Ad-lib Saigon street food areas roundup | Emblematic names

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When the topic of Saigon cuisine is put on the scale, it may take us a lifetime to confirm how burdensome it is. Saigon culinary tour is now something extremely prevalent that you may only need a finger snap to own a high-ranking local food tour guide advise you what to be served when night falls. With a coverage of over 2000 square kilometers, have you ever wondered that how many food stalls, bistros, restaurants, and eateries are located within the domain of Saigon? The answer is obviously COUNTLESS. However, this inquiry seems to get a lot easier when it turns out to be a simple map dividing Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City, into smaller specific localities with their own distinctive gastronomy assets. Below listed a walkover on where to locate different Saigon food zones like a local pro.

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Street food vendor

Local markets archive:

Let’s kick start out guideline by listing down some famous local markets before everything. Why is that? Markets are endless sources of nutrition and inspiration where the best of the best is found. It may sound a little absurd when some of you may incite Saigon’s fine-dining bistros into the list. The thing is, most of the country’s culinary quintessence was started in the hands of mothers, long before high-end eateries were even born, and it may date back to thousands of years ago when markets were first formed.

In Saigon today, any local market owns a separate food court inside of which. Apart from Bến Thành, which is hands down the largest market that I do not need to even mention, other names you can step into are Bà Chiểu, Hồ Thị Kỷ, Tân Định, Bàn Cờ and a lot more. Daily dishes are what you can find here. For instance, common names that Vietnamese cannot live without, such as rice noodles, egg noodles, vermicelli noodles, Phở, broken rice, soup, spring rolls, pancakes and so on. Here is a tip for you, most of these markets are open at daytime, which means the best hours of the day for you to come to visit vary in the very first section of a day.

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Tân Định Market

District 4 – Paradise of Hotpot and BBQ

Lied across a small segment of Saigon River, District 4 is now a sensational icon with long chains of BBQ and Hotpot eateries queued up along both sides of little thoroughfares. One thing you should keep in mind is that not the whole coverage of District 4 is used for BBQ and Hotpot only, but a part of which. Vĩnh Khánh Street is a familiar name to native Saigonese when a desire for tasty smoky meat is aroused in the middle of a hot night. Otherwise, try moving a little further to Xóm Chiếu and Đoàn Văn Bơ areas. These are tiny alleys crossing one another which makes them look exactly like a chessboard. Yet a variety of Vietnamese desserts show up at almost every single corner.

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Vietnamese BBQ

Chinatown – Little Hong Kong in the heart of Saigon

There is no doubt that our third candidate is saved for Chinese food this time. I must admit that Chinatown is found everywhere on the Globe’s surface, but the fusion and harmony of Chinese food added an elegant savor of Vietnamese essence will differentiate Saigon’s Cholon to any other namesakes (P/s: Cholon is a colloquial term for Chinatown).

Dating back to 300 years ago, the history of Cholon may amuse you with the same level of its culinary culture. A huge collection of Dimsum treats sweet soup dessert and noodles food stalls all make Cholon as great as always. Various Saigon food tours offer diversified packages towards hidden spots around these areas so there is no worry about getting lost at where to start.

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Hà Ký sweet dessert in Chinatown

Downtown alleys combination

Last but not least, downtown Hẻm (Alleys) in Saigon is where you can recognize the core values for the true street food of Saigon. I am not overestimating the meaning and role these Hẻm are playing. Their long existence must be based on some reasons. Let’s get started!

Cô Giang Street in District 1 actually lives up when the Sun is gone. The place is notable for its string of Bò Lá Lốt spots. To be clear, Bò Lá Lốt is literally translated into Grilled beef wrapped with betel leaves. Some Saigon food tour companies will pick this dish as a type of starter.

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A portion of Bò Lá Lốt

Cao Thắng Alley in District 3, meanwhile, will offer you Phá Lấu (Stewed Cow’s intestines with coconut juice), stir-fried noodles, soup noodles, flans, hotpot, smoothies and the list goes on.

Hồ Con Rùa, or Turtle Lake, a large manmade lake lied in between District 1 and District 3 at around 6 p.m is virtually lively. Covering a small area on the surface of the lake, Hồ Con Rùa is where you can find local Vietnamese fast food such as beef balls, tofu, sausage, Okra, soup, stir-fried corn and so on.

There is one thing for sure that my list above will definitely not end Saigon street food list right there. These are simply iconic roundups just in case you have no idea where to start your night. The best way to fulfill your stomach in the most “pro” way is to have a local companion with you. Imagine sneaking through the insane traffic at night and sit on the tiny plastic chairs place on the pavements while surrounded by locals, this is going to be one of the best memories you can ever have in Vietnam.

Top 5 best vermicelli with marinated char-grilled pork restaurants in Saigon

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If you are in Saigon or about to take a trip to this place, then remember to try “bun thit nuong” (vermicelli with marinated char-grilled pork) – a famous Saigon food. A delicious dish has an affordable price but the taste is rated 10 out of 10. So, today let’s learn about the places having the best vermicelli with char-grilled pork in Saigon.

Bun thit nuong Hai Dang

Mentioning the vermicelli with marinated char-grilled pork in Saigon, you definitely cannot ignore Hai Dang restaurant. Because of that, Saigon does not lack good grilled pork restaurant but Hai Dang is always the favorite place of many local people as well as visitors during their Saigon Vietnam culinary tours. Normally, the vermicelli with marinated char-grilled pork will be sold in one bowl full of vegetables, grilled pork, and also the sauce but in Hai Dang restaurant, this dish is served in separate bowls of vermicelli, vegetables and sauce. So, you can comfortably flavor to suit your personal taste.

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Bun thit nuong Hai Dang”

  • Price: 25,000 VND/bowl
  • Address: 145 – 157 Chan Hung, Ward 6, Tan Binh Dist.
  • Opening hours: 11a.m. – 10 p.m.

Bun thit nuong Anh Ba

Contrary to the rustic name, this restaurant cares more about the architecture of space inside than others that we often see. In particular, the dishes here are also laid out beautifully and the menu is rich with a variety of different dishes: not only the traditional vermicelli with marinated char-grilled pork but also vermicelli with marinated char-grilled shrimp or egg rolls. Thus, the price is slightly higher than other restaurants and so is the quality. Besides, the attitude of the staff in the restaurant is very enthusiastic, gentle, and nice, which is another plus point for this restaurant.

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Bun thit nuong anh Ba

  • Price: 45,000 VND – 55,000 VND/bowl
  • Address: 126 Le Van Sy, Ward 10, Phu Nhuan Dist.
  • Opening hours: 7 a.m. – 11p.m.

Bun thit nuong Co Ba

Co Ba restaurant is a popular eatery located in the center of District 3. It is always crowded with customers but because of the small space inside and parking area, most of them choose to take away. Although there are 5 main dishes, the most famous one here is undoubtedly vermicelli with marinated char-grilled pork and grilled meatball. The meat here is marinated and grilled well with beautiful color while vegetables and vermicelli are also cut and prepared carefully to ensure hygiene. Therefore, it is not an exaggeration to say that Co Ba restaurant is a must-visit place in your Saigon food tours.

  • Price: 30,000 VND – 35,000 VND
  • Address: 287/68 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, District 3
  • Opening hours: 2pm – 9pm

Bun thit nuong Chi Tuyen

The restaurant is located at the beginning of the road but the parking area is located on the opposite. In this restaurant, there are “banh hoi” with grilled pork, vermicelli, steamed bread, etc. One special point of the restaurant is very big and delicious egg roll. Marinated grilled pork is also quite soft and delicious, in addition to the sweet and sour sauce. In general, one bowl of vermicelli with marinated char-grilled pork consists of 1 big egg roll, grilled pork and a lot of vegetables.

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Bun thit nuong chi Tuyen

  • Price: 45,000 VND
  • Address: 195 Co Giang, Dist 1
  • Opening hours: 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Bun thit nuong vi Saigon

Bun thit nuong vi Saigon restaurant is one of the brands associated with traditional dishes of the Vietnamese in general as well as Saigon cuisine in particular. Beside the famous vermicelli with marinated char-grilled pork, the restaurant also serves other dishes such as vermicelli with stir-fried beef, grilled shrimp, spring rolls, etc. so that the customers can freely choose and change the taste during their Saigon food tours. In addition to vermicelli, the menu of the restaurant is exceptionally diverse with other types such as bamboo rice, “banh hoi thit nuong”, steamed bread, grilled beef, etc.

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Bun thit nuong vi Saigon

  • Price: 30,000 VND – 45,000 VND
  • Address: 487 Nguyen Tri Phuong, District 10
  • Opening hours: Mon – Fri: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Sat: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sun: 5 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Top desserts in Saigon this summer

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Vietnam food tours today will show you top desserts in Saigon. These desserts were very popular with Saigon teenagers during this period of time.

1/ Carp Pudding:

A carp is put in front of you – fresh and shiny as real, but actually, it is made from coconut or mango. This is an extremely popular dessert of Hong Kong that recently began to appear and became extremely famous thanks to its eye-catching look. That is why many of Saigon teenagers went to the restaurant located on Bui Huu Nghia Street District 5 to enjoy and take photos.

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Only 35.000 dongs for a dish of Carp Pudding like this

Made entirely from coconut milk and milk, so for anyone who does not like sweet, this dish can be “super bad”.

If you want to eat less sweet, you can choose mango pudding, also done in a fish shape, but the size is much smaller, inside there are sweet and sour mango. With this eye-catching look, you probably understand why this dish has so far everywhere on Instagram and should be chosen for a Saigon food tour in particular, Vietnam food tour in general.

Fruit pizza

Being a time and a trend of healthy food, so fruits or low-fat foods are very popular among Saigon’s youngsters and the recent emergence is fruit pizza. This is an ideal dessert for tourist when joining a tour of street food of Vietnam.

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A delicious dish of fruit pizza

In appearance, it is basically the same as ordinary salty pizza, with thin cake and topping on the face. But instead of the usual pizza made from meat, seafood, or cheese, this is completely replaced with fresh fruit and some cream on the face as a traditional cheese, above the face there is a layer of Oregano – a type of vegetable that is often sprinkled on the face of most types of pizza, so whether the fruit, due to this layer, vegetarian pizza also has the familiar taste like “normal pizza.”

Herbal jelly:

The weather in Saigon is always hot, so cold and cool dishes are always in the best seller. And recently, Taiwan’s famous herbal jelly has created a trend with young people in Saigon because of the unique, cool taste and it is extremely delicious.

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A bowl of herbal jelly is perfect for a hot day in Saigon

There are a variety of toppings can be blended with the herbal jelly-like green beans, red beans, flexible boba nut, noodle jelly or taro pudding, sweet potatoes. All will be placed on top of a super-fine grind ice with a little sauce or cream to eat. When taking part in South Vietnam food tours, you should not forget to taste this special dish.

Appeared in Saigon in only a short time, this dish suddenly becomes a favorite dish at noon. It is important that the more you eat this dish, the cooler you feel in your body, cool from the body to the outside because it is made from herbs that help heat dissipation and cooling.

Binsu Cantaloupe

About 3 months ago, at a cafe located in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City suddenly became a “check-in” place continuously because of the appearance of binsu super-monumental and extremely large.

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Binsu Cantaloupe makes the people hate to eat also have to praise

But the thing you like most is that the binsu is made from a Cantaloupe, with the whole of the meat is curled round and decorated fully on the face, while inside is the fat cream and ice blended. Especially there is a little honey or chocolate sauce to eat together.

The dish is just beautiful, just big, delicious with all the flavors are mixed together so this dish has been “hunted” for a long time and up to now, the ice cream binsu shop in Saigon appeared more and more, spread to Hanoi and some other cities.

Super-cute shaped ice cream:

An extremely popular cream- animal style version of Thailand recently became popular around the Nguyen Hue Pedestrian street.

At a price of nearly 30.000 dongs for a cream with all kinds of cute and eye-catching decoration, a completely different style from the traditional ice cream sticks before, has made this ice cream always in a state of overload and people have to queue to buy.

This ice cream has a total of about 10 different flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, mango, mint, strawberry, fruit syrup … in all shapes from heart, chocolate bar, spirals or even foot, … so in addition to enjoying ice cream, this is also the food youngsters like to take photos most in the Vietnam food tour. Even the famous artists of Saigon are catching up with the trend of this ice cream.

Fish cream

It is also cream, but this is fresh cream, not ice cream as above. Especially, this cream is served with a cake with the same taste as a waffle but it has a golden grilled fish under the cream.

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Fresh cream in a fish shape

Basically, the taste is the same as other fresh ice creams, but because of its special shape that many teenagers have come to enjoy and take pictures.