This year is to be an appreciation of life; a focused pursuit of wisdom; a year of relentlessly chasing boredom.
During my second visit to Vietnam, I spent nearly a month ruthlessly searching for the best local Vietnamese food in Ho Chi Minh City. I found some good stuff.
Here’s what I think are the stars of Vietnamese cuisine, and where to get them.
Psst, if you’re looking for foreign food in Vietnam, I can’t help you. Everything here is the kind of food you’ll eat sitting on plastic chairs in dingy alleys.
Local tip: Vietnamese people love wet wipes. Pick up a pack from a convenience store to clean your hands before and after food. Bonus: you’ll save 5K VND each meal.
Here are some of my favourite Vietnamese dishes:
- The ramen of the south-east. Just don’t slurp it… that’s rude.
- Delicate broth with smooth, bitey rice noodles.
- Pile on the mint, bean sprouts and a little chilli.
- Vietnamese chilli is hot, really hot 🔥
- Cost: 30-80K VND (~$1-5 AUD)
- You can get good pho nearly anywhere, these two are good.
- I know you’re thinking, “That’s so white,” but seriously, these are adored by locals and foreigners alike.
- Subway of the south-east
- Cost: 20-60K VND (~$1-3 AUD)
- This little area is where all the good Banh mi is at.
- This is my ultimate favourite!
- Rice paper “noodles” made into a kind of crepe wrap :S
- Filled with mushroom, pork, and served with Vietnamese sausage.
- Drown in fish sauce. Or just pour it all over your body if that’s what you’re into.
- Cost: 30-60K VND
- This store is my absolute favourite, and I tried a lot.
- Deconstructed Vietnamese noodle + spring rolls.
- Combine a bit of noodle, spring roll, lettuce and herbs in into your bowl.
- Drown with fish sauce.
- Cost: 20-80K VND.
- This place in little Japan town ended up being my favourite, but most street stalls are good.
Banh Canh Cua
- Every time I eat this I have two bowls back-to-back.
- It’s really thick rice noodles with a rich seafood broth.
- Plenty of seafood thrown in there too.
- Cost: 50-100K VND
- This place is deservingly famous for it 👌
Vietnamese is probably one of the most diverse cuisines around. So if anything, these are a starting place for your taste buds, but by no means all there is to it. Enjoy 🍜