The most developed metropolis in Vietnam, Saigon is known for its authentic cuisines — both in the restaurant and on the street. So, traveling here is sure to please any taste buds.
If that sounds like it’s up your alley, look no further. Here’s what you need to know about eating your way through Saigon.
Ben Thanh Market
Location: Công trường Quách Thị Trang, Bến Thành, Hồ Chí Minh, Bến Thành Quận 1 Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
I love night markets because you can shop without breaking the bank — but best of all, the food you find at these markets is incredible. If you’re unsure of where to go, check out the night market next to Ben Thanh Market. There, you’ll find traditional Vietnamese cuisine and seafood dishes. Try the pho ga (chicken noodle soup) and the pho tom (shrimp noodle soup)!
Location: Phạm Ngũ Lão
For cheap food, beer, and people watching, this is the place to be. Nicknamed “the street that never sleeps,” Backpacker Street attracts travelers from all over the world with its interesting nighttime scene. And for good reason — everything you need to have a good time is located right along this stretch. There are lots of food choices, but I recommend ordering anything grilled! Grab a coffee as an appetizer, savor your food (and drinks), and enjoy your night out.
Location: Bến Thành Quận 1 Vietnam, 89 Lý Tự Trọng, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Head to Quan 89 for the perfect snack — banh cuon. This dish is made from steamed fermented rice batter and filled with ground pork. Made fresh, it’s then topped with fried shallots and a delicious nuoc mam sauce. Oh, and it pairs perfectly with Vietnamese coffee.
Cho Thai Binh Market
Location: 5 Phạm Ngũ Lão, Phường Phạm Ngũ Lão, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
The best place to find banh xeo and banh khot is at Cho Thai Binh Market, as it’s cheaper and more flavorful than at most restaurants. But the key to snacking on this delicious Vietnamese food is to make your way to the market early — the bun thit nuong is so popular that it often sells out by 8 a.m.
Song Anh Restaurant
Location: 28A Bàn Cờ, phường 3, Quận 3 phường 3 Quận 3 Hồ Chí Minh, phường 3, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Bún bò Huế is a popular Vietnamese soup made primarily of vermicelli noodles and beef. It’s then served with lime, cilantro, onions, mint, basil, and bean sprouts — the variety of flavors make this soup top notch. Song Anh specializes in Bún bò Huế, but remember to order the “special,” as it uses the best cuts of meat.
Huynh Hoa Bakery
Location: 26 Lê Thị Riêng, Phường Phạm Ngũ Lão, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh 700000, Vietnam
The flakiest and tastiest banh mi you will ever have can be found at Huỳnh Hoa Bakery. With stacks of thinly sliced meats, freshly baked baguettes, and crisp veggies, their menu options are endless and will leave you wanting more. Try their BBQ or combination sandwiches, and add a slab of pâté to make it extra tasty! Note that Huỳnh Hoa also has plenty of vegetarian options.
Nam Giao Restaurant
Location: 136 Lê Thánh Tôn, Bến Thành, Quận 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
If you love banh bot loc, banh nam, banh beo, and anything that starts with “banh,” head over to Bánh Canh Cua Nam Giao. This restaurant is tucked away in an alley close to Ben Thanh Market, so be sure to follow the signs to avoid missing the restaurant. In addition to all things banh, they serve delicious soups and a variety of rice plates.
Nha Hang Ngon Restaurant
Location: 160 Pasteur, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Nhà hàng Ngon is an upscale restaurant that serves popular Vietnamese dishes including spring rolls, noodle soups, rice plates, and appetizers like banh xeo and banh khot. Their extensive menu will leave you indecisive because everything just looks that good.
You can find street food just about anywhere in Vietnam. And, it’s not only cheap, but partaking in street food culture is one of the best ways to experience Saigon. Just claim a table, pull up a plastic chair, grab some utensils, and you’re set!