Saigon Street Food – in a class of its own

06/30/2014
By Elton

Saigon, as with any major international city, offers the visitor a huge array of both local and international cuisine. Major restaurants and fine dining establishments compete with trendy bars offering excellent pub food. Where Asia differs form other parts of the world, is the huge amount and variety of food that is cooked and eaten on the streets. Street food in Saigon is not just a case of the odd vendor selling something from a stall. It covers a dynamic and vibrant cuisine that is utterly delicious and uniquely Vietnamese in tours of Vietnam.

drive-through-fast-food-ho-chi-minh-style
Drive through fast food, HCMC-style

Guests feel each taste in “Pho Sai Gon”

The national dish of Pho is served everywhere and eaten by millions, everyday. Originating in Hanoi, this fresh tasting beef noodle soup is consumed in epic proportions. It is delicious, my personal favourite Pho Bo Tai consists of a fresh clear broth to which flat rice noodles, vegetables and herbs are added, before finally raw beef is dropped in, to cook in the piping hot liquid, before your eyes at the table. Pho shops have become ubiquitous with Vietnamese life. A variation on this Bun Bo Hué, is the signature dish of the town whose name it bears but has become popular through the country. It is served with shredded greens and has round instead of flat rice noodles.

pho-traditionally-a-beef-noodle-soup
Pho, traditionally a beef noodle soup

Bread (Banh Mi) – A feature of Saigon cuisine

Banh Mi, the delicious sandwiches are also sold pretty much on every street corner. Wonderfully fresh baguettes, from the many terrific bakeries, are filled with cold cuts of meat and fresh vegetables. The Vietnamese have some wonderful dressings which finish the job superbly.

banh-mi-sai-gon
Banh Mi Sai Gon

Fabulous omelette style meals stuffed with pork or shrimps are another super addition to modern day Vietnamese cuisine. Often served with rice they provide a very balanced diet. Lots of fresh herbs and greens are served with just about everything. It is an altogether healthy way of eating that you should enjoy in Vietnam tours.

“Cafe Da” and “Café Sua Da” is among the top 15 best coffee in the world

Most will swill the street food down with a delicious Caphé Da or Café Sua Da, super iced vietnamese coffee served with or without condensed milk. The vendors fill a plastic cup with ice, pour hot coffee over it and drop it into a small plastic bag. The trick is to wait until about half of the ice has melted, then sip your lovely coffee through the drinking straw provided.

vietnamese-iced-coffee
Vietnamese iced coffee

The prices of these lovely street dishes are almost negligible. A satisfying lunch can be bought for a dollar or so. Many people simply eat on the hoof as it were, but many head into the many parks that are dotted around the city. Groups of office workers gather to enjoyed an al fresco lunch, before returning to work in the afternoon. It is a wonderful site to see so many people enjoying these free amenities, adding such colour and vibrancy to an already extremely vibrant city. Saigon is special and the street food only adds to the charm.

Eating sidewalks, eating along Saigon Street, you will be “marinated” with the nature of Saigon from the sincere sincere service of the sellers to funny stories. Come to Sai Gon and Vietnam tours and enjoy all the street food here.

To see these exciting meals and more examples of Saigon Street food, watch the video below.

Tags with: Best vietnam tours

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