Like many cities in Southeast Asia, Saigon is known around the world for its amazing street-food. One cannot truly experience Vietnam without sampling many of the wonderful and unique foods that can be found on its streets. Although Vietnam is unified as a single country, the food is actually quite regional. Having visited both North and South Vietnam, you will fully convinced that South Vietnam (Saigon in particular) offers the most delicious Vietnamese dishes in the country. Now that’s not to say that North Vietnamese food isn’t delicious. After all, no trip to Hanoi would be complete without a delicious plate of bun cha (grilled pork with noodles). However, the variety, spice and flavor just seem to come alive with the street foods down in Saigon.
Sai Gon in early April is featured by intense hot with the temperature during the day of around 38 degree Celsius, however, in the evening, it is blessed with mild and windy weather, especially near the river bank or channel. Such places are always crowded in late afternoon till night with thousands of restaurants, street food stalls, café and many other kinds of live activities. Every day, tens of thousands of street-side eateries offer up delicious, cheap food in an informal environment on the city’s sidewalks. Eating street food is without doubt the best thing to do in Saigon. Here are street food favorite in Saigon.
Hu tieu Nam Vang. This small stall on Duong Quang Ham street, Go Vap district sells Hu tieu for breakfast and snails in the evening with a large number of frequent customers. Toy can call Hu tieu bo kho (Beef stew rice noodle soup) for me or Hu tieu muc (Squid rice noodle soup). the crunchy seafood and well-cooked beef stew offered, and especially super sweetness and freshness of the broth. The owner was also very nice when serving and providing us with helpful advice to grab a taxi. You will feeling a warm welcome from the local people here.
Phở is also the quintessential street-food of Vietnam. Asking around, people told me about an amazing pho street shop called Phở Le. This restaurant is well known for its beef noodle (phở bò) and in my experience it was the best bowl of pho that I had in the whole of Vietnam. The broth was just the right flavor and the noodles were plenty. However, what made the soup so delectable and unique was the tenderness of the beef and the dipping sauces that came with it.
Bánh Mì Thịt
Not surprisingly, the sandwich was simply amazing. As a result, I pretty much found myself eating one at least once a day for the rest of my trip. While walking around Saigon, you will probably see these food stalls with the baguettes sitting in the glass cabinets. You just walk up to the cart and point at what you want on your sandwich. You won’t be disappointed.
These tasty snacks can be found on almost every street in Saigon and half the fun is watching the cook make the paper thin pancake fresh right in front of your eyes. In my opinion, this is perhaps one of the most unique street-foods in all of Southeast Asia and one that you must try before leaving Vietnam.
So, Don’t miss to visit the best banh xeo in 204 Nguyen Trai, Pham Ngu Lao street, District 1, where you can enjoy the best banh xeo ever.
Saigon Snail is very different for Roadside snail of Hanoian in the way that the snail mainly comes from the sea and there is no room for steamed or boiled snails served with flavorful dipping condiment. Instead, Saigon snail is very diverse in types, including but not limited to, roasted sweet snails with tamarind sauce, mud creeper stirred in coconut milk, horse snails with cheese, fried razor shell with chili powder, stirred in sweet spicy sauce, topped with roast peanuts and many other versions of snails with numerous flavors! Oc Dao, Oc Thuy, Oc Beo, and even The gioi Oc (World of snails) are among the most famous snail restaurants in Ho Chi Minh city with hundreds of guests every evening. Customers sometimes have to wait in line until those who having meal finish and leave the table for their turn. A bustle landscape of so many people eating and drinking in snail stall is difficult to be found in other cities. Here, people love snail – a trendy street food of young Vietnamese.
Fruit bucket, fruit smoothie
In Saigon, fruits of all kinds are sold on the street. You can easily buy a glass of authentic orange juice on Dien Bien Phu street, or a giant glass of sugar cane with only 5,000VND. Here, chill fresh coconut is especially available to help anyone dying of thirst after travelling a long mile. The beautiful smile of the street vendor and the extremely coolness of every fresh drink is the best thing to experience ever.
Fruit bucket defines a large bowl or bucket of fruits with syrup, jelly, yogurt or milk and crushed ice. All such fresh things well combine and make a perfect fruit mix. With about $1.5, you can eat water melon, papaya, longan, avocado, dragon fruit, etc. You also can spend money having fruit smoothie whenever you want on the river bank in windy day.
Banh canh (Noodle soup)
There are many kinds of banh canh in Ho Chi Minh city, namely Banh canh ca loc (Snake head fish noodle soup), banh canh ghe (crab thick noodle soup), banh canh Ben Co, banh canh vit (duck noodle soup), banh canh tom nuoc dua (shrimp and coconut fresh noodle soup), banh canh gio heo (pork hock noodle soup) and so on. Among all of them, I like crab thick noodle soup the most and I gave it a try in an always crowded one along the river side on street. The crab was very sweet with thick meat and stunning broth. Having seafood, clean and delicious is the most interesting experience ever in this bustle city.
Coming Sai Gon (Ho Chi Minh City) to enjoy this dish, I believe it will not let you disappointed ! 🙂