Food is at the heart of Vietnamese culture and Vietnamese food is one of the most popular cuisines in the world as it mixes together a range of flavors and tastes. While street eateries are everywhere, as the city becomes more affluent, Vietnamese cuisine is going indoors.
My recommended place: Pho Hùng, 243 Nguyen Trai, District 1, HCMC. Price: 50,000 VND – 69,000 VND (from $2.5 USD)
2/ Com tam – Broken rice
This simple meal, is one of the most popular dishes from South Vietnam at any time of the day, but particular in the morning. It is usually served grilled marinated pork chops, plus a mixture of thinly shredded pork and pork skin over broken rice. On top of the meat, there are several customary ingredients such as: finely sliced cucumber, tomato and pickled vegetables, along with prawn paste cake also known as steamed pork and egg custard or pork meatloaf with egg, fried egg, and grilled prawns.
My recommended place: Cơm tấm Thuận Kiều or Cơm tấm Số 1 , 26 Tôn Thất Tùng, District 1 or 150/1 Nguyễn Trãi (Price $1.5 to $2 – 35,000 to 45,000 VND)
3/Banh xeo – Sizzling cake
Banh Xeo are giant savory pancakes that literally translate to sizzling cake because of the noise they make when they are being cooked. A good sizzling cake is a crispy crepe bulging with pork, shrimp, and bean sprouts, plus the garnish of fresh herbs that are characteristic of most authentic Vietnamese dishes.
My recommended place: Bánh xèo Mười Xiềm, 204 Nguyễn Trãi, Phạm Ngũ Lão, District 1 (Price $2 to $3.5 – 45,000 to 65,000 VND)
4/ Xoi – Sticky Rice
“Xoi”, or “glutinous rice”, “sticky rice” in English, can be found in many South East Asia food stalls or luxurious local restaurant. In Vietnam, Sticky rice is commonly popular breakfast item and give you a boost of added energy.
You can find this wonderful dish on several vendors around Ho Chi Minh City or try it at
My recommended place: Xoi Ga Bui Thi Xuan: 11 Bui Thi Xuan, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, HCMC. Price: 25,000 VND – 55,000 VND (from $2.5 USD)
5/ Bánh mì – Vietnamese baguette Sandwich
My recommended place: Banh mi Hòa Mã or banh mi Huynh Hoa, 26 Le Thi Rieng, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1. Price: 33,000 VND to 40,000 VND/ baguette (from $1.5 USD)
6/Banh Cuon – Steamed Rice Cake
Vietnamese especially from the North, take pride in their steamed crepe made from rice flour and water. Ground pork, wood-ear, onion and seasoning are stuffed inside this savory meal. Most of the chefs make it right at the entrance door using the steaming method. Banh cuon is served with a mixture of fish sauce including sugar and lime.
My recommended place: Banh Cuon Hai Nam, 11 Cao Thang, Ward 2, District 3, HCMC. Price: 40,000 VND – 88,000 VND (from $2 USD)
7/ Cha gio – Fried Spring Rolls
Vietnam’s bite-sized crunchy spring rolls might not enjoy the same popularity as their healthier fresh equivalent, they deserve a special mention. I usually have them for ancestor death anniversary. 😀
My recommended place: Quán Nem, 15E Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1. Price Range: 100,000 VND – 330,000 VND (from $3 USD)
8/ Bun Bo Hue
If you are a soup lover then you will be pleased to learn that Bun Bo Hue is another classic Vietnamese dish. Whether North, South or Central, “Bun” also creates unique and specific dishes in each region. Hue style not only is the elegant, sophisticated, precise dishes but also feel the spirit of the processor.
My recommended place: Bun Bo Ganh, 110 Ly Chinh Thang, Ward 8, District 3, HCMC. Price: 36,000 VND – 66,000 VND (from $2 USD)
9/ Bun Cha
Bun Cha is one of the oldest favorites of Northern Vietnam cuisine. This dish is top choice of Vietnamese lunchtime food. Grilled chopped meat or normal grilled meat on charcoal stove is prepared with rice noodles and herbs. all together is dipped in syrup-thick fish sauce.Outside Hanoi, across all region of Vietnam, there is familiar dish called Bun Thit Nuong which alternatively served.
My recommended place: Indoor Food Court INSIDE Ben Thanh Market, not outdoor new food courts which Emily or Kourtney’s post. Price $2 (40,000 VND)
10/ Goi cuon (Spring Roll)
Salad roll ranks among Vietnam’s most famous foods and is very agreeable to the taste. Each translucent spring rolls packed with greens, coriander and various combinations of minced pork, shrimp or crab. In some places they’re served with a bowl of lettuce and/or mint. A southern variation has barbecued strips of pork wrapped up with green banana and star fruit, and then dunked in a rich peanut sauce – every bit as tasty as it sounds.
Wrap and Roll, 62 Hai Bà Trưng, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, HCMC. Price: 40.000 VND – 165.000 VND (from $2 USD)
11/ Bánh Chưng Bánh Dầy
Banh Chưng is a traditional Vietnamese rice cake which is made from glutinous rice, mung beans, pork and other ingredients. Its origin is told by the legend of Lang Liêu, a prince of the last king of the Sixth Hùng Dynasty, who became the successor thanks to his creation of bánh chưng and bánh dầy, which symbolized, respectively, the Earth and the Sky (bánh chưng is the Earth and bánh giầy is the Sky). Considered an essential element of the family altar on the occasion of Tết Holiday (Asian Lunar New Year), the making and eating of bánh chưng during this time is a well-preserved tradition of Vietnamese people. Beside the tết holiday, bánh chưng is also eaten all year round as Vietnamese cuisine.
My recommended place: Giò chả Nghĩa, 565 Nguyễn Đình Chiểu, District 3 Price $1 to $4 (20,000 – 80,000 VND)