Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) is where visitors can truly discover the variety and breadth of Vietnamese cuisine. Thousands of street vendors and eateries provide citizens and tourists with different tasty dishes. To best prepare for your Saigon Food Tours, streetfoodofsaigon have compiled some of the city’s best delicacies.
1. Banh Mi
Voted by CNN as one of the most delicious sandwiches in the world, “Banh Mi” is absolutely a cannot-miss dish for Saigon food tours.
“Banh Mi” first appeared in Vietnam during the French colonization. The French people made baguette and sandwiches for their own uses, then the Vietnamese created a new variant. It is hence a cluster of Eastern and Western cultures. “Banh Mi” is actually the baguette combined with pork, pate, and various vegetables. These things are put together, then creating a great flavor.
Banh Mi Saigon (Source: Internet)
Each region has its variant of Banh Mi. Together with “Banh Mi Hanoi” and “Banh Mi Hoi An”, the Saigon’s version of “banh mi” is among the most famous variants. In addition to the distinct flavor in each region, visitors can also vary their “banh mi” by adding different toppings. The price ranges from 10,000 VND to 30,000 VND depending on what you add into. “Banh Mi Saigon” is so delicious that people call it dish fit for the gods.
2. Bun mam
Despite its heavy smell, “bun mam” is a Saigon dish that globally famous chefs like Graham Holliday label as their favorite noodle dish when they travel to Saigon.
Bun mam Saigon (Source: Internet)
Similar to other noodle dishes, “bun mam” can be easily found at sit-down restaurants and food stalls around Saigon. This traditional southern Vietnam dish is actually dark-colored broth prepared with the fermented fish sauce. “Bun mam” consists of rice vermicelli, squids, pork, spawns, and eggplant. The special Vietnamese fish sauce brings a well-rounded and balanced flavor to the dish. Tamarind juice and sugar are also added to sweeten it.
3. Hu Tieu Nam Vang
Saigon Food Tour will never be complete if it does not include “Hu Tieu Nam Vang”, a dish that displays the influences of Chinese and Cambodian cuisines. “Hu Tieu” means “Teochew” in Mandarin while “Nam Vang” is the Vietnamese name of Phnom Penh – the capital of Cambodia.
Hu Tieu Nam Vang (Source: Internet)
It is a Cambodian and Chinese based noodle soup, which includes many types of pig organs, shrimps, and many other additions. The dish is great when being combined with chili paste and fresh herbs.
“Hu Tieu Nam Vang” is sold in lots of eateries and food stalls along the streets. The average price for a bowl of it is about 25,000 VND. Quite cheap for a tasty lunchtime choice.
4. Banh Canh Cua
Banh Canh Cua looks like the famous Japanese udon noodles. It is the crab noodle soup made from wheat flour, which is chewier and stickier than udon. They are the type of noodles that you need to slurp from your chopstick as soon as you lift them out of your bowl, or they will go sliding out of your grip quickly.
Banh Canh Cua (Source: Internet)
“Cua” is the Vietnamese word of crab. Crab isn’t the only thing swimming around in this vibrant orange broth; you actually get a wide array of seafood. There are also prawns and shrimps. Additionally, the dish is served with mushrooms, slices of boiled pork, eggs, onions, and fresh herbs. “Banh canh cua” is absolutely a tasty dish that worth saving your taste buds.
The price is attractive, too. It only takes about 30,000 – 40,000 VND for a big bowl of “banh canh”, even in District 1 – the most bustling area in the city. It is a great choice for breakfast.
5. Banh xeo
Mentioning street food in Saigon, Banh Xeo is a name that we cannot ignore. It is absolutely a must-eat dish when having Saigon food tours.
Banh Xeo (Source: Internet)
This crispy cake is made of rice flour, coconut milk, and turmeric. “Banh Xeo” is pan-fried and consists of various ingredients such as pork slices, shrimps, sliced onions, bean sprouts, and mushrooms. The taste is the best when eating “banh xeo” with lettuce, herbs and sweet fermented peanut butter sauce.
“Banh xeo” is named for the sizzling sound its batter makes on the skillet. Listening to that sound while waiting for the dish is also fascinating to try.
On the whole, eating its specialties and delicacies is among the top things to do in Saigon. The refreshing and authentic taste of Saigon food will make your trip more and more worthy.