18May
Well-done beef flank and meatballs

7 Day Local Food Tour For The Adventurous Traveler In Saigon, Vietnam

When visiting a new place, one of the hardest things I have to do is researching, debating, and agreeing on a places to eat — I know, the struggles. The deciding process often pushes my partner and I to the verge of a nuclear war. The tension heightens if we’re visiting a place for only a few days and finding the right place to eat requires a scientific formula. I only want to travel for the food, therefore, I want to taste the best dishes a city has to offer and I don’t want to waste any meal on bad restaurants or experiences. I’m assuming that many people have the same dilemma as I do when traveling, thus, I’ve created 7 days worth of restaurants to eat for both lunch and dinner in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh), Vietnam. 

Whether you’re beginning your expat journey or just passing through Saigon for a week, here’s a list of delicious food and where you can find it to fill your curious belly with. Note, this is not at all a comprehensive list of Vietnamese food, but this is a good start to introduce you to the many flavors of Vietnam. Plus, I’ve done all of the work so you don’t have to think for at least one week on where to eat.

Often time, restaurants here only specialize in 1 dish, so you don’t even need to order. Just sit down and they will bring out the food.
For extra sanitary reason, you can ask for your plate of vegetables to be boiled.
Afraid that you won’t have enough time to try all of these dishes because your stay is shorter than 7 days? Don’t worry. Notice that most of the restaurants open very early, as early as 6 am. Therefore you can enjoy the food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Day 1:

Lunch: Cơm Tấm Ba Ghiền : BBQ pork rice plate

  • Address: 84 Đặng Văn Ngữ, P. 10, Q. Phú Nhuận, Hồ Chí Minh: (Map)
  • Hours: 6 am – 10 pm daily
  • Dish and Cost:
    • Cơm Tấm Bì Sườn Chả Trứng Chiên (Broken rice with shredded pork, BBQ pork chop, meatloaf, and fried egg): 68,000 Dong ~ $3.20 USD
    • Cơm Tấm Sườn (Broken rice with BBQ pork chop): 38,000 ~ $1.75 USD
BBQ pork with broken rice

BBQ pork with broken rice

Dinner: Bánh Canh Cua – Trần Khắc Chân: Seafood and pork udon soup

  • Address: 87 Trần Khắc Chân, Q. 1, Hồ Chí Minh: (Map)
  • Hours: 2 pm – 9:30 pm daily
  • Dish and Cost: 
    • Bánh Canh Cua (Seafood and pork udon soup): 35,000 Dong ~ $1.70 USD
Bánh Canh Cua - Trần Khắc Chân

Seafood and pork udon noodle soup with chunks of crab meat

Day 2:

Lunch: Bánh Mì Huỳnh Hoa: Vietnamese-styled hoagie — The Meat Lovers’ Version

  • Address: 26 Lê Thị Riêng, P. Bến Thành, Q. 1, Hồ Chí Minh: (Map)
  • Hours: 1 pm – 10 pm daily
  • Dish and Cost:
    • Bánh Mì Thịt – đầy đủ (Meat hoagie with all toppings included): 32,000 Dong ~ $1.50 USD
 Meat Lover Banh Mi

Banh Mi Huynh Hoa: Meat Lovers’ Banh Mi

Dinner: Bún Ốc Riêu Cua Thanh Hải: Vermicelli tomato soup with crab cake paste and snails (optional)   

  • Address: 14/12 Kỳ Đồng, P. 9, Q. 3, Hồ Chí Minh: (Map)
  • Hours: 7 am – 9 pm daily
  • Dish and Cost:
    • Bún Ốc Riêu Cua (Crab noodle soup with snails): 35,000 Dong ~ $1.60 USD
    • Bún Riêu Cua (Crab noodle soup): 28,000 Dong ~ $1.30 USD
bun rieu oc thanh hai

Front: Crab with snails vermicelli tomato soup. Back: Crab only.

Day 3:

Lunch: Bún Thịt Nướng Chị Tuyền (originally Chị Thông): Vermicelli with BBQ pork and egg rolls

  • Address: 195 Cô Giang, Q. 1, Hồ Chí Minh: (Map)
  • Hours: 7 am – 10 pm daily
  • Dish and Cost:
    • Bún Thịt Nướng Chả Giò (Noodles with BBQ pork and egg roll): 40,000 Dong ~ $1.90 USD
    • Chả Giò (extra – egg rolls): 10,000 Dong ~ $0.50 USD/roll
Chị Thông Bún Thịt Nướng 1

Rice vermicelli noodles with grilled pork and egg rolls

DinnerBò Lá Lốt – Cô Liêng: “Wrap your own” rolls with betel leaf wrapped beef (Bò Lá Lốp) and beef sausages (Mỡ Chài)

  • Address: 321 Võ Văn Tần , P. 5, Q. 3, Hồ Chí Minh: (Map)
  • Hours: 8 am – 9 pm
  • Dish and Cost:
    • Bò Lá Lốp (Betel leaf wrapped beef): 60,000 Dong ~ $2.80 USD
    • Mỡ Chài (Beef sausages): 60,000 Dong ~ $2.80 USD
Co Lieng Bo La Lop

Grilled beef wrapped with vegetables and rice paper dipped in fermented anchovy sauce.

Day 4:

Lunch: Bánh Cuốn Tây Hồ (2 locations): Steamed rice rolls

  • Address: 127 Đinh Tiên Hoàng, P. Đa Kao, Q. 1, Hồ Chí Minh: (Map)
  • Address: 271 Phan Xích Long, P. 2, Q. Phú Nhuận, Hồ Chí Minh: (Map)
  • Hours: 7 am – 11 pm daily
  • Dish and Cost:
    • Bánh Cuốn Dặc Biệt (Special rice rolls plate – more meat): 40,000 Dong ~ $2 USD
    • Chả (Pork patties): 8,000 Dong ~ 0.40 USD
    • Bánh Cóng (Deep fried green bean cakes): 16,000 Dong ~ 0.75 USD
Banh Cuon Dac Biet: Special Rice rolls

Banh Cuon Dac Biet: Special Rice rolls

Dinner: Bún Bò Huế Đông Ba: Hue-styled noodle soup

  • Address: 110A Nguyễn Du, P. Bến Thành, Q. 1, Hồ Chí Minh: (Map)
  • Hours: 6 am – 11 pm daily
  • Dish and Cost:
    • Small bowl: 38,000 Dong ~ $1.80 USD
    • Large bowl: 48,000 Dong ~ $2.25 USD
Bún bò Huế Đông Ba

Small bowl of Bún bò Huế

Day 5:

Lunch: Bánh Mì Hồng Hoa: Vietnamese-styled hoagie — Personal Favorite Version

  • Address: 62 Nguyễn Văn Tráng, P. Bến Thành, Q. 1, Hồ Chí Minh: (Map)
  • Hour: 5 am – 9 pm daily
  • Dish and Cost:
    • Bánh Mì Thịt – đầy đủ (Meat hoagie with all toppings included): 17,000 Dong ~ $0.80 USD
Bánh Mì Hồng Hoa

Banh Mi Hong Hoa: Perfect Balance Banh Mi

Dinner: Phở Lệ (2 Locations): Pho noodle soup

  • Address: 303 – 305 Võ Văn Tần, P. 5, Q. 3, Hồ Chí Minh: (Map)
  • Address: 413 Nguyễn Trãi, P. 7, Q. 5, Hồ Chí Minh: (Map)
  • Hour: 7 am – 10 pm daily
  • Dish and Cost:
    • Phở Tái Bò Viên (Well-done beef flank and meatballs): Large bowl: 65,000 Dong ~$3 USD
Phở Lệ

Beef noodle soup with meatballs

Day 6:

Lunch: Xôi Chè Bùi Thị Xuân: Sticky rice and sweet desserts

  • Address: 111 Bùi Thị Xuân, P. Phạm Ngũ Lão , Q. 1, Hồ Chí Minh: (Map)
  • Hour: 6:30 am – 10 pm daily
  • Dish and Cost:
    • From 16,000 to 30,000 Dong ~ $0.75 to $1.40 USD
    • Xôi Gà (đùi) (Sticky rice with fried chicken thigh): 29,000 Dong ~ $1.30 USD
Xôi Chè Bùi Thị Xuân

Sticky rice with fried chicken thigh

Dinner: Hủ tiếu Nam Vang Nhân Quán: (2 of 7 locations): Cambodian and Chinese inspired noodle soup 

  • Address: 72 Nguyễn Thượng Hiền, P. 5, Q. 3, Hồ Chí Minh: (Map)
  • Address: 122 Trần Quang Khải, P. Tân Định, Q. 1, Hồ Chí Minh: (Map)
  • Hour: 7 am – 11 pm daily
  • Dish and Cost:
    • Dry and Soup version: 68,000 Dong ~ $3.15 USD
Dry version

Dry version

Day 7:

Lunch: Bánh Xèo Ngọc Sơn – Sizzling crepes

  • Address: 103 Ngô Quyền, P. 11, Q. 5, Hồ Chí Minh: (Map)
  • Hour: 9 am – 9:30 pm daily
  • Dish and Cost:
    • Bánh Xèo — thường (Sizzling crepe — regular): 45,000 Dong ~ $2.10 USD
    • Bánh Xèo — đặc biệt (Sizzling crepe — special): 55,000 Dong ~ $2.50 USD
Bánh Xèo Ngọc Sơn

Sizzling Crepe

 

Bánh Xèo Ngọc Sơn (1)

Vegetable wrap

Dinner: Cơm Niêu Sài Gòn – Hồ Xuân Hương: Caramelized fish in clay pot (Cá Kho Tộ) and Vietnamese sweet and sour soup  (Canh Chua) – (2 Locations)

  • Address: 59 Hồ Xuân Hương, P. 6, Q. 3, Hồ Chí Minh: (Map)
  • Address: 27 Tú Xương, P. 7, Q. 3, Hồ Chí Minh: (Map)
  • Hour: 9 am – 10:30 pm daily
  • Dish and Cost:
    • Cá Kho Tộ (Caramelized fish in clay pot): 78,000 Dong ~ $3.60 USD
    • Canh Chua (Sweet and sour soup): 88,000 Dong ~ $3.70 USD
com nieu saigon 3

Cá Kho Tộ: Braised fish in clay pot

com nieu saigon 2

Canh Chua: Hot and sour soup

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About Linh

"I love to eat. I live to eat. I travel to eat." It only took a short amount of time for me to find out that the rat race, corporate life was not the life I want and that pushing papers was not as creatively stimulating as they advertised. As a result, I exchanged my suits for suitcases and setting on a year long journey to Southeast Asia. For each country I visit, my goal is to immerse myself in its culture and, of course, feast my way through all of its delicacies.
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