From Vietnamese to international food, there is no shortage of choices when it comes to eating in Saigon. And compared to most Asian and European cities, food is pretty cheap here. The local food is quite influenced by french cuisine, which is evident in many of the sandwiches found all over the place. These sandwiches are primary made of baguettes with various different fillings inside!
From the hostel Vietnam Inn Saigon, we were offered free breakfasts that gave me an opportunity to try delicious breakfast in Vietnamese style. My favorite one was Vietnamese crepe with pineapple jam. An iced coffee is a must!
Naturally one must-have dish while in Vietnam is the famous street food Pho – a noodle soup consisting of rice noodles, herbs, and meat (beef or chicken). They are available almost everywhere, for example Pho 24 is a restaurant chain specializing on this dish and Pho 2000 located next to Ben Thanh Market is another place to try.
However, I tried Pho at a restaurant called Pho Hien (269 Nguyen Trai Street) – not far from Pham Ngu Lao Street. I really recommend it as it was really delicious and I had my first fresh Aloe Vera drink there! The meal with the drink would cost you between 60,000 – 70,000 VND – which is about € 2,4 – € 3 max, pretty cheap right?
Oh btw, Pho is best eaten with chopsticks! …but well, I failed to use chopsticks again so yeah…
Bui Vien Street (right behind Pham Ngu Lao) is a hot-spot for foodies which will definitely cater to your needs! Even if you don’t fancy Vietnamese or Asian food, there are Indian and Turkish cuisines (good ol’ Döner Kebab) available as well.
I’ve tried Indian food at Baba’s Kitchen on this street and it was worth it – not only because of the great food, but also the friendly service! A meal with a drink can cost you anywhere between 130,000 – 150,000 VND (around € 5 – € 6). On top of that you get free water refills and a rice pudding dessert in the end. Plus a 5% discount if you fill in their comments/recommendations form – what more could you ask for?!
If you fancy eating burgers, I beg you….Please, don’t head for McDonald’s or Burger King. Instead go for Chuck’s Burgers at 196 Le Lai Street, located right next to the Vietnam Inn Saigon Hostel and trust me when I say you won’t be disappointed! I have to admit, I literally ate here like 2-3 times during my stay. Their burgers are seriously that good! With sides and a drink, it would all cost you around just 135,000 VND – about a bit more than € 5. Totally worth it!
Another Place I would definitely recommend is Cocochin Foodcourt at 77 Nguyen Hue Boulevard. It’s a new, huge restaurant with an awesome interior and a different order + payment concept. They have a wide range of Vietnamese, Thai, and Chinese dishes. As you enter the restaurant, you are given a ‘credit card’ and you go around different sections where you choose what you would like (hand over the card as your order to enter the price in the card) and your meal is prepared fresh in front of you. After the meal, you head for the cashier as you go out and after handing out your card, you finally pay with cash/actual credit card. Pretty interesting concept I must say!
Oh…a meal there can cost as low as 25,000 VND (€ 1) or as high as 200,000 VND (€ 8).
For café lovers, Ho Chi Minh City offers hundreds of cafés to choose from. Vietnamese people are proud of their coffee and because of this, the café culture is a common sight in the city. It’s always a good idea to take shelter at a café or an ice cream parlor to cool down after getting exhausted from the heat. Highlands Coffee is recommended, as it’s kinda like the Vietnamese Starbucks 😉
I noticed that Saigon is quite vegetarian friendly and vegetarians would really not have any issues finding the suitable option for them.
It’s your turn now!
If you have been to Saigon, where did you eat? How did you find the price and which food was your favorite?
Let me know below in the comments section!