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What Do Vietnamese Have for Lunch?


While it may be common for Westerners to grab a quick bite and call it lunch, for many Vietnamese, lunchtime is a special time of the day. In this blog, we will introduce you to the Vietnamese lunch, its surrounding customs as well as dishes and restaurants recommendations.

Vietnamese Lunch Customs

When does the Vietnamese have lunch?

when does vietnamese have lunch

Lunchtime is always busy for Vietnamese people

Vietnamese lunch usually starts from 11-12 PM and ends around 1-2 PM. During this time, traffic can be quite bad in big cities, as students and workers flock to the streets to enjoy their lunch break.

Why do most Vietnamese have a big lunch?

why do vietnamese have big lunch 1

Vietnamese lunch usually consists of many hearty dishes

Because Vietnamese people start their day early, lunch break is important to them as it is the time when they get to relax and take a breather from a hard morning at work. Most people usually have light dishes such as Banh Mi or Sticky Rice for breakfast, so lunchtime is the perfect occasion to replenish themselves.

why do vietnamese have big lunch 2

Many people spend their lunch hanging out with friends and families.

Another reason why Vietnamese usually have a big lunch is that for many people, lunchtime is an opportunity to hang out with their friends and families. If you are working at an office, it is very normal for lunch breaks to last from 1 to 2 hours.

It is also common for people in an office to have lunch together, as they see this as a chance to bond and strengthen the team's relationship. If your Vietnamese co-workers invited you out for lunch, don't hesitate to accept the offer!

What are the etiquettes for having Vietnamese lunch?

Vietnam dinning etiquette

Vietnamese people value their food culture and family meals

Vietnamese food culture and table manners can be different depending on the region. Many families want their members to have lunch with each other; this is especially true for Northern and Central Vietnamese families, while Southern families can be laxer. But because of the fast-paced life of the modern world, not many people can afford to do so. Most families resolve this by going out to eat or cooking big lunches together during the weekends or holidays.

More on Traditional Vietnamese Table Manners

Popular Vietnamese Lunch Dishes

Vietnamese cuisine is famous not only because of its deliciousness but also its versatility. Almost any dishes can be had for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Here are some of our suggestions that locals usually have for lunch.

Rice and side dishes

 original rice and side dishes

A typical Vietnamese lunch with rice and other dishes

It's routine for Vietnamese to have rice together with side dishes for lunch, as this is also one of the most popular and traditional Vietnamese meals. These side dishes usually include a stir-fry or a stew, a bowl of soup, and some vegetables. This type of meal is usually sold at family restaurants or office lunch restaurants. 

Our recommendations:

Cong Doan Restaurant

  • Address: 1 Bui Thi Xuan Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Opening hours: from 6 AM to 10 PM
  • Price: VND 20,000 - VND 44,000

Com Nieu Saigon

  • Address: 59 Ho Xuan Huong Street, Ward 6, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Opening hours: from 10 AM to 10:30 PM
  • Price: VND 35,000 - VND 200,000

Com Ga Xoi Mo

 com ga xoi mo

Rice with fried chicken

Another popular Vietnamese lunch dish is Com Ga Xoi Mo, which is rice eaten with fried chicken. The chicken is cooked and fried so that the meat is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, but not too oily.

Our recommendation: 

Com Ga Hai Nam

  • Address: 92C Cao Thang Street, Ward 4, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Opening hours: from 8 AM to 10 PM
  • Price: VND 35,000 - VND 100,000

Bun Cha

original bun cha

Bun Cha has become a popular dish to have for lunch

Originating from Ha Noi, Bun Cha is a dish comprises of rice vermicelli eaten with fatty grilled pork, dipped in sweet and sour fish sauce. It is a trendy choice for lunch for many locals.

Our recommendations:

Bun Cha Ho Guom

  • Address: this restaurant has three branches in Ho Chi Minh City, located in
  1. 135 Vo Van Tan, Ward 6, District 3
  2. 6 Tran Phu, Ward 4, District 5
  3. 26 Lu Gia, Ward 15, District 11
  • Opening hours: from 7 AM to 9 PM
  • Price: VND 35,000 - VND 52,000

Nem Restaurant

  • Address: 15E Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Opening hours: from 10 AM to 10 PM
  • Price: VND 20,000 - VND 60,000

Summary of What Do Vietnamese Have for Lunch

Vietnamese lunch is a special and unique experience that anyone has to try at least once. With our recommendations, we hope that you can start planning your journey and explore the many wonders that Vietnamese cuisine has to offer.

Looking for an authentic experience of Vietnamese cuisine? Check out our Vietnamese Food Adventures for the best local food that will leave you wanting more.

Check out our private motorbike tours with professional local guides
for fun and insightful trips in Ho Chi Minh City!

family outing in ho chi minh city motorcycle


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Friday, 09 December 2022

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