Vietnamese Traditional Food: 20 Must-Eat Dishes In Saigon
1. Bánh mì (banh mi)
Along with pho, easily the most exported Vietnamese speciality is banh mi. Although banh mi can mean a variety of different things, and in Vietnamese it actually just means bread, sometimes the term can be used to refer to any type of the beautiful Vietnamese personal baguette sandwich.
Walking around Saigon you’ll see dozens of carts with signs selling banh mi – it’s actually hard to go more than a block without seeing one – so it’s never hard to find.
There are many different varieties of banh mi, and here’s a good resource for seeing the different types, but the basic sandwich starts with a crusty baguette that’s sliced in half (sometimes using a scissors) and stuffed with layers of pork, luncheon meats, shredded cured pork skin, pâté, mayonnaise, Vietnamese radish and carrot pickles, a handful of sliced cucumbers, sprigs of coriander (cilantro), and last but not least, an optional, yet in my opinion necessary, scoop of fresh pounded chilies.
Where to try
Phở số 01 Hà Nội
Address: 25 Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai, Saigon, Vietnam
Open hours: All day and night – they are open 24 hours
Prices: 28,000 VND ($1.29) for a bow
4. Bún mắm (bun mam)
5. Bún bò Huế (bun bo Hue)
Bún bò Đông Ba
8. Bún chả (bun cha)
9. Bánh canh cua (banh canh cua)
Prices: 35,000 VND ($1.62) per bowl.
10.Bún thịt nướng (bun thit nuong)
Vietnamese cuisine is brilliant for combining a contrast of flavors and textures into a single dish, and I think bun thit nuong, or better yet bun thit nuong cha gio, is a great example of this.
11. Bánh tằm bì (banh tam bi)
12. Bánh cuốn (banh cuon)
13. Bánh xèo (banh xeo)
Bánh xèo Mười Xiềm
14. Bánh khọt (banh khot)
Open hours: 7 am – 10 pm, if you go during peak mealtimes it can get pretty busy
Price: We have a full meal of about 3 – 4 dishes for around the 200 – 300,000 VND ($9.23 – $13.85) range
15. Bột chiên (bot chien)
17. Cơm tấm sườn nướng (com tam suon)
Cơm tấm Mộc
18. Cháo (chao)
Nearly every Asian country has their own version of rice congee – a soothing rice porridge, often supplemented with some meat for flavor, and typically consumed for breakfast, but really at any time.
Where to try
19. Chè (Sweet soup)
Chè ba màu
Kind of like the smorgasbord of the Chè family, this one has it all. It’s usually served with beans, jelly, and/or tapioca.
Sâm bổ lượng
Chè trôi nước
Where to try
Trung Nguyen Coffee:
151 Dong Khoi Str, District 1