Once question….you said that all the dishes you listed above are gluten free. See Saigoneer’s piece on street cocktail bars for a few suggestions. I definitely need to plan a trip to Vietnam this is amazing! Broth aside, the soup’s fun lies in its accoutrements — slices of cha lua (a pork meatloaf coated in a cinnamon outer layer), slices of thin pork meat, and meatballs made of pork. Most tourists haven’t heard of bun moc, but it’s a nice counterpoint to the strong flavours of the pork and rice dishes below. This post is an excellent resource for street food and I’m planning my eating itinerary with it right now! Hủ tiếu Nam Vang (Hu tieu Nam Vang) 9. I am a fellow Montrealer here in Saigon for the month. I read your comments about the soy sauce etc, is the soy in most of these dishes or are some of them traditionally soy free? When you asked whether flour had wheat and rice, or when/if you confirmed whether rice flour was used, was there a significant language barrier, or did they understand what you were asking? +84 (8) 3510 1771. Looking at the menu I saw the familiar hu tieu (see below), but did not know what banh tam bi was. Cholon (Binh Tay Market) Cholon, also known as Binh Tay Market, is located at the edge of Ho Chi … we are Viseacorp, processing company, special in Mackrerel fillet, size: 300/500g 500 - 800g/pcOctopus, Squid, cuttlefish, and canning fish. Where: Banh Cuon Tay Ho 1 This is the holy grail for eating in HCMC! For the Bot Chien, what do you mean by saying ‘some shredded pickled young papaya to cool down the dish’, is it because it’s too hot?? Goi cuon or Vietnamese spring rolls comprise vermicelli noodles, pork slices, shrimp, basil, and lettuce tightly wrapped in translucent banh trang (rice papers). The Dong. The swirling noise, the families all sitting and enjoying a meal on the street, smiling at you fumbling with your condiments. It was filling and I ended up with a slow cooked meat sauce, which was delicious. Or the bo la lot vendor who discovered my love of starfruit and made sure to have extra on hand when I returned. I’ve asked a friend in Saigon to verify the closing for me and see if something else has popped up. These ingredients have been in other dishes I’ve tasted, but for some reason, this soup from the former imperial capital of Vietnam manages to bring them together in magical ways. Chrysanthemum tea: My Vietnamese friends believe that chrysanthemum tea is a coolant on hot days, and has medicinal properties as well. My girlfriend and I are planning a 10-day trip to Vietnam and will spend a two full days in Saigon, so I’m looking for the best food and drink tour. Banh Da Xuc Hen in all its delicious glory. […] Chinese-Cambodian brought the dish from Cambodia (hence the Phnom Penh style,) and Vietnamese borrowed it and made their own Viet versions. Vietnamese Coffee: There are no shortage of Vietnamese cafes dotting the streets in Saigon; walk around for more than 5 minutes and you are sure to find one, filled with (mostly) men drinking coffee at the side of the road, smoking and gazing out at the street. You can easily spot vendors selling banh cuon in prominent marketplaces such as Cholon and Ben Thanh Market as well as local restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City. Wow what a fantastic blog! Thank you for your post. 2. Thank You!! Since being back in North America, I’ve tested the Banh Xeo mixes using a Nima Sensor, which tests ppm of gluten – no gluten for the mixes I tried that say no wheat on them. The dish literally translates to “rolled cake”, and originated up North, but is prevalent throughout Saigon. to make a perfect dish of BANH CAN, rice flour must be milled from an old and bad rice – bad quality and then be mixed with water. Where: Casbah Shisha Bar Street Food Ghetto. The 10 Best Vegan Street Food Stalls in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Asking for intersections of two streets was the easiest way to get to where I needed to go, or picking bigger landmarks like churches or hotels or famous skyscrapers (e.g Bitxeco tower) that are nearby. So, if you want to avoid the “khao san road of Saigon”, opt for Ganesh. Best Fast Food in Ho Chi Minh City: See Tripadvisor traveler reviews of Fast Food Restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City. +84 (8) 3930 3819 Where: Cuc Gach Cafe Thanks again for all of the useful resources! We and our partners use cookies to better understand your needs, improve performance and provide you with personalised content and advertisements. If you want to dip your foot into bun rieu start with the lovely lady above, and then try it about town. Where: Bot Chien Dat Thanh how about in the restaurants on this guide? This is a great resource – thanks! 3 Nguyen Van Trang, District 1, I lived in Hanoi for 7 years and just moved to Saigon two months ago, been using this guide to help me discover southern cuisine. Is English commonly spoken in Saigon? Glad to hear it Cathy! But it is usually full of locals, the wine is reasonably priced, and the location is central. Vietnamese Food: 25 Must-Eat Dishes in Saigon (and Where To Try Them) 1. Calling all the foodies out there, find & book the top-rated and best-reviewed food tours on Tripadvisor today. For those even hungrier, try com suon op la (grilled pork chop over rice with a fried egg). And of course the city is full of banh cuon — just go to any morning market and some stall will be serving it. In late January, when the virus broke in Vietnam, few observers would have predicted a record like this. And it barely was negative — just a cab driver who insisted on extra charges because we were four people in the cab. They’re made with rice paper and are gluten-free. Cookies Policy. +84 (8) 3912 5742. Awesome display of your love of Vietnamese food. Oh, how I wish I lived in Saigon – you certainly seem spoilt for choice! ], Where: Animus Bar and Lounge I recently returned from a week in HCMC and absolutely enjoyed everything about it . Note that you’ll also get a few 50% sale messages, since Mobifone has days where credit is half off, meaning you receive double what you pay for in phone credit. 277 Vo Van Tan Street, District 3. Wish I could eat it. Com Tam joint serving the great bitter melon soup. Terms of Use Bún riêu (bun rieu) 5. I am grateful for this incredibly helpful list here, along with so many other pieces of content on your site. Hi Megan, I don’t have specific tips, though there are two posts about Tet specifically if you look through the archives. Where: Nuoc Sam Co Ba My wife was upset to learn the beef in my bun thit had hoisin sauce (I am a celiac). Also, if you’re worried about street food: here’s how to eat it without getting sick. Viseacorp. I think my preference also stems from novelty; many of the soups I’ve tried in Montreal or New York were from Southern Vietnamese who fled during the diaspora, and thus brought with them a more Southern recipe. BBQ Ribs and Smoked Pork: My friend Mark opened his new restaurant ,Quan Ut Ut, with no advertising and only word-of-mouth referrals. I usually have to go through the whole “gluten-free/dairy free” thing when I eat out, but I’m also sensitive to MSG. 44 Ton That Thiep Street, District 1. For those familiar with Singapore food, it’s reminiscent of chai tow kueh, but with rice instead of radish. Located right on the street, directly in front of Thien Ban Pagoda. It’s packed almost every night and with good reason: the food is exceptional, you get tremendous value for money and it’s built around the American BBQ concept but made with local ingredients. The “Cigar Lounge” door in the back? Gorgeous mouth-watering photography and informative descriptions. Basic Information for Navigating Saigon Phở (pho) 4. At present, those available online are more generic but I think using the actual names for the flours in the foods we celiacs can eat would be a great thing. 80/68 Tran Quang Dieu Street, District 3 If it’s a one-stop shop, you know there’s nothing else. For Vietnamese people, food is our life; we are forever eating, cooking and talking about food. If a comment is solely promotional in nature, I will not approve it. Thank you so much for this incredible post! To eat, a bit of everything goes into your serving bowl: a handful of noodles, some pieces of pork, spoonfuls of the sweet fish sauce and herbs. I trust Tom’s accounts of food and travel, but I also value his perspective during this surreal time. I tried to just bring smaller bills with me (50,000s or 20,000s) when taking a cab. These will be stored as ‘bonus’ credits in your phone, under the KM2 and KM3 headings when you check your credit. Hi from Vietnam! Ben Nghe, Ho Chi Minh City 70000 When I describe bun mam to friends — a noodle soup with a fermented fish broth and seafood and pork belly and so much more — I watch their faces fall. www.saigonoutcast.com. thankyou. Drinking chrysanthemum tea on the side of the road on the commute home. +84 12 2428 3198 There are also countless variations available in Ho Chi Minh City, though the most popular one is hu tieu xuong, which is topped with pork ribs. Suffice it to say that this pungent crab and tomato soup is incredible, and the version in the photos above (address below) is not as strongly fishy as some of the others in town. As your read through my Ho Chi Minh City Food Guide, you’ll discover that there is a lot more to Vietnamese food than just Pho and Banh Mi, and discover the complexity of flavours that can come from the use of fresh, simple ingredients. 303-305 Vo Van Tan Street The portions are generous and the ingredients very good quality, so I have no problem paying a bit more. It’s actually a door to the consulate. Texting not included on the plan, but quite cheap. Glad that the list is helpful. Taxis get a bad rep in town but in my two winters of time living in Saigon, I’ve had only one negative experience. this is an oil-free cake. Bánh mì (banh mi) 2. Thanks Jodi, my boyfriend and I have been trying some of your suggestions. So I’m not sure what you’re going on about. We just missioned 20 minutes to Chi Thong and ate as you recommended. I’ve found few places in Saigon that serve this Mekong dish from Bac Lieu, but Quan Sadec remains the best I’ve tried in town. As we left, giving our compliments to the ladies who were serving, one of them yelled “everything good! Thanks! It’s on the opposite side of the road as the park, and you will find it based on your nose, and the grill of pork at the side of the road. X. Hi Jess! Thanks for the info, and SUPER happy that Quan Sadec is open. In Vietnamese, the word for baby clams is “hen” — quite confusing at first, since I ordered it expecting a rice and chicken bowl, not even thinking that obviously hen would not be an actual hen. But generally if you stick to the tips below, you should be fine. Sorry for so many questions! It looks bare, but then you lift up the rice cracker and peek underneath, finding a pile of teeny tiny clams fried in lemongrass, rau ram (Vietnamese coriander), chilli, onion and garlic. As Ho Chi Minh City natives, we're extremely passionate about our city, its history, and the local food. As with many of the meals in Hanoi that were taken to Saigon, what is normally a breakfast or early lunch food up north is an all-day treat in Saigon. I do want to go back though. Ho Chi Minh City is an incredible travel bargain compared to most of the rest of the world, though it’s also among the more expensive cities in Vietnam. +84 28 3824 2754. Also see this lovely 2020 piece from Austin Bush, about baking banh mi in Saigon. Countless moments of me smiling as an old lady came over shaking her head at my terrible rice paper folding skills, correcting my technique as we sat at the edge of traffic. Best Cupcakes in Ho Chi Minh City; Best Quail Eggs in Ho Chi Minh City; Best Poke Bowls in Ho Chi Minh City; Best Steak Tartare in Ho Chi Minh City; Best Cashew Chicken in Ho Chi Minh City; Best Kobe Beef … This page is an attempt to organize my thoughts, experiences, and emotions during mùa dịch into a personal narrative covering much of the last six months. Our time in Saigon was very short, but we will be returning. Where: Hanayuki $$- Another favourite spot is Hanayuki, who source their salmon from Norway. !” We agree lol. (From https://www.uyenluu.com/hot-cold-ying-yang/): The two main philosophy of Vietnamese food is the balance of flavour – between hot, sour, sweet, salty and umani and also the balance of hot and cold foods – not the temperature of food but of the hot and cold elements and energy of foods. the mixture will be poured into clay moulds – with adding eggs, beef, squid…. MAP. I’m in Saigon now and stumbled across your food blog. I’ve seen a ‘dry’ version too but have never tried it. Thanks for being so thorough. Hu tieu soups are a complicated beast. Great post. Thank you Rachel! It’s not wheat free, no, though some of the bottles I’ve checked area. 1st Time in Ho Chi Minh City? Note that this is a place taxi drivers frequent at all hours of the night — it’s open 24 hours a day. The beauty of food being not just a necessity but also a sight in and of itself: a window into culture, and a source of endless wonder. On my way to the Co-op supermarket for some groceries, I passed a lovely new-looking restaurant with wood tables and chairs and a fun logo. Food & Drink The 10 Best Bánh Mì Spots in Ho Chi Minh City. I know that you are in a much different state currently since when you wrote this post. When you get the SIM card, also buy 100,000 Dong of credit. It seems crazy but it’s true. Having been to a few of them, I recommend the Family Medical Practice in the Diamond Plaza if you are staying in District 1. I consider this a “basics” because to me living in Asia includes availing myself of the reasonably priced and relaxing foot massages around the region. Where: Pho Phuong (photo below) They’re available in t-shirt and poster form. Relaxed Alternative: Live music, art, outdoor seating, casual food, usually on the grill, and skateboarding options, Saigon Outcast became a favourite Sunday afternoon activity for many of my friends. At the time of writing (July 9, 2020), there were just 369 reported cases, 347 of which had recovered, zero deaths, and no community transmissions for nearly three months. Where: Dong Hoa Xuan The flavour and the hot & cold elements are both like the ying and the yang, there is a balance to everything, like both sides of a coin. I welcome criticism, even if not constructive, but ad hominem attacks will be removed. is the extreme have-it-your-way Vietnamese food experience. It might have been one soup that brought me to Saigon, but it was the rest of the food that kept me there, and keeps me coming back. I only discovered banh tam bi recently, toward the end of my latest visit to the city. +84 8 3835 8175, Pork stuffed inside bitter melon (served in soup). Good wine selection and great views, but pricey. 32 Vo Van Tan Street, District 3 So, I have eaten many-a-pho around town but three different options stand out. New shopping malls are springing up all Read More», With our guide to the Top 10 Best Attractions in Ho Chi Minh you can get all of the information you need to ensure you Read More», Temple Leaf Spa in Ho Chi Minh City offers a wide range of massages, wellness and beauty treatments using premiumHouse, Read More», The best Ho Chi Minh City dishes are well regarded as nutritious, savoury, and hearty delights that can be enjoyed at Read More», The best hotels in Ba Dinh District put travellers in close proximity to the majority of Hanoi’s French colonial Read More». 25 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, District 1 59 Nguyen Du Street, District 1 Since I can’t eat Japanese soy sauce as it contains wheat, I took to ordering their salmon donburi bowl, fresh raw salmon fanned over sushi rice and topped with a shiso leaf filled with salmon roe. Several options for visas exist. Drinks and Smoothies The third is a Chinese-style pho, a bit sweeter, but for meat-lovers it is a solid option. Almost everything is back to ‘Pre-Covid’ ways: the only exceptions being international flights and tourism. Thanks a bunch! The Chinese had a lot to do with hu tieu being in Vietnam in the first place. I have a list of foods that sound like other foods in the local language. +84 (8) 3834 4486. Many thanks. I’d take this for breakfast over eggs and bacon any day, to the consternation of Western friends. I’ve tried to include as many photos of these foods as possible, since my descriptions might not do the trick but a photo usually does. Best to keep change / smaller denominations when you can, as many smaller stores or street stalls will be reticent to break a 500,000 note — and of course the banks give 500,000 notes for the most part. For those wanting to stay closer to ‘home’ you can head to the corner of Mac Dinh Chi and Nguyen Thi Minh Khai for a com tam place (just past the KFC) that opens from 10am-2pm. Where: Shri Bar The soup is topped with fried shallots and fresh cilantro. If you can’t get to Saigon but this sounds like it is up your alley, a recipe here. Served in numerous Vietnamese restaurants within Ho Chi Minh City, ca kho to refers to catfish braised in a clay pot. Staging station for my favourite pho ga in town. The tender meat is always seasoned deliciously with lemongrass, chili, and ginger after careful … Me and my family are spending a few days in Saigon, do you have any recommendations for a nice restaurant for NYE or NY day dinner near the Rex Hotel in District 1? I’ll kick this off with a paragraph from the Loving Pho blog, who wrote about the soup: The three most recognized types are Hu Tieu Nam Vang (hu tieu Phnom Penh style,) Hu Tieu My Tho (after the capital city of Tiền Giang Province, located in the Mekong Delta region of southern Vietnam,) and Hu Tieu Chinese style. These are all my pictures, except for the bun moc (thanks Tom!). Where: Le Fenetre Soleil It’s filling but not heavy, peppery but not too spicy. Just a heads up, I looked up Banh Khot Co Ba Vung Tau on Google Maps and it says it has permanently closed. Hu tieu is the extreme have-it-your-way Vietnamese food experience. Where: Pizza 4Ps (There was a lot of walking involved.) Set in a teeny alley off the busier main street, you walk up several floors and then into a wood and art-filled room. We will be there during Tet so I was wondering if you had any special tips or info about being in Saigon during this celebration. I’ll just have to console myself with some Hanoi-style Bun Cha. As with most Vietnamese dishes, you also get a side of nuoc cham sauce to mix into the bun thit nuong for a flavourful ensemble. This dish, a fave among my friends, comprises seasoned pork patties and thin slices of pork belly, both grilled until crispy and served in a bowl with sweet fish sauce, slices of young papaya and carrot, and garlic. But for a wonderful place to watch the world go by, owned by a lovely lady with a great smile, head to Juicy. Where: Quan Sadec These are also quite fun to frequent, but for somewhere more relaxing to try Vietnamese coffee, opt for a cup at Cuc Gach cafe. For those wanting a different fix, opt for mien ga (mien are mung bean noodles), both of which come with their signature spicy sauce, pickled garlic, and basket ‘o herbs. Served with a tiny pile of pickled vegetables, and usually a small bowl of light broth on the side. Beyond our charming venue in the heart of historical Saigon, we also offer Indian food … Appreciate the detailed comment and enjoy your time in Saigon! This baguette sandwich is priced between VND 10,000 and VND 15,000, with pickled vegetables, pate, butter, soy sauce, cilantro, chilies, and hot peppers. A quick run down on how to sit on the motorbike, helmets on and we were off to mingle with the other 8 million motor bikes in Ho Chi Minh City. I’ve also never had to tell a cab driver to turn on his or her meter — it’s automatic. However the Pham Ngu Lao area still had many places open to cater to the backpacker crowd. I was listening to a podcast on Saigon and you were the guest do I looked you up . A Slightly Fancier Meal I am looking out my window at the Saigon River, District 1 etc and now I feel we can salvage this experimental journey to HCMC with some tasty foods. 11 Tran Nhat Duat, District 1 This place is on a busy street behind the big Citibank building and is often full of Japanese business men on a lunch break. Are you so kind to everyone you meet? No matter how long I stayed in the country, the jokes (“fistful of Dong” or “show me your Dong” or any use of “YEAH YOU DID” after a Dong statement) did not get old. Thank you for your enjoyment of Vietnamese food, especially street food. If you’re ever back in town, please let’s meet up to go discover more dishes together! My husband and I travel quite often are are going to be in Saigon for NYE and a few days after. Most of them derive from food. My “gluten thing” is a disease that was diagnosed using a biopsy, so you’re also wrong there. (upstairs after going into an art gallery-lined alleyway) www.auparcsaigon.com. It’s busiest at lunch time, and closes at 8pm. Thanks for reading! To activate the plan (this worked up until June 2014, but of course might change): Text the words DK MIU to the number 999. Despite being a pork festival, it’s actually quite light, and the thin rice noodles compliment the meat well. +84 (8) 3838 6661 Loosely wrapped in a steamed fermented rice sheet, banh cuon contains a mix of ground pork, minced wood ear mushroom, onions, Vietnamese ham (cha lua), steamed beansprouts, and cucumbers. I usually use Agoda for lodging in Southeast Asia. Hanoi was where the soup originated and while I love Saigon dishes, I do prefer the northern broth. While available throughout Saigon, usually on the street, the restaurant below has indoor long table seating and waitresses in quintessentially bright Vietnamese daytime pyjamas. They will call one for you and you can just wait a few minutes until it arrives. I now feel like Cortes staring at the Pacific (Keats)! Indian: Fun fact: antibiotics make me crave Indian food. It was lucky you posted a photo of her because we were able to recognise her from the picture (she was even wearing the same jacket!) The second is owned by Prison Granny from my Why I Love Saigon piece, and is part of why I decided to take an apartment nearby; it was just that good. Privacy Policy and Terms of use, The Legal Nomads Guide to Saigon Street Food, can be chewy clear tapioca noodles, opaque white rice noodles like you’d use for pho noodle soup, or thin Chinese egg noodles (. Like it is one more Street food Ho Chi Minh City market: Saigon Street food: here s. 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