A Gastronomic Guide To Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh is truly a melting pot when it comes to eateries, and here we have tried to provide you with a guide to tasting the city through its many popular local delicacies and where to sample them
Guide To Eating Out In Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City
Aerial view of Ho Chi Minh City/ Kayak

Ho Chi Minh city, more commonly known as Saigon, is the most popular city of Vietnam. It has conventionally been a migratory city, with people from different parts of Vietnam coming here to find sustenance. The city has become a paradise for food lovers, courtesy the staples brought in by migrants.

The city is a slowly developing cosmopolitan landscape, with sprawling complexes, luxury hotels and bustling marketplaces. Ho Chi Minh is truly a melting pot when it comes to eateries, and here we have tried to provide you with a guide to tasting the city, whether you prefer eating like the locals or exploring the fine dining scene in the city

A plate of Com Tam
A plate of Com Tam/Michelin Guide

Com Tam: Com Tam is truly the most unique speciality that Ho Chi Minh has to offer. This classic dish consists of barbecued pork on a plateful of broken rice. This is topped by a fried egg and plenty of pickled vegetables, and drizzled with tangy fish sauce. Today it can be eaten as part of any meal but traditionally Com Tam has been a breakfast staple.

One of the most legendary outlets offering this delicacy is Com Tam Ba Ghien. It is the most famous and a crowd favourite, with hundreds of diners flocking here every day. The consistency in taste and the portion size has led to the establishment of a loyal customer base. They accept only cash and are open from Monday to Sunday from 7:30 am to 8:30 pm.

Address: 84 Dang Van Ngu Street, Ward 10, Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Cost for two: INR 430

Vietnamese Egg Coffee
Vietnamese Egg Coffee/ ShutterStock

Egg Coffee: Vietnam as a country is known for being obsessed with coffee and coffee enthusiasts the world over are familiar with the Vietnamese Iced Coffee. But Egg Coffee has emerged as the new favourite recently. Egg Coffee was first invented by Nguyen Van Giang during the French War. There was a shortage of milk in the city of Hanoi and he whisked in eggs as a substitute in the coffee at the Sofitel Legend Hotel to serve his customers.

One of the best cafes serving it in Ho Chi Minh is the Okkio Café. This nondescript café is located on the Le Loi street. It is spacious and tranquil except during peak hours and the coffee is topped by chocolate dust and has a creamy marshmallow flavour.

Address: 120 - 122 D. Le Loi, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Cost for two: Between INR 300-500

Snails- In Ho Chi Minh city, snails, cooked in a variety of ways, is the most popular street food. Snails are best enjoyed with beer and most of the stalls open in the evening because people come out to eat post work and classes. It is essentially a social snack.

The snail hotspots in Ho Chi Mihn are Vinh Khanh Street in District 4, with crowds gathering in large numbers everyday around 6pm. Oanh Snail Restaurant is a customer favourite and the different snails can be taken steamed, fried, grilled, tossed in garlic and chilli sauce and many other ways. Don’t miss out on this particular culinary experience while you are in Saigon. It is open from 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm.

Address: 534 Vinh Khanh Street, District 4, Ho Chi Minh City

Cost for two: INR 400

A bowl of Hu Tieu broth
A bowl of Hu Tieu broth/ iStock

Hu Tieu: Hu Tieu is a Southern Vietnamese noodle dish topped with quail eggs, shrimp and pork, and finished off with a lot of greens. The delicacy is a mixture of Cambodian and Vietnamese flavours and staples. The dish is served both as a soup and a salad. The rice noodles are crisper and thinner as compared to Pho noodles and fresh herbs and soy sauce are served as a side dish to it.

Hong Phat is the oldest and most popular restaurant for Hu Tieu in Ho Chi Mihn. It is located in District 3 and serves only Hu Tieu. Locals come here to savour a hearty breakfast. The furnishings may have modernised over the decades, but the taste of the Hu Tieu as well as the idea of serving the broth in a glass have persisted over the years.

Address: 389-391 Vo Van Tan Street, Ward 5, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Cost for two: INR 500

An An Saigon
An An Saigon/Google Images

An An Saigon: If you wish to experience fine dining in Ho Chi Minh, Chef Peter Cuong’s An An Saigon, located in District 1, is the right place for you. The idea behind the restaurant is to take fine dining to the next level. The restaurant therefore focuses on combining gourmet dishes with street style Vietnamese fare, and the Dalat Style Pizza and Banh Xeo Taco pair well with the cocktails on offer.

The restaurant is open from Tuesdays to Sunday, 5pm-11pm, and it’s recommended to visit it for an early evening dinner to get the full Saigon experience from a table at the rooftop.

Address: 89 Ton That Dam, Ben Nghe, District 1, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Cost for two: INR 15,000

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