Specialty Broken Rice in Saigon Food Tours

Grilled-Pork-helloVietnam1519699191

Saigon is a land of multiculturalism, thus cuisine of Saigon mixed flavors of many regions. And broken rice is very popular in South Vietnam, this type of cooked rice is also found in others places in the Central, Northern and overseas.

Although not honored as Pho but broken rice has been transcontinental to Russia, to America and other countries. Laborers prefer it, civil servants and students also choose it because of its economic and dainty.

  • History

In the American period, some hybrid foods, such as the Western omelet, came into being. After the unification of the country (1976), broken rice appeared in the United States, but it was very different from the type of rice that we eat today. Later on, combining the Vietnamese food that we know with the above mentioned hybrid foods, broken rice which we are familiar with, appears from that day.

Broken Rice Dish

Broken Rice Dish

  • How to eat:

Courses are often served on a plate or pantry (if purchased). Eating it the same way as eating other types of rice sold on the plate. However, people in the South often use a spoon and fork, and the North is unfamiliar with the fork, so Central and North restaurants often add chopsticks for easy use.

  • Ingredient:

A plate of broken rice may consist of grilled pork, shredded pork, pork skin, fried egg, Western omelet, pickle, and sliced cucumber, or not including all of the above items, but these are the most popular foods that people often put together on the plates:

  • Grilled pork:

Marinated with sweet and sour sauce and often grilled on the charcoal stove in front of the shop, creating a special flavor so many people will notice there is a broken rice shop when they are passing by.

Grilled Pork

Grilled Pork

  • Eggs: They are usually omelet.
  • Pork skin: A mixture of minced pork and pig skins, mixed together with spices. When eating, it is tenacious, sluggish and very fragrant.
  • Western omelet: They are made from mashed eggs, crabs, minced meat, mushrooms and rice noodles, then steamed. Especially, the dish has a layer of egg yolk on top, making the pieces not only beautiful yellow but also more fatty, aromatic and soft. A Western omelet is prepared into a round or rectangular mold and sliced into pieces when eaten.

Western Omelet

Western Omelet

  • Rice: Cooked from broken rice. Middlings is the first part of the rice kernels; this is the main raw material. Because the grains are very fragrant and sweet, the plate is not too dry or too dull.
  • Side dishes: The broken rice itself is one of the must-eat dishes in Saigon but ordinary or high rate depends on the food accompany.
  • Fat onions: It is a liquid mixture made from green onion, oil or fat, sometimes mixed with pork rind.
  • Fish sauce: The main ingredients are refined sugar, fresh coconut milk, and scrumptious fish sauce. Along with it is garlic and chili sauce if people want to eat spicily. Depending on the processing and taste of the people, fish sauce can be sweet or salty, can add lemon.
  • Pickle: Usually made from tomatoes, carrots, radishes, cucumbers, and sometimes papaya. Everything can be chopped or rounded, then soaked in vinegar with salt. Beside fish sauce, pickle is the dish that makes the plate more delicious. It can be added to the dish directly or into the fish sauce.

Broken Rice Plate

Broken Rice Plate

  • Other modes

Sometimes broken rice is eaten with braised beef, stuffed tofu, fried fish, stir fried vegetables … like whole grain rice. This type of food is usually found in the restaurant at night. And every rice shop always gives each guest a glass of iced tea.

  • Honors

On August 1, 2012, at the Faridabad, India, the Asian Records Association recognized Asia's record for culinary value for Saigonese rice and others nine Vietnamese dishes. Early 2012, CNN viewed broken rice as a popular street food in Saigon.

Broken rice dish is a simple but delicate cuisine in Saigon. Whether ordinary or high-level, in the South in general and Saigon in particular, it still ensures the full sense of the diners. Guests do not have to wonder what to eat in Saigon anymore once coming to Saigon food tours.

 

Vietnam dos and don’ts

Street-food-in-Vietnam-helloVietnam1521174007

Vietnam has a great cultural diversity of various interesting and unique customs. There are also many dos and don’ts that tourists should take them into consideration when you travel to Vietnam. Let’s check out some top Vietnam dos and don’ts and take some note so that you won’t be involved in any embarrassing situations.

1. Don’t do these things in Vietnam

  • Shopping without bargaining

Many Vietnamese salesmen rarely use a fixed cost for their goods, it changes and depends on who buy it. Not all everyone, but sometimes they tell the price of the items higher than usual, or repay less charge than it should be. It happens every day, so you should be very careful. Make sure that you’ve bargained many times before paying for it.

Street shops in Vietnam

Street shops in Vietnam

  • Being confused between “15” and “50”

It usually happens when you buy a street item, for example, a cup of coconut milk, or a pair of shoes, let’s make sure that it’s fifteen thousand dong, not fifty thousand dong. So, when asking for the price, let’s use your figures or write it down on a paper or something like that and make sure that you understand what the salesman says correctly. You think 35.000 dong is a small sum of money, but it’s also one of the main reasons why foreign tourists don’t want to come back Vietnam. No one wants to be cheated, of course.

  • Eating breakfast in the hotel

Most of the hotels with the standard above 2 stars will serve you breakfast. However, Vietnam is known as the heaven of cheap and tasty street foods, such as bun, pho, hu tieu, bread, etc. So, why don’t you refuse the offer of breakfast of the hotel and go out, try a lot of tasty street foods sold in any streets in Vietnam?

Street food in Vietnam

Street food in Vietnam

  • Being careless when driving a motorbike

Traffic accidents are a big problem with tourists in Vietnam. However, motorbike trip is still a big attraction when foreign tourists travel to Vietnam. So, in this list of Vietnam dos and don’ts, we suggest that you should be very careful when driving any means of transport, especially motorbike – the most popular transportation and also the most frequent victim of traffic accidents in this country. You can also hire experienced drivers and don’t forget to bring along with you a travel insurance in case of urgent situations.

Motor tour in Vietnam

Motor tour in Vietnam

  • Eating foods without safe-food insurance

Digesting problems usually happen with inexperienced tourists. Sometimes, you may eat something not so fresh in some street cafés, especially when eating foods with soup. So, you should eat in reliable cafés, restaurants, etc. and make sure that they’re boiled perfectly. And you should prepare a little drug for unexpected situations.

2. Things you should do

Although there are many things you should avoid and many unexpected situations that you may be involved in when you travel to Vietnam, there’re a lot of attractions that you shouldn’t miss and should do at least once to experience a memorable Vietnam culture tour. In this list of Vietnam do and don’t, we mention here many interesting things that you shouldn’t miss.

Sleep overnight on Ha Long Bay

Night on Ha Long Bay

Night on Ha Long Bay

  • Have a tailor-made clothing at a local sewing shop.
  • Take a cyclo trip through the ancient French Quarter of Saigon.
  • Enjoy “pho ga” (chicken noodle) in a street food shop.

Pho ga Hanoi

Pho ga Hanoi

  • Watch traditional water puppet show in Hanoi.
  • Join in a full moon festival in Hoi An Ancient Town.
  • Drink ethnic alcohol called “rượu cần”.
  • Experience a boat trip on the Perfume River in Hue, visit the royal tomb.
  • Visit, go shopping in the largest market in Saigon – Ben Thanh market.
  • Walk around the Old Streets in Hanoi.
  • Enjoy a trip on a Vietnam North-South Train.

Vietnam train travel

Vietnam train travel

  • Explore natural beauty in Northwest area.
  • Stay in wonderful seaside resorts, eat seafood, and visit beautiful beaches.

A luxury seaside resort in Vietnam

A luxury seaside resort in Vietnam

These are some Vietnam dos and don’ts that you should take into consideration and list in your traveling plan. We hope that with these suggestions, you’ll have a really wonderful and enjoyable trip to Vietnam, have lots of good experiences and unforgettable moments.

Saigon food tour

Fried-dough-hellovietnam1522305558

Saigon is a major cultural and tourist exchange point in the South. Saigon food is famous for hundreds of different dishes, which contributes to the richness of the Vietnam cuisine. The theme of my post is about some Saigon food guides.

One of the great joys of the Saigon people is that they can always taste the delicious dishes. Going to the streets of Saigon, you will encounter countless shops selling food. The main dish is delicious, and the snack is delicious too. Here are some delicious, dishes which you must eat in Saigon.

Broken rice Saigon

Broken rice is a special dish of South Vietnam, which is one of the most popular breakfasts in the South, especially old Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City now. If you ignore this dish, you will have to regret it.

Broken rice

Broken rice

Rice cooked from broken rice is usually served with grilled ribs, pork- pie, eggs, sausage. Thick ribs will be marinated and baked on the charcoal until soft. When eating, people often add sweet and sour sauce to create a unique taste which cannot be confused.

Grilled ribs broken rice

Grilled ribs broken rice

Broken rice is often used for breakfast, but now it is available at some lunch, dinner or evening restaurants with a variety of food.

Saigon has many broken rice diners, but in this article, I will introduce you some famous delicious rice diners that many Saigon people know such as the broken rice landfill in district 4 and a small rice restaurant located in the Xo Viet Nghe Tinh alley.

Broken rice landfill in district 4

Broken rice landfill in district 4

The name sounds a bit strange, but this is just a nickname that rice paddies in District 4 set for this rice to remember. This is because it is located behind the Xom Chieu Market. Nearly there are small trash yards collected by small traders in the market. Then it is called the broken rice landfill.

And to say where the rice is delicious, many people will probably choose the broken rice landfill because the rice is broken, but it is very fragrant, sweet and not too dry, and not too wet, so making people eat never bored.

  • Address: Le Van Linh Street (behind Xom Chieu Market in District 4)

Plate of broken rice

Plate of broken rice

Located deep inside a small alley on Xo Viet Nghe Tinh street, over the years, this broken rice restaurant has been a stop of countless people in Saigon. This dish with the ribs becomes "specialty". These ribs here are marinated very well. However, the special thing in this restaurant is the cup of greaves.

  • Address: Xo Viet Nghe Tinh Street, Ward 21, Binh Thanh District.
  • Opening time: 21h – 4h the next morning

Fried dough

Fried dough in Saigon

Fried dough in Saigon

Although originating from the Chinese (District 5), but fried dough is one the familiar dishes of the South. Usually, people will use square sliced taro powder, mix it with soy sauce and fry it in a large saucepan until golden brown. Next, the eggs will be smashed upwards and add the green onion, especially the more green onions will taste better. Fried flour after processing is complete will have the smell of taro flour, eggs, and green onions mixed with the smell of soy sauce, so make you addicted to this dish.

You can eat fried dough in a few diners such as Dat Thanh fried flour (District 3), his grandmother's fried flour in Phung Khac Khoan Street (District 1).

Snail

Although not a coastal city, but reminded of the dish of snails, people think of Saigon.

The dish of snail in Saigon

The dish of snail in Saigon

If you come to a shop about snail dishes for the first time, I guarantee that you will be overwhelmed with over 20 kinds of snails that are processed in many ways such as snails fried tamarind, snails steamed, Grilled Sweet Snail with citronella

Each diner is characterized by its own taste. There are many restaurants using coconut milk, but the restaurant is quite spicy, the diner is full of aromatic citrus.

An eating snail becomes one of the top choices when gathering friends, for you cannot eat all kinds of snails alone.

The snail diners “Legend” of Xom Chieu (District 4), Snail Nhu in the alley on Dien Bien Phu street, the snail diners in Thanh Thai area, Snail Quang Anh (District 10) are the places that you should ask your friends to have to eat when going to Saigon.

The above is just one of the many delicious, famous dishes of Saigon people. You can refer to help your trips more fun.

Saigon food tours – impressing luxury food streets

Ben-Thanh-Street-Food-Market-helloVietnam1522398429

When it comes to Saigon food tours, nobody can ignore the attractive street foods at here. Because It is delicious, nutritious and cheap. However, tourists should one time stop here, visit and enjoy the luxury dishes at famous food streets listed in Saigon.

1, Saigon Garden

Mentioning to this complex is certainly not strange. Especially, the young Saigon people are more familiar with this place. Here is the ideal spot for all the fun, dining and shopping together.

An attractive corner of Saigon Garden

An attractive corner of Saigon Garden

Its name means Saigon garden. From the outside, it attracts anybody who comes here with a 1-0-2 design. The whole house is covered with trees from the ground to the top. A completely different style compared to the high buildings or restaurants around. Located in the center of the city, Saigon Garden is located on a busy walking street in which always attracts visitors of Saigon tours as well as domestic and international travelers. Outside looks like a European street is located right on Nguyen Hue Boulevard with several luxury restaurant chains, fresh flowers shop, clothing shop, handmade souvenir, … and indispensable coffee shops, doors. The restaurants with all culinary styles. Most shops, cafes, … here are towards elegance and luxury.

2, Ben Thanh Street Food Market

Located at the prosperous location of Saigon, Ben Thanh – Street Food Market highlights with over 60 booths that are extremely rich, fully portrayed Vietnamese culinary culture.

Ben Thanh Street Food Market

Ben Thanh Street Food Market, must-visit place in Saigon

The market is divided into several areas: self-service area, food area, traditional food area, creative cuisine, foreign cuisine, entertainment area … forms a complex of catering services most dynamic ever. Including nearly 200 dishes ranging from fast food such as burger, pasta, pizza to Vietnamese dishes such as noodles, chicken rice, Hue beef noodle … will surely satisfy the most fastidious. Flexible opening times from 9 am to 11 pm, you are too easy to find the dishes you are seeking.

This is one of the places cannot miss in Saigon – Vietnam luxury cuisine tours.

3, The snack area of Bangkok – Coco5

If you ever come to Bangkok, Thailand, one of the things that you remember the most when you return home is the pavement dishes scattered on the street. Regardless of early morning or late night, Bangkok's streets are always filled with restaurants, selling tempting dishes. What a great news! Street food in Bangkok appeared in Saigon.

As a true destination for Thai food fans, Coco5 sells all kinds of Thailand snacks. From salty to sweet, from familiar dishes to the strange dishes with Vietnamese. Coco5 also follows the street food market pattern. So each dish is sold in a separate stall, the counters are decorated with eye-catching traditional style.

Coco5 is highlight with Thailand cuisine

Coco5 is highlight with Thailand cuisine

With the brand "Thai Street Delicious", Coco5 gathers the most famous dishes of the Golden Temple country. Come here, you can easily find the famous dishes of Thailand cuisine such as Pad Thai, Lod Chong, SomTam, Tom Yam Kung, Crispy chicken Thai-sticky rice, Fried rice with pineapple, coconut fried rice, Thai Steamed Salad, Thai Salmon Salad, Thai Salmon Salad, Thai Mango Salad, Thai Spicy Salad … Besides salty items, sweet items are very plentiful. Thai Coconut cake, Thai Coconut Cream, Thai Tea is served too. And of course, there is no shortage of Thai white tea – the champion in the white teas conquered Vietnamese teen today.

4, Foodcourt Takashimaya

Another place cannot be shortage from the list is the Foodcourt of Takashimaya Trade Center. This place is known as a shopping paradise as well as food, gathering many famous shops and dining chains and unique style from many Asian countries such as Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Korea, Japan …

Japan foods are displayed at Foodcourt Takashimaya.

Japan foods are displayed at Foodcourt Takashimaya

Unlike previous shopping malls, Takashimaya's culinary floor was built and designed with extremely open and spacious spaces. Most of the center of this culinary area is a focal point of pastries, ice creams, none smoked foods. And restaurants which sell fried, baked foods all spread in around the area and are even separated in a separate area. So, when you step in, you will not feel hot or smelly with types of food as the other commercial centers.

5, Food Corner

On weekends and walks, you will find the new food court with about 15 pavilions, snacks, and beverages. At here, visitors can easy to find all Thai, Korean, Western, Vietnamese foods… extremely abundant. Take a walk around the food street if you feel hungry and want to explore cuisine here.

Just come here to immersed in luxury cuisine spaces and enjoy the top foods in Saigon as well as the famous foods around the world.

Vietnam food tour – four worldwide-known hideout eateries you cannot miss

Look-how-yummy-it-is-helloVietnam copy1522816855

For the past four years, I have been working as City tour guide in Saigon and met loads of people from every single corner on Earth. And one of the best things about being a guide is you can share and learn all at the same time.

So what I have learned from all these foreign friends of mine is that they, or possibly you, somehow do a few research before coming here, and yeah, that is the reason why you guys all come up with a lot of reputed restaurants in the city that somehow helps the places get more “traffic” as days go by. Today’s article is all about highly famous eateries that you can possibly drop by to get the best taste they get to offer. 

Banh My Huynh Hoa

I have heard so many times that my guests had mentioned a lot about this place. For those who have no idea what Banh My is like, it is a fusion of both French baguette but Vietnamized in a basic way. A piece of Banh My contains both softness and crunch at the same time.

Just a half of it can make you full

Just a half of it can make you full

Back to Saigon, the most praised and talked-about Banh My is for sure a little eatery down the street in downtown Saigon getting a long line of people waiting inside out – Banh Mi Huynh Hoa.

Huynh Hoa eatery was easily spotted out by the bright lights shining up the whole area and the huge blocks of sliced meats, jambon, veggies, chili, pork floss, and way many more. Red-shirted Banh My makers seem like their hands never get a rest.

These pieces of pre-sliced meat are madness

These pieces of pre-sliced meat are madness

Within just inside a small space, yet two different huge cabinets with loads of ingredients packed inside would totally amaze any of you when first entering the shop.

Ba Ghien Broken Rice

So Com Tam, or Broken Rice in English, is my must-pick dish when you ever ask me about what type of distinctive food Saigon can offer. Ba Ghien, a small eatery in District 3 is pretty much where locals usually stop over for a quick lunch. The reason why Ba Ghien gets this reputation for ages as the size of grilled pork displayed on the plate is insane! And not to mention, you had better come here with an empty stomach.

Look how massive this grilled pork is

Look how massive this grilled pork is

Chilling on Youtube, you would somehow come up with a famous food blogger Mark Weins, who stated that Broken Rice at Ba Ghien is “the Grand Slam of all Vietnamese Food”.

Pho Hoa

No need to explain too much more, Pho is the most recognized dish that whenever someone thinks about our country, Pho always comes first.

Pho Hoa restaurant is usually packed

Pho Hoa restaurant is usually packed

Pho Hoa, a highly reputed Pho restaurant, persistently ranks as one of the best places to taste Pho in Saigon. Pho Hoa Restaurant has been operated by generations of the same family for ages. The broth at Pho Hoa is a secret that somehow adds to the success of the restaurant’s label. A bowl of Pho is massively insane with a huge pinch of steak, beef balls, flanks and the list goes on. You can easily spot out Pho Hoa at the end of Pasteur Street in District 1, as a two-story building fully equipped with Air-Con.

The Lunch Lady

Well, when you happen to type “where to eat in Saigon”, there is a high possibility the results can come up with The Lunch Lady. A couple of years ago, a well-known TV Show called No Reservations hosted by Anthony Bourdain brought a friendly little lady named Nguyen Thi Thanh on air, and from then on, her given label The Lunch Lady has become a real deal!

Mrs. Thanh is just super friendly

Mrs. Thanh is just super friendly

The shop is genuinely not a high-end restaurant, that is for sure! With a few small chairs with roughly 4 to 5 tiny plastic chairs places around, under a big shade of a huge tree, hidden out of the hustle and bustle of District 1, this eatery offers a different menu each day and the taste remains unchanged after all these years. Mrs. Thanh, as stated above, is known for her soup noodles of all kinds, from pork, chicken to beef, she nailed them all!

Another reason that makes The Lunch Lady a big thing is how smiley she is. You can totally take a selfie with her, or even a chit chat that no bother has ever come around her face.

Look how yummy it is!

Look how yummy it is!

Now the selection of what to eat in Saigon is a little more expanded by a few suggestions above of mine. Food tour in Saigon has never been declining due to a wide range of dishes that you, or even us locals, can never be able to count! 

Saigon street food and its reputed nostalgic eateries

Banh-Mi-Hoa-Ma-shop-helloVietnam1522896986

There are clearly a lot of things to do when traveling in Saigon. The list varies from food and beverage to sightseeing and relaxation as well as recreation. However, if not discovering Saigon in an accurate way, you would probably be easily skipping many interesting experiences that show the true vibe of local Saigonese. 

Three selected dining eateries below will tell you stories that you hardly ever hear from anyone.

Saigon’s nostalgia cannot live without the reputed local eateries

Saigon’s nostalgia cannot live without the reputed local eateries

1. Hu Tieu Nam Vang Phu Quy– Phu Quy Phnom Penh styled rice noodles

The dish was originally initialized by the Cambodian, and there is no doubt that if you want to find the best Hu Tieu Nam Vang, definitely you should be looking for a Cambodian chef. Ho Thi Ky Market is Dist. 10 cannot be skipped when talking about the Cambodian community in Saigon.

Hu Tieu Nam Vang is such a culinary gift

Hu Tieu Nam Vang is such a culinary gift

Been running for over 30 years, Campo is located right at the front face of a small street so that it not so hard to spot out and only open in the morning from around 5 am to 12 pm. Due to its such reputation, you can easily tell by a huge number of clients sitting inside out. Yet, it is such a good thing when the chef takes it only 5 to 7 minutes to make one for you.

The image of the Cambodian lady

The image of the Cambodian lady

Having a rice noodles soup displayed right on the table, you can immediately feel the charming taste of its broth, combined with the chewy noodles, shrimps, sliced pork, quail eggs, ground pork, liver, stomach, and everything. Beyond, if you are a big foodie, try ordering a special portion with a huge pork bone inside.

  • Address: 84 Ho Thi Ky street, Ward 14, District 10, Ho Chi Minh city.

2. Banh My Hoa Ma – Hoa Ma Vietnamese Baguette

Distinctively owning a unique taste compared to other regular Banh My shops, Hoa Ma keeps in itself a long-lasting ambiance for several decades. It is so simple to check in Hoa Ma shop right down the street of Cao Thang, District 3.

A lovely corner at Hoa Ma shop

A lovely corner at Hoa Ma shop

By the words of mouth, Hoa My was one of the first shops selling Banh My in Saigon. The owners were a Northern Vietnamese couple immigrating to Saigon in the 50s of the XX century. The man now, unfortunately, passed away, left behind his wife who is over 80 years of age. However, Hoa Ma is still well operated by their later generations.

To many locals, Banh My is such a quick snack suitable for a takeaway breakfast. Yet, at Hoa Ma, you can still somehow feel the slow-spinning speed of Saigon natural instinct and a bit of nostalgia. The ambiance is though not expected to be upscale or large in space, the quality in each piece of Banh My and the hot pains full of ingredients are still highly maintained after all these years.  Inside a small hot pan served, a big combo is ready for your consumption, from omelet, Jambon, sausage, grilled fish, pork pie and so on. All are fried in high heat used alongside with several Banh My.

This is what you get at Banh My Hoa Ma Shop

This is what you get at Banh My Hoa Ma Shop

  • Address: 53 Cao Thang Street, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City.

3. Che Ha Ky – Ha Ky sweeten pudding/ Sweet soup dessert

With the history of operation for over e decades, Ha Ky shop is such a familiar name to most of local Saigonese, especially those who just love sweet food way too much. Ai first, Ha Ky was just a little food stall selling a few simple dishes, nowadays, it has turned into a spacious local eatery on a big street in District 5, right in the center of Saigon’s Chinatown. Ha Ky is now widely known as one of the most famed dessert places in the list of street food in Saigon.

A small food stall at the front

A small food stall at the front

An obvious evidence proving the fact that Ha Ky is a big deal is you can totally see a lot of customers inside during any opening time of the shop, from 2 pm to 10 pm. The menu varies within 38 options, such as Black sesame sweet soup, Azuki bean sweet soup, Rice ball sweet soup, Peanut sweet soup and so on, most of which are iconic Chinese sweet dessert. However, the must-try one cannot be something else but the Egg sweet soup with a refreshing and light sweet taste.

Hoa Ky fabulous egg sweet soup

Hoa Ky fabulous egg sweet soup

Confessed by the shop’s owner, Ha Ky was founded by her mother and has been there for ages. A couple of years ago, Ha Ky was only open at night time, yet recently available for buyers with to-go selections. If you are still wondering what to eat in Saigon at night, besides a wide range of choices found on Internet, try dropping by Ha Ky shop and it surely will not let you down.

  • Address: 138 Chau Van Liem Street, District. 5, Ho Chi Minh City.

From now on, no need to worry about missing the authentic vibe of Saigon food heaven. Paying a short visit to these places not only help you relax from a sunny humid trip but also bring the nostalgic sense to your memories.

Saigon with four favorite specialties

Saigon-Mixed-Rice-Paper-helloVietnam1522903569

Our country is more and more recognized as the World’s prominent cuisine industry. And the best way to prove it is through the best Vietnam culinary tours.

A lot of people admit that Thai food, Chinese food, Mexican food or French food are probably the best types of cuisine the whole World did reward mankind. However, as a local Viet girl, Vietnamese food is something on another level that we cannot compare with. Hence, to save time from only complaining how much Vietnamese cuisine was long overshadowed, I will walk you through the finest specialties that Vietnam owns, and let’s start with Saigon first. 

The diversity of Vietnamese cuisine

The diversity of Vietnamese cuisine

Phnom Penh rice noodles soup – Hu Tieu Nam Vang

You would probably think it may seem strange as the name of the dish sounds extremely “Cambodian”. Yeah, as being said, Saigon is a multicultural city so any food found here has its own story and style behind. Back to this noodle soup, the dish itself is also referred to as a “multiracial cuisine” due to the fact that it was originally initialized by the Cambodian community but altered by the Chinese citizens living in the South. Rice noodles can come in a huge diversity, yet this Phnom Penh style takes it to a whole new level.

Hu Tieu Nam Vang

Hu Tieu Nam Vang is always my favorite

What makes a bowl of Hu Tieu Nam Vang so special is the ingredients served in one. Staring at a fully mixed portion displayed on your table, you can totally figure out what are included such as ground pork, sliced pork, boiled shrimp, liver, quail egg, squid, and way many more. And not to mention, another must-have add-in is a small tray of fresh veggies water dropwort, shallot, beansprout, lettuce and so on. Just like any other rice noodles, there are two common ways to enjoy Hu Tieu Nam Vang, one with the broth available inside of your bowl with noodles, another one is to have a small bowl of broth separately. There are many famous Hu Tieu Nam Vang restaurants in Saigon such as Thanh Dat on Co Bac Str., Dist.1 or Hong Phat on Vo Van Tan Str., Dist.3. The average price for one varies from VND 35.000 to 40.000.

Mixed Rice Paper – Banh Trang Tron

Mixed Rice Paper – Banh Trang Tron

Well, along with Rolled Rice Paper, Grilled Rice Paper, Mixed Rice Paper is in the top three favorite Rice Paper dishes amongst young Saigonese. A medium-sized portion varies from VND 10.000 to 15.000 and can be found anywhere down the biggest streets in Saigon.

A pack of Mixed Rice Paper contains small sliced rice paper, crispy fried shallots, scallion oil, peanuts, quail eggs, beef jerky, sliced green mango and hot mint, all well stirred up in a small bag. Depending on your own taste, those vendors can add a little bit of chili oil or not.

Broken Rice – Com Tam

It is not too much when admitting Com Tam is the biggest Saigon delicacy. When I think about what to eat in Saigon, Com Tam definitely comes up in my mind, like, all the time! You can have it for breakfast, which is what we usually do, yet nowadays, Com Tam can be easily spotted at any time during the whole day, even at midnight.

Com Tam is the heart of Saigon cuisine

Com Tam is the heart of Saigon cuisine

A full special plate of Com Tam is served with, I mean, countless of thing all in one. We have steamed broken rice, of course, grilled pork chop, egg loaf, small sliced pork skin, omelet, Chinese sausage and some pickles to balance the taste. And last but not least, a tiny portion of sweet fish sauce mixed with chili is the greatest thing to end my illustration.

Crab meat soup

In Hanoi and probably most of the Northern provinces around, Crab Meat Soup is mainly used for big restaurants or feasts. However, it is totally opposite in Saigon when this type of cuisine is completely a kind of basic street food. Honestly, you can simply pay from VND 15.000 to 20.000 to enjoy the most authentic crab meat soup you can ever find.

The temptation of crab meat soup

The temptation of crab meat soup

In this special edition of Vietnam cuisine, besides crab meat, which is the main ingredient, you can spot out shredded chicken, quail eggs, mushrooms, sometimes century eggs and a small portion pig’s brain. The shining yellowish look atop with a little pinch of coriander, pepper, chili all turn the soup into something very enriching yet not greasy at all.

The best way to enjoy all or most of these specialties is to fully sign up for a typical Saigon food tour. The feeling when sitting on the back of a scooter, sneaking through the dense crowd and hustle of Saigon traffic and ending up in the most authentic local eateries selected by Saigonese will leave you a memory that you cannot forget. 

Ho Thi Ky Flower Market – a big name in the race of Vietnam culinary tour

A-flavorful-hot-snail-noodle-soup-helloVietnam1522911245

Many of you are tempted by our huge offer of Vietnam culinary tour, and today’s guideline takes you to one of the biggest street-food heavens in Saigon.

On the way into Ho Thi Ky Flower Market

On the way into Ho Thi Ky Flower Market

Ho Thi Ky is a wholesale market providing flowers for either wholesale sellers or retail customers. This can be considered as the biggest flower market in Saigon, particularly District 10. The area is open all day long, yet its busiest time lasts daily from midnight (or even 11 pm) until very early in the morning of the next day, roughly 2 am or 3 am. These flowers are usually imported from Dalat, which is known as the heaven of blossoms in Central Vietnam. However, that is not all this market has. Another big thing that boosts the reputation of this place is how massive its food heaven is. Take a look below as I listed down my five favorite dishes you can find throughout Ho Thi Ky market.

Snail noodles

Though not seen as other iconic Saigon food such as Broken Rice, Pho or Banh My, Snail Noodles still has its own charm that not many people can resist. A hot bowl of the dish contains tough noodles, articulate harp shell, and ark clam which are all pre-boiled, along with some pieces of pork-pie and meat-ball soaked in a huge pot of lightly-sweet and tasty broth. You only need to pay for around VND 30.000 for a bowl. They are usually open from 3 pm until night-time.

A flavorful hot snail noodles soup

A flavorful hot snail noodles soup

Prahok fermented fish paste

Following the small alley of Ho Thi Ky Market deeply into the back hidden behind it, you will catch sight of our famous Cambodian Market. Right at a few steps just outside the market, you can immediately feel the smell of their classic Prahok fermented fish paste, which is long known as a specialty of the Khmer community. Besides vermicelli noodles, the main ingredient of this cuisine is snakehead fish meat and distinctive broth created in a secret and unique recipe. Without the iconic smell of the fermented fish paste, diners are hard to wholeheartedly enjoy the full “aura” of this delicacy. With only around VND 30.000, you can come at these stores after 6 pm and let you self-explore.

The dish gives you an authentic taste of Khmer cuisine

The dish gives you an authentic taste of Khmer cuisine

Cambodian sweeten pudding (sweet soup dessert)

Right in the same Cambodian Market on the main path, lies a reputed sweet soup eatery named Cô Có, or commonly known as Cambodian sweet soup stall. The place has been there for over 40 years and captured many lovers of sweetness with her own-created recipe influenced by a strong Angkor style. You can pick from dozens of desserts made out of banana, egg, white cow-pea, jujube fruit, and way many more. Just less than VND 15.000 is the normal price for one portion.

This shop has been here for nearly half a century

This shop has been here for nearly half a century

Pan-fried scrambled egg rice cake

The small shop named Phung is the most famous food-stall with its iconic pan-fried scrambled egg rice cake. A plate of it is a big temptation not because of its delicious flavor only but also comes from its self-made soy-sauce. Beyond, you can give it a go to another big thing here which is fried sweet rice pasta, easily spotted out by little short strands especially made in a very Cambodian way, along with scrambled egg and bean-sprouts. The average price range is VND 20.000.

Such a simple but sophisticated dish

Such a simple but sophisticated dish

Stir-fired balut with tamarind sauce

Last but not least, I chose this Asian sensation as my biggest love not because you can hardly ever find it elsewhere outside of Asia, but as is something representing for how edible Asian food can be. You must have known of Balut when visiting The Philippines, and over here in Vietnam, Balut becomes Hột Vịt Lộn that has a literal meaning of “an unhatched baby duck egg”.

Such a simple but sophisticated dish

It tastes better than you thought it was

Stir-fired “Hot Vit Lon” with tamarind sauce is pretty famous to our youngsters, especially big foodies as these duck eggs are always fresh and ready to be cooked on-site, which keeps them always hot when served. In addition, the tamarind sauce here is sour and sweet all at once that gives a very neutral tasty flavor. Other than that, you can freely have it stir-fried with chili oil, garlic, butter or even roasted with salt! VND 20.000 is a very reasonable price for this food. 

I definitely advise you to come visit this place at least once in your life whenever you have a chance to stop over Saigon, and you will be amazed by our truly local life.

Noodle Soup – The Favorite Saigon Food

A-bowl-of-noodle-soup-with-meat-helloVietnam1523256485

Noodle soup is a mainstream Saigon food which many people love. In Saigon, there is a variety kind of noodle soup varying from the original one with many different names. Each kind has a different taste and some suitable spices such as beef, octopus, chicken and so on.

Also, noodle soup is ranked as an easy-eating food in Saigon, this means that you can eat it in the morning, at lunch or even in the evening, all are great. Whether it is a bowl of noodle soup on the street or in the shop, it also has a distinct bouillon. Nothing is greater than visiting some noodle soup places in Saigon to enjoy your own bowl. Here are some references for all people:

Nguyen Bac noodle soup – a special kind having pig’s tripes

Located in Lane 71, Nguyen Bac street, Ward 13, Tan Binh District, Nguyen Bac noodle soup is an ideal shop for people who want to eat a bowl of noodle soup with a strange taste. The owner processes some essential materials accompanied by pig’s tripes. Therefore, it attracts a lot of people to visit. According to some customers, the taste is quite bitter at the first time but it is appreciated as a delicious food you should try once.  This shop is opened from 9 a.m to 9 p.m and the price fluctuates between 12000 VND and 25000 VND. In general, it is cheaper than the other shops in the center of the city.

A special noodle soup with pig’s tripes

A special noodle soup with pig’s tripes

Noodle soup cart in Ga Crossroads – a simple place to eat noodle soup

This place is in District 12, it locates in a famous crossroads with local people there. It is not a shop but it is a cart on the street. A particular thing in noodle soup is that it is mixed with instant noodles, which not only creates a colorful attraction but also a specific flavor. According to customers, the price is quite cheap, from 10 000 VND to 20 000 VND. Therefore, it is suitable for all people, special students, and employees. Unlike some shops, it is only opened from 5 p.m till midnight thus being appropriate for those who like eating at late-night.

A bowl of noodle soup mixed with instant noodles

A bowl of noodle soup mixed with instant noodles

Octopus noodle soup shop on Phan Xich Long street – a favorite Saigon food

It is an age-old shop in Phu Nhuan District. A full bowl of noodle soup costs 57 000 VND including octopuses, meatballs, quail eggs, spring onion, salads and some spices characterizing for Vietnam cuisine. Each piece of octopus is cut to have moderate size and fried in a suitable way. Like some Saigon favorite foods, the quality of this kind is also dependent on its bouillon. It has a sweet and fragrant taste so it completely pleases customers. Particularly, a cup of pepper and salt for using with the above materials is a great idea to taste this dish.

Octopus noodle soup

Octopus noodle soup

Ho noodle soup – a racy food of Hoa people in Saigon

Listed in Saigon food guide, a lot of Hoa dishes are favored by both domestic customers and foreigners. Although District 5, 6 and 11 is the place where has high population density, there are few sites selling Ho noodle soup. One of the fanciest shops for local people is in Gia Phu street, Go Cong ward, District 6. It is just a small cart with a wide range of tables put along the street and opens from 12 p.m to 6 p.m. Each noodle staple is much bigger than the usual one and a bit tough. A noteworthy thing is pickled mustard greens. Nowhere has this style so it makes the Hoa noodle soup exceptional from the other ones. Pickled mustard greens not only helps reduce the fat from pig’s tripes but also supplies a bit especially sour taste. A bowl of Ho noodles soup costs 20 000 VND.

Ho noodle soup of Hoa people

Ho noodle soup of Hoa people

Noodle soup shop in 601 August Revolution street

Like the other must-eat foods in Saigon, noodle soup is sold in everywhere in Saigon, even a small lane. This shop is in District 10 and it is appreciated as an ideal site for people after school time or working hours. It costs just 15 000 VND for each bowl but has too much noodle and meat. People will be fully saturated after eating there. Especially,  the owner is extremely friendly and polite, which makes almost customers pleased. It is opened from 3 p.m to 10 p.m thus becoming a good place for people having the demand in this time.

A bowl of noodle soup with a lot of meat

A bowl of noodle soup with a lot of meat

Top 4 Saigon street foods must-try

The-mixed-rice-paper-helloVietnam1523329502

Saigon food, a convergence of culinary culture typical of many regions. The delicious dishes are not only served in restaurants, diners, but also gastronomy as well as a "maze" that you cannot escape. Saigon sidewalk snacks have a popular price, but the taste of delicious food, strange flavor that anyone has ever tasted is not easy to forget.

Papaya salad in Le Van Tam park

Gourmets also find it difficult to distinguish the juice of the dish made with soy sauce or fish sauce, only know it scrumptious to surprise when all sour, spicy, salty combined into each other bring “one of a kind” flavor for the salad.

Papaya salad

Papaya salad

Located on the three major streets of Ho Chi Minh City (Hai Ba Trung, Dien Bien Phu, Vo Thi Sau) and near many high schools, colleges, and universities, Le Van Tam Park has long become a meeting point of many Gen Y. Not only stop there, this park also attached to the brand of dry salad, papaya salad is so good that no one can match.

  • Address: Le Van Tam Park, Da Kao, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

To District 10 to eat the most famous Quail fried in butter in Saigon

Not only well-known in Dong Nai streets, this spot is where the Saigonese who love snacks, mentioning going to eat quail, also remember this address. There are only two choices: eat as many quails as possible and have a bird's nest. The menu is so short that it creates the brand for many years.

The quail fried in butter

The quail fried in butter

The fried quail is actually seasoned quail, fried in oil to ripen and the smell of butter is just passing. Quail meat used to chew like chicken but soft and much sweeter. Quail meat has more meat because the bone fragments, fried crispy in the boiling oil should be able to chew both the head and the bone. Many people eat the head of the quail more than eat meat because of the fat, rich spicy. Tearing the thighs of quail, dipping with a little salt with kumquat to taste a sour flavor. After that, chewing sweet meat of the quail to “satisfy” your stomach. 

And probably only at this fried buttered quail has a cup of sauce mixed to crunch the crunchy bread. Actually eating quail is not full because of the small bird should make sure the belly lined two loaves of breadcrumbs. The secret sauce to serve the bread served out always hot, has the aroma of five flavors, garlic and other spices up the aromatic nose.

  • Address: 54 Dong Nai, District 10

Super attractive with the most famous mixed rice paper in district 3

This outlet only sells from 3 pm to 8 pm (or 9 pm depending on date). Especially if you want to eat the most popular Saigon street food here, you have to wait and it’s really hard to queue up.

The mixed rice paper

The mixed rice paper

Mixed rice paper on Nguyen Thuong Hien street is famous for a long time in Saigon's connoisseur teenagers. According to their wife, they are the first people to sell here, so many patrons eat from the past (at present, this street has more than 4-5 stops where serve the same dish). The famous stop is just a small cart on the pavement (the middle of Nguyen Thuong Hien, from the beginning Nguyen Thi Minh Khai to Vo Van Tan) but every day there are hundreds of customers queue waiting. Some guests who come later, there is no parking space will be told by the owner "run around a little bit and back" to avoid the situation of the traffic road to buy “The best street food in Saigon”.

  • Address: 38 Nguyen Thuong Hien, District 3

Snail in Sai Thanh restaurant: Not only delicious but cheap

There are enough ways to make the snail always attractive, from steamed, boiled, fried, fried, roasted to baked, baked with enough spices such as garlic, onions, pepper, chopped lemongrass, lemongrass cinnamon, cheese, butter, …

If the northern dish is more processed in the trend of yin and yang balance by steamed ginger, lemongrass, lemon leaves … as an afternoon snack, the Saigon people eat snails in many ways and processing more emphasis on spice.

Various way of cooking snails

Various way of cooking snails

There are enough ways to make the snail always attractive, from steamed, boiled, fried, fried, roasted to baked, oven … with all kinds of spices such as garlic, onions, pepper, chopped lemongrass, lemongrass, basil, cheese, butter … and can be sold in the day.

In Saigon food tours, you can not help but enjoy the snails here. Snail Saigon is not only delicious but also diverse in terms of type, processing methods, always fresh. This eating snail "money lost" but it really worth, even the opposite is also the opportunity to add essential nutrients are missing from the body

Choose your own well-known and special Saigon street food before heading to Saigon, so that you will not be disappointed when you come here without enjoying this delicious, strange and nutritious food.

  • Address: The end of Truong Dinh street, District 3