Top 15 Must Eat Dishes in Saigon
Ho Chi Minh City

There’s nowhere better to immerse yourself in the exquisite flavours of Vietnamese cuisine than right here in Saigon – Ho Chi Minh City. Cosmopollitan Sagon attracts residents from all over Vietnam, so it’s the best place to experience the amazing regional variations in Vietnamese cuisine between the north, the centre and the south.
Everywhere you look, no matter what the time of day, there are people eating and preparing food. On the streets, down alleyways, and in every other “hole in the wall”, something food related is occurring. Top 15 Must Eat Dishes in Saigon, maybe you can’t try all, but note.

Top 15 Must Eat Dishes in Saigon
Ho Chi Minh City

Banh trang tron - Mixed Rice Paper

Banh Trang Tron

Vietnamese street food


Banh trang tron (Mixed Rice Paper) is one of well known Vietnamese street foods. Banh trang tron is a relatively recent Vietnamese creation, a snack of shredded rice paper, seasoned with a chili sauce, and filled with herbs like Vietnamese coriander and basil and supplemented with pieces of squid, salty fish, and quail eggs… The price of Mixed Rice Paper – Banh trang tron – is absolutely cheaper than another Vietnamese street food. Just pay less than 15,000 VND for 1 serving

Bot Chien


Bot chien is basically fried rice cakes. The rice cakes are made from rice flour and tapioca starch, and although Chinese and some other southeast Asian versions include daikon radish in the cakes, I think they are normally just rice in Vietnam.
The cakes are sliced into bite sized pieces, then fried, normally on a hot skillet in lots of lard, along with some light seasonings, until crispy and golden brown on the edges. Once cooked, the rice cakes are topped with an egg and a handful of green onions before being served.
The result of Bot chien are little bite sized nuggets of crispy sticky rice flour, enriched with egg, and with a nice smoky flavor.

Bo La Lot


Fully known as thit Bo la lot, this Vietnamese dish includes minced beef mixed with garlic and shallots and some simple spices, wrapped into wild betel leaves (also known as piper lolot leaves), rolled up like cigars, and grilled over hot charcoal.
After the Bo la lot rolls are finished grilling, they are served accompanied by Vietnamese rice paper, bun vermicelli rice noodles, and a host of herbs and raw vegetables on the side.

Finally, some extra dipping sauces, and freshly crushed chili, is what elevates the flavor of bo la lot to even higher levels of delicious. The mix of of flavorful meat grilled in an herbaceous leaf, paired with raw vegetables, and being able to assemble each roll yourself, are the reasons why bo la lot is such an amazing Vietnamese dish.
Bun Thit Nuong - Cha Gio

Bun Thit Nuong - Cha Gio


Bun thit nuong is a light and fresh rice-noodle salad topped with barbecued pork.
The dish is visually appealing, with the pork, crushed peanuts, and pickled carrot and daikon sitting on top of the “bun noodles”. Hiding underneath these carefully arranged toppings are shredded herbs, finely sliced cucumber and bean sprouts.
Bun thit nuong is usually served with a side of “nuoc mam”, which should be poured over the noodles as a dressing.
Some street food vendors add slices of fried spring rolls (cha gio) and/or prawn paste (chao tom) to their Bun thit nuong.

Banh cuon

Banh Cuon


Banh cuon, which directly translates to rice cakes, are sort of like noodle wrapped, non-deep fried spring rolls, packed full of savory ingredients.
To prepare the recipe for Banh cuon, a thin layer of rice and tapioca flour batter is steamed into a noodle like crepe. It’s then filled, often with a combination of lightly seasoned minced pork, small dried shrimp, and wood-ear mushrooms, and served with finely shaved lettuce and blanched bean sprouts on the side. Finally, you can’t eat Banh cuon without dipping it into sweet fish sauce, known as “nuoc mam”

Bun Rieu

Bun Rieu


Bun rieu (Vietnamese Pork & Crab Noodle Soup) is a Vietnamese rice noodle soup with a tomato and crab soup base. It is eaten with a lot of fresh veggies and Vietnamese herbs, the popular of which is split water spinach stems (Rau Muong).
There are many varieties of Bún Riêu. Some are made with crab (bún riêu cua). Some are made with fish (Bun rieu Ca) and others are made with small shellfish (Bun rieu Oc). The stock is made from pork and/or chicken bones. Tomatoes, fried tofu, and sometimes pork blood are added. Then the stock is seasoned with fermented shrimp paste.

Bo To Cu Chi


Cu Chi is one of the suburban districts of Saigon. For people living in Saigon, Cu Chi is still famous for some of their local specialities: the super fresh cow milk, the tapioca that you might try during the tunnels visit and the famous veal or as we say here “young beef” (Bo to).
It can be boiled to wrap with rice paper, cooked with lemongrass to eat with fried sticky rice, or simply grilled to eat with vegetables

Goi Cuon

Mekong Delta


Goi cuon – Vietnamese Spring Roll – is a refreshing appetizer made up of shrimp, pork, vermicelli noodles, and an assortment of vegetables rolled in rice paper. Goi cuon can be served with peanut sauce or other Vietnamese dipping sauces, such as nước mắm, a condiment based on fish sauce.
Cha gio – Fried Spring Rolls: Ingredients used for the fried spring roll are different depending each local but usually it comprises of lean minced pork, sea crabs or unshelled shrimps, edible mushroom, dried onion, chicken eggs, pepper, salt and different kinds of seasoning. Whichever they are, all ingredients are mixed thoroughly before being wrapped with rice paper into small rolls. These rolls are then fried in boiling oil. The cooked rolls are usually garnished with fresh lettuce and herbs.

Banh Mi

Banh Mi


Commonly well-known along with Pho, Vietnamese baguette sandwiches, called Banh Mi, have attracted a growing fan base around the word.
There are many different varieties of banh mi, the most common type of banh mi in Ho Chi Minh City is served with a thin layer of pate, mayonnaise, various cuts of deli meats, slices of cucumber and chilli, pickled daikon and carrot and a selection of fresh herbs. This version is known as “banh mi thit“, which translates literally as meat baguette

A great on-the-go breakfast is banh mi op la: a toasted baguette filled with a fried egg, cucumbers slices, a sprinkle of pepper and a slug of soy sauce. Banh mi heo quay is a hefty serve of roast pork belly, cucumber and a tangy barbecue sauce. A rarer type of baguette is banh mi xiu mai, which some Americans call a Vietnamese meatball sub sandwich. Xiu mai is a pork meatball cooked in a homemade tomato sauce. The filling of this banh mi usually depends on the individual vendor, with the most common additions pickled carrot and daikon, sprigs of coriander and slices of cucumber and chilli.
Hu Tiu My Tho

Hu Tiu


In Ho Chi Minh City, two types of hu tiu are served: Hu tiu My Tho from the Mekong Delta town of the same name, and Hu tiu Nam Vang from the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh (Nam Vang is the Vietnamese name for Phnom Penh).
The dish is usually served with a platter of herbs, including edible chrysanthemum, chives, lettuce leaves, as well as bean sprouts, sliced chilli and lime wedges.

Banh canh cua

Banh Canh


Banh canh (literally “soup cake”) is a thick Vietnamese noodle that can be made from tapioca flour or a mixture of rice and tapioca flour. “Cake” refers to the thick sheet of uncooked dough from which the noodles are cut.

Common varieties of banh canh include: Banh canh gio heo, Banh canh ca loc, Banh canh Trang Bang, Banh canh Cua – Ghe

Banh canh gio heo: served with pork knuckle and sliced pork; Banh canh ca loc: with snake head fish from the Mekong Delta; Banh canh Trảng Bàng – banh canh made in the southeastern Vietnamese town of Trảng Bàng, served with boiled pork, tapioca noodles, and local herbs. And don’t miss: Banh canh cua – Banh canh ghe.
“Cua – Ghe” is the Vietnamese word for crab – spider crab, so together Banh canh cua – Banh canh ghe is the sticky thick noodles with crab or spider crab
Banh xeo - Vietnamese pancake

Banh Xeo


Banh Xeo are giant savory pancakes that literally translate to sizzling cake because of the noise they make when they are being cooked.
A thin layer of batter is fried in a lot of oil, then combined with your choice of ingredients, often including slices of pork belly, shrimp, and onions, then folded over with a handful of lightly cooked bean sprouts in the middle.

The pancakes are served with platters of leaves, which are used as wrappers. To eat, tear off a chunk of the crispy pancake and place it in the centre of a mustard or a lettuce leaf, add a selection of basil, balm and perilla leaves and roll up into a giant green cigar. Dip the end in the nuoc mam dipping sauce and enjoy!

Bun Bo Hue


Bun bo Hue  is a popular Vietnamese soup containing rice vermicelli (bun) and beef (bo).Hue is a city in central Vietnam associated with the cooking style of the former royal court
The broth, which if made to specification, should be full of beef bone flavor, and fragrant with lemongrass, has a wonderful taste, like a citrusy beef soup.

The noodles are normally rice vermicelli noodles, and a bowl of bun bo Hue is often served with slices of beef, a hunk of either ox tail or pork knuckle, cha lua (Vietnamese sausage and ham), and a handful of green and sweet onions.
Just like every other noodle dish, the extra herbs, flash boiled vegetables, and chilies, give bun bo Hue an added dimension of deliciousness.
Com tam - Vietnamese broken rice

Com Tam


Com tam – Broken rice is a Vietnamese dish made from rice with fractured rice grains. “Tam” refers to the broken rice grains, while com refers to cooked ricetaste, like a citrusy beef soup.
You can eat Com tam anytime, in the morning, afternoon or even at night. Com tam is usually served by street vendors who have extremely effective way to attract customers by fantastic smell of grilled pork.

The most basic version is known as Com tam suon nuong, the broken rice and a thin grilled pork chop, served on a plate and accompanied by fish sauce dressing, cucumber pickles, green onion oil, and chilies to garnish.



What list of Top 15 must eat dishes in Saigon would be ended without Pho? No matter if you’ve been to Vietnam before or not, you’ve likely heard of Pho. Pho has shown its position not only in Vietnamese cuisine but also world cuisine.
The most common type of Pho is Pho bo (beef pho), followed by Pho ga (chicken pho). The broth for beef pho is generally made by simmering beef bones, oxtails, flank steak, charred onion, charred ginger and spices. For a more intense flavor, the bones may still have beef on them. Chicken bones also work and produce a similar broth.

You can try: Pho tai: With sliced steak – Pho chin: With brisket – Pho bo vien: With beef meatballs – Pho ga: With chicken
“Top 15 Must Eat Dishes in Saigon – Ho Chi Minh City“, it would be impossible to say these are the 15 best foods in the Ho Chi Minh city. However, if you prefer to make your way around Ho Chi Minh City on your own and discover culinary delights, please use this list as a resource and inspiration for your Vietnam – Ho Chi Minh City holiday.


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