

5. Co Giang area, District 1

Going through this road after 5 pm will perceive a clear air of fried smoke and aroma spreading along the way. However, the shops in Co Giang area, district 1 are just a temporary canvas with a set of plastic furniture. The Vietnam food here is quite diverse in which easy-to-find are fried chicken rice, crawling beef, grilled beef with betel leaf, crispy fried noodles.

Address: Co Giang, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Co Giang area

Co Giang area

6. Cambodian Market, District 10

In addition to specialties such as dried shrimps or dried fish, fish sauce of the countryside, the market also sells snacks such as Cambodian sweet soup, rice noodle with snails, sandwiches, fried flour with eggs, and a variety of other dishes. People who are on Ho Chi Minh food tour and interested in the sweet soup should not overlook this place!

Address: Ho Thi Ky, District 10, HCMC

Cambodian Market

Cambodian Market

7. Van Kiep street (between Phu Nhuan district and Binh Thanh district, HCMC)

The condense concentration of beef noodles soup, tapioca crab noodles soup, bread, Vietnamese pancakes, Vietnamese gumbo, Hue spicy beef noodle soup, vermicelli soup with meatballs , Vietnamese grilled pork sausage or grilled meatball, sweet soup and so forth turns a few hundred meters of this street into “food paradise”. So, when the belly starts gambling then we can go here to fulfill your stomach as much as you can!

Address: Van Kiep (between Phu Nhuan district and Binh Thanh district, HCMC)

Vietnam culture: Do as the Vietnamese do

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As the saying goes, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”. It is always essential to learn even just a bit about a place’s traditions and cultural practices when you are touring. No matter where you go, there will always be some do’s and don’t be that will ensure you a much enjoyable trip.

Vietnam is an Asian country with plentiful of social rules and obligations. However, you do not need to learn all of them when you travel to Vietnam. Here are the top eight to help you survive during your time in Vietnam!

Handshakes and smile

When meeting someone new, Vietnamese people tend to give the other person a warm smile and a welcoming handshake. It is also usual that people shake with both hands and give you a light bow to show respect. If you meet with an elder, the person may not extend their hand. In this case, just a polite greeting and a bow will do.

Handshakes

Handshake

Vocal greetings

They are also generally accepted. When greeting someone, people usually say “Xin chao”, meaning “hello”. It is pronounced like “seen chow”, but with some tones to it. Vietnamese people do not usually mind if foreigners cannot quite pronounce the words, but would be glad if you could.  After all, Vietnamese is a tonal language so it is hard to pronounce the words correctly.

Dress

People have become more open about this but again, that is mostly the young generation. Our advice is still to dress modestly. Bring your nice outfits. Shorts, tank tops, and skirts are okay. But avoid too revealing or ridiculous clothes as it may be considered inappropriate on the streets. I know it is hot in Vietnam for many foreigners but just do as the locals do and blend in as much as possible.

Cover your shoulders and knees

Cover your shoulders and knees

It is also important to note that short and revealing clothes are not allowed in temples and mosques. Though some places may prepare something for visitors, both local and international, to wear, it is still a safe choice to wear your own clothes. Bring a scarf to wrap it around your body when entering these places. Another thing to bring is a pair of light-weighted long trousers. It is super helpful in this situation and maybe even on the planes too, when it can be freezing cold sometimes.

When eating

As you may already know, Vietnam is an Asian country with its main staple being rice. Vietnamese people eat with chopsticks and use rice bowls. When eating, you should hold the rice bowl in your hand. If you eat from a rice bowl on the table, some people may consider it to be a lazy act.

Hold bowl of rice in your hand

Hold bowl of rice in your hand

Also, food is placed on dishes on the table. It is normal that you have to take food from the dishes and help yourself.

Tea

Tea offer is usually made at the reception. It is to show the hospitality of the Vietnamese people so it is preferred that you do not refuse it. It might taste good to some, but not all foreigners. Also, if you know that your stomach does not react well to this drink, just kindly refuse it and tell the other person the reason.

Taking and giving

Vietnamese children are usually taught to take and give objects with both hands. It is seen as a way to show respect for the other person, especially if that is an older one.  That is why, when you come to Vietnam, you should also follow this rule and try to take and give things with both hands.

Gifts

Women always love a beautiful bouquet of flowers. For men and children, they usually prefer something a bit practical and can be used in daily life.

A flower bouquet

A flower bouquet

If you choose to deliver in some sorts of wrapping, please choose bright colors for your wrapping. And do not give handkerchiefs. Vietnamese consider them to be a symbol of a sad farewell.

Haggling

It is seen as a part of Vietnamese culture. You can always ask for a “better price” when in markets and some small shops. Try out your luck and negotiation skills! Most of the times, you might get the item offered at a lower price than the initial one. 

Learning more about Southern Vietnam through eating Saigon foods

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When taking a trip to the South of Vietnam, you must have tried almost all the famous tourist destinations, even the cultures, and traditions that it owns. But perhaps regional foods haven’t been yet! It means to be sold on the pavement. Let’s go try some delicious dishes because you will be surprised at the amazing Vietnamese’s cooking styles, especially in Saigon. One special Saigon food is going to be introduced below is grilled rice paper.

Firstly, let’s go to seek out what rice paper is when you choose Saigon tours as a journey. Rice paper is well-known as a type of cake of Vietnam’s traditional food-processing industry. Vietnamese people use it for rolling another mixed foods in. Rice paper is made of starch (usually tapioca, corn meal, etc or using the admixture of them) that is spread thinly on a piece of cloth and then put on the rack to air. After having finished, local bakers could dust with some of the food additives into this cake. There are a thousand ways of cooking with rice paper that is up to the matter of people’ taste. They mostly make this food for light meals as snack or nosh. Its savor is comfortable and quite salty that everyone must love to try a tasting. The original Vietnamese name for it is Banh Trang from the South. Some other provinces call it Banh Da, like Thanh Hoa for instance.

things to do in Saigon

Banh Trang is made by professional cake maker

And with respect to Ho Chi Minh City, one of the most famous styles of rice paper cooking is grill method. In order to make it more perfectly, the important things depend on how long people simmer the cake and which spices are mixed inside (usually scallion, quail eggs, minced meat, etc). The exterior color of grilled rice paper is white but the color when opening up is yellow. That’s exactly the reason why people call them, ‘Vietnamese-style pizzas’. It’s considered to be one of the traditional Saigon street food that Vietnamese youth extremely like. And maybe so do some places else in Vietnam, like Dalat for example. The price of one processed grilled rice paper is much lower than one dollar, therefore, anyone at all age group can enjoy it. And, you can easily buy it by going along the streets where the crowd gathered to have an outdoor picnic or whatever just because it is very popular with them.

A lot of spices are mixed with each other inside one grilled rice paper

To make this type of food many delicious people use furnace bar to cook

Lastly, there are a lot of must-try cafeterias in Saigon. They are certainly Banh Trang Nuong C002, Banh Trang Nuong Le Na, Goc Da Lat, etc. These are a couple of famous places making grilled rice paper where locals usually go to when they have spare time. Imagine while you are going for a walk and you have one with a bottle of soft drink. It’s pretty good! Besides enjoying them, maybe you want to take some time to discover how they are made in reality, let’s go for it! A great number of the rice-paper villages are established so that you can pick up one for visiting and experiencing.

We can take a trip to Phu Hoa Dong, Cu Chi district. This is known as the oldest and largest rice paper village in the South. Phu Hoa Dong rice cake village has a history of more than 80 years, rice paper here is appreciated by natural light sweet. It is not only made from the skillful hands of skilled craftsmen, but also because of the fresh spring water and sweet rice, sweet cassava is blessed for this heroic land. .As you can see, many things to do in Saigon waiting for you to discover and it must be certain that you will have an urge for coming back here again, not only the second time but more also.

To end, both Vietnam in general and Saigon, in particular, have many special destinations. If you are going to learn Vietnam better and get more traveling experiences, you might take more your valuable free time to hit the road. Because any country’s cultures depend on how people of this place live their life. And without doubt, Vietnam will be your loyal fellow traveler!

[Nguyên Duy]

Phở Hòa Pasteur

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Talk about Saigon food, what would you think about first? Most people immediately choose Pho to be a specialty of Saigon.

Pho, in general, is a Vietnamese noodle soup consisting of broth, rice noodles, a few herb, and meat, primarily made with beef or chicken. Being originated in 20th century in Northern Vietnam, Pho was popularized throughout the world. But Southern Pho is a bit different.

Pho

Pho plays a crucial role in introducing our Vietnam cuisine to the world

In 1954, Northern Vietnamese migrated to the south after Geneva Convention. They brought Pho to Southern Vietnam. Since then, South Pho has been derived a lot from Northern Pho. If the Pho noodles of Northern Vietnam is big in width and thin in depth, then the Pho noodle of Southern Vietnam is thin both in width and depth. Unlike Northern and Central Pho, beef of Southern Pho is quite different. People there usually serve Pho according to customer’s taste. Visitors can choose Pho with steak, flank, tendon, tripe or fatty flank. Not eating Pho with ginger, Southern Vietnamese usually eat with bean sprout, Asian basil, chili sauce, bean sauce, etc. Sometimes people serve extra-fatty broth. The Southern Pho broth is slightly sweeter and has a greater variety of fresh herbs. Furthermore, it's not as clear as that in Northern Vietnam. Furthermore, when Southern Vietnamese eating pho, they usually add bean sauce to their bowls or in a separate dish to dip the meat before eating it. This is quite different from Northern Vietnamese, they don't use bean sauce.

Pho plays a crucial role in introducing our Vietnam cuisine to the world, contributing to the diversity of Vietnam street food in particular and of worldwide cuisine in general. Pho makes it unique for itself as its meticulous.  Today, it’s one of famous Saigon dishes.

Nevertheless, nowadays it is hard to find a true traditional Pho restaurant. How can you try a must-eat-dish in Saigon tour without knowing any Pho restaurant? For solving your concern, we suggest you visit Pho Hoa Pasteur.

Pho Hoa Pasteur

 Pho Hoa Pasteur located on a crowded street

The restaurant was founded in 1975, with the age of half of a century. Pho Hoa Pasteur located on a crowded street, 260C Pasteur. You can drive from Vo Thi Sau street to Pasteur street and turn right, go for a bit, you’ll see the restaurant. It's known to be one of the most famous Pho restaurants in Saigon. Throughout the history, the restaurant receives a large number of visitor come here to try the tastiest dish, Pho. Pho at here is plentiful from traditional Pho to chicken Pho, pork Pho and many other kinds of Pho depending on what the customers like. Usually, a complete bowl of Pho with rare meat, cooked meat, beef tendon and the beef ball is only 75,000 dong which means about $4 for one special bowl.

Pho Hoa Pasteur has its own unique taste with a little sweat and fatty. The sweetness of Pho Hoa Pasteur’s Pho bowl comes from the bones which are stewed carefully with spices. The specialty of the restaurant is egg yolk ceiling. One bowl of egg yolk ceiling is just about 10,000 dong. It’s such a delicious and cheap restaurant which is worth to try once.

One thing makes the restaurant become so popular is its dessert. You can find nowhere with full of dessert on the table like this one. First time come to Pho Hoa, the diners will be surprised with the various dessert. Some of the diners' favorite dessert can be said is cruller, banana, cream puff, yogurt and more, etc. After your meal, you can freely choose what dessert to eat and pay for what you’ve eaten only. Price of these desserts is just about from 2,000 dongs to 15,000 dongs, which is much cheaper compare with others Saigon food.

The success of Pho Hoa Pasteur isn’t only in the secret recipe but also the serving way. When visiting Pho Hoa, you will see the way the personnel of the restaurant serves you, professional and hospitable. The restaurant is always full of diners especially the foreigner. It opens all day and serving on the customer’s requests.

The broth is delicious with a little sweet and fatty

The broth is delicious with a little sweet and fatty

It will an exciting experience to try the famous Saigon food in the most famous restaurant. The taste of Pho can awake every sense of every person even the picky one. Pho is not only for eating but also for perceiving, a dish worthy of being top dishes must-eat in Vietnam. It’s a big mistake of the whole Saigon tours if you don’t eat Pho.