It’s easy to understand that some people will call Saigon the food capital of Vietnam. Influences and regional dishes from all over Vietnam crowd the streets of Saigon. To prepare you (and your stomach) for your next visit to Saigon, here are some of the most hunted Saigon food and where to find them.
1. Banh Mi
Vietnamese sandwiches or Banh Mi are one of the reasons many tourists come to Saigon. This delicious handheld meal turns out that one of the longest lasting influences of French rule in Vietnam. The baguette came to Sai Gon during the French colonial period and spread through the southern cities before arriving at the North and becoming popular in the whole country. One Banh mi an excellent example of a harmonized combination of various ingredients that attract food lovers around the world. Usually, a Banh mi will be stuffed with pâté, slices of pork pie, mayonnaise, coriander, cucumber, and pickled carrots and daikon. But there also many other choices of shredded chicken, grilled pork or omelet. A great choice for all breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack food!
Where to eat Banh Mi?
- Banh Mi Huynh Hoa – 26 Le Thi Rieng, Saigon, +84 8 3925 0885
- Banh Mi Hong Hoa – 62 Nguyen Van Trang, Saigon, +84 908 811 592
- Banh Mi 37 Nguyen Trai – 37 Nguyen Trai, Saigon for Banh Mi Thit nuong – Banh Mi with grilled pork
2. Banh Canh Cua
The thick udon-like noodles slithered through my chopsticks, but ultimately, they couldn’t escape my determination. Slightly chewy and firm in texture, the bánh canh noodles were surprising light going down. And equally, as surprising, there was a pile of real, shell-free crab meat scattered throughout the noodle bowl. Add to that the chả cua (steamed ground crab meatloaf) that was moist and flavorful. And, yet more – huyết heo (pork blood cubes), a good-sized shrimp, pork slices, a quail egg, chopped green onions and more. A truly fresh, delicious, and satisfying meal.
Crab soup cake is very popular with local people. The gelatinous broth is cooked from pork bone, crab, and mushroom. The toppings are including boiled crab meat, boiled shrimp, pork meat, crab pie, quail egg. The last addition is black pepper and chopped green onion will make soup cake is tastier and more eye-catching. Normally, serving with this dish is the fish sauce with chili.
Where to eat Banh Canh Cua?
- Food stalls in Ben Thanh market
- Banh Canh Cua 87, Tran Khac Chan st, District 1
- Banh Canh Cua 320, Vo Van Tan St, District 3
3. Bun Bo Hue
A lot of people may argue that this dish is supposed to be the most featured food of Vietnam instead of Pho. And they’ve got their reasons. Originate from the ancient Imperial City of Hue, Bun Bo Hue is another splendid cuisine creation with the base of meaty broth and hot chili oil, thick slippery vermicelli noodles, tender slices of beef and pork, cha lua and blood cubes served with tons of fresh herbs and sprouts. This favorite dish of Anthony Bourdain dish is greatly admired for its balance of spicy, sour, salty and sweet flavors and the predominant flavor of lemongrass.
Where to eat Bun Bo Hue?
- Bun Bo Hue 31 – 31 Mac Dinh Chi Street, District 1
- Bun Bo Hue Gia Định – 469 Bach Đang, District Binh Thanh
Bun Bo Hue Nam Giao – 189 Bui Vien, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1
Bun Bo Dong Ba – 110A Nguyen Du, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1
4. Banh Xeo
Banh xeo, or Vietnamese pancake/crepe, is bulging with pork, shrimp, and bean sprouts, plus the garnish of fresh herbs that are characteristic of most authentic Vietnamese dishes. The batter from rice flour and turmeric is savory and crispy. As you might know, there are two most popular shapes of Banh Xeo. The Central style looks like a taco and more crunchy while the Saigon style is much larger and thinner, and fully stuffed. You can take a piece of rice paper, wipe it with damp lettuce, then pack it with herbs, greens, and a hunk of the pancake, then roll it and dip it in the nuoc mam (a sweet sauce). If there is no rice paper, then wrap it in the lettuce instead.
Where to eat Banh Xeo?
- Banh Xeo 46A – 46A D Dinh Cong Trang, Tan Dinh, District 1
- An La Ghien Restaurant – 74 Suong Nguyet Anh, Ben Thanh, District 1
- Banh Xeo Muoi Xiem – 190 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, District 3
5. Com Tam
Com Tam, aka Broken Rice – it’s essentially broken grains of rice left over from the traditional drying and milling process. A plate of com tam comes with various ingredients placed on top, such as suon nuong (marinated grilled pork chops), bi (shredded pork skin), cha trung (a steamed pork and egg quiche), cha ca (deep fried fish patty) and trung (fried egg). As usual, the dish is usually garnished with some lightly fried spring onions and pickled vegetables. Among all of the side dishes, suon nuong is probably the most popular choice. The fine marinated chop with a caramelized and a little smoky taste goes really well the rice.
Where to eat Com Tam?
- Com Tam 352 – 352 Chu Văn An, Bình Thạnh District
- Com Tam An Duong Vuong – 500-502 An Dương Vương, District 5
- Com Tam Ba Ghien – 84 Đặng Văn Ngữ, Phú Nhuận District
- Com Tam Thanh Nien – 570 Trường Sa, Phú Nhuận District