Top 5 Places for Street Food in Saigon
Warning: Don't Read When You Are Hungry
Saigon downtown is often populated by local youngsters making a beeline on the roads for delicious traditional foods from the early morning to midnight. The city’s affluence of food stands and vendors is a testament to its prestigious culinary richness and thriving food culture. The good news is you can literally find it wherever you go and here is the list of 5 best streets for street food in Saigon.
Su Van Hanh Street
Without floral arrangements or subtle tea lights of top-notch restaurants, Su Van Hanh Street is such a melting pot of ruined Soviet-style apartment blocks offering an incredible variety of regional Vietnamese street foods, Korean, Japanese, and even Western cuisines. In a cramped space with dark diamond-shaped floor tiles, just pull up a wooden tool and savor quintessential dishes freshly made by amateur cooks.
Spicy Seafood Noodle - Photo: @todayanneats
Once you walk along this street, the smell of ‘banh xeo’ hits your nose first. Those savory crepes filling with pork and bean sprouts are kept in circular trays over flaming by charcoal. Despite the overwhelming of ‘banh xeo’ vendors, nothing can compare the original family-owned food cart at 004 Block H and 579 Su Van Hanh, District 10. Fans of fried chicken cannot quit Chicken Kitchen at 796/19B Su Van Hanh that capitalizes on the versatility of chicken interspersed with 8 sauces. If you feel so peckish, go ahead to the Hoa Hao intersection for a tasty Chinese-style noodle with duck meat and aromatic broth at Tai Phat stall.
Crispy Pork Skin at Moc Vi Quan - Photo: @tainguyen710vn
Sweet Treats at Den Da Cafe - Photo: @demian5519
Co Giang Street
District 1 is jam-packed with multiple upscale restaurants and fabulous delicacies on offer. However, if you’re getting tired of a formal sit-down setting, at its midtown, Co Giang Street hosts a vast collection of street foods within an easy walking distance from the Bui Vien backpacker area. In a low-key atmosphere, outdoor stainless steel counters lined with stools bring a more local feel to foreigners. For a great starter, stopover ‘bo la lot’ Hoang Yen at 121 Co Giang where cylindrical beef meatballs are marinated and grilled over a special oven with chimney. You can try its 2 versions of ‘bo la lot’ wrapped with betel leaves and without, served right on the side. Meanwhile, to fill your empty stomach, your suggestion is scarfing down a bowl of ‘hu tieu xao’ (Chinese-style fried noodles) at Quan 79, on the corner of Co Giang and De Tham Street. Finally, order a pudding, maybe sweet soup or fruit juices is the best choice to take your time over.
Bun Thit Nuong / Round Noodle with BBQ Pork - Photo: @eatingwithtitu
Van Kiep Street
Straddling between Phu Nhuan and Binh Thanh District, Van Kiep Street is short yet vibrant and has no shortage of budget-friendly gourmet specialties to try. Despite a humble and understated interior, loads of sidewalk street food booths against polished concrete walls spilling out the street still beckon the most seasoned travelers.
Meat lovers usually flock to Quan 104 at 230 Van Kiep for sumptuous marinated octopus grilled over the flames. To balance out the spice, the dish is compelled with a plate of herbs and pickled cucumbers. In other food and drink outlets, you can easily crave for, fresh water-crab soup (63 Van Kiep), egg rolls (55/19 Van Kiep), and fermented thick Vietnamese vermicelli soup (167 Van Kiep).
Crab Meat Soup - Photo: @ruahaman
Nguyen Thuong Hien Street
The 1km-long Nguyen Thuong Hien Street is set between Nguyen Dinh Chieu and Vo Van Tan Street, in the middle of the diverse historic and hectic neighborhood of District 3.
Lined with lots of sidewalk eateries and mind-boggling dining options, Nguyen Thuong Hien has unofficially named the most famous hub for seafood.
Hu Tieu Nhan Quan - Photo: @kimkieu.2612
Especially, an abundance of snails and shellfish carts here is the savior for those who ridiculously want to skip main courses. Ideally, you should nab an outdoor seat and prepare yourself for a sensory overload of oysters, crab claws, sea snails as well as draft beer at A Soi, 237 – 239 Nguyen Thuong Hien.
The same goes for other kiosks scattered along the street where you can seek a steaming hot bowl ‘hu tieu Nam Vang’ at Nhan Quan, Hue beef noodle soup at Huong Giang restaurant, and fresh juices bottled on-premises at Buoi Ep Phat Dat.
Tran Khac Chan Street
The bustling Tran Khac Chan Street is densely packed with cuisine-of-the-moment vendors where locals from the surroundings come to grab a quick, boisterous lunch and foreigners tuck into sophisticated and mouth-watering dishes.
Banh Canh Cua 87 - Photo: @fw_soro
Located in the outskirt of district 1, adjacent to Thi Nghe Channel, Tran Khac Chan Street is home to nearly 50 outlets that diversify into regional cuisines and operate around the clock. Here, the menu varies from barbecued chicken to ‘banh bot chien’ (pan-fried scrambled egg rice cake), ‘banh xeo 79’ (Vietnamese pancakes) at 79 Tran Khac Chan, and fresh fruit juices at 114 Tran Khac Chan.
Best of all, though, is ‘banh canh cua 87’ (fresh-water crab noodle soup) at 87 Tran Khac Chan. In a glass cabinet standing off the pavement, there is a bounty of colorful ingredients including orange chunks of crabs, meatball, and fresh herbs. A bowl of ‘banh canh cua’ includes sticky and thick noodles that are over flooded in savory broth and topped with crab meat, shrimps, and other complex additions like green onions and black peppers.
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