Vietnam Food Guide

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:


Pho

  • 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.

Banh Mi

  • 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.

Ban Cuon

  • 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.

Bun Cha

  • 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 🍜

sebastiankade

Sebastian Kade, Founder of Sumry and Author of Living Happiness, is a software designer and full-stack engineer. He writes thought-provoking articles every now and then on sebastiankade.com

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