This post is dedicated to all the street food business in Saigon!
In Vietnam, you can find these food carts everywhere, and most of the time, the food they served is much better than hi-end restaurants, with a much cheaper price. Why? Because they only focus on few dishes and keep perfecting them! They are, indeed, local small businesses, and probably have been for generations, with family’s secrets for perfecting their recipes. And you will always receive the most heart-warming customer services there! So, the next time you visit Vietnam, go out and try the street food from local vendors!
*Side note: Street food in Ho Chi Minh City was featured in a Netflix original documentary series – Street Food: Asia (Ep. 7: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam), with inspirational stories from local vendors. Don’t miss out on that!
Steamed rice sheets and rolls (Bánh ướt, bánh cuốn)
Location: Alley 150 (Hem 150) Nguyen Trai Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Well, looks like it’s hard to find this place since it doesn’t have a particular address, but they are always there, and have been there for a long time. From what I know, they have run this place for more than 50 years. Here, the steamed rice rolls was decent, and the steamed rice sheets with Vietnamese pork bologna was amazing. Dipping them in the sweet & spicy fish sauce, it just hit the spot!
In Vietnam, our means of transportation is mainly moped. The seat is usually in black color, so it is easily overheat under the intense sunlight in Vietnam. However, when we arrived on our moped, the “staff” (i.e., usually family members of the owner) covered the moped’s seat to keep it cool for us. That’s the heart-warming “customer services” I’m talking about.
Smoothies (Sinh tố trái cây)
Location: on the sidewalk, opposite to Nguyen Hue Elementary school, on Le Thi Rieng Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Now, this is another tricky place to find. But it is one of the best places for smoothies and fruit bowls, and has been there for years (even before I was born). Smoothies, with just $1.00, were delicious, and for the fruit bowl, they have a variety of local-tropical fruits. Fresh and yummy, a must-try in Vietnam.
Vietnamese crab soup (Súp cua)
Location: On the sidewalk next to Alley 85 on Tran Khac Chan street, Tan Dinh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
This food cart is the reason why I once stated that “the good soup did not necessarily come from a restaurant”. Her crab soup is way more delicious than any restaurants I’ve been to. And the fact that the soup sold out after few hours speak volume for the quality of her soup.
Location: Pho Miss Oanh
20 Doan Van Bo, Ward 9, District 4, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
The place has been there for nearly 30 years, ever since I was still a toddler, and now I am 28. I don’t have to go to a fancy restaurant to have good Pho. I just need to go to Miss Oanh’s humble place to have a Pho bowl that warms my heart and my stomach.
Last but not least,…
Spicy Beef Noodle Soup (Bún Bò Huế)
Location: In front of the house 410 Pham The Hien street, District 8, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
I just randomly found this place with my dad when we went to District 8 area for some family’s work. The vendor only had two (02) tables on the sidewalk, very humble, but the food was good with a very low price. The chili satay, the broth smelled so good, the beef was tender, my dad and I was just completely amazed by the sidewalk spicy beef noodle soup!
Well… this whole post screamed out “This place is a little bit tricky to find”! Yes, they are all the hidden gems in Saigon street food, and that is the uniqueness of this city.
And that’s it for some street food experience! Stay tune for more!