Saigon Food – Explore the foodie heaven (Part 1)

Saigon foodThis will exceed what we know about insanity!

Being told that I have to introduce Saigon food to foreigners, I literally feel clueless since I have no idea where to start. We have hundreds of different types of food and drink here and we even have not tried them all yet.

But chill out, as a local, I already have conducted a guide to food heaven so you can note down to your thick note and get your gang ready for the invasion!

Saigon food #1: Banh mi – Vietnamese baguette – Vietnamese big Mac

Banh mi - Saigon food

Banh mi – Saigon food Source:

Yup! I call it the Vietnamese big Mac because it deserves that name.

Banh mi is as famous as Phở but Phở is originally from the North, banh mi is from the Saigon, the South of Vietnam.

It was the French baguette back in the day but we had our own way turning it in to Banh mi Saigon, a delicacy in Saigon food.

A standard banh mi will have: several types of pork, an omelet, vegetables and a little bit of soya sauce. However, you can tell the vendors to put whatever you like in your banh mi and it’s still a good banh mi.

Saigon food #2: Com Tam – Broken rice

Com tam - Broken rice - Saigon food

Com tam – Broken rice – Saigon food Source:

If you have been taken to any big restaurant in Saigon to have Com tam, please complain right now because the best Com tam should be on the street.

Com tam – broken rice, used to be for the poor as it is the leftover of rice producing process. But now, with the upgraded technology, they have to make broken rice in purpose in order to serve the hungry stomach, or else, Com tam would not be completed and Saigon food will lose its diversity.

Usually, people will have Com tam in the morning as breakfast with grilled ribs and sweet fish sauce. If you ask me, I’ll have two plates of this dish.

Saigon food #3: Hu tieu 

Hu tieu - Saigon food

Hu tieu – Saigon food Source:

Until now there have been quite several debates around the origin of Hu tieu. Some say the Chinese made it. Some say it was Cambodian. Some even say it was the Vietnamese living in Cambodia. Whatever, the dish tastes good and that matters.

Hu tieu is way different from Pho or Bun Bo, which we will mention later. It is a good combination of pork ribs, the soup, the toppings with sliced onion leaves or fried garlic, the noodles made of tapioca, the raw vegetables. Some great shops will add more ingredients inside such as squid, shrimp or liver. They all taste perfect. Nothing can beat the dish of Saigon food.

Saigon food #4: Vietnamese coffee

Cafe sua da - Saigon food

Cafe sua da – Saigon food Source:

Literally you can get Vietnamese coffee everywhere in Saigon. It is one of the top ten must-try dishes in Saigon food. The special coffee is Café sua da – Vietnamese milk coffee, which is made by mixing coffee with condensed milk.

Café sua da is very popular among teenagers who cannot drink black coffee due to its strong taste. That is how it gets popular among foreigners as well since they cannot stand the strength of our coffee.

Café sua da has two kinds: bac xiu and café sua da. Bac xiu means much milk and less coffee while café sua da means much coffee and less milk. Both are good but I personally prefer Bac xiu with its sweet taste.

Saigon food #5: Banh Xeo – Vietnamese pancake

Banh xeo - Saigon food

Banh xeo – Saigon food
Source: Saigon food tour

About its origin, I have no idea.

They can make Banh xeo in different areas in Vietnam and each area brings out the different feature of the dish. But in Saigon, you actually can try all types of Banh xeo thanks to the immigration of people from all over Vietnam.

To have Banh xeo in the most correct and awesome way, you must have it with the Saigon juice, the fish sauce. It is not the fish sauce that we have straight from out bottles but the one which is mixed with garlic, sugar, chilly,… Yum!

When you come to Saigon and you do not try this one, you barely know about Saigon food.


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