10 must

     
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Ren và I are planning on going back soon và staying longer-term in Vietnam. Though we vày feel that Hanoi is the more liveable city, there’s no question in our minds that the best food in Vietnam is in Saigon. Hanoi has my beloved bun cha and ca phe trung but overall, we prefer the food in Saigon.

We published the first edition of this Saigon food guide in 2017 và it listed ten eateries. Ten wasn’t nearly enough to vày this delicious thành phố justice, so we recently went back to lớn Vietnam to finish what we started.

I spent a month in Vietnam và almost a week in Ho đưa ra Minh city looking for the tastiest restaurants, street food stalls, and cafes this city had to lớn offer. The result is this new và improved guide featuring 25 of the best restaurants in Saigon.

If you’re visiting Ho đưa ra Minh City and enjoy traditional Vietnamese food as much as we do, then this Saigon restaurant guide will be very useful lớn you.


SAIGON RESTAURANTS QUICK LINKS

To help plan your trip lớn Ho đưa ra Minh City, I’ve compiled links to hotels, tours, & other services here.

HOTELS

Top-rated hotels in Dictrict 1, the most convenient area to lớn stay for people on their first trip to lớn Ho chi Minh City.

TOURS

OTHER SERVICES

SAIGON TRAVEL GUIDE

Before you visit Ho chi Minh City, be sure to check out our detailed Saigon travel guide. It’ll have all the information you need – like where khổng lồ stay, how to get around, which cafes khổng lồ visit, etc. – khổng lồ help you plan your trip.


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THE BEST RESTAURANTS IN SAIGON

I relied on local recommendations, food shows, restaurant review sites, và trusted Saigon food blogs to come up with this list of the best street food stalls và restaurants in Ho đưa ra Minh City.

In the case of some Vietnamese dishes lượt thích banh mi và pho, it wasn’t enough to eat them just once so we visited multiple restaurants specializing in that dish.

A menu of 25 Ho đưa ra Minh thành phố restaurants can be time-consuming khổng lồ go through so I’ve grouped them by dish lớn help keep this guide organized và easy to lớn digest. Click on a link to jump khổng lồ our restaurant recommendations for that dish.


BANH MI

Banh ngươi is one of the best-known & most beloved Vietnamese dishes. The term “banh mi”, in the strictest sense, refers lớn bread but people often use it to lớn describe the sandwich.

A small French baguette is split lengthwise and filled with an endless combination of ingredients lượt thích cold cuts, grilled meats, liver pate, cucumber slices, pickled vegetables, và cilantro. It’s a light sandwich that’s typically eaten as a snack.

1. Banh Mi cất cánh Ho

This was the banh ngươi stall recommended in the Vietnam episode of Street Food on Netflix. We’re huge fans of that series. Every episode does a deep dive into the featured city’s local cuisine so we’re always confident that we can rely on their recommendations.

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Netflix was right again with this one. The banh ngươi at Banh Mi cất cánh Ho wasn’t just delicious, it was also one of the cheapest I tried in Saigon.

The bread was nice and crusty on the outside & pillowy soft on the inside. It had a good set of ingredients in just the right amounts to highlight the real star of this dish – the bread.

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A basket of what in my opinion is the heart and soul of any sandwich. Khổng lồ me, it almost doesn’t matter how good your fillings are. If your bread is subpar, then your sandwich will be subpar. Like every banh mi siêu thị on this list, the bread at Banh Mi bay Ho is exceptional.

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The Banh Mi cất cánh Ho stall is located in District 1, just a few blocks east of Le Van Tam Park.

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Banh Mi bay Ho

Address: 19 Huỳnh Khương Ninh, Đa Kao, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, VietnamOperating Hours: 6AM-9PM, dailyWhat to lớn Order: Banh miWhat We Paid: VND 15,000 per banh mi

2. Banh mày Huynh Hoa

Google “best banh ngươi in saigon” & many results will lead you lớn this place. It’s featured on many travel food shows and is on nearly every article listing the best restaurants in Saigon.

We learned about Banh ngươi Huynh Hoa from the first episode of Luke Nguyen’s Street Food Asia. He called it his favorite banh ngươi stall in Ho đưa ra Minh City. Take a bite of their sandwiches & you’ll quickly understand why.

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The banh mi at Banh ngươi Huynh Hoa was indeed delicious, & as you can see in this picture, it was overflowing with ingredients.

I had banh mày multiple times everywhere in Vietnam và this sandwich was by far the most loaded. It was almost like eating an American hoagie.

We appreciated how stacked this banh ngươi was but personally, we prefer banh ngươi with slightly fewer ingredients.

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Banh mày Huynh Hoa is a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence awardee with a stellar 4.5-star rating. They’re one of the most popular restaurants in Saigon to have banh ngươi so you’re advised khổng lồ arrive early if you want to lớn avoid the long queues. But no worries, they have an assembly line of banh mi makers so the line does move fairly quickly.

Interestingly, Banh ngươi Huynh Hoa is known by another name – Banh ngươi O Moi – which basically translates to “lesbian banh mi”. It’s owned by a lesbian couple who opened this stall over 30 years ago and originally staffed an all lesbian crew.

Based on what I’ve read, people know it more as Banh mi O Moi rather than its actual name, so if you’re lost and can’t find it, then just ask for “Banh ngươi O Moi”.

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Banh ngươi Huynh Hoa

Address: 26 Lê Thị Riêng, P, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh 700000, VietnamOperating Hours: 2:30-11PM, dailyWhat lớn Order: Banh miWhat We Paid: VND 35,000 per banh mi

3. Banh Nam

Most of the restaurants and street food stalls we visit on our trips are vetted in advance, but we vì allow ourselves moments of spontaneity. This was one of those moments.

We had just come from Mrs Truoc’s snail stall when we were hit with a craving for banh mi. We hopped on Google Maps and did a tìm kiếm for highly-rated banh mày places near us, which led us to this place – Banh Nam.

It seems lớn be a fairly new banh mi stall with a solid 4.1-star rating so we decided lớn give them a try. We weren’t disappointed.

We asked the vps for recommendations and he suggested we get the grilled chicken và the special banh mi. Pictured below is the grilled chicken.

The bread was nice & crusty & filled with a few slices of grilled chicken breast, pork floss, cilantro, cucumber, and mayonnaise. So simple but always delicious.

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This was the special banh mi. I believe it contained both grilled pork và chicken along with cilantro, cucumber slices, tomato, onion, pepper, và some type of special sauce. This was good too but I preferred the simpler grilled chicken banh mi.

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Banh phái nam is located in District 1 just a short walk from Mrs Truoc’s snail stall. Mrs. Truoc was the woman featured on the Saigon episode of Street Food on Netflix.

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Banh Nam

Address: 213 Bùi Viện, Phường Phạm Ngũ Lão, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, VietnamOperating Hours: 7:30AM-11PM, Sun-Thurs / 7:30AM-11:30PM, Fri-SatWhat lớn Order: Grilled chicken, specialWhat We Paid: Between VND 23,000-41,000 per banh mi

4. Phuc Hai

Take a good look at this banh mi. Vày you see anything special? If you said “crispy pork belly”, then you’d be right.

Known as banh ngươi heo quay, what you’re looking at is banh mày made with roasted pork belly & the usual ingredients lượt thích cucumber, carrot, and cilantro.

Nice và fatty with crackingly crisp skin, it was absolutely delicious and perhaps the best banh ngươi we had in Saigon. If you lượt thích crispy pork belly, then you’re going to love the banh ngươi heo con quay at Phuc Hai.

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It doesn’t seem like banh ngươi heo tảo is available at every banh mày stall so we specifically searched for one that had it. We found Phuc hai near our serviced apartment in District 3.

They have a solid 4.8 rating from local reviewers on Google Maps và a respectable 7.4 on Vietnamese reviews site foody.vn.

Do a few searches on foody.vn and you’ll see how chintzy Vietnamese reviewers tend lớn be. 7.4 was one of the higher overall scores I’ve seen on that site.

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Phuc Hai

Address: 3 Nguyen Thuong Hien, Ward 5, District 3, Hi đưa ra Minh City, VietnamOperating Hours: 7AM-9PM, dailyWhat to Order: Banh mi heo quayWhat We Paid: VND 17,000 per banh mi heo quay

5. Banh mày Hoa Ma

Banh mi Hoa Ma is another popular Saigon street food stall that’s featured on many blogs and travel food shows. Lượt thích Banh ngươi Huynh Hoa, we learned about it from Luke Nguyen’s show.

They’re known for this beautiful pan of food called banh mi op la which consists of a baguette, two fried eggs, pate, an assortment of meats, & a side of pickled vegetables. Again, super simple but delicious và fun khổng lồ eat!

They also offer a similar version assembled in sandwich khung but without the fried eggs. It’s called banh mi kep thit. But what this place is really known for is the banh ngươi op la so I suggest getting that.

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Banh mi Hoa Ma is one of the more popular restaurants in Saigon. They’re mở cửa only from 6-11AM so you’ll need to come early lest they run out of food.

As you can see below, there’s no indoor seating. Plastic tables & chairs are mix up in an alleyway by the side of a building. For me, this is what the Saigon street food experience is all about.

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Here’s Ren digging into her perfectly baked baguette. Banh ngươi Hoa Ma was just one of three Ho bỏ ra Minh thành phố restaurants we revisited from a few years ago.

Not only is the banh ngươi op la delicious, but it’s such so much fun eating it on the side of the road lượt thích this. Definitely a must-try Vietnamese food experience in Saigon!

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Banh mày Hoa Ma

Address: 53 Cao Thắng, Phường 3, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh, VietnamOperating Hours: 6-11AM, dailyWhat to Order: Banh mày op laWhat We Paid: VND 52,000 for banh mi op la

6. Banh ngươi Trang Thi

What an interesting find this was. I was walking to lớn Pho Mien Ga Ky Dong for breakfast when I chanced upon this stall offering Turkish doner kebabs wrapped in Vietnamese banh mi.

They were shaving doner meat off a vertical rotisserie then stuffing them with vegetables and a sriracha-mayo-type sauce into these triangle-shaped slices of bread.

I love Turkish cuisine and Vietnamese food so this interesting mashup was already enticing enough, but the crowd of locals waiting khổng lồ get takeout told me this place couldn’t be missed. They were right.

It looks lượt thích they have an actual restaurant but this takeout stall only offers two options – regular and special. I don’t know what the difference is but I got the special version of the doner kebab banh mi.

The meat is smokey and juicy & stuffed in Vietnamese-style bread. It’s flatter than the typical baguette but it has a similar texture – crisp on the outside & crumbly on the inside.

The sandwich is tasty & unlike any banh ngươi sandwich I’ve ever had. If you want to have a different type of banh mày in Saigon, then you should definitely try Banh ngươi Trang Thi.

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Banh mày Trang Thi is located in District 3. It’s a popular Saigon street food stall so be prepared for a wait. I must have waited at least twenty minutes lớn get my banh mi.

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Banh mày Trang Thi

Address: 151 Trương Định, Phường 9, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh, VietnamOperating Hours: 6:30AM-10:30PM, dailyWhat khổng lồ Order: Doner kebab banh miWhat We Paid: VND 27,000-37,000 for a banh mi

PHO

Like banh mi, pho is a Vietnamese national dish. It’s a noodle soup that’s said khổng lồ have its roots in nam giới Dịnh Province in northern Vietnam but it’s now enjoyed throughout the country.

Pho is typically made with four basic ingredients – a clear stock, rice noodles, meat (typically beef or chicken), & herbs.

7. Pho Le

When we visited Saigon two years ago, our Inspitrip tour guide và the owner of our homestay both recommended Pho Le to us. Two locals recommending the same pho restaurant pretty much guaranteed that this place would be awesome, và it was.

It turned out to be my favorite bowl of pho not just in Saigon, but in all the cities I visited in Vietnam.

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I had pho many times at different restaurants in Hanoi và the broth in southern versions is sweeter than its northern counterparts. Another difference is that it’s served with bean sprouts and a much wider variety of fresh herbs.

If you lượt thích pho, then you should definitely eat at Pho Le. Their Vo Van tan branch is in the same area as Bot Chien Dat Thanh, Com tam Tran Quy Cap, Ca Phe vị Phu, & Co Lieng so you can vày a Saigon food crawl & visit all of these restaurants in one day.

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Pho isn’t my favorite type of noodle soup in Vietnam but this bowl of pho thap cam – served with beef tendon, meatballs, & brisket – was the best damn pho I’ve ever tasted.

The broth was extremely flavorful and delicious. Plus, I enjoyed all the fresh greens that you could freely add to your bowl.

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Pho Le has two restaurants in Saigon. Pictured below is the branch along Nguyen Trai Street in District 5. This is the branch we visited on our most most recent trip.

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This is their second branch on Vo Van rã Street. Both branches are TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence awardees with a 4.5-star rating.

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Pho Le

Address: 415 Nguyễn Trãi, Phường 7, Quận 5, Hồ Chí Minh, VietnamOperating Hours: 6AM-1AM, dailyWhat to lớn Order: PhoWhat We Paid: VND 70,000-80,000 per bowl of pho

8. Pho Mien Ga Ky Dong

Pho Mien Ga Ky Dong was the pho restaurant featured on Street Food on Netflix. Judging by how busy it is, this has lớn be one of the most famous restaurants in Ho chi Minh City.

The large cafeteria-like space was packed with locals enjoying pho for breakfast at around nine in the morning.

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I had the beef pho & as expected, it was delicious – clean-tasting with soft & silky rice noodles. I had already devoured a banh mi from Banh mày Trang Thi but I blitzed through this bowl anyway. Eating it with the crunchy raw bean sprouts and fresh greens is so enjoyable.

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Here’s a closeup of the beef with pho rice noodles. Personally, I preferred Pho Le but Pho Mien Ga Ky Dong wasn’t far behind.

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Pho Mien Ga Ky Dong is located in District 3. They have a 4.5-star rating on TripAdvisor with just a handful of reviews, but they do have well over 2,300 on Google Maps giving them an average rating of 4.1 stars. When it comes khổng lồ pho, this place really does seem to be one of the đứng top restaurants in Saigon.

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Pho Mien Ga Ky Dong

Address: 14/5Bis Kỳ Đồng, Phường 9, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh 700000, VietnamOperating Hours: 5AM-1:30AM, dailyWhat lớn Order: PhoWhat We Paid: VND 57,000 for pho bo & nuoc mia

BUN THIT NUONG

Bun thit nuong is one of our favorite Vietnamese dishes. It’s a dry noodle dish made with cold rice vermicelli noodles dressed in a nuoc cham sauce (Vietnamese fish sauce) và topped with grilled pork, bean sprouts, pickled carrots, fresh herbs, roasted peanuts, and a deep-fried spring roll (cha gio).

Though not exactly the same, it’s basically what bun cha is known as outside of Hanoi.

9. Bun Thit Nuong Nguyen Trung Truc

We had one of our best meals in Saigon from this street food stall in District 1. We had just come from Saigon’s famed coffe Apartments when we were struck with a serious craving for bun thit nuong.

We hopped on Google Maps and it led us khổng lồ this Saigon food stall grilling pork on the sidewalk – Bun Thit Nuong Nguyen Trung Truc.

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This place only makes bun thit nuong và they make it exceptionally well. As described, this was delicious & one of the most enjoyable meals we had in Ho bỏ ra Minh City.

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Here’s a closer look at that delicious grilled pork. Lượt thích many traditional Vietnamese dishes, bun thit nuong is a perfect balance of flavor và texture. Sweet, savory, smokey, crunchy, nutty, spicy, và a little sour, this dish has everything. It’s so so good.

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Bun Thit Nuong Nguyen Trung Truc is popular & gets crowded at noon. Most of the customers were office workers on their lunch break but there were a few tourists like us who probably stumbled upon the place by chance.

Based on what I’ve read, Nguyen Trung Truc is one of the best and most famous street food stalls in Saigon to lớn have bun thit nuong.

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Bun Thit Nuong Nguyen Trung Truc

Address: 1 Đường Nguyễn Trung Trực, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, VietnamOperating Hours: 10AM-5PM, Thurs-Sun, Tues / 10AM-8:30PM, tháng / 24 hrs, WedWhat lớn Order: Bun thit nuongWhat We Paid: VND 46,000 per bowl of bun thit nuong

10. Bun Thit Nuong Kieu Bao

This was one of the stops on my Saigon motorbike tour with Saigon on Motorbike. According to my tour guide, Kieu Bao is a bun thit nuong restaurant that’s popular with locals.

Their bun thit nuong was indeed delicious but I didn’t find it to lớn be quite as good as Nguyen Trung Truc’s. As you can tell from the picture below, the meat wasn’t as juicy và the phụ vương gio not as delicate. Still, it was very good & worth a visit if you’re in the area.

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Bun Thit Nuong Kieu Bao seems to have several branches scattered throughout Saigon. My guide took me khổng lồ the branch on De Tham Street in District 1.

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Bun Thit Nuong Kieu Bao

Address: 139 Đường Đề Thám, Phường Cô Giang, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, VietnamOperating Hours: 11AM-9PM, dailyWhat to Order: Bun thit nuongWhat We Paid: VND 26,000 per bowl of bun thit nuong

COM TAM SUON NUONG

Com tam means “broken rice” while suon nuong refers lớn a marinated charcoal-grilled pork chop. Together, com tam suon nuong refers to a dish of broken rice topped with a grilled pork chop.

This type of rice is called “broken rice” because it’s made with fragments of rice grains that were broken either in the field, during drying, during transport, or by milling.

I haven’t eaten it enough khổng lồ really notice the difference but people have described it as being nuttier than regular rice, almost lượt thích risotto.

11. Com Tam Tran Qui Cap

The same tour guide that recommended Pho Le khổng lồ us also led us khổng lồ this place. According khổng lồ him, Com Tam Tran Quy Cap has a reputation for being one of the đứng đầu restaurants in Saigon to lớn have broken rice.

It’s been xuất hiện for decades và was a favorite of both his father & grandfather. Three generations of Saigon locals telling you lớn go somewhere is advice you don’t ignore.

I’m happy we didn’t because this plate of broken rice with a grilled pork chop was one of the best meals we had in Saigon. The pork chop was delicious – savory sweet và exceedingly tender. Before this meal, I had no idea pork chop could be this good. I was blown away.

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Com Tam Tran Qui Cap is located in District 3, not far from a few other restaurants on this list. You can refer to lớn the bản đồ at the bottom of this post to lớn see its exact location.

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Com Tam Tran Qui Cap

Address: 260 Võ Văn Tần, phường 5, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh, VietnamOperating Hours: 10AM-9PM, dailyWhat to lớn Order: Com tam suon nuongWhat We Paid: VND 65,000 per order of com tam suon nuong

12. Ca Phe do Phu

This coffe is one of the most fascinating places on this list. Lượt thích Bun Thit Nuong Kieu Bao, it was one of the stops on my Saigon night tour with Saigon on Motorbike.

But we didn’t stop here khổng lồ eat or have coffee. I’ll explain why below but Ren and I went back to lớn this Saigon coffee shop a few days later to lớn have their com tam suon nuong, which my guide described as one of his favorites in Saigon.

Aside from the grilled pork chop, Ca Phe vày Phu gives you the option of adding a fried egg, shreds of pork skin, & stuffing lớn your meal.

I wanted the works but they were out of stuffing so I settled for the pork skin và fried egg. It was delicious with a wonderful medley of flavors & textures, but not quite as good I thought as Com Tam Tran Qui Cap.

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But regardless of the pork chop, you should definitely kiểm tra out Ca Phe vì chưng Phu because it offers so much more than just good broken rice và coffee.

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When you first walk into the cafe, you’d think it were just a cà phê with a quirky vintage theme but everything on display here has historical value.

My guide took me on a tour of the cafe and explained khổng lồ me that it used khổng lồ be the trang chủ of a Viet Cong supporter. This house played a significant role in the Vietnam War.

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If you didn’t know the history of the house, then you’d never realize that beneath the floor is an underground bunker accessible through this trap door.

My guide told me that the owner used to lớn hold secret meetings here with members of the Viet Cong. He’d hide weapons & artillery in secret rooms lượt thích this one, even providing refuge to lớn soldiers và officers wanted by the Americans.

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Go through the trap door & you’ll find this bunker with a cache of weapons & uniforms. & this bunker is just the beginning.

My guide would take me through secret ladders và passageways that the Viet Cong could use as escape routes in the event that their secret meetings were discovered.

I explored the house on a guided tour but Ca Phe vì Phu’s owners will let you explore the house on your own for free. You can kiểm tra out my Saigon night tour clip to see clips of these secret passageways.

If you have a particular interest in the Vietnam War or just want to see something different, then you should kiểm tra out Ca Phe vì Phu. It’s definitely one of the most interesting coffe restaurants in Saigon.

Xem thêm: Ca Sĩ Thanh Tuyền Sinh Năm Bao Nhiêu, Cuộc Đời Ca Sĩ Thanh Tuyền (Ca Sĩ)

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Ca Phe vày Phu

Address: 72 Nguyễn Đình Chiểu, Phường 5, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh, VietnamOperating Hours: 7AM-10PM, dailyWhat to lớn Order: Com tam suon nuongWhat We Paid: VND 30,000-45,000 for com tam suon nuong

SNAILS / SEAFOOD

Our Vinh Khanh Street experience from two years ago was one of the things that really turned us on to lớn Saigon’s street food.

Nicknamed “Seafood Street”, Vinh Khanh is a colorful street in District 4 that’s filled with street food stalls on either side selling different types of seafood và snails. We love snails which is why we enjoyed District 4 so much.

Vinh Khanh may be the perfect place in Saigon khổng lồ have a snail feast, but it isn’t the only place you can go to. In fact, street food stalls selling snails and seafood are ubiquitous in Saigon.

The fact that you can find them pretty much anywhere is one of the reasons why we think Saigon is one of the best food cities in Vietnam.

13. Oc Loan

I love seafood so I wanted to have a seafood street food feast on my first night in Saigon. We were staying in District 3 so I wanted khổng lồ find a good restaurant that I could easily walk to. Google Maps led me khổng lồ Oc Loan, a hidden street food stall at the end of this dark alley.

With hardly any people around, I was a bit nervous to go through at first but I’m so glad I did. Because waiting for me at the kết thúc of this alleyway was a seafood feast that would perfectly encapsulate the Saigon street food experience.

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Walk through the dark alleyway & you’ll eventually get lớn this row of street food stalls selling all kinds of seafood. This, for me, is what Saigon street food is all about.

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Oc Loan is just one of many street food stalls here. I chose it because of its positive review on Google Maps.

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A bowl of mud creepers cooked in coconut milk. We had these at Oc Oanh along Vinh Khanh Street two years ago. They’re delicious và a popular snail dish among locals.

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Snails and clams grilling over charcoal.

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I asked my vps for recommendations and one of the dishes he suggested was this tasty clam soup made with leeks và lemongrass.

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He also recommended these jumbo oysters smothered in a cheese sauce. Aside from these two dishes, I had another clam dish as well as stir-fried noodles with morning glory. Everything was delicious.

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Oc Loan

Address: 174/41 Nguyễn Thiện Thuật, Phường 3, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh, VietnamOperating Hours: 9AM-9PM, dailyWhat lớn Order: Seafood, snailsWhat We Paid: VND 230,000 for two clam dishes, oysters, and noodles with morning glory

14. Oc Oanh

This was the restaurant that blew us away two years ago. We asked Inspitrip to take us khổng lồ some of the best Saigon street food stalls và this was one of the places they took us to.

Located along Vinh Khanh Street, there are many street food stalls on this strip but Oc Oanh is clearly one of the most popular. Luke Nguyen featured this place as well on the second episode of Street Food Asia. We enjoyed this place so much that we wound up eating here twice on consecutive nights.

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One of the things that Vinh Khanh Street is known for are its snail dishes. According to lớn our guide, sea snails are popular among the Vietnamese but they’re difficult khổng lồ prepare at home, which is why nearly every restaurant on this strip serves them. Pictured below is a dish of snails cooked with chili salt.

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These are the same mud creepers cooked in coconut milk I showed you earlier. You eat them with lime salt, chili, & fresh greens. They’re delicious.

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This looks like an oyster but it’s some type of large clam served in a cream sauce.

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Aside from all the delicious Vietnamese food, what I loved most about Vinh Khanh Street was the atmosphere. You’re literally stuffing your face with delicious seafood while watching traffic whizz by.

When it comes to seafood as street food, Oc Oanh is definitely one of the best restaurants in Saigon.

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Oc Oanh

Address: 534 Đường Vĩnh Khánh, phường 10, Quận 4, Hồ Chí Minh, VietnamOperating Hours: 1PM-12MN, dailyWhat to lớn Order: Seafood, snailsWhat We Paid: About VND 400,000 for a seafood feast for two with beers

15. Mrs Truoc’s Snail Stall

Mrs. Truoc was the vendor featured on Street Food on Netflix. Each episode features several eateries in every thành phố but there’s always one main storyline. Mrs Truoc và her struggle khổng lồ succeed in the street food business was the main storyline in the Vietnam episode.

Among all the restaurants in Ho chi Minh city we had on our itinerary, this was the one we were most excited about.

Mrs. Truoc’s stall is located in this alley in District 1. It isn’t that easy khổng lồ find so be sure khổng lồ refer to lớn this map to see exactly where it is. We went to the completely wrong neighborhood on our first attempt but thankfully, we found it on our second.

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If you watched the show, then you may remember that Mrs. Truoc knew how to make just one snail dish – her father’s recipe for mud creepers.

At the time of our visit, her repertoire has expanded lớn about six snail dishes và just as many clam dishes. We wanted a snail feast so we ordered four plates of snails & one clam dish.

Looking at her menu, it appears as if each type of snail or clam can be prepared in two or three ways. We didn’t really know what lớn get so we let our server decide.

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Some snails species are so small that you’ll need lớn pry them out using safety pins. The larger snails can be fished out using a small two-pronged fork.

Some snails were grilled with pepper, others were fried with garlic or tamarind. Everything we had was delicious.

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As tasty as the snails were, they aren’t very filling so we ordered one clam dish for variety & to help fill us up. I believe these were steamed with chili.

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Here’s Mrs. Truoc busily filling out orders for dine-in customers và for takeout. After learning about her struggles on the show, it was nice to see her stall thriving.

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Table after table of happy customers dining on Mrs. Truoc’s snails. Because of the show’s popularity, I was expecting khổng lồ find more foreigners but we were the only ones there. It looks as if the stall was already popular with locals even before it was featured on Street Food. Awesome!

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Mrs Truoc’s Snail Stall

Address: 169 Cô Bắc, Phường Cô Giang, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, VietnamOperating Hours: 10AM-2PM, Mon-Fri (closed Sat-Sun)What khổng lồ Order: Snails, clamsWhat We Paid: VND 25,000 per snail dish

OTHER DISHES & RESTAURANTS IN SAIGON

16. Phụ vương Ca La Vong

If you’ve been lớn Hanoi, then you may recognize this place. It’s an iconic restaurant that’s credited for popularizing thân phụ ca – a delicious dish of grilled turmeric-marinated catfish served with a mini-forest of fresh dill.

The original restaurant still exists in Hanoi today, though based on its lukewarm reviews, it’s best days may be behind it. Not so with this restaurant in Ho chi Minh City.

If you’ve tried this dish in Hanoi, then you’ll know how good it is. Not only is it tasty, but it’s one of the most visually appealing dishes we’ve had in Vietnam.

A mountain of forest green dill is heaped onto a frying pan with golden orange nuggets of breaded catfish. It’s pan-fried on your table using a small burner, so you can hear it sizzling và popping as it cooks. It’s so incredibly appetizing.

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I’m not sure if they use the same fish in Saigon but phụ thân ca is typically made with hemibagrus catfish, a genus of catfish caught in the rivers of northern Vietnam.

It’s sliced into matchbox-sized nuggets then marinated in galangal, turmeric, and other spices before being grilled. It’s then brought out to lớn pan fry on your table with spring onions & dill.

When cooked, the fish nuggets are served with rice vermicelli, roasted peanuts, coriander, and a nuoc cham (fish sauce) dipping sauce. If you like, you can also địa chỉ a bit of mam tom which is a pungent dip made with Vietnamese shrimp paste and lime juice.

The fish is tender and flaky on the inside with a slightly charred, caramelized coating. The grilling process gives it smokiness while the dill imparts a wonderful aroma khổng lồ the dish. It’s so damn good.

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As described, phụ thân ca is a dish associated with Hanoi but if you want lớn try it in Saigon, then there’s no better place lớn have it than at cha Ca La Vong. It’s pricier compared khổng lồ other traditional Vietnamese dishes but worth it. The Saigon restaurant is located in District 3.

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Cha Ca La Vong

Address: 3-5 Hồ Xuân Hương, Phường 6, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh, VietnamOperating Hours: 11AM-2PM, 5-10PM, dailyWhat to lớn Order: phụ thân caWhat We Paid: VND 180,000 per person

17. Co Lieng

Finding a good bo la lot place was one of our priorities on this trip, and thanks khổng lồ the Saigon episode of Somebody Feed Phil, we found it. In the episode, Phil’s guide Simon introduces him to bo la lot which he describes as his favorite dish.

Bo la lot is a traditional Vietnamese dish made with seasoned beef that’s wrapped in lolot or betel leaves before being grilled over charcoal.

Resembling cigars, they’re typically garnished with roasted peanuts & chopped green onion and served with a side of Vietnamese rice paper, lettuce, pickled vegetables, và a nuoc cham (fish sauce) dipping sauce.

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To eat, you wrap the beef “cigar” in a sheet of Vietnamese rice paper with the vegetables then roll it up.

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Bo la lot has a good balance of flavor and texture. The beef is smokey & a bit medicinal in taste from the betel leaves while the vegetables impart freshness và crunch. Smokey, sweet, sour, savory, spicy, crunchy, và a little bitter, this dish has it all & goes very well with beer.

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Co Lieng is located in District 3, just a block away from Pho Le.

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Co Lieng

Address: 321 Võ Văn Tần, Phường 5, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh, VietnamOperating Hours: 8AM-11PM, dailyWhat to lớn Order: Bo la lotWhat We Paid: VND 97,000 for bo la lot and beers

18. Bot Chien Dat Thanh

This was one of the restaurants in Ho chi Minh city we visited with our Vietnamese food tour guide. According to him, Dat Thanh is a local favorite known for their bot chien, which is a fried rice flour dish made with egg và served with a side of green papaya.

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If you’re fond of Malaysian or Singaporean food, then this dish may be familiar to lớn you. It’s similar lớn char koay kak in Malaysia or chai tow kueh (“carrot cake”) in Singapore.

But unlike the Malaysian & Singaporean versions, bot chien doesn’t contain daikon radish. It’s made with cubed rice flour & tapioca starch that’s fried in lard with egg until golden brown và crisp.

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Bot Chien Dat Thanh is located in District 3, along Vo Van tung Street near several of the restaurants featured on this list.

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Bot Chien Dat Thanh

Address: 277 Võ Văn Tần, Phường 5, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh, VietnamOperating Hours: 2-11PM, dailyWhat to Order: Bot chienWhat We Paid: VND 26,000 per order of bot chien

19. Com Ga xoi Mo Su Su

This is one of our favorite restaurants in Saigon. They serve some of the best fried chicken we’ve ever tasted in our lives.

Like a few of the places on this list, we learned about Com Ga xuyên Mo Su Su from the second episode of Luke Nguyen’s Street Food Asia.

If you’re wondering what this odd-looking contraption is, it’s the frying machine invented by the restaurant’s owner. At the flip of a switch, hot oil (around 180°C) would shower down from the top of the machine onto poached chicken wings or thighs. The oil would go through the screen and back into the pool below before being sent back up again.

He would leave the chicken under this waterfall of oil for a few minutes not necessarily khổng lồ cook it, since it’s already been poached in a master stock, but to supremely crisp up the skin.

It’s for this reason why his fried chicken is referred lớn as “waterfall chicken”. So cool!

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This is the red rice they serve with the fried chicken. Like the waterfall fryer, the owner built this machine to automatically stir the rice so it doesn’t burn.

While we were having lunch, I noticed a workstation at the back of the shop with disassembled gadgets like radios, computers, etc. It’s clear that this guy really likes to tinker with machines.

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There’s no arguing with the results. You can tell from looking at this picture how delicately crisp that chicken skin is. And because it wasn’t deep-fried, it isn’t as oily.

It’s so damn good, especially when dipped in that secret dark homemade sauce. It’s savory sweet and very garlicky, kinda lượt thích soy sauce with teriyaki & oyster sauce, maybe some hoisin and other spices.

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Com Ga xoi Mo Su Su is located in District 3 fronting the river. It isn’t as easy to lớn get lớn so you may want khổng lồ book a Grab bike or car to this place.

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Here’s the mad tinkering genius himself! This was taken on our first visit two years ago. Too bad he wasn’t there on our most recent stop.

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Com Ga xuyên Mo Su Su

Address: 1067 Hoàng Sa, phường 11, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh, VietnamOperating Hours: 10:30AM-9:30PM, dailyWhat to Order: Com gaWhat We Paid: VND 42,000 per order of com ga

20. Xuyên Ga Ut bản đồ Number One

This xoi or sticky rice stall was another restaurant we learned about from Luke Nguyen’s show. There are actually two stalls here almost right next to each other, both with very similar names & both specializing in xuyên ga or steamed chicken with glutinous rice.

I was crawling through the Cu bỏ ra Tunnels when Ren ate here so I didn’t get to lớn try it. But according lớn her, it was delicious, with the notable flavor of fried shallots.

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This cửa hàng has an interesting backstory. According to lớn Luke, there was a street food vendor named BamMoy who would walk up và down this area selling Xôi Gà over fifty years ago. She became so popular that she eventually opened her own cửa hàng called xoi Ga Number One.

Fast forward many years later & BamMoy is now in her nineties & has since passed on the business lớn one of her daughters. However, the other daughter wasn’t too happy about it so she opened her own stall a couple of doors down called xuyên Ga Ut map Number One.

In his show, Luke advised would-be diners to go to the original, which is what Ren did. But for some reason, they seated her at the sister’s stall whilst serving her xuyên ga from the original shop.

Not sure what that was all about but perhaps relations have cooled between the two sisters over the years.

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Xoi Ga Ut Map

Address: 21/19 Nguyễn Trung Trực, Bến Thành, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, VietnamOperating Hours: 7AM-9PM, dailyWhat to lớn Order: xuyên gaWhat We Paid: VND 15,000 per order of xuyên ga

21. Hu Tieu Breakfast Stall

This breakfast stall is located right next to lớn our serviced apartment building – Babylon D3 (Booking.com | Agoda). I’m not even sure if this place has a name but they’d set up metal tables & chairs on the side of the road every morning.

Every day we’d walk by this place and find every seat taken by locals slurping down delicious bowls of noodle soup before heading off khổng lồ work. A no name eatery flooded with locals is always a good sign so I had lớn try it.

I’m so happy I did because this bowl of hu tieu with shrimp và egg was one of the best dishes I had in Saigon. It was so damn good.

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From what I understand, hu tieu is recognized as a breakfast dish with Cambodian roots. It’s prepared by moistening noodles with garlic oil then dressing them with a sticky brown sauce made with oyster sauce, soy sauce, và sugar.

The bowl is filled with a clear broth made from pork bones, dried squid, và sugar, and then seasoned with fish sauce. It’s then topped with a variety of meats lượt thích pork, duck, seafood, or offal.

I’m not sure if the Vietnamese version is prepared in exactly the same way but I had the soup version of this dish many times in the Mekong Delta region và loved it.

It quickly became one of my favorite noodle soup dishes in Vietnam. Based on what I’ve read, hu tieu became popular in Saigon và southern Vietnam in the 1960s.

This was my first time to try the dry version of hu tieu which I enjoyed just as much as the soup. Every hu tieu soup I had in the Mekong Delta was topped with pork, but this one had shrimp & bits of what seemed like scrambled egg.

The shrimp was soft, succulent, và savory sweet while the egg imparted richness and creaminess. It was absolutely delicious.

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This beef soup was delicious as well. The broth was flavorful và the cuts of beef were super tender. I don’t know if they always serve this with the dry hu tieu but I’m happy they gave it khổng lồ me.

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This is what the stall looks lượt thích after they’ve run out of food. Notice the folded up metal tables? You can see Babylon D3’s sign to lớn the left of the stall.

This place doesn’t seem to show up on Google Maps but you can go khổng lồ the Babylon D3 serviced apartments to find it. It’s in alley 136 near the corner of Vuon Chuoi Street. They only serve breakfast till they run out of food so be sure lớn get here as early as you can.

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Hu Tieu Breakfast Stall

Address: Hem 136 Vườn Chuối, Phường 4, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam (to the right of Bablyon 3d serviced apartments)Operating Hours: Mornings onlyWhat to lớn Order: Hu tieu with shrimp & egg, beef soupWhat We Paid: VND 48,000 for hu tieu và beef soup

22. Vietnam House Restaurant

As you can probably tell by now, we’re fans of Luke Nguyen và his shows so we couldn’t visit Saigon without enjoying a meal at his restaurant.

As you can tell from this picture, Vietnam House is a fine dining restaurant in District 1 serving elevated interpretations of traditional Vietnamese dishes like phụ thân gio and banh xeo.

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Speaking of elevating a dish, we started with these fried lobster netted spring rolls which are Luke’s interpretation of cha gio or deep-fried spring rolls. They’re stuffed with lobster, prawn, & wood-ear mushrooms.

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Like many fried Vietnamese dishes, these spring rolls are best enjoyed wrapped in fresh lettuce leaves and topped with pickled vegetables. These were delicious và perhaps my favorite dish from tonight’s meal.

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This is Luke’s version of banh xeo made with crab, Iberico pork, và palm heart. Fancy!

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For our main course, we had this delicious bowl of braised wagyu beef cheek in coconut juice, green pepper, carrot, và shallots.

Served with a banh mi baguette, the sauce was rich và flavorful và the beef cheek was so tender it practically dissolved in your mouth. So good!

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Vietnam House Restaurant is located in District 1, just a short walk from Saigon’s famed cà phê Apartments.

If you’re looking khổng lồ have a special meal in Saigon – one that doesn’t involve sitting on plastic stools by the side of the road – then Luke’s restaurant is a good place khổng lồ consider. It’s a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence awardee with a superb 4.5-star rating.

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Vietnam House Restaurant

Address: 93-95, 97 Đồng Khởi, Street, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, VietnamOperating Hours: 11:30AM-3PM, 5:30-11PM, dailyWhat to lớn Order: Fried lobster netted spring rolls, braised wagyu beef cheekWhat We Paid: VND 1,500,000 for two people

23. Sushi Ko

I wouldn’t normally add a sushi restaurant khổng lồ a Saigon restaurant guide but this place was recommended to us by our Inspitrip guide, the same local who led us to Pho Le, Bot Chien Dat Thanh, Oc Oanh, & Com Tam Tran Qui Cap.

According lớn him, Sushi Ko enjoys somewhat of a cult following amongst locals because it isn’t often that you see sushi sold as street food in Saigon. On đứng đầu of that, they serve very good sushi.

Sushi Ko is located along Vinh Khanh Street in District 4, just around the corner from Oc Oanh. We’ve been wanting khổng lồ eat here ever since we learned about it two years ago.

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Sushi Ko has an extensive menu featuring fancy sushi rolls, sahimi, và other Japanese dishes. They even have anago here.

We started off with this beautiful Sushi Ko Special Maki roll made with different types of fish, cucumber, egg, avocado, và flying fish roe.

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Pictured below is an unagi and avocado maki.

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We ordered this seaweed salad to lớn enjoy with our beer. They pop in your mouth and taste briny & a bit slimy, but in a good way.

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If you think Sushi Ko is all about novelty, it isn’t. Seated two tables away from us was this group of Japanese businessmen who looked lượt thích they came straight from work.

Sushi Ko serves excellent sushi so if you’re in the mood for Japanese food in Saigon – in a space that isn’t lượt thích your typical Japanese restaurant – then you may want to kiểm tra out Sushi Ko. It’s along Vinh Khanh Street so it would make a great stop on a District 4 Saigon food crawl.

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Sushi Ko

24. Minh Chau

Gio phụ thân Minh Chau is a Saigon takeout stall selling different kinds of traditional Vietnamese food products. We asked our homestay host what Vietnamese delicacies we could bring trang chủ and she suggested cha lua or Vietnamese pork sausage. What I’m holding here is a half kilo worth of thân phụ lua.

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Cha lua or gio lua is made with lean pork, potato starch, garlic, ground đen pepper, and nuoc mam (Vietnamese fish sauce). The pork is pounded until it becomes pasty before being seasoned with spices & fish sauce.

It can’t be chopped or ground since that would leave the meat fibrous, dry, và crumbly. Achieving a springy texture is key which is why the pounding process is important. The mixture is then wrapped tightly in banana leaves into a cylindrical shape and boiled.

Pictured below is a dish topped with phụ vương lua. It’s already cooked so you just need to quickly slice & pan fry it before eating.

As described, the texture is a bit gummy and chewy và reminiscent of a firmer fish cake. I loved it & wished we had brought back more than just half a kilo. If you like SPAM or other processed meats, then you’re going khổng lồ love thân phụ lua.


Chuyên mục: Du lịch