Saigon, also known as Ho Chi Minh City, is renowned for its vibrant street food scene. Here are 10 must-try dishes that showcase the flavors and culinary delights of Saigon:

  1. Bánh Mì:
    • Bánh Mì is a Vietnamese sandwich made with a crispy baguette filled with various ingredients such as pâté, grilled meats (like pork or chicken), pickled vegetables, fresh herbs, and chili sauce. It’s a perfect combination of flavors and textures.
    • Where to Find: You can find Bánh Mì stalls throughout the city, but popular spots include Bánh Mì Huỳnh Hoa and Bánh Mì 37 Nguyen Trai.
  2. Phở:
    • Phở is Vietnam’s most famous noodle soup. It consists of a flavorful beef or chicken broth, rice noodles, and slices of tender meat (usually beef or chicken). It’s garnished with fresh herbs, bean sprouts, lime, and chili, allowing you to adjust the flavors to your liking.
    • Where to Find: Phở is widely available in Saigon. Phở Phượng and Phở Lệ are two renowned establishments.
  3. Bánh Xèo:
    • Bánh Xèo is a savory Vietnamese pancake made with rice flour, coconut milk, and turmeric. It’s filled with shrimp, pork, bean sprouts, and green onions. You wrap it in lettuce leaves and dip it in a tangy fish sauce-based dip before enjoying its crispy texture and delicious fillings.
    • Where to Find: Bánh Xèo 46A and Bánh Xèo Muôi Xanh are popular spots for this dish.
  4. Gỏi Cuốn:
    • Gỏi Cuốn, also known as Vietnamese fresh spring rolls, are light and refreshing rolls made with rice paper wrappers filled with a variety of ingredients. They typically include shrimp, pork, vermicelli noodles, lettuce, herbs, and sometimes slices of omelet. They’re served with peanut sauce for dipping.
    • Where to Find: Gỏi Cuốn stalls can be found in many street food areas, such as Ben Thanh Market and Bến Thành Street Food Market.
  5. Bánh Cuốn:
    • Bánh Cuốn is a delicate and silky steamed rice noodle roll filled with a mixture of ground pork, mushrooms, and shallots. It’s typically served with crispy fried shallots on top and accompanied by a side of fish sauce for dipping. It’s a popular breakfast dish in Saigon.
    • Where to Find: Bánh Cuốn Hai Nam and Bánh Cuốn Thanh Trì are popular places to enjoy this dish.
  6. Cơm Tấm:
    • Cơm Tấm is a Vietnamese broken rice dish. It features grilled pork chop, steamed pork and egg patty (called “bi”), pickled vegetables, cucumber slices, and a side of fish sauce. The broken rice has a unique texture and absorbs the flavors of the accompanying ingredients.
    • Where to Find: Cơm Tấm Bà Ghẹ and Cơm Tấm Cali are well-known establishments for this dish.
  7. Bánh Tráng Trộn:
    • Bánh Tráng Trộn is a popular street snack in Saigon. It’s a salad-like dish made with rice paper strips tossed with various ingredients such as shredded green mango, herbs, dried shrimp, peanuts, and a tangy dressing. It offers a delightful mix of textures and flavors.
    • Where to Find: Bánh Tráng Trộn stalls are scattered around the city, including the street food alley on Vinh Khanh Street.
  8. Hủ Tiếu:
    • Hủ Tiếu is a flavorful noodle soup that originated from the Chinese community in Saigon. It features a clear broth, rice noodles, and toppings like sliced pork, shrimp, fish balls, and vegetables. It’s often served with fresh herbs, chili, and lime for added freshness and taste.
    • Where to Find: Hủ Tiếu stalls can be found in various street food areas, such as Nguyen Thuong Hien Street and District 4.
  9. Bánh Canh Cua:
    • Bánh Canh Cua is a hearty and satisfying crab soup dish. It consists of thick tapioca noodles, a rich broth made from pork bones and crab, and chunks of crab meat. It’s garnished with herbs and served with lime and chili for a touch of tanginess and heat.
    • Where to Find: Bánh Canh Cua 180 andBánh Canh Cua Ba Thủy are popular spots for this dish.
  10. Chè:
    • Chè is a popular Vietnamese dessert that comes in various forms. It’s made with different combinations of ingredients like mung beans, black-eyed peas, coconut milk, fruits, and sweetened rice. It can be served hot or cold and offers a delightful and refreshing way to end your meal.
    • Where to Find: Chè stalls can be found in many street food areas, such as Ben Thanh Market and Bến Thành Street Food Market.

These are just a few of the many delicious street food dishes you can find in Saigon. Exploring the bustling street food stalls and markets in the city will open up a world of flavors and culinary experiences.

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