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Best Ho Chi Minh City Food & Drink

Saigon is where different cultures meet, creating a vibrant and colorful lifestyle. Being involved in the life flow, Saigon cuisine is, accordingly, diverse and extremely fascinating. Coming to Ho Chi Minh city, you can enjoy various distinctive dishes.

Ho Chi Minh city foods and drinks, or known as Saigon cuisine, is not simply a matter of eating and processing dishes but also the customs, habits, and spiritual culture of the locals. Combining traditional methods with Chinese-Western cuisines has created a unique and rich Saigon cuisine today.

best dishes in Ho Chi Minh City

Try the best dishes in Ho Chi Minh City

Besides the combination of different cuisines, Saigon food is combined between the traditional and modern features.

While traditional dishes remain in the city, offering an original, fresh, and rich taste, along with the old Saigonese way to eat, modern ones started to be created among the young people, featuring new tastes and different ways to enjoy. The common thing is that both can satisfy your taste and partly reflect the city's lifestyle. 

Ho Chi Minh cuisine, according to its origin, style, and way to eat, can be divided into two main kinds: Street Foods and International Foods.

Ho Chi Minh Street Foods

Having existed for a long time, street food in Ho Chi Minh city has gradually become a highlight, deeply impressing international customers.

Common dishes such as bread, broken rice, vermicelli, Pho, etc. are now on the list of the best street food for visitors who are passionate about "moving". These names are also very popular on many world major channels such as CNN Travel, CNN, National Geographic, etc.

Saigon broken rice

Saigon broken rice - a must-try for every traveler

Some must-eat street food in Ho Chi Minh are:

  • Pha Lau (Pavlov)
  • Banh Trang Nuong (Vietnamese pancake)
  • Banh trang tron (Rice paper salad)
  • Bot chien (Fried dough)
  • Snails
  • Banh mi (Bread)

Ho Chi Minh street food features a bold flavor that is nowhere to be found, yet is still easy to enjoy. However, the special thing is not about the taste but the way it is cooked, sold, and eaten.

The style of trading and processing street food shows the true personality, simple, and liberal lifestyle of the Saigonese.

Street vendors, small shops crowded with people, or trolleys selling all kinds of soft drinks are still familiar images with the modern rhythm of this city.

Ho Chi Minh International Foods

Known as a multicultural city, Ho Chi Minh features a wide range of international cuisines to offer. 

Chinese food is the most popular. There is even a Chinatown called Cho Lon in Districts 5 and 6, where Chinese restaurants have opened for years, serving the locals and tourists. Chinese food has a long developing history in Saigon; thus offering not only the Chinese taste but also the local features.

Chinese restaurant in Saigon

Chinese restaurants in Saigon

Korean and Japanese cuisines are also popular in the city due to Saigon's opening lifestyle. Besides, Western cuisines such as French, Italian, and Spanish are quite favored, especially in high-standard restaurants. For those going on a special diet or practicing a particular religion, there is Halal, Islam food for you too.

Food and drink in Ho Chi Minh city are fascinating and worth trying, so check out our food guides to know more about specific dishes in Saigon.