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YOUR INSIDER'S GUIDE TO RESTAURANTS & STREET FOOD IN SAIGON 🇻🇳 SINCE 2008

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SAIGON INSPIRATION RESTAURANTS

INTRO TO RESTAURANTS & STREET FOOD IN SAIGON

Restaurants & Street Food in Saigon are one of the main attractions of the city for both travelers and ex-pats, offering great value for money for most of the city’s eateries. Enjoy an excellent meal in Saigon for only a few dollars. If you’re willing to spend at least US$30, you’ll be able to indulge in a three-course set menu at some of the city’s best fine dining venues

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Q&A

Eating is a highly social affair in Saigon and the rest of Vietnam which is why proper eating etiquette is paramount. A traditional home-cooked meal is served to guests who often sit on mats, each with their own rice bowl, chopsticks and spoons for soup. Most of the time, all the dishes are served family style which means that there will be a huge plate of various dishes at the center of the table, most likely on a Lazy Susan, intended to be shared among those in the table.

Here are some guidelines for foreigners and expats who might have a different customs from their country.

First of all, serving others first whenever possible is practiced. Keep in mind that the head of the table is usually reserved for the most respected or oldest person in a group; it’s best to let your local host guide you to your seat and do not dig in unless the oldest person in the room has started to.

Remember to avoid grabbing large servings of food or picking the best cuts of meat. When taking something from the shared dish, do not put it directly to your mouth. Put it in your bowl first before eating it.

Chopsticks should always be laid down on a chopstick rest when taking breaks in between bites. And never stick it in on your rice or bowl as chopsticks pointing upwards resembles incense that are offered to the dead. Doing so is deemed unlucky and disrespectful. b You also should never use your chopsticks to point towards something or someone. 

Always pass and receive items such as food or condiments with both your hands and never over someone else’s head. Don’t forget to say please and thank you.

As much as possible, try to finish what is in your bowl. Leaving your plate unfinished is just rude.

Place your chopsticks on top of your bowl once you’re done eating but do not leave your seat until everyone is finished eating. You should stay and have a little bit of conversation while waiting for others to finish and never take your dishes out of the table when someone isn’t done eating yet.

In case you forgot something or did something wrong, don’t stress too much because Vietnamese people are very understanding. A lot of foreigners are not aware of these table manners and etiquette but as someone who is technically an outsider, it’s always good to be aware and respectful of their culture.

For information on Vietnamese traditions go to Vietnamese New Year Traditions

Eating is a highly social affair in Saigon and the rest of Vietnam which is why proper eating etiquette is paramount. A traditional home-cooked meal is served to guests who often sit on mats, each with their own rice bowl, chopsticks and spoons for soup.

 

Most of the time, all the dishes are served family style which means that there will be a huge plate of various dishes at the center of the table, most likely on a Lazy Susan, intended to be shared among those in the table.

 

Here are some guidelines for foreigners and expats who might have a different customs from their country.

 

First of all, serving others first whenever possible is practiced. Keep in mind that the head of the table is usually reserved for the most respected or oldest person in a group; it’s best to let your local host guide you to your seat and do not dig in unless the oldest person in the room has started to.

 

Remember to avoid grabbing large servings of food or picking the best cuts of meat. When taking something from the shared dish, do not put it directly to your mouth. Put it in your bowl first before eating it.

 

Chopsticks should always be laid down on a chopstick rest when taking breaks in between bites. And never stick it in on your rice or bowl as chopsticks pointing upwards resembles incense that are offered to the dead. Doing so is deemed unlucky and disrespectful. b You also should never use your chopsticks to point towards something or someone.

 

Always pass and receive items such as food or condiments with both your hands and never over someone else’s head. Don’t forget to say please and thank you.

 

As much as possible, try to finish what is in your bowl. Leaving your plate unfinished is just rude.

Place your chopsticks on top of your bowl once you’re done eating but do not leave your seat until everyone is finished eating. You should stay and have a little bit of conversation while waiting for others to finish and never take your dishes out of the table when someone isn’t done eating yet.

 

In case you forgot something or did something wrong, don’t stress too much because Vietnamese people are very understanding. A lot of foreigners are not aware of these table manners and etiquette but as someone who is technically an outsider, it’s always good to be aware and respectful of their culture.

 

For information on Vietnamese traditions go to Vietnamese New Year Traditions.

The concept of leaving a tip in Vietnam used to be alien to many restaurant service staff. However, given inflow of tourists and expatriates in Saigon and other cities, tipping is becoming widely known and accepted without drawing quizzical looks from the service crew.

 

To answer the question directly, no. You are not required to tip, but the servers and staff will always appreciate it. If you are not comfortable with the idea of tipping, then just consider rounding up your bill to the nearest ten-thousand and leaving the change behind.

 

For information on restaurants go to A Day in The Life of la Villa French Restaurant in Saigon.

 

Restaurants in Saigon usually tax meals at 8% or build the charge into the prices. Service charges may also be levied and usually run 5%.

Most street food stalls and smaller eateries state net prices without any additional tax involved upon payment.

For information on food go to A 3-Day Tour of Saigon For Foodies.

 

As tourists and expats visiting Saigon, exploring Vietnamese food is one of the things you should definitely do.

Although most fresh meat and other perishables are transported citywide by refrigerated trucks, food cleanliness and preparation standards vary in HCMC. Nonetheless, many residents enjoy eating out without any unfortunate food incidents and this includes dining everywhere from modest street stalls to international fast food chains and gourmet restaurants in the fanciest hotels.

It is not always true that the more expensive places have the cleanest kitchens, the freshest ingredients, or the best-trained employees. Just because an eatery boasts stratospheric menu prices and trendy decor does not mean the kitchen has been sanitized thoroughly. Of course, the inverse might also be true when considering eateries that at first glance appear aged and in need of a polish.

What are the basic guidelines for food hygiene in Ho Chi Minh City?

Local eateries around Southeast Asia are famous for upsetting stomachs (or worse) after an initial introduction with a country’s cuisine. Western stomachs are accustomed to certain bacteria, drinking water or the water used to clean plates, glasses and cutlery. However, gradual exposure to local cuisine and bacteria steels the stomach and soon many expats can comfortably head to their favourite plastic-stool eatery for a quick meal of Bún chả or Bánh mì.

Nevertheless, some caution should be exercised if you’re opting for street eats rather than a more established restaurant setting.

A few tips:

››Eat at crowded restaurants.

››They are usually the safer bet because of higher food turnover and an established reputation. Even better, ask your friends to recommend a few trusted spots as you get acclimated. You won’t have a problem with this as your friends will surely give you recommendations even without asking.

››Go early.

››The earlier you eat at street stalls, the better. Food is fresher earlier in the day.

››Use your senses.

››Take time to smell the food if possible, it is a good indicator of freshness. Some Vietnamese food and cooking ingredients are pungent; you will soon learn the difference between fragrant and spoilt.

››Check the way food is handled

››Food handlers (usually stall owners) should be wearing gloves. If they’re not, glance at their fingernails for cleanliness. When possible also check cutting boards, washing water and food preparation surfaces. Also look for street stalls a good distance away from rubbish bins, bus stops and other public transportation.

Below is a general pricing table in Vietnamese Đồng (VND) for common food items:

››Coriander (Rau mùi): VND2,500/100g

››Mint (Bạc hà): VND3,000/100g

››Fish Mint (Rau diếp cá): VND2,500/100g

››Basil (Húng quế): VND2,500/100g

››Lime Leaf (Lá chanh): VND3,000/100g

››Lemongrass (Sả): VND2,000/100g

››Onions (Hành tây): VND1,500/100g

››Scallions (Hành lá): VND2,000/100g

››Garlic Chives (Hẹ): VND1,000/100g

››Perilla Leaf (Tía tô): VND2,000/100g

››Turmeric (Nghệ): VND7,000/100g

››Pepper (Tiêu) VND200,000/kg

››Coffee Bean Arabica (Cà Phê) VND30,000- 40,000/100g

››Garlic (Tỏi) VND70,000/kg

››Chili (Ớt) VND26,000/kg

››Ginger and Galangal (Gừng và Riềng): VND7,000/100g

››Beef (Bò): VND200,000-250,000/1kg

››Pork (Heo): VND80,000-100,000/1kg

››Chicken (Gà): VND60,000-120,000/1kg

››Tuna (Cá Ngừ) VND105,000/kg

››Vietnamese Rice (Gạo): VND11,000- 25,000/1kg

All items are available at HCMC wet markets and supermarkets. Prices may vary depending on location and these were last checked in January 2020. If you notice something to be improved, please send us your details. Thanks.

For information on hygiene go to Vietnam Still Struggling With Unsafe Food.

These propositions were last checked in July 2022. If you notice something to be improved, please send us your details. Thanks.

 

Being vegetarian is easier when in Saigon because a lot of Vietnamese food are already vegetarian friendly with just a little adjustment. In addition to the food, the country is also rich in fruits that you can enjoy for snacks and as siding for your meals. There’s also Halal food available if you’re Muslim.

 

Vietnamese vegetarian food fare includes spring rolls (fresh and fried), tofu (prepared in an astonishing number of ways including deep fried with lemongrass and chilli), meatless phở (made with shiitake mushrooms and vegetable broth), all sorts of steamed, boiled and pickled vegetables, salads, fruits, and even mock meats (fish, chicken legs and duck) shaped and textured to imitate the real thing. These imitation meats can possibly serve as painless veggie introductions to your dubious meat-eating friends.

 

Are all vegetarian restaurants purely vegetarian in Saigon?

No, not all are strictly Vegetarian. It depends on the target market of the restaurant you are visiting. Keep in mind that unless you are tucking in at a strict vegetarian or vegan restaurant, dishes are likely to contain animal ingredients in the forms of fats, broths, sauces, or condiments. Your stir-fried morning glory and tofu may have been sizzled in a shallow wok of pork lard so it is important to ask the waiter or restaurant staff before ordering your meals. If you are serious about your vegetarian diet, stick to restaurants and street vendors who specialise in such types of cooking rather than relying on meatless menu requests at establishments catering mainly to meat eaters.

 

What vegetarian restaurants are there in Ho Chi Minh City?

Cỏ Nội

61-63 Hai Ba Trung, D1 / +84 28 3843 5555 /  bongsenhotel2.com

Centrally located restaurant to entertain your vegan visiting friends.

Hum Vegetarian

2 Thi Sach, D1 / +84 28 3823 8920 / humvietnam.com

Outstanding vegetarian food with a unique Thai twist. Book in advance if you want to have a spot.

 

The Organic

54 Ly Van Phuc, D1 / +84 28 3820 0278 / the-organic.vn

Dishes are made with locally grown organic food only.

 

Chay Thiện Duyên

505 Xa Lo Ha Noi, An Phu, Thu Duc City / +84 927 896 869 /
+84 28 6683 8999/
Nhahangchaythienduyen.com

That is one of the largest vegetarian only restaurants in the city. They have lunch and dinner buffet everyday with more than 50 vegetarian dishes.

 

Prem Bistro and Cafe

204 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Ward 6, D3 / +84 28 6279 9920

 

Hum Vegetarian, Café & Restaurant

32 Vo Van Tan, D3 / +84 28 3930 3819 / humvietnam.com

 

Vegetarian Restaurant Sân Mây

771 Le Hong Phong, D10 / +84 28 3507 1628

 

Loving Vegan Kitchen

450 Dien Bien Phu, D10 / +84 28 6270 0177 / https://facebook.com/vegankitchenbepthuanchay/

Your Insider's Guide to Vietnamese Street Food in Saigon

Citypassguide.com adv

HCMC RESTAURANTS STREET FOOD Phở Phú Vương

Phở Phú Vương Vietnamese Restaurant- Street Food - Citypassguide.com

Clean and popular southern Vietnamese style Pho joint offering high-quality cuts of beef. Enjoy your rice noodle soup with heaps of herbs and consider adding an egg or even blanched beef marrow for more deliciousness. Pho Phu Vuong restaurant also sells fresh juices for you to unwind during a hot Saigonese afternoon.

6 AM to 9:30 PM Daily

HCMC RESTAURANTS STREET FOOD Huế cakes in Bến Thành Market

Huế cakes in Bến Thành Market Vietnamese Restaurant - Street Food- Citypassguide.com

Near entrance 7 of Ben Thanh Market, this family has been selling plates of gourmet Hue-style rice cakes for generations. Each plate has 4 or 5 cakes covered in sweet fish sauce, crispy croutons, lard, and shrimp powder. Don’t forget to add ‘nem’, a unique Vietnamese ham that’s cured using local spices.

6 AM to 7 PM Daily

HCMC RESTAURANTS STREET FOOD Bún Chả Hà Nội 26

Bún Chả Hà Nội 26 Vietmamese Restaurant - Street-food- Citypassguide.com

Our editor’s pick for Obama’s ‘favourite’ Vietnamese dish. This Bun Cha joint is located in Saigon’s vibrant Japanese town. Come for early dinner before you hit the bars and izakayas. Beyond barbecued pork belly and meatballs, be sure to order their deep-fried spring rolls that have an irresistible, slightly charred and crispy skin.

06 AM to 8 PM Daily

Q&A

Our below response was last checked in January 2020. The situation may have changed with regards to our recommendations, it will soon be updated for your convenience

A lot of expats and travelers would ask what are the must try food in Saigon or the entire Vietnam. One of the answers to that question would be Banh Mi

Banh Mi is a very popular Vietnamese snack made of bread, meat slices pickled radish cilantro and various vegetables that gives it its unique flavor. Imagine having a subway or meat sandwich with the Vietnamese twist. You get to decide what you want in your sandwich whether it’s chicken, beef, pork or just vegetables. it is definitely a must eat Vietnamese food so whatever you do, when you’re in Vietnam or Saigon make sure that you get to try at least one.

What Banh Mi Restaurants are in District 1?

Lebanhmi – Café & Baguette

https://facebook.com/lebanhmiSaigon/

12 Le Thanh Ton, Ben Nghe, D1; +84 90 863 35 68

My Banh Mi

https://www.mybanhmivietnam.com

57 Nguyen Du, Ben Nghe, D1; +84 28 3827 2145

Banhmi Express – Uptown

https://facebook.com/Uptownbanhmi/

17 Pasteur, Nguyen Thai Binh, D1

Bánh Mì Chim Chạy

Thai Binh wet market, Pham Ngu Lao, D1; +84 9 0184 5545

Bánh Mì Hồng Hoa

62 Nguyen Van Trang, Pham Ngu Lao, D1; +84 9 0881 1594

Bánh Mì 37 Nguyễn Trãi

37 Nguyen Trai, Pham Ngu Lao, D1

Bánh Mì Bùi Thị Xuân

https://facebook.com/banhmibuithixuan/

122E Bui Thi Xuan, Pham Ngu Lao, D1; +84 28 6271 9997 / +84 83 884 3997

What Banh Mi Restaurants are in Other Districts?

Bánh Mì Sáu Minh

https://facebook.com/banhmingonnhatthegioi/

170 Vo Van Tan, D3; +84 9 0845 7020

Banh Mi Hoa Ma

https://facebook.com/pages/Bánh-Mì-Hòa-Mã/

53 Cao Thang, Phuong 3, D3

Bánh mì PAT

https://facebook.com/pages/Bánh-mì-PAT/

32 Duong Nguyen Huu Tho, D7; +84 9 7807 0674

Gỏi cuốn is a Vietnamese dish that is also known as nem cuốn up North.

It is a favourite snack for expats and locals alike, and is sold by many HCMC street food vendors, especially when the weather is hot and people are keen to eat fresh rather than fried food. Also famously popular during Tết, thanks to the ease of preparation and camaraderie the dish creates around the table.

These fresh salad rolls are made with variations of shrimp, pork, herbs, vegetables and rice noodles all wrapped tightly in rice paper called bánh tráng. Gỏi cuốn is served with dipping sauces such as nước mắm (fish sauce), hoisin sauce and peanut sauce.

What ingredients are in gỏi cuốn?

One of the most famous and least expensive versions of gỏi cuốn is bò bía, usually made of vegetables, Vietnamese sausage (lạp xưởng), small dried shrimp, fried onion wrapped in rice paper and served with peanut sauce. The quality of this sauce, in fact, is the element which determines whether a bò bía seller can attract many clients or not.

Generally, next to a bò bía vendor, you will find nước mía (sugar cane juice) vendor, as well as gỏi khô bò (papaya salad and dried beef), probably because these treats are lovely together.

The easiest way to enjoy these food is to approach a stall in front of a school, as bò bía is adored by students, such as Thực nghiệm sư phạm (Trần Bình Trọng, D5), Đại Học Sài Gòn (An Dương Vương, D5) or check out the stalls at 93 Cách Mạng Tháng Tám, D1. The average price of a single bò bía is VND2,000-4,000.

For information on street food go to Street Food at Bui Vien

If you’re a foreigner or an expat who just moved to Saigon, you’re probably wondering what locally made snacks look like in HCMC. Well, they’re not fries and definitely not potato crisps. Vietnamese snacks can range from coffee to crepes and are usually made with fresh ingredients. While coffee might be a morning drink to the rest of the world, but Vietnamese people, especially in Hanoi have egg coffee for snacks.

Other examples are crepes, Bánh Tiêu (donuts), Bánh tráng trộn (Mixed rice paper), Tào phớ (Tofu with coconut milk), and Banh Mi (french bread with various fillings).

Where can I buy locally-made snacks?

You can get snacks at street stalls or even local restaurants. There are also packaged snacks available at convenience stores. If you’re getting packaged snacks like chocolates or coffee, make sure to check expiration dates on the package. The vast majority of the time this is not a cause for concern. Again, use your judgement: if something looks or smells suspect, don’t buy it.

Pho is probably the most famous Vietnamese dish

If you’re a tourist or expat in Vietnam, then you’ve probably explored street food. The secret of phở is its broth, which ranges from light flavours to rich layers of tastes with essence of cinnamon often standing out. Phở is customisable: add fresh herbs like basil and spearmint, hot chilli and black bean sauces, garlic, fresh chillies, and bean sprouts to your liking.

This beef noodle soup can also be made with chicken. But what if you’re vegan? Don’t worry! There’s such a thing as vegan pho too! You can find pho anywhere in Saigon and all over the country. How about you dive in and try each kind?

For information on street food go to Street Food at Bui Vien

Popular Vietnamese street foods include

cơm bình dân (‘meals for the people’, rice topped with an assortment of cooked and pickled meats and veggies), cơm tấm (broken rice with grilled pork), bún thịt nướng (noodles with barbecued pork), bánh mì (baguette stuffed with meats, pate, fresh herbs, chillies, and a fried egg), phở (beef or chicken noodle soup), and chả giò and gỏi cuốn (deep-fried and fresh spring rolls).

Sinh tố, which literally means ‘vitamins’, is a fresh fruit smoothie made with crushed ice and fruits such as mangoes and bananas. You can find an abundance of food stalls serving these dishes along with some common favorites, the Pho, Banh Mi, Banh Xeo, and the like.

Ngon Restaurant, an open-air eatery on Pasteur Street in District 1, takes the proletarian concept of street food and serve it amidst relaxed colonial interiors. You can order an amazing range of authentic street delights at reasonable prices.

For information on street food go to Street Food at Bui Vien

These propositions were last checked in June 2022. If you notice something to be improved, please send us your details. Thanks.

Have you been exploring Vietnamese food lately? If you’re wondering about one of Saigon’s ever famous street food, bánh bao, here’s what you have to know.

Bánh bao was adapted from a Chinese staple. It is a steamed bun stuffed with pork, quail eggs, onions, mushrooms and vegetables.

vegetarian version is also available if you don’t eat meat.

How much does bánh bao cost?

The average price of a bánh bao is VND15,000-25,000. Of course, this ultimately depends on the place and the quality of food you’re getting.

What bánh bao shops are there in Ho Chi Minh City?

District 1 

Như Lan

66-68 Ham Nghi, D1 / +84 28 3914 1338

Nhà Bánh Ngọt Bảo Hiên Rồng Vàng

167 Ly Tu Trong, Ben Thanh, D1 / +84 28 3822 2499

Thu Duc City?

Please send us your personal input as the pandemic erased two of our favorite places.

District 7

Bánh Bao Korea

51 Khu pho Hung Gia 4, Tan Phong, D7

 

Other Districts

Bánh Bao Động Phát

255 Xom Chieu, D4 / +84 949 224 148

Bánh Bao Cả Cần

110 Hung Vuong, D5 / +84 9 0927 4390

Bánh Bao Ha Cao Thọ Phát

78 Nguyen Tri Phuong, D5 / +84 28 3924 6765

Bánh Bao Sáu Sỹ – Ngon Từ Chất Lượng

276 Kinh Duong Vuong, Binh Tan / +84 9 0611 3116

These propositions were last checked in June 2022. If you notice something to be improved, please send us your details. Thanks.

Aside from Banh Mi and Pho, one popular Vietnamese dish you can find everywhere in Saigon is the Bun Bo Hue. If you want to try out this popular street food, here are some places you can visit, try out this popular street food, here are some places you can visit:

What bún bò Huế restaurants are there in Ho Chi Minh City?

District 1

Đông Ba

207B Nguyen Van Thu, Da Kao, D1 / +84 28 3823 9672

Bún Bò Huế cơm văn phòng Vega28

28 Mac Dinh Chi, Da Kao,
D1 /
+84 28 3827 7257

 

Thu Duc City

Hải Hội – Bún Bò Huế

51 Xuan Thuy, Thao Dien, Thu Duc City / +84 9 0918 4479

 

District 7

Tib Restaurant 

100 Nguyen Luong Bang, D7 /+84 28 5413 6868 / https://www.tibrestaurant.com / 

 

Other Districts

Bún Bò Gánh

110 Ly Chinh Thang, D3 / +84 28 6684 3263 / https://bunboganh.business.site/

Quán Bún Bò Huế Nhân Trí

295 Le Hong Phong, D1 / +84 9 0133 7433

These propositions were last checked in June 2022. If you notice something to be improved, please send us your details. Thanks.

Cơm tấm (broken rice) is a typical Southern Vietnamese dish that you can usually find in any HCMC neighbourhood as it is popular amongst working people, expats, students, and tourists. The three traditional types of cơm tấm include cơm tấm sườn (cơm tấm with barbecued pork), cơm tấm sườn bì (cơm tấm sườn, with shredded pork skin added), cơm tấm sườn bì chả (cơm tấm sườn bì, with steamed egg added, though sometimes you can find beef or chicken used instead. Green and pickled vegetables as well as condiments including sweet and sour fish sauce completes the meal. Today, cơm tấm restaurant owners and cooks compose regularly new specialties to attract new clients. The average price of a dish of cơm tấm is VND 20,000-70,000.

 

What cơm tấm restaurants are there in District 1?

Cơm Tấm Cali

48 Nguyen Hue, D1
+84 28 3827 1822
/ +84 9 0663 0166 /

222 Hai Ba Trung, D1 / +84 28 7300 5022 / 
236 Le Thanh Ton, D1 / http://www.comtamcali.com/

For more locations in Ho Chi Minh City, please check their website.

Cơm Tấm Mộc

85 Ly Tu Trong, D1 / +84 28 3824 8561 / https://facebook.com/ComTamMoc/

Cơm Tấm Thuận Kiều

24 Ton That Tung, D1 / +84 28 3925 0935 / 114 Yersin, D1
/ +84 28 3823 0630 /
https://comtamthuankieu.com.vn

 

What cơm tấm restaurants are there in Thu Duc City?

Cơm Tấm Kiều Giang

63 Song Hanh, An Phu, Thu Duc City /
+84 28 6281 4207 /
https://facebook.com/pages/Cơm-tấm-Kiều-Giang/189168324934761

 

What cơm tấm restaurants are there in Other Districts?

Cơm Tấm Cali

449 Vo Van Tan, D3 / +84 28 3832 8422 / 125 Nguyen Chi Thanh, D5 /
+84 28 3833 3038
310 Xo Viet Nghe Tinh, Binh Thanh District / +84 28 3512 3422 / https://www.comtamcali.com/

Cơm Tấm Thuận Kiều

54 Thuan Kieu, D11
/ +84 28 3856 2891 /
http://comtamthuankieu.com.vn/

These propositions were last checked in June 2022. If you notice something to be improved, please send us your details. Thanks.

Overshadowed by its more famous soup cousin phở, hủ tiếu was introduced to Vietnam via China. This Vietnamese food is a type of soup named after the rice noodles it uses, and consists of pork-stock, fresh herbs and onions. The broth has a sweet, light flavour. Hủ tiếu xương is the classic version, made with pork ribs, though soup vendors around Saigon are likely to have their own special adaptations. Toppings such as sliced pork shoulder, pork chops, wontons, meatballs, and seafood are available. For a textural contrast, mix phở or mì in with your hủ tiếu noodle.

The first version of hủ tiếu in Vietnam was hủ tiếu Tiều (Tiều: people of Teochew, China). One of the successful Vietnamese attempts to adapt hủ tiếu to a more local taste is hủ tiếu Mỹ Tho, of which the noodle is crispier and the accompanied vegetables richer than that created by the Chinese. Another favourite version is hủ tiếu Nam Vang, created by the Chinese in Cambodia and hence influenced by the taste of the latter. The best hủ tiếu noodle is made, amongst other places, in Mỹ Tho, from good quality perfume rice.

Furthermore, every Saigonese knows hủ tiếu gõ – hủ tiếu sold on-the-go, vendors can usually be found at night on the road or in alleys around HCMC. The average price of a hủ tiếu bowl is VND 30,000-70,000.

 

What hủ tiếu restaurants are there in District 1?

Hủ Tiếu Mì Thập Cẩm – Mì Cật

62 Truong Dinh, D1 / +84 28 3827 2108

Tùng Hưng – Hủ Tiếu Mì Sườn

147 Tran Hung Dao, D1

 

What hủ tiếu restaurants are there in Thu Duc City?

Please send us your personal input as the pandemic erased three of our favorite places.

 

What hủ tiếu restaurants are there in District 7?

Hủ Tiếu Nam Vang A+

494 Nguyen Thi Thap, D7 / +84 9 1900 1990
 

Hủ Tiếu Mỹ Hưng

5 Ha Huy Tap, D7 /
+84 9 0398 9977 / http://hutieunamvangmyhung.com/

 

What hủ tiếu restaurants are there in Other Districts?

Hồng Phát

391 Vo Van Tan, D3 /
+84 28 3839 0187 / https://facebook.com/hutieuhongphat/

SAIGON INSPIRATION RESTAURANTS STREET FOOD

Your Insider's Guide to Vietnamese Restaurants in Saigon

Citypassguide.com adv

HCMC RESTAURANTS VIETNAMESE Phở Phú Vương

Phở Phú Vương Vietnamese Restaurant- Street Food - Citypassguide.com

Clean and popular southern Vietnamese style Pho joint offering high-quality cuts of beef. Enjoy your rice noodle soup with heaps of herbs and consider adding an egg or even blanched beef marrow for more deliciousness. Pho Phu Vuong restaurant also sells fresh juices for you to unwind during a hot Saigonese afternoon.

6 AM to 9:30 PM Daily

HCMC RESTAURANTS VIETNAMESE Anan

Anan Restaurant - Vietnamese Restaurant - Citypassguide.com

ANAN is an award-winning restaurant that strives to elevate Vietnamese cuisine to the next level. Chef Peter Franklin Cuong draws upon his experiences as a Vietnamese refugee, his ‘formative years’ in America, and his career as a chef in Hong Kong, to create new and unseen interpretations of the Vietnamese gastro-classics.

5 PM to 11 PM Daily

HCMC RESTAURANTS VIETNAMESE Dì Mai

Di Mai is a Vietnamese restaurant that provides tasty, homely, regional countryside cuisine in a chic environment, inspired by old Saigon and Cholon. With affordable set lunches and an à la carte menu that exemplifies the best classic, and modern, Vietnamese cooking, take a step beyond your comfort zone and embrace the delicious local cuisine.

10 AM to 9 PM Daily

Introduction to Vietnamese Restaurants

Vietnamese food has gone through many changes over the years. Beyond initial Chinese influences, Vietnamese food has, through years of trade and foreign occupation, absorbed a large variety of styles and ingredients. This was a two-way street, of course, and many ingredients and knowledge of cooking techniques have travelled the other way over the years.

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Q&A

Eating is a highly social affair in Saigon and the rest of Vietnam which is why proper eating etiquette is paramount. A traditional home-cooked meal is served to guests who often sit on mats, each with their own rice bowl, chopsticks and spoons for soup. Most of the time, all the dishes are served family style which means that there will be a huge plate of various dishes at the center of the table, most likely on a Lazy Susan, intended to be shared among those in the table.
Here are some guidelines for foreigners and expats who might have a different customs from their country.

First of all, serving others first whenever possible is practiced. Keep in mind that the head of the table is usually reserved for the most respected or oldest person in a group; it’s best to let your local host guide you to your seat and do not dig in unless the oldest person in the room has started to.

Remember to avoid grabbing large servings of food or picking the best cuts of meat. When taking something from the shared dish, do not put it directly to your mouth. Put it in your bowl first before eating it.

Chopsticks should always be laid down on a chopstick rest when taking breaks in between bites. And never stick it in on your rice or bowl as chopsticks pointing upwards resembles incense that are offered to the dead. Doing so is deemed unlucky and disrespectful. b You also should never use your chopsticks to point towards something or someone.

Always pass and receive items such as food or condiments with both your hands and never over someone else’s head. Don’t forget to say please and thank you.

As much as possible, try to finish what is in your bowl. Leaving your plate unfinished is just rude.

Place your chopsticks on top of your bowl once you’re done eating but do not leave your seat until everyone is finished eating. You should stay and have a little bit of conversation while waiting for others to finish and never take your dishes out of the table when someone isn’t done eating yet.

In case you forgot something or did something wrong, don’t stress too much because Vietnamese people are very understanding. A lot of foreigners are not aware of these table manners and etiquette but as someone who is technically an outsider, it’s always good to be aware and respectful of their culture.

For information on Vietnamese traditions go to Vietnamese New Year Traditions

Eating is a highly social affair in Saigon and the rest of Vietnam which is why proper eating etiquette is paramount. A traditional home-cooked meal is served to guests who often sit on mats, each with their own rice bowl, chopsticks and spoons for soup. Most of the time, all the dishes are served family style which means that there will be a huge plate of various dishes at the center of the table, most likely on a Lazy Susan, intended to be shared among those in the table.

Here are some guidelines for foreigners and expats who might have a different customs from their country.

First of all, serving others first whenever possible is practiced. Keep in mind that the head of the table is usually reserved for the most respected or oldest person in a group; it’s best to let your local host guide you to your seat and do not dig in unless the oldest person in the room has started to.

Remember to avoid grabbing large servings of food or picking the best cuts of meat. When taking something from the shared dish, do not put it directly to your mouth. Put it in your bowl first before eating it.

Chopsticks should always be laid down on a chopstick rest when taking breaks in between bites. And never stick it in on your rice or bowl as chopsticks pointing upwards resembles incense that are offered to the dead. Doing so is deemed unlucky and disrespectful. b You also should never use your chopsticks to point towards something or someone.

Always pass and receive items such as food or condiments with both your hands and never over someone else’s head. Don’t forget to say please and thank you.

As much as possible, try to finish what is in your bowl. Leaving your plate unfinished is just rude.

Place your chopsticks on top of your bowl once you’re done eating but do not leave your seat until everyone is finished eating. You should stay and have a little bit of conversation while waiting for others to finish and never take your dishes out of the table when someone isn’t done eating yet.

In case you forgot something or did something wrong, don’t stress too much because Vietnamese people are very understanding. A lot of foreigners are not aware of these table manners and etiquette but as someone who is technically an outsider, it’s always good to be aware and respectful of their culture.

For information on Vietnamese traditions go to Vietnamese New Year Traditions

These propositions were last checked in June 2022. If you notice something to be improved, please send us your details. Thanks.

If you’re an expat, tourist or even a local who is in the mood for some sweet desert, these Che shops will surely satisfy your sweet tooth cravings.

Che Ky Dong

16C Ky Dong, Ward 9, D3 / +84 9 0895 4166 /  https://www.chekydong.com

Chè Thái Ý Phương

382 Nguyen Tri Phuong, D10 / +84 9 3333 8128

Chè Khúc Bạch Thanh

68/210 Tran Quang Khai, Tan Dinh, D1 / +84 28 3848 2286

You can also check out our blog on Top 5 Chè – Sweet Soups Must Try In Saigon

Vietnamese food is healthy, tasty, affordable, and popular with expats and various kinds of diners here in Ho Chi Minh City and across the world. Five tastes – salty, sweet, sour, bitter and spicy – are equally represented in Vietnam’s cuisine.

Culinary influences include those of the Chinese, Indian, Thai, and French cultures. Fresh herbs play a dominant role in flavourings with cilantro, basil, mint, tarragon, ginger and lemongrass amongst the most commonly used, depending on the plate (for instance, boiled chicken must go with lemon leaves, pork meat must go with spring onions, and dog meat must go with galangal).

Hence, don’t be surprised if your Vietnamese dining partner admonishes you for using the wrong garnish and try not to be too offended, as they are simply trying to show you the proper flavour for the dish. Deep-frying, steaming, grilling, boiling and stir-frying are popular cooking techniques. Rice is the single most important element of any Vietnamese meal, the foundation upon which many dishes are built.

Vietnamese cuisine varies from region to region and is generally classified into Northern, Central, and Southern specialities. Ingredient lists are shaped by the climate, which varies when you consider the length of the country from north to south. Consider, too, the atypical growing conditions of the central highlands versus those in the Mekong Delta and outside HCMC.

In HCMC you will not have to venture far to find a stunning array of delicious specialities from sandwiches and grilled meats to broken rice and mouth-watering soups. For those curious or inclined towards culinary creativity, cooking classes are offered at a few city restaurants.

For information on street food go to Street Food at Bui Vien

Anyone visiting Saigon or any province in Vietnam should go on a food adventure. Foreigners and expats are always excited to try something new and whether you’re in the mood for some authentic street dishes or high end cuisine, you will definitely have a mouthwatering and flavourful experience.

Vietnamese food is known for its fresh ingredients usually of herbs, different textures, and various meats. The common ingredients are rice, soy sauce, shrimp paste, bean sauce, fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables. You will also notice Chinese and French influences in some of their dishes like noodles, pastries and soupy dishes.

Vietnamese fruit and vegetables are usually served fresh. All fresh fruit and produce should be thoroughly washed, soaked or preferably cleansed under a small stream of flowing water for a short period of time before consumption to purge residual pesticides and chemical. This applies to items purchased at either local markets or supermarkets. The same goes for meat or fish. While the use of growth hormones is not as prevalent as in some developed countries, meat may be left out for long periods of time at room temperature before being sold.

The country’s cuisine is predominantly healthy, with less processed or fried food when compared to many other countries around the world. Not to say there isn’t greasy fare such as the bountiful pork dishes, the oh-so-oily but delicious Bún Bò Huế, or the slightly notorious full-fat Vietnamese Bánh Mì baguette sandwiches. Like most other Asian countries there is also the carbohydrate-centric preference for rice.

The Vietnamese diet consists primarily of fresh vegetables, meat and fish. By taking a few simple precautions it is easy to avoid potential health hazards. It is not uncommon for first time visitors to enter the country with a limited knowledge of Vietnam’s unique indigenous produce. Exotic items that are either unavailable or overpriced at home suddenly become affordable.

Many expats are delighted to bite into their first rambutan, mangosteen or dragon fruit – while others are horrified at their first encounter with the smelly durian, also known kindredly to many as the “King of Fruits”.

For information on Vietnamese traditions go to Vietnamese New Year Traditions

As a tourist or expat, you’ve probably explored the Vietnamese food in the area, especially the street food. Have you ever stopped to ask “what’s the big deal with Pho, and what’s the difference?”

The phở of the South (phở Nam) is dissimilar to phở Bắc, the kind you will find around Hanoi and other regions in the North. Phở Nam’s broth has less clarity than its Northern cousin and tends to be made with the boiled bones of beef and chicken (along with the occasional addition of dried squid). You can choose your cut of meat and how it is cooked when you order southern phở Nam. Noodle options (thick or thin) are also available.

Vegetables and herbs readily available in the South such as bean sprouts and basil are unheard of in the Northern variation of phở. Finally, Southerners are said to add more seasonings to their soup than Northerners.

Note that in a real Phở Bắc restaurant, you will not find black sauce, but rather a very strong chilli sauce, which hails directly from Hanoi or Hải Phòng. Furthermore, if you get too used to normal phở, give phở xào or phở xào áp chảo a try, with stir fried or sautéed phở noodles (respectively), meat and with little to no broth.

For information on street food go to Street Food at Bui Vien

These propositions were last checked in June 2022. If you notice something to be improved, please send us your details. Thanks.

Finding a chao restaurant is relatively easy in Saigon because it is a common food in Vietnam. So, if you’re looking for something filling, especially on a cold morning or night, or maybe during winter, check out some of these restaurants for a taste of authentic Vietnamese food

Chao Suon Hai Ba Trung

345 Hai Ba Trung, D3 

Quán Cháo Ngọc Bích 

113 Pasteur, D3 / +84 28 3829 9650 / https://facebook.com/pages/Cháo-Ng

Chao Long Ba Ut, Banh Xeo

193A Co Giang, D1 / +84 93 309 68 86 / https://facebook.com/Cháo-Lòng-Bà-Út-879066122234255/

These propositions were last checked in June 2022. If you notice something to be improved, please send us your details. Thanks.

There are some well-known phở trademarks in HCMC, such as Phở Bắc Hải, Phở 2000, Phở 24, Phở Hùng, Phở Nga Sơn, Phở 47 (the last two specialise in chicken phở, while others serve both chicken and beef phở; Phở 2000 even offers seafood and vegetarian options). When in doubt, ask any Vietnamese, who will surely have some dearest phở restaurants to present to you, especially if you’re an expat because it is definitely one of the must eats.

Here are some restaurants of our favorite phở locations.

District 1

Phở Hùng (Southern style)

241-243 Nguyen Trai, D1 / +84 28 3838 5089 / http://phohung.com.vn/

Phở Phượng (Northern style)

25 Hoang Sa, D1 / +84 28 3910 2422 / https://m.facebook.com/pages/Phở-Phượng/

 

Thu Duc City

Phở Trinh (Southern style)

RP2Q+X59,  Nguyen Dang Giai, Thao Dien, Thu Duc City

 

Other Districts

Phở Hòa (Southern style)

260C Pasteur, D3 / +84 28 3829 7943

Phở Hùng (Southern style)

288 Nguyen Tri Phuong, D10 / +84 28 3927 1888 / http://phohung.com.vn

SAIGON INSPIRATION RESTAURANTS VIETNAMESE

Your Insider's Guide to Japanese Restaurants in Saigon

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HCMC RESTAURANTS JAPANESE Kiyota Sushi Sake

Kiyota-san is a Japanese sushi master who believes in the art of Omakase. Enter without the expectation of a menu; let him and his apprentices fill your evening with a curated selection of Japanese culinary excellence. From the freshest sashimi to perfectly presented appetisers, resist the temptation to photograph everything and simply focus on the flavour!

5:30 PM to 11 PM Daily

HCMC RESTAURANTS JAPANESE Unatoto

Unatoto offers some of the best unadon, or Japanese-style eel-on-rice, in Saigon. Basted with sweet-savoury kabayaki sauce, Unatoto’s Japanese eels are barbecued over Binchotan; charcoal of the highest quality. Don’t love seafood? Delicious, authentic Japanese chicken skewers and teriyaki chicken rice bowls are available too. Located near to Ben Thanh market.

11 AM to 10 PM Daily

HCMC RESTAURANTS JAPANESE Ateya

Ateya KiyotaAteya - Japanese Restaurant - Citypassguide.com

Ateya is an authentic Japanese izakaya (bar and eatery) that cooks up delicious dishes from Southern Japan. From sashimi and tonkatsu to crispy okonomiyaki pancakes to rich Nagasaki-style champon ramen, this establishment is perpetually packed with Japanese expats who come in for both authentic grub and ice-cold beer. Be prepared to make a return visit.

11:30 AM to 2 PM reopens 6 PM to 9 PM Mon. to Fri. / 6 PM to 9 PM Sat.

Introduction to Japanese Restaurants

Many Japanese restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City can be found in an area bordered Ly Tu Trong Street and Ton Duc Thang Street along Saigon’s riverside, spreading as far out as Thi Sach Street. This rough rectangle of real estate is often called “Little Tokyo.” There are many Japanese owned restaurants, cafes, clubs, and businesses here.

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Your Insider's Guide to Korean Restaurants in Saigon

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HCMC RESTAURANTS KOREAN RESTAURANTS Kyung Bok Gung

Kyung Bok Gung - Korean Restaurant - Citypassguide.com

One of the finest Korean restaurants in town, Kyung Bok Gung is conveniently located near the City’s famous Opera House. From exquisite fine dining vibes to private rooms for business and family groups, you’ll be impressed by the authenticity of food, rich flavours, and a generous spread of 10 traditional Korean side dishes that’s served with every meal.

07am to 11pm | Mon – Sat

HCMC RESTAURANTS KOREAN RESTAURANTS Arirang

Arirang-BBQ - Korean Restaurant - Citypassguide.com

Located in District 1 right beside Saigon’s brand new scenic Bach Dang river park that offers great views of the Saigon river, Arirang restaurant is a time-tested institution for Korean cuisine. Popular with both Korean expatriates and other foreigners, a wide range of styles including stews, barbecue, and hotplate dishes are offered.

07am to 11pm | Mon – Sat

HCMC RESTAURANTS KOREAN RESTAURANTS Yukdaejang

Yukdaegang - Korean Restaurant - Citypassguide.com

This favourite restaurant of Korean expats in HCMC’s District 7 focuses on Yukgaejang, a spicy beef stew filled with scallions and glass noodles. Non-spicy options featuring beef bone broth are also available, and the cold and chewy buckwheat noodles served with beef brisket are some of the tastiest in Phu My Hung, the area with the highest population density of Koreans in the country.

07am to 11pm | Mon – Sat

Introduction to Korean Restaurants

There is a healthy and vibrant Korean expat community in Ho Chi Minh City; evident from the fact that Korean Restaurants are springing up all over the place in recent years! Did you know Ho Chi Minh City houses the 4th highest diaspora of Koreans in the world, after the USA, Japan, and China?

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Your Insider's Guide to mid-scale Restaurants in Saigon

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HCMC RESTAURANTS MID-SCALE RESTAURANTS Tandoor

Tandoor Restaurant - Mid-scale Restaurant - Citypassguide.com

Tandoor restaurant offers authentic and Halal Indian food suitable for both international and local guests. Enjoy classics such as tandoori chicken, seekh kebabs, and mutton curries, or the chef’s vegetarian specialities including Aloo Gobi Matar. Come hungry and leave satisfied thanks to Tandoor’s delicious dishes, attention to detail, and comfortable interior.

10 AM to 2:30 PM – 5 PM to 10 PM Daily

HCMC RESTAURANTS MID-SCALE RESTAURANTS The Refinery

The Refinery Bistro - Mid-scale Restaurant - Citypassguide.com

The Refinery restaurant is a popular French brasserie which is named after its unique location—a now defunct opium refinery. French-style sandwiches, cheese boards, steaks and classics such as duck confit and European-style salads are on offer. The perfect restaurant location to indulge in a delicious dinner, wine and coffee with friends.

11 AM to 11 PM Daily

HCMC RESTAURANTS MID-SCALE RESTAURANTS The Deck

The Deck Restaurant - Mid-scale Restaurant - Citypassguide.com

Offering a splendid river view and an eclectic international menu featuring Western & Asian-style ceviche, oysters, cooked seafood, and steaks, The Deck restaurant is one of the most popular dining locations in the ex-pat enclave of Thao Dien in Saigon’s District 2. Perfect for brunch with friends or sundowner cocktails at the end of the day.

08 AM to 12 PM Daily

Introduction to Mid-scale Restaurants

Visiting or living in a foreign city with tremendous local food doesn’t mean immunity to the occasional cravings for non-Vietnamese cuisine! Be it a fuss-free cheeseburger, a vegan sandwich with nut cheese, or a full spread of Halal Indian food to impress local and foreign friends, discover quickly that midscale foreign food options abound in a rapidly growing city which attracted more than 9 foreign million visitors in 2019.

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SAIGON INSPIRATION RESTAURANTS mid scale RESTAURANTS

Your Insider's Guide to Up-scale Restaurants in Saigon

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HCMC RESTAURANTS UP-SCALE RESTAURANTS Stoker Woodfired Grill & Bar

Stoker Woodfired Grill & Bar - Up-scale Restaurant - Citypassguide.com

It’s not just well-marbled Stanbroke and Wagyu steaks grilled over woodfire on offer at Stoker restaurant. With masterpieces such as porchetta with pickled pear, barbecued abalone, and designer sides including asparagus grilled with miso & parmesan cheese, Stoker restaurant combines mind-blowing gastronomy with a well-curated selection of wines and mixed drinks. A unique dining experience in HCMC.

11:30 AM to 11 PM Mon. to Fri. / 5 PM to 11 PM Sat.

HCMC RESTAURANTS UP-SCALE RESTAURANTS Quince

Quince Restaurant - Up-scale Restaurant - Citypassguide.com

Born of the Michelin guide featured restaurant of the same name in Bangkok, Quince Eatery Saigon is the brainchild of acclaimed chefs Julien Perraudin & Charlie Jones. The rustic charm of fire-grilled home-cooking, inspired by seasonal produce and Mediterranean techniques, has made Quince one of the most sought-after restaurants in Saigon. Fine-dining, top-quality gastronomy paired with Saigonese-style comfort.

5:30 PM to 11 PM Daily

HCMC RESTAURANTS UP-SCALE RESTAURANTS La Villa

The Best Local & International Restaurants to Try In Thao Dien!

Entering La Villa restaurant is akin to entering a fine dining restaurant on The Champs-Élysées. Chef Thierry Mounon guides visitors on a journey of exploration of French fine dining, featuring fine wines, artisanal cheeses, exquisite mains, and celebratory applause of expertly crafted desserts. Dining on La Villa’s restaurant’s beautiful garden terrace is an experience to cherish.

11:30 AM – 2:30 PM / 6 PM – 10:30 PM Thu. – Sat. / 6 PM – 10:30 PM Sun. – Wed

Introduction to Up-scale Restaurants

Ho Chi Minh city, or known more colloquially by locals as Saigon, is best known for its vibrant street food, but those who seek up-scale options won’t be disappointed either. Starting from the earlier French colonial days to the more recent boom of new gastronomical concepts flooding into the metropolitan city thanks to the growth of wealth and the desire of locals and foreigners for classier options, one will have trouble sampling all the city’s best selection of high-end dining venues in just a single trip.

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SAIGON INSPIRATION RESTAURANTS up-scale

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