Top Street Foods you should not miss when visiting Ho Chi Minh City

  • Thu, 15/12/2016
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Vietnamese food gains its name widespread and famous all over the world, thanks to its wide variety, freshness, and balance of flavors. In fact, much of the best food in the country may be explored on Saigon streets. Whether you have dinner or rush off with some takeaway, the distinguishing flavors of street foods in Ho Chi Minh City will always excite your taste buds. Just weave your way through some corner of the city, you can find it easy to enjoy delicious noodles, fresh tofu, Pho or authentic Vietnamese coffees. But, if a trip to Vietnam is your first-time experience, you can have trouble knowing where to start or can lack the confidence to sample them.
Let us calm your worry by offering the top street foods in Saigon you should take into consideration. In this charming city, people tend to eat, socialize and spend most of their lives on the sidewalk. So, enjoying foods on Saigon streets is also a cool chance to mingle with the locals’ lifestyle.
Banh Mi
No trip to Vietnam will complete without eating Banh Mi – a famous snack not only in Ho Chi Minh City, but also in the North of the country (i.e. Hanoi). But, each region has its own recipe and flavor. For Saigon, Banh Mi is filled with layers of pork, pâté, shredded cured pork skin, luncheon meats, mayonnaise, a handful of sliced cucumbers, Vietnamese radish and carrot pickles, sprigs of chilies and coriander.
Of course, you are quite able to enjoy this snack in the morning or early evening as a way to satisfy your stomach. Walking around Saigon city, visitors will see a lot of carts selling Banh Mi. The following are some of the well-known places to eat great Banh Mi:
  • Banh Mi Huynh Hoa (26 Lê Thị Riêng, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, HCMC): Opens from 3.30 PM to midnight every day, with the prices around 30,000 VND or more.
  • Banh Mi 37 Nguyen Trai (37 Nguyen Trai, District 1, HCMC): Opens from 4.30 PM to 7.30 PM every day, with the prices from 15,000 VND to 20,000 VND 
  • Banh Mi Do Quynh (93 Nguyen Thai Hoc, District 1, HCMC): Opens all day and night every day, with the prices from 15,000 VND to 35,000 VND

Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)
Vietnam wins many travelers’ heart by its common dish, namely Pho. Although the recipes for this dish vary, they are very special due to the soup broth which is cooked from bone and cinnamon, ginger, star aniseed, onion and black cardamom in 6 to 8 hours. The toppings may be beef, beef ball, beef tendon, or chicken. The combination of soft rice noodles, toppings and broth does leave a strong impression on your taste buds. Enjoying a bowl of Pho with a fresh plate of veggies, bean sprout, herb, chopped chili, lime wedge, chili sauce and black soybean will make it more and more appetizing. Where to enjoy the delicious Pho bowl are as follow:
  • Pho So 1 Ha Noi (25 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, HCMC): Opens 24/7 all day and night, with the prices around 28,000 VND
  • Pho Phuong 25 (25 Hoang Sa, District 1, HCMC): Opens from 6 AM to 9 PM daily, with the prices from 30,000VND to 60,000VND
  • Pho Hoa Pasteur (260C Pasteur, Ward 8, District 3, HCMC): Opens from 7 AM to 11 PM, with the price from 45,000VND to 120,000VND.

Vietnamese pancake (Bánh Xèo)
Banh Xeo in Southern Vietnam is referred as the “sizzling” savory pancakes. Actually, it is the sound you can hear when these pancakes are crisping up. In general, these will be fried in a big pan so that the giant bright yellow pancakes, stuffed with prawn, pork, and bean sprouts will be made. Sometimes, they are also combined with or without coconut milk. To eat, you must take off a piece from a chunk of the crispy pancake, place it on a lettuce leaf, add a selection of basil and sprouts, and then roll it up into a giant cigar. Dip the Vietnamese spring roll in special sauce and enjoy! Some reliable and popular addresses of pancake stores include:
  • Vietnamese Pancake Muoi Xiem (204 Nguyen Trai Street, District 1, HCMC): Opens from 10 AM to 10 PM daily, with the prices from 50,000 VND to 110,000 VND
  • Vietnamese Pancake An La Ghien (74 Suong Nguyet Anh Street, District 1, HCMC): Opens from 10 AM to 10 PM every day, with the prices from 25,000 VND to 110,000 VND
  • Vietnamese Pancake 46 Đinh Cong Trang (46A Đinh Cong Trang Street, District 1, HCMC): Opens from 10 AM to 9 PM every day, with the prices from 15,000 VND to 55,000 VND
Snails and Shellfish
Snails and Shellfish food vietnam
Snail (Ốc) is one kind of street food with unique Saigonese style. Widely known as "eating-out" trends, seafood stalls, especially snails, are always crowded, mostly in the evening or weekend! There are several streets in Ho Chi Minh City, which get their names popular for this specialty. Roaming around Vinh Khanh Street in District 4, you can easily see dozens of stalls selling only snails along both sides of this street!
“Ốc len xào dừa” is one of the popular dishes in which snails will be stirred in coconut sauce, mixed with chili and lemon grass, as well as topped with rau răm (traditional Vietnamese mint). The combination of the sauce (a bit sweet and a bit spicy) and "rau răm" make the snail meat greater and yummier! Eating this kind of snail is funny. Foodies must blow from the broken tail as well as and suck from the head. At the same time, the snail meat will automatically come to their mouth! Cannot wait anymore? Let us please your appetite by some famous snail stalls here:
  • Oc Oanh (534 Vinh Khanh, Ward 4, District 4, HCMC): Opens from 1 PM to 12 PM every day, with the prices around 40.000 VND or more
  • Oc A Soi (237-239 Nguyen Thưong Hien, District 3, HCMC): Opens every day, with the prices from 40,000 VND to 100,000 VND.
  • Oc Dao (212/C79 Nguyen Trai, Nguyen Cu Trinh, District 1, HCMC): Opens from 10 AM to 11 PM daily, with the prices from 60,000 VND to 110,000 VND. 
So, are you ready to stir your appetite by such the street foods above? Although there are still many foods you can catch from any corner, remember that each of them is unique, flavorful, and served in different ways. The best way to convince your friends and family members that you are now in Vietnam is to let them know how wonderful and delicious street foods in the trip to the country are!
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