Ho Chi Minh City Food Guide - What To Eat

Ho Chi Minh City Food Guide: What To Eat in Saigon

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Last updated on January 28th, 2023

If you’re wondering what to eat in Saigon, then this Ho Chi Minh food guide will be very useful to you. Find the best local food in Saigon to add to your food list!

Traveling in Ho Chi Minh not only consists of sightseeing, but also the best chance to try authentic Vietnamese dishes. If you travel for food, Ho Chi Minh City should definitely be on your list. The city serves up the most delicious food in Vietnam and is the best place to experience Vietnamese food.

But, good food is available literally everywhere in the city, but which one is the must-try food to eat in Ho Chi Minh City? It is a daunting task if you are a first-timer in the city. You can imagine the thousands of restaurants and street food available in Ho Chi Minh City. We visited Ho Chi Minh City and continued to eat our way through the city. The following dishes are some of the best local foods that we try when visiting Ho Chi Minh city.

In this Ho Chi Minh City Food Guide, we’ve put together our favorite picks of where to eat in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Make sure to check it out if you are looking for what to eat in Saigon.

What and Where To Eat in Ho Chi Minh City

What and Where To Eat in Ho Chi Minh City

This Ho Chi Minh City food guide will lead you to some of the best restaurants, local markets, and even street food stalls in Saigon so you can eat like a local!

Ho Chi Minh City Food Guide: Where and What To Eat in Saigon

  • Bun riêu cua from Bún riêu Gánh
  • Banh Mi Op La from Bánh Mì Hòa Mã
  • Phở bò (Beef Noodles Soup) from Pho 24
  • Bún bò (Spicy Beef Pork Noodle Soup) from Quan An Bac Hien
  • Banh Beo Hue (Vietnamese Steam Rice Cake) from Bánh Bèo Chợ Bến Thành
  • Gỏi cuốn (Vietnamse Spring Rolls)
  • Hủ Tiếu Nam Vang (Pork and Shrimp Noodle Soup)
  • Vietnamse Coffee at Cafe Apartment Saigon
  • Grilled meat and seafood skewer
  • Seafood at Vinh Khanh Food Street
  • Chuối Nướng (Vietnamese Grilled Banana)
  • Local Food Market in Ho Chi Minh City

And many more Vietnamese cuisine in Ho Chi Minh City!

Ho Chi Minh Food Tips

It’s easy enough to go food hunting in Ho Chi Minh City on your own, but if you’d like to eat your way through the city’s street food scene just like the locals, then you may be interested in the below food tour:

Bún Riêu Cua (Minced crab Noodles Soup)

Ho Chi Minh Best Food - Crab Rice Noodle Soup

Originally from northern Vietnam, Bun Rieu gains its popularity among locals in Saigon. There are a few different types of bun rieu such as bún riêu cua (minced crab), bún riêu cá (fish), and bún riêu ốc (snail). The most popular and delicious among this rice noodles soup is the Crab rice noodle soup or called Bun Rieu Cua in Vietnamese.

To make a bún riêu cua, fresh crabs are pounded with the shell into a fine paste before being strained. It is then added and slowly cooked together with a mixture of ingredients such as tomatoes and fish sauce into one of the yummiest bowls.

Estimate Price: Average 40,000 VND to 50,000 for a bowl of Bun Rieu.

Bun Rieu Ganh
Where to eat Bun Rieu in Ho Chi Minh City – Bun Rieu Ganh

Where to eat Bun Rieu in Ho Chi Minh City:

Bún riêu Gánh (Address: 4 Phan Boi Chau District 1) is one of the best and most authentic shops in Saigon. Situated beside Ben Thanh Market, the restaurant is always packed with locals and that’s how you know it’s good! The tomatoey broth is thick, flavourful, and fresh and the noodles are topped with quality ingredients, giving you the best in each bowl. The food is excellent and you will not disappoint the food here.

Further Read: Best Place for Bun Rieu in Ho Chi Minh City

Alternatively, try the Bún Riêu Nhà (Address: 19E Kỳ Đồng, District 3) or Bún riêu cua ốc (Address: 66 Nguyễn Thái Bình, District 1). Both restaurants are popular among diners for their piping hot Bun Rieu.

Bánh Mì Hòa Mã

Banh Mi Op La - Ho Chi Minh Food Guide
Banh Mi Op La – Ho Chi Minh Food Guide

Banh Mi is Vietnamese fresh crusty baguettes packed with meat, veggies, and flavorsome sauces. Like pho, banh mi is one of the most well-known examples of Vietnamese food. And if you’re looking for the best street food, Banh Mi is exactly the kind of street food you came to Saigon for. They’re truly one of the best Vietnamese foods in Ho Chi Minh and it is so delicious!

Banh Mi Hoa Ma

Where to eat best Banh Mi in Ho Chi Minh City?

Bánh Mì Hòa Mã (Address: 53 Đ. Cao Thắng, Phường 3, Quận 3) is one of the oldest banh mi places in Saigon since 1958. It is the place for breakfast in Ho Chi Minh city with a good experience of local eating along an alley. The shop is always crowded on weekend, especially Sunday mornings. Order the Banh Mi Op La and an iced coffee. A great start to the day!

Further read on my food trip to Banh Mi Hoa Ma.

Phở bò (Beef Noodle Soup)

Pho - What To Eat in Ho Chi Minh City

Phở bò is a Vietnamese noodle soup with broth, meat, rice noodle, and herbs. It is one of the tastiest examples of Vietnamese food and a must-try in the Ho Chi Minh food guide. It’s also one of the most popular foods in Vietnam and is regarded as a Vietnamese national dish.

A hearty bowl of Pho is made with four basic ingredients – clear stock, rice noodles, meat (typically beef or chicken), and greens. For Southern Region, Pho is always topped with bean sprouts and a wider variety of fresh herbs in an iconic savory broth. It’s so tasty and warming. Find one of the best Pho in Ho Chi Minh city!

Where to eat Pho in Ho Chi Minh City:

Pho 24 is a popular Pho restaurant chain in HCMC and is best known for Pho among diners. They serve piping hot pho with many choices in generous portions. The price is very reasonable price and their value meal only costs about VND 29,000 which is very a good deal!

Bún bò (Spicy Beef Pork Noodle Soup)

What To Eat in Saigon - Bun Bo

Originates from the city of Hue in central Vietnam, Bún bò is getting common and you’ll find it everywhere in Vietnam.

Bun Bo Hue is a type of vermicelli rice noodles soup with beef and pork. It is very similar to Pho, but Bun Bo Hue comes with a robust, spicy broth. If you love Pho then definitely give Bun Bo Hue a try.

Quan An Bac Hien

Best place to eat Bun Bo in Ho Chi Minh City:

Quan An Bac Hien (Address: 111 Hai Ba Trung, District 1) – This was our favorite place for Bun Bo in District 1. The shop is always busy with the locals and everyone is enjoying their food here. You can also sample other dishes here such as Bun Pho which is also highly recommended.

Bánh Bèo (Vietnamese Steam Rice Cake)

Banh Beo Cho Ben Thanh Ben

Also originating from Hue City, Bánh Bèo is a specialty from central Vietnam. It has become one of the popular Vietnamese dishes and is loved by locals in Saigon.

Bánh Bèo is a kind of Vietnamese steamed rice cake made with soft bouncy rice cakes topped with a variety of ingredients by region. In the central region, the Huế style is topped with minced shrimp, and the Quang Nam style is topped with a mixture of pork, shrimp, and mushroom at Da Nang. In the Southern region city, Bánh Bèo is topped with steamed mung bean.

Bánh Bèo - Ho Chi Minh Food Guide

We recommended trying the Bánh Bèo Chợ Bến Thành Ben at Thanh Market (District 1). The stall is located at the West Gate when entering the market and it is easy to spot.

There is always a crowded scene where many people come here to eat Hue’s Bánh Bèo. The Banh Beo is chewy, soft, and fragrant, and still keeps the original flavor of dishes from Hue!

Gỏi cuốn (Vietnamese Spring Rolls)

Goi cuon - Must-eat in Ho Chi Minh City

Traditionally, Goi cuon is made with shrimp, pork, vegetables, herbs, and other ingredients wrapped in a sheet of rice paper (bánh tráng). All the ingredients offer a well-balanced taste, texture, and most important and deliciously healthy! The spring roll is often served with a peanut dipping sauce or fish sauce dipping sauce.

Soft, light, and refreshing! Perfect as an appetizer, snack, or light meal!

Estimate Price: Average 10,000 – 15,000 VND per roll.

Where to eat goi cuon in Ho Chi Minh City:

Everywhere! We always order Gỏi cuốn as an additional side dish when we eat in Ho Chi Minh City. The best one comes from one of the Ben Thanh Street Food Market stalls and it tastes so good!

Hủ Tiếu Nam Vang (Pork and Shrimp Noodle Soup)

Hu Tieu Nam Vang

Basically, Hu Tieu Nam Vang is a clear noodles soup consisting of rice noodles in a fragrant broth, added with fresh shrimp, pork, and raw vegetables such as shallots. It is a noodle dish loved by many Southern people. Originating from Cambodia, Nam Vang Hu Tieu was introduced to Southern Vietnam more than a hundred years ago. Saigon takes it to next level and has its version to suit the taste of local people.

Where to eat in Ho Chi Minh City - Hu tieu Nam Vang Trung Coi

Where to eat Hủ tiếu Nam Vang in Ho Chi Minh City:

Hủ tiếu Nam Vang Trung Còi (Address: 80 Đ. Cao Thắng, Phường 4, Quận 3) is one of the popular local restaurants in District 3 and loved by many diners. The broth is full of flavor and extremely delicious. The noodles can be served in soup or a dry version.

Vietnamese Coffee

Drink Vietnamese Coffee in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh city is known for unique coffee scene. There are thousands of cafes scattered around the city and spend some time exploring around. You can learn and test different type of coffee in the HCMC. For any coffee lover, do not miss to experience and try traditional Vietnamese coffee at a specialty coffee shop when visiting Ho Chi Minh City.

We have so much fun tasting the coffee when visiting Saigon. Sometimes we just choose one of the coffee shops to taste the coffee. You will be surprised by how nice the coffee taste. Try visiting as many coffee shops if you can. Do check out some of the best places to taste Vietnamese coffee in the city.

Cafe Apartment Saigon

Cafe Apartment Saigon (Address: 42 Đ. Nguyễn Huệ, Bến Nghé, Quận 1) – We had an enjoyable time exploring this unique former residential apartment building that now houses cafes and boutique fashion shops. Such a nice place to come and explore.

Grilled Meat and Seafood Skewer

Saigon Street Food - Grilled Meat and Seafood Skewer

There are many street food options in Ho Chi Minh City. You can find many street food vendors serving local snacks, seafood dishes, hot pots, meat, and seafood skewer everywhere in the city. Don’t be afraid of get some, and sitting on low tables and plastic stools randomly set up in the alley.

Enjoy taking in local life and sample some street food along in the city. You’ll find a great scene in an authentic Vietnam street food scene in Saigon.

Ho Chi Minh City Food Guide - Seafood Skewer

Seafood at Vinh Khanh Food Street

I love seafood and was truly enjoying the seafood street food feast on our nights in Saigon. If there’s a place where you should do street food in HCMC, Vĩnh Khánh Street is the place! The street is one of the most vibrant places in the city packed with street food. It is always bustling with hungry foodies every night!

We recommend you stroll along the street, enjoy taking in local life and get into one of the street food stalls to enjoy the food. This, for me, is what Saigon street food is all about!

Vĩnh Khánh Street
Address: 40 Vĩnh Khánh, Phường 8, Quận 4.

Chuối Nướng (Vietnamese Grilled Banana)

Vietnamese Grilled Banana

Chuối Nướng (Vietnamese Grilled banana) is an extremely special and popular street snack among locals in Ho Chi Minh City. The banana is wrapped with steamed sticky rice, then it will be cooked on the charcoal grill. The dish is the perfect mix of the sweetness of banana and the smell of coconut milk.

Must-try Street Snack in Ho Chi Minh City

Besides, you will certainly walk past some street food stalls on the street when wandering around the city. We spotted some food stalls selling the grilled banana crepe and free feel to try them. It is delicious! 

Vietnamese Grilled Banana in Saigon

Local Food Market in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is a great place to great intro to Vietnamese food. Most of the Vietnamese cuisine can be found in Saigon. I ate a lot when I traveled to HCM, but still, I couldn’t sample absolutely everything.

There are so many other dishes that you can try if you looking for what to eat in Ho Chi Minh city.

Local Food Market in Ho Chi Minh City

For recommendation, Ben Thanh Market (Chợ Bến Thành) is an awesome place to sample the local food. This is the best place for breakfast and lunch food. I might be a bit touristy, but you can almost everything here in this local market.

Overview: Ho Chi Minh City Food Guide

All in all, Ho Chi Minh City is truly a food paradise. There is so much good food and we couldn’t sample all the dishes. Listed in this Ho Chi Minh food guide are some of the best Saigon food that we highly recommended.

There are definitely lots more Vietnamese dishes to try as there are so many authentic Vietnamese dishes in the city. Most of the best dishes can be found on the streets, on small plastic tables and chairs. Try to eat like a local for an authentic food experience on your travels to Saigon!

Traveling to Ho Chi Minh City? Feel free to read on our Saigon travel stories.

More food journey in Ho Chi Minh City: