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Try These Dishes on Your Saigon Food Tour


On your Saigon food tour, you will not only find food signature of Southern Vietnam but also get to try specialty from other regions as well. As a hub of Vietnamese culture in the south, Saigon is also the place where you can find dishes of any regions in Vietnam.

Most of the famous Southern Vietnam dishes are from the Mekong Delta or the southwest (Mien Tay Nam Bo). The ways that the dishes are cooked and presented are really simple and their taste is a little bit sweeter than that of other regions.

The Central Vietnam dishes in Saigon mostly come from Hue, Quang Nam, and Da Lat. They are supposed to be spicier but when coming to the south, the seasoning and some ingredients of these foods are adjusted to suit the taste of people in Saigon.

And last but not least, the foods come all the way from the capital of Vietnam in the north, Hanoi. Made with ingredients and taste of Southern people but some of Hanoi’s dishes can still keep their original taste like Bun Cha and Bun Dau Mam Tom.

Here Are All Foods You MUST Try on a Saigon Food Tour

1. Noodles

In Vietnamese cuisine, there are several noodles dishes. The rice noodles are made in different shapes and sized, mixed with different kinds of protein, vegetables, and herbs, bathed in the savory broths and sauces.



Simple breakfast across the country, especially the North: A dish of soft noodle in a light beef stew soup

bun cha bun thit nuong

Bun Cha and Bun Thit Nuong

The vermicelli served with grilled pork belly and light fish sauce broth or sweet fish sauce

bun rieu 1 bun dau mam tom

Bun Rieu and Bun Dau Mam Tom

Smelly foods: The noodles in a soup of crab roe meatloaf (Bun rieu) and the vermicelli served with fried tofu, fried fish sausage, pork, and fermented shrimp paste dipping sauce (Bun dau mam tom)

mi quang 1 bun bo hue

Mi Quang and Bun Bo Hue

Diverse Central Vietnam cuisine: Mild taste of the noodle with pork, shrimp, peanuts, and rice crackers in little broth in a bowl of Mi Quang and the thick noodle in spicy beef stew soup, Bun Bo Hue

bun mam 1 banh tam bi

Bun Mam and Banh Tam Bi

Weird foods of the South: thick noodle in fermented fish broth (Bun mam) and sweet rice noodle topped with pork and pork skin shred (Banh tam bi)

mieng ga

Mien Ga

Soothing foods: mung bean cellophane or vermicelli in a soup made from chicken broth

banh canh cua hu tieu nam vang 1

Banh Canh and Hu Tieu

Simple breakfast in the South: The tapioca noodle in a thick soup of crab, pork, and shrimp (Banh canh) and the noodle in a simple broth made of shrimp, pork, and quail eggs (Hu Tieu)

Check out places to try these dishes in Saigon:

Bun Cha
Bun Thit Nuong
Bun Bo Hue
Banh Canh

2. Rice Dishes

If rice noodle soup is not your favorite, you can still taste the sweetness of Vietnamese rice in a lot of other dishes. You can have a look at some of the below, for instance:

com tam

Com Tam

The broken rice with BBQ marinated pork chop

com hen

Com Hen

The rice stir-fried with baby basket clam and rice cracker

banh cuon

Banh Cuon

The steamed rice rolls served with cold cuts and dipped in fish sauce

3. Fried and Grilled

Of course, the Vietnamese also love fatty, smoky, and crunchy fried and grilled foods. To keep the balance, there are a lot of herbs and sour fruits like pineapple, unripe banana, and star fruit accompanied the dishes.

banh xeo 1 banh khot

Banh Xeo and Banh Khot

The crispy cakes from rice batter with shrimp and pork filling

cha gio

Cha Gio

The fried spring roll filled with minced pork, taro, and wood ear

bo la lot 1 oc 1

Bo La Lot and sea snails

Typical BBQ: The beef piper lolot rolls and grilled or sauteed snails and shells with delicious buttery or tangy tamarind sauce

hot vit lon

Hot Vit Lon

The steamed or sauteed fertilized duck embryo

banh mi

Banh Mi

The Vietnamese baguette made from a mixture of flour and rice flour, with lots of fillings like the cold cuts, pate, and roasted pork

Check out good places to try these foods in Saigon:

Banh Mi
Banh Xeo
Banh Khot

4. Sticky rice

Normal rice is not enough for the Vietnamese; you can also find many foods made from the glutinous rice which has a denser and stickier texture. You can serve them with protein to make savory dishes or mix with fruits and coconut milk to make sweet dishes.

xoi man xoi chien 1

Xoi Man and Xoi Chien

Savory sticky rice: The white sticky rice with cold cuts and meat floss, or sometimes even a chicken drumstick (Xoi man) and the deep-fried white sticky rice stuffed with wood ears and pork

xoi dau 1 xoi ngu sac 1

Xoi Dau and Xoi Ngu Sac

Sweet sticky rice: The white sticky rice with beans and peanuts or colored sticky rice, white, yellow (of mung bean - Xoi Vo), purple (of magenta leaf - Xoi La Cam), orange (of spiny bitter gourd - Xoi Gac), and green (of pandan leaf - Xoi La Dua)

5. Steamed cakes

The rice continues to play an important part in some of these dishes. Fish sauce is another thing that cannot be left out if you want to have perfect steamed cakes. The sauce has to be salty enough to balance with the taste of plain cakes, sweet enough to keep you addicted, and spicy enough to give a kick at the end and make you excited for more.

banh beo

Banh Beo

The round and soft steamed rice cake with shrimp powder, fried pork fat, and green onion oil, steamed in a small dish

banh bot loc 1 banh nam

Banh Bot Loc and Banh Nam

Accompanies of Banh beo: chewy tapioca cake filled with shrimp, wrapped and steamed in a banana leaf (Banh bot loc) and flat rice cake mixed filled with minced pork and shrimp, wrapped and steamed in a banana leaf (Banh nam)

6. Rice paper

Unlike Banh Cuon and Banh Uot, the rice batter to make Vietnamese rice paper is spread to paper-thin and transparent. You can use the rice paper to wrap and eat with other foods like Banh Xeo, Banh Khot, deep-fried gourami, or anything you like.

goi cuon

Goi Cuon

The fresh spring roll includes lettuce, vermicelli, pork, shrimp, and dipped in fermented soybean peanut sauce

banh trang tron 1 banh trang nuong

Banh Trang Tron and Banh Trang Nuong

Student's favorites: The rice paper cut into thin strips, mixed with beef jerky, other meat floss, quail eggs, thinly shaved green mango, soy sauce, and beef jerky sauce (Banh trang tron), and rice paper topped with a beaten egg, sausage, shrimp powder, butter, chili sauce, and mayonnaise, and grilled on charcoal (Banh trang nuong)

7. Desserts and snacks

It’s not the time for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner, but you get a little hungry. The various street foods in Saigon like sweet treats and savory snacks will never leave you disappointed. You can always find along the way on your Saigon food tour something to fill your stomach with.

banh trung nuong

Banh Trung Nuong

The quail eggs grilled with butter and shrimp powder

bong lan trung muoi

Bong Lan Trung Muoi

A combination of the sweet sponge cake and savory meat floss with salted egg yolk

goi kho bo

Goi Kho Bo

A salad made by mixing green papaya, beef jerky, fried shrimp cake, fried shrimp crackers, and soy sauce

banh da lon banh bo 1

Banh Da Lon

Steamed cake: The steamed pandan-leaf-colored rice cake and mung bean paste stacked on one another layer by layer; its texture is a bit smooth and chewy like the pork skin (Banh da lon), and Honeycomb cake, the sweetened steamed rice cake (Banh bo)

banh khoai mi chuoi boc nep nuong

Khoai Mi Nuong and Chuoi Nep Nuong

Grilled desserts: cassava cake (Khoai Mi Nuong) and banana wrapped in sticky rice (Chuoi Nep Nuong)

che chuoi che bap

Che Chuoi, Che Bap, and Che Troi Nuoc

Desserts with coconut milk: banana (Che Chuoi), corn (Che Bap), sticky ball stuff with mung bean (Che Troi Nuoc)

com ruou

Com Ruou

Alcohol dessert: the rice brewed in sweet rice wine

Hungry yet? Contact us now to plan your Private Food Tour in Ho Chi Minh City



Guest - Jeanette Taylor on Saturday, 11 January 2020 15:53

These foods all look dreamy, wonder where I can try them all?

These foods all look dreamy, wonder where I can try them all?
Guest - Gwen Powell on Saturday, 26 October 2019 15:52

Your tour really led me to amazing cuisine in saigon

Your tour really led me to amazing cuisine in saigon
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