Food in Ho Chi Minh City is an absolute delight for foodies. From street food to fine dining, there are plenty of delicious dishes for you to enjoy on your Ho Chi Minh food tour. Get ready to embark on a culinary journey as we explore some of the most delectable delicacies in this city!
1. Beef noodle soup (Bun bo) – A must-try food in Ho Chi Minh City
Bun bo is made with thin rice noodles, beef, herbs, and a variety of spices. Its broth is usually made with beef stock and fish sauce, giving it an umami flavor and aroma typical of Vietnamese cuisine. The texture of the noodles varies depending on how they are cooked; some may be soft while others may be more al dente. Aromatic herbs, such as sawtooth coriander, lemongrass, and perilla leaf, add even more depth of flavor to this classic dish.
No matter what cooking style you prefer, bun bo remains an all-time favorite food in Ho Chi Minh City. A typical bowl of bun bo is often topped with bean sprouts, cilantro, scallions, and thinly sliced onions for extra crunch and freshness. It is usually served with lettuce leaves so you can wrap them around the noodles for easy eating.
Some recommended places to enjoy bun bo:
- Bun Bo Ganh: 135 Nguyen Du, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1
- Bun bo Hue 3A3: 17 Dang Tran Con, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1
2. Broken rice (Com tam) – A famous food in Ho Chi Minh City
Broken rice (com tam) is a signature dish of Ho Chi Minh City. This classic Vietnamese dish consists of broken rice, grilled pork, fried eggs, pickled veggies, and a tangy fish sauce.
The origin of broken rice dates back to the 1930s, when it was created as an affordable way for the working class to make their meal. Broken rice was cheaper than unbroken rice and could be cooked in less time.
Prices for this dish range from 25,000 to 70,000 VND per serving.
Some recommended places to enjoy com tam:
- Com tam Phuc Loc Tho: 236 Dinh Tien Hoang, Da Kao Ward, District 1
- Com tam Ba Ghien: 84 Dang Van Ngu, Ward 10, Phu Nhuan District.
3. Saigon sandwich (Banh mi) – The best street food in Ho Chi Minh City
Banh mi is a famous street food in Ho Chi Minh City that is loved by both locals and tourists alike due to its unique blend of flavors. This iconic sandwich consists of a crispy French baguette filled with various meats, vegetables, and sauces.
The origin of banh mi dates back to the 19th century, when it was modified from the common French baguette. This Saigon sandwich usually consists of pork or chicken, pâté, pickled carrots and daikon, cucumber slices, cilantro, mayonnaise, and chili sauce. These ingredients are all sandwiched between two slices of freshly baked golden-brown baguette.
This classic street food typically costs around 20,000 VND per sandwich.
Some recommended places to enjoy banh mi:
- Banh mi Huynh Hoa: 26 Le Thi Rieng, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1
- Banh mi Phuong Lien: 12 Nguyen Huy Tu, Da Kao Ward, District 1
4. Ho Chi Minh City food guide: Pho Saigon – the best choice
Pho Saigon is an iconic traditional food in Ho Chi Minh City and a must-try for anyone looking to explore the traditional flavors of Vietnam.
This Vietnamese noodle soup is a delicate balance of flavors that has been perfected over centuries. It consists of a flavorful broth made with beef or chicken, thin rice noodles, fresh herbs, and toppings such as bean sprouts, basil leaves, cilantro, lime, and chili pepper.
Pho Saigon is considered one of the tastiest traditional dishes in Ho Chi Minh City and is served at many eateries throughout the city. Prices for this dish range from 35,000 to 80,000 VND per serving.
Some recommended places to enjoy pho:
- Pho bo Phu Gia: 146E Ly Chinh Thang, Ward 7, District 3
- Pho Thin: 170 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Ward 6, District 3
5. Beef offal stew (Pha lau) – A delicious local food in Ho Chi Minh City
Beef offal stew, or pha lau, is a local specialty in Ho Chi Minh City that has been popular for centuries. Pha lau is a hearty stew made with beef offal and other ingredients like pork belly and vegetables. The dish is cooked slowly on low heat until all the flavors blend to create an incredibly flavorful and unique taste. The result is a rich and creamy soup-like dish that is often served with Vietnamese rice paper rolls and fresh herbs as toppings.
This traditional specialty originated in the 18th century, when farmers sold their livestock to local restaurants, who used the offal to make this tasty stew. Since then, it has become a popular dish that many people enjoy on special occasions throughout the year. It is also one of the most popular dishes at street markets, where it can be enjoyed along with banh mi or noodle soups.
Some recommended places to enjoy pha lau:
- Pha Lau Luat: 1A Suong Nguyet Anh, District 1
- Pha Lau - Gia Dinh High School: 195/29 Xo Viet Nghe Tinh, Binh Thanh District
6. Clear rice noodle soup (Hu tieu) – Ho Chi Minh City food for nights
This comforting noodle soup dish is very popular in Ho Chi Minh City's street markets. The sellers often offer a variety of toppings, such as fresh herbs and chopped spring onions, to customers who want to customize their hu tieu to their own taste. This dish also makes a great warm meal during the cooler months of the year.
Hu tieu was originally created by Chinese immigrants who settled in Ho Chi Minh City during the 19th century. Since then, it has become a favorite specialty throughout Vietnam. Unlike other types of Vietnamese soup which are typically cooked with beef fat or broth flavored with spices, hu tieu is notable for its mild taste, which comes from the use of tapioca flour. This flour helps thicken the broth without adding too much flavor.
Some recommended places to enjoy hu tieu:
- Hu tieu Hong Phat: 389 - 391 Vo Van Tan, Ward 5, District 3
- Hu tieu Nam Vang: A65 Nguyen Trai, Nguyen Cu Trinh Ward, District 1
7. Fresh spring rolls (Goi cuon) – A must-eat food in Ho Chi Minh City
Fresh spring rolls, also known as goi cuon, are another must-try in Ho Chi Minh City. This traditional treat is made of soft rice paper filled with a variety of ingredients like pork, shrimp, vermicelli noodles, herbs, and vegetables. The combination of all these ingredients creates an explosion of flavors and textures in your mouth, making it one of the most memorable dishes you will try during your trip.
The history of goi cuon dates back to the early 20th century, when Chinese immigrants began settling in Vietnam and brought their own customs and food recipes along. As the years passed by, Vietnamese people incorporated more local ingredients into this dish, such as fresh mint leaves, herbs, and dipping sauce, which gave birth to what we now know as goi cuon.
Some recommended places to enjoy goi cuon:
- Goi cuon Tom Nhay: 424 Lac Long Quan, Ward 5, District 11
- Goi cuon Le Van Sy: 359/1/9A Le Van Sy, District 3
8. Crab paste vermicelli soup (Bun rieu cua)
Bun rieu cua is a local delicacy of Ho Chi Minh City. This savory noodle soup dish is made of crab paste and pork stock, topped with thin rice noodles and ingredients like tomatoes, tofu, and herbs. The result is an incredibly flavorful and comforting soup that is sure to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.
The origin of this iconic dish can be credited to the Chinese immigrants who settled in Vietnam during the early 20th century. They added Vietnamese local herbs and other ingredients to their own food recipes. Along with other imported dishes, bun rieu cua is a result of traditional Chinese cooking methods and local Vietnamese flavors.
Some recommended places to enjoy bun rieu cua:
- Bun rieu ganh: 4 Phan Boi Chau, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1
- Bun rieu 7: 183 Hau Giang, Ward 5, District 6
9. Steamed rice rolls (Banh cuon)
Banh cuon is a specialty consisting of steamed rice rolls typically filled with pork, mushrooms, and spices. The rice rolls are topped with fried shallots, scallions, and herbs. This is a great option for those looking for something light yet flavorful.
The combination of local herbs and spices gives this dish a unique flavor. Additionally, it is made of lean proteins like pork and mushrooms, which is perfect for those looking for a healthier meal.
Some recommended places to enjoy banh cuon:
- Banh cuon Tay Ho: 127 Dinh Tien Hoang, Dakao Ward, District 1; or 271 Phan Xich Long, Ward 2, Phu Nhuan District
- Banh cuon ngo 992: 992 Ba Thang Hai, Ward 12, District 11
10. Grilled pork and rice vermicelli (Bun thit nuong)
Grilled pork and rice vermicelli (bun thit nuong) is a traditional Vietnamese dish consisting of grilled pork, fresh vegetables, and vermicelli noodles. The pork is marinated in a savory mixture of garlic, fish sauce, sugar, and other spices before being grilled to perfection.
Once everything is cooked, the pork, vegetables, and noodles are mixed in a bowl before being garnished with fresh herbs such as cilantro, mint, and basil leaves. The rich flavor of the pork, combined with the crunch of fresh vegetables and the mildness of vermicelli noodles, makes it a truly delicious meal.
Some recommended places to enjoy bun thit nuong:
- Bun thit nuong Chi Tuyen: 175C Co Giang, Co Giang Ward, District 1
- Bun thit nuong Hai Dang: 149 Chan Hung, Ward 6, Tan Binh District
Besides discovering the local cuisine, don't forget to check out many famous tourist attractions in Ho Chi Minh City, such as Sai Gon Central Post Office, Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral, Independence Palace, Saigon War Remnants Museum, Nguyen Hue Street, Ho Chi Minh City Opera House, Landmark 81 Vietnam, etc.
In addition to Ho Chi Minh City, visitors can also enjoy many delicious and exotic dishes in Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, and Da Nang. They are all attractive tourist destinations of Vietnam. While you are in these cities, staying at the hotels and resorts of Vinpearl is a great choice, especially if you are looking for a luxury travel experience. From the moment you arrive, you will be treated with the highest level of service and attention.
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- Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway or a family vacation, Vinpearl Hoi An provides the perfect place for relaxation and leisure activities.
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The food in Ho Chi Minh City is an absolute delight for foodies. The 10 most delectable dishes rounded up above should be on the top of your list! Whether you are looking for traditional Vietnamese cuisine or something more modern, the food in Ho Chi Minh has something for everyone. So, get ready to embark on a culinary journey as you explore all of these amazing food delights in this vibrant city!
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