As one of East Asia’s most attractive destinations, Vietnam attracts scores of tourists every year, receiving almost 16 million international visitors in 2018 alone. Travelers are drawn to its secluded beaches, vast rice paddies, soaring mountains and lively cities, especially Sai gon(Ho Chi Minh city).
As you can see, the street food scene in Sai Gon is in every single district and everywhere you look. Everyday, thousands of open-air restaurants and food stalls serve up delicious, cheap food on the city’s side walk. However, there is more interesting things than food. Today, we will showcase you the Sai Gon street food culture. What are you waiting for? Let’s go!
Explore Sai Gon street food culture
- 1 Explore Sai Gon street food culture
- 1.1 Van Kiep street
- 1.2 Su Van Hanh street
- 1.3 Vinh Khanh street
- 1.4 Phan Van Han street
- 1.5 Co Giang street
- 1.6 Tran Khac Chan street
- 1.7 Nguyen Thuong Hien street
- 2 Food safety in Vietnam
- 3 Some notices when you try Sai gon street food culture
We will show you guys 7 best streets for street food in Sai Gon and our recommendation of particular places to eat in the descriptions of each street. One thing we know for sure that the prices are affordable.
Van Kiep street
Van Kiep street is a lively exhibition of Vietnamese street food that showcases several different dishes all in the space of a couple hundred meters such as phở, bánh canh cua, bánh mì, bánh xèo, bún mắm, bún bò Huế, bún chả, nem nướng, chè. There must be at least 50 dishes available on this Sai Gon street food tour, and over water-mouth food to choose from. We usually see many young customers – all clustered around small tables, talking, chatting, laughing.
Quán 104 (230 Van Kiep)
It is a trendy place specializing in grilled octopus (bạch tuộc nướng), which is very favorite for Vietnamese youth. The spicy, delicious octopus is grilled over a coal barbecue on the sidewalk. This food is served popular in many Sai Gon street food markets.
Banh canh cua(63, Van Kiep)
Van Kiep has more than its fair share of bánh canh cua outlets – a stodgy, slippery, fishy, noodley southern classic: try it at 63 Van Kiep. Near the intersection with Phan Xich Long Street there are a couple of good bún mắm stalls. This is a potent seafood noodle soup which is crammed full of wholesome ingredients.
Over all it was a unique experience customized to my (vegetarian) needs and I got to taste amazing Vietnamese dishes, beside Banh Mi and Pho, that I’ve never heard of or have tried.
Thanks for everything, and I highly recommend trying this” said by a visitor on Trip Advisor.
Su Van Hanh street
Su Van Hanh is long, lively, but the section between Ngo Gia Tu street and Nguyen chi Thanh one is very jam-packed with excellent food. Food stalls, vendors, coffee shop and bars line in the street. Young and old, families and couples sit on plastic tools and taste diverse street food.
Banh xeo (004, Block H)
Let’s talk about Vietnamese street food culture, this street is very famous for Vietnamese pancake(banh xeo). Particularly, banh xeo at 004 block H, where the family have been in this business on the same spot for generations.
Tai Phat( At the corner with Hòa Hảo Street)
There is a good Chinese style noodle called mi vit tiem (egg noodles with duck in a deeply aromatic broth). The noodle is sold from a classic trolley decorated with painted dragons and scenes from Chinese legend.
Right at the southern end of block H, there is an attractive Vietnamese dessert stall at the corner. Sweet soup is a delight dessert in Vietnamese food and drink. All of them are gooey, sweet, colorful and involve sticky rice, green bean or coconut milk in some form or another. The textures and flavors are so tasty that you should try at least once time on your visit.
Had a great time seeing behind the scenes in HCMC. Vi was particularly excellent, very grand knowledgeable. Highly recommend” said by a visitor on Trip Advisor.
Vinh Khanh street
Vinh Khanh street is one of the most popular places in Sai Gon, especially seafood. The atmosphere is electric: hundreds of small and large groups of friends hunker down at tiny red and blue plastic tables, splitting shells, cracking crab legs, clinking beer glasses and having a really good time.
There are fire eaters and street dancers too. The food scene here is vibrant, choatic, loud, busy, oppressive, unrelenting and a glorious spot of food, fun and youth.
Ốc Oanh (534 Vĩnh Khánh Street)
This stall is very famous for all the seafood and shells. It serves big portions, ultra fresh seafood and the service brick and efficient. The best sellers are ốc hương ràn muối ớt (fried sea snails with salt and chilli) and the sò điệp nướng mỡ hành (grilled scallops with spring onions and peanuts). The prices here are higher than elsewhere but it is worth it.
In this place you can eat a lot of popular seafood, seafood is quite fresh here and the price is quite good. This place is quite crowded, so sometimes it will have to wait to get to the table” said by a visitor on Trip Advisor.
Quán BBQ Lúa (33 Vĩnh Khánh Street)
Near the intersection with Hoàng Diệu Street is Quán BBQ Lúa (33 Vĩnh Khánh Street). The specialty here is grill-it-yourself barbecued meat. A small coal-fired stove is placed on your table onto which you lay chunks of marinated beef, pork, goat and fish. Try pork ribs in five spice marinade when visiting here.
My relative took my friend and I too BBQ Lau. The outdoor seating bbq is great. You’re sitting on a plastic chair with a plastic table bbq in a clay pot grill. They have plenty of seafood and meat. The staffs are attentive and the service is fast. They do serve beer too. The food portion is decent sized and the priced are reasonable. Definitely recommended coming here.”said by a visitor on Trip Advisor.
Phan Van Han street
Phan Van Han is a long, narrow street connecting two of Saigon’s biggest arteries. It is lined with cheap food stalls frequented by locals and students from nearby universities. Just across the Thị Nghè Channel from the glitz and glamour of Saigon’s central District 1, Phan Văn Hân Street has a very local, unpretentious atmosphere. The street is crowded with food vendors, shops, homes, businesses and motorbikes, creating an intimate environment where space (which is in short supply) is often shared.
Snail and shellfish eateries – lit by naked fluorescent light bulbs – set up on the pavement next to the peeling plaster of old homes; bánh xèo stalls occupy local people’s doorsteps; soup vendors serve customers at tiny tables on a slither of sidewalk not more than a few feet wide. The scented smoke from all these food vendors drifts into the street, where their aromas mingle with the exhaust fumes from passing traffic.
Bột chiên (fried rice flour cubes that I like to call ‘Vietnamese French fries’) is a street food staple: find it at the corner of Phan Văn Hân and Xô Viết Nghẹ Tĩnh streets. The vendor here has been serving bột chiện for 20 years and has gotten pretty darn good at it.
One of the most famous noodle joints in the area Lương Ký Mì Gia (1 Huỳnh Mẫn Đạt Street) is right at the eastern extreme of Phan Văn Hân Street. They sell all sorts of noodles but the dish that made them famous is mì vịt tiềm (fresh yellow noodles with marinated aromatic duck) – get here early because they run out of this dish fast.
Ordered the duck noodles with mushroom & the wonton soup. Loved both of them! They basically served a huge portion of duck, but the duck was wonderfully tender (not dry, like I expected it to be). They make the noodles themselves too, and I enjoyed the texture very much. The broth was also tastefully done. Definitely recommend a trip here if you’re in the cholon area!”said by a visitor on Trip Advisor.
Co Giang street
Cô Giang is a long, straight street that unofficially marks the southern perimeter of Saigon’s burgeoning backpacker area in District 1. However, Cô Giang Street is a lot quieter than Phạm Ngũ Lão, Bùi Viện and Đề Thám streets whose bars, western restaurants and mini-marts make up the centre of the backpacker district.
In general, travelers who choose to stay or spend time on Cô Giang Street are getting something more ‘authentic’, more ‘Vietnamese’ from their time in Saigon. While Cô Giang does not have many food stalls as other streets in this guide, it still offers plenty of local street-life and bustling open-air eateries, especially around the intersection of Cô Giang and Đề Thám streets.
This stall is particularly good for this dish and there are plenty of other items on the menu here – most of which have been translated into English.
Hoàng Yến (121 Cô Giang Street)
Do not miss the stalls selling bò lá lốt(grilled beef rolled in aromatic betel leaf). they are easy to find because of the smoking barbecues out front and the enticing smell. The price is around 20,000 VND/pax.
This would have to be one of the most fun adventures we have done. We did the vegan tour even though we are not vegans. The food was delicious and we learnt so much. Great way to experience the city away from the standard tourist sites”said by a visitor on Trip Advisor
Check the best hotels in the center of Sai Gon here: the best luxury hotels & resorts in Ho Chi Minh
Like Le Meridien Sai Gon Hotel
Tran Khac Chan street
In the space of a couple hundred meters, there are close to 50 food outlets, all vying for space and attention on this busy little street. Hemmed in at one end by the Thi Nghe Channel and at the other by the tree-lined Tran Quang Khai Street, this is a place to really let your ‘foodie instincts’ guide you: follow the smells, the smoke, the neon signage and, most importantly, local people, towards anything edible that takes your fancy.
Banh Canh Cua 87
This gooey, slimy, crab-based concoction, uses thick and doughy noodles which are famously slippery: getting them to stay on your chopsticks from bowl to mouth is a challenge. There are a couple of enticing ‘grilled meat trolleys’ plying this street: the smell of barbecued chicken is difficult to pass up.
We had noodles with crab and shrimps, we tried also the pork. Iced tea or fruit juice as drinks.
The price is extremely low.
Good choice!” said by a visitor on Trip Advisor
Pomelo juice (nước ép bưởi) at 114 Tran Khac Chan.
Saigon nights can be hot and humid; cool off with a glass of freshly squeezed pomelo juice.
Nguyen Thuong Hien street
Nguyen Thuong Hien is a straight and narrow street leading northeast from District 1. At night, there are hundreds of diners take their seats at sidewalk restaurants, munching on shellfish, throwing empty beer cans under their tables, talking loudly, and singing along to acoustic guitars.
A Soi (237-239 Nguyen Thuong Hien)
The liveliest section of Nguyen Thuong Hien is between the cross streets of Nguyen Dinh Chieu and Vo Van Tan. This food stall serves fresh and delicious seafood. Oysters, clams, crab claws, sea snails and local beer are all on the menu here.
Wandering the streets around our hotel, we stumbled across this restaurant and decided to give it a try. So glad we did. We had scallops sate, crab in chilli salt and a seafood fried rice. All very good. Probably my favourite feed of our Vietnam trip. Reasonably priced. Liked it so much we went back another night. Give it a try, there’s something on the broad menu that should satisfy everyone”said by a visitor on Trip Advisor
Phat Dat at 125 Nguyen Thuong Hien
Although Nguyen Thuong Hien is famous for its seafood, it’s also become the unofficial fruit juice street of Saigon. Near the intersection with Nguyen Dinh Chieu and with Nguyen Thi Minh Khai there are several large ‘juiceries’ where all number of tropical fruits are freshly squeezed into plastic bottles to take away.
Hu tiu Nam Vang(488 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street)
You are served a bowl of its famous hủ tiếu Nam Vang noodles (slices of pork, whole shrimp and quail eggs in a clear sweet broth seasoned with shallots, spring onions and kale). It is very worth to try.
Fresh off the plane from HK at 2:30 am and I happened across this busy spot. This place has some of the best Hu Tieu that I’ve had on the street in Saigon. Order it with everything. Goes great with a cold beer. Service is quick. It was like 60k w/ a beer”said by a visitor on Trip Advisor.
Food safety in Vietnam
Food safety is one of the most common concerns of travelers when they visit to Vietnam. Our tips to food safety will help you to avoid getting sick so that you can feel free to enjoy your holiday.
Sai Gon street food market
- If you ask us whether Vietnamese food is safe, it depends. You should observe a place to eat first before you choose it. A busy stall would mean that many guests could eat there, so it is safe.
- You should stay away from street food stalls where vendors use dirty oil to cook.
- Some food stalls are covered on all three sides with glass, protecting the food from harmful germs. Do not try the food left in the open as this would mean the ingredients could easily go bad.
- If you enjoy eating food such as phở, bún bò Huế (spicy beef noodle) or any other dish, you can tell the seller to dip the vegetables into hot water in case you worry that you will get dirty one. Try to order well-done steak when eating pho.
It is no guarantee that restaurant food is safer than street food. Somehow, they use more frozen food, so it is not as healthy. Frozen food also has more fat than food kept in usual temperature as well. However, eating at restaurants is a start if its your first time eating Vietnamese food and drink.
You should not drink water from the tap in Vietnam. You can buy bottled water from the convenience store. If the ice in your glass looks as if it has been crushed into little pieces from a bigger block of ice, then do not drink it. It would better to take the ones that look like small cubes.
Some notices when you try Sai gon street food culture
More topic about eat you can see here
When you are walking on the streets, on the back of motorbikes or in a cyclo, AVOID showing your wallet and over the shoulder bags or wearing cameras, expensive sunglasses. Do not turn you into a target for moped-borne snatch-thieves.
When you are in line of a crowded street food spot, keep your purse, cell phones, digital stuff in your front pocket or belly bag and be aware if anyone bumps into you, or attempts to cause general confusion around your person.
Crossing a street:
No matter how many hundreds of motorbikes are coming towards you or how suicidal your act looks, walk slowly, do not hesitate, run or step backwards, just keep crossing and the traffic will flow around you.
Street Vendors of all kind
There are some vendors who will invite you to buy their goods. Once taken, they will demand high price. You should ignore and bargain until you pay.
To sum up, hope you will have the best moment with us to explore street food in Sai Gon and do not miss the chance to visit us and take some great deals for your customized tours at Goreise