My Top 10 Favourite Street Foods in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) Vietnam

by - September 04, 2019

There are countless restaurants to wine and dine your way around in Ho Chi Minh City, but the heart of Saigon lies in the tiniest alleyways on top of miniature plastic tables and chairs. Understanding a country's culture often lies in its cuisine and Vietnam's can be found in the food stalls that cover every district, neighbourhood and laneway across the country. 

Street food in Ho Chi Minh City is not only an easy and inexpensive way to quickly satisfy your cravings, but it's also a doorway to a whole new world of Saigonese deliciousness. Here are my personal top 10 favourite street eats to find in Ho Chi Minh City Saigon.

1. Bún Mắm (Fermented Fish Soup)

Brace yourself. Here we have a noodle soup with a fermented fish broth, seafood, pork belly, eggplant and fish cake. I know ... fermented fish broth, pffft pass ... but its sweet tangy base mixed with thick rice noodles and chunks of delicious meat has never disappointed my taste buds.

How to Eat: Add some lime juice and assorted leaves and slurp away!

Where to Eat: Bún Mắm Phan Xích Long, 11 Hoa Sứ, Phường 7, Phú Nhuận District, Hồ Chí Minh

2. Bánh Xèo (Vietnamese Stuffed Crepe)

Vietnamese cuisine is always a game changer, take for example this huge sizzling crepe made from rice flour and coconut milk. Not your typical Sunday crepe, it's then stuffed with bean sprouts, taro, carrots, cooked shrimp and thin slices of cooked pork. More than a divine combination this will make your mouth explode.

How to Eat: Take a bit of the stuffed crepe, wrap it in lettuce, dunk it in the sauce and voila! Magic!

Where to Eat: Banh Xeo 46A, 46A Dinh Cong Trang, Tan Dinh, District 1,  Ho Chi Minh

3. Bánh Canh Cua (Crab Soup)

These thick, hearty, dreamy tapioca noodles are topped with a handful of crab meat, sliced pork, quail eggs, shrimp, and crab cake. A dash of green onions and black pepper top off this drool worthy dish. Yum!

How to Eat: Add some lime and chili and through in a couple Chinese donuts and eat up!

Where to Eat: Bánh Canh Cua 87, 87 Trần Khắc Chân, Tân Định, District 1, Hồ Chí Minh

4. Bún Chả  Ha Noi (Grilled Pork & Noodles)

Originally from Hanoi, bun cha was taken by the street food gods down the coast to Saigon. Spiced pork patties and thin slices of pork belly (grilled until crispy) are served in a delightful bowl of fish sauce, sliced young papaya, carrot and garlic. Plain rice noodles and a huge basket of fresh herbs accompany one of the best meals you can get for under $2.00.

How to Eat: I personally rip up the greens and dump them and the noodles into the large bowl filled with pork and fish sauce! Don't forget to order spring rolls to throw into the mix.

Where to Eat: Hải Hội Quán - Bún Chả Hà Nội & Nem Rán, 51 Xuân Thủy, Thảo Điền, District 2, Ho Chi Minh

5. Bún Riêu Cua (Fried Crab Soup)

This noodle based soup is taken to taste bud heaven using the deliciousness of crab (crab bricks, crab body, crab everything) and the bitterness of tomatoes. Bun Riêu is a tasty mixture of sweet copper crab meat, sour tangy broth and tangled vermicelli noodles, all topped with a congealed pig’s blood cube. Yes, this special ingredient complements the dish perfectly, and is basically like eating maroon jell-o!

Photo by: @pork_lego_guy

How to Eat: Often served with chopped lettuce and spinach stalks, you just throw some of those in there and add some chili as per your liking!

Where to Eat: Bún Riêu Gánh, 4 Phan Bội Châu, Phường Bến Thành, District 1, Hồ Chí Minh

6. Bánh Tráng Nướng (Vietnamese Pizza)

If you love pizza as much as I do then you'll need to cross Vietnamese pizza off your list. Starting off as a sheet of rice paper, it's slathered in butter and grilled on a coal brazier. Minced pork, shredded pork floss, dried baby shrimp, and chopped spring onions are sprinkled on generously. Quail egg yolk and a squirt of chili sauce help to bind everything together.

Photo by: @saigonesekitchen
How to Eat: Bite in or fold it into a taco and enjoy!

Where to Eat: Bánh Tráng Nướng C002 - Chi nhánh 1,  23/49 Đinh Tiên Hoàng, phường 3, Bình Thạnh, Hồ Chí Minh

7. Bánh Mì (Vietnamese Sandwich) 

Nothing can beat the best go-to meal and most popular street food in this city! A fusion of roasted pork, rice pate, homemade butter, chillies, pickled carrots and coriander are wrapped inside a crispy French baguette. Some soy sauce and chilies are added for that extra kick!

How to Eat: No explanation needed here!

Where to Eat: Lò Bánh Mỳ Xuân Thu/ Bon Banh Mi, 27 Quốc Hương, Thảo Điền, District 2, Hồ Chí Minh OR a larger than life bánh mì with all the fillings: Bánh mì Huỳnh Hoa, 26 Lê Thị Riêng, P, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh

8. Hủ Tiếu Nam Vang (Nam Vang Noodles) 

If you are feeling daring, be sure to try out this mixture of: dried shrimp, liver, green onion, intestines, minced meat, Nam Vang noodles and pork heart! All folded together in a sweet and savoury soup how can you pass on this dish?

How to Eat: Pour the soup over the noodles and season to your liking!

Where to Eat: Hủ Tiếu Nam Vang Thành Đạt, 25 Cô Bắc, Phường Cầu Ông Lãnh, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh

9. Phở (Beef Noodle Soup)

Vietnam’s claim to culinary fame boils down to a rich, fragrant broth made from simmering beef, subsequently spiced with anise, cinnamon, onions and ginger. It's a must and if you don't know, now you phở!

How to Eat: Pick the leaves off some fresh herbs and chuck them into your soup, I like to add hoisin sauce and chili to liven it up!

Where to Eat: Phở Hoà Pasteur, 260C Pasteur, Phường 8, District 3, Hồ Chí Minh

10. Bún đậu Mắm Tôm (Fermented Shrimp Paste With Noodles)

Three main ingredients come together to make up one of my favourite dishes in Vietnam. Vermicelli noodles, golden fried tofu and the star of the show fermented shrimp paste. Although this may be the smelliest food in Vietnam, you need to leave room in your foody bucket list to try it out!

Photo by: @quynhhsiniee

How to Eat: Add a spoonful or two of sugar, lime juice and chili to the purple sauce. Mix until frothy. Dip your noodles, tofu, pork and herbs into the sauce and nibble away!

Where to Eat: Bún Đậu Mắm Tôm & Bún Chả Hà Nội - Trần Trọng Cung, 9 Trần Trọng Cung, Tân Thuận Đông, District 7, Hồ Chí Minh

There is so much more out there than just this list of 10 street foods! And to be honest narrowing it down was nearly impossible. So stop wasting time and get out on the streets of Saigon.

If you have any questions you can also find me on Instagram at @AlyshiaTurchyn!

Looking for a place to stay in Ho Chi Minh City? Checkout all your accommodation options here!

You May Also Like