Instant Noodles: Pandemic Staple
A national comfort food, a convenience, an indulgence & in some cases a necessity, instant noodles are a staple of the Vietnamese diet. During the pandemic, however, national consumption rose by 30%…
Bún Quậy | ‘Stirring’ Noodles
A seafood noodle soup native to Phu Quoc Island but with roots in the central coastal region of the mainland, bún quậy literally means ‘stirring noodles’…
Ngõ Ngách: Hanoi Snacks on a Saigon Alley
A diminutive eatery hidden down a narrow alleyway in Saigon, Ngõ Ngách is a simple but atmospheric place specializing in Hanoi snacks…
Bun Rieu Cua Oc: Crab & Snail Noodle Soup
A broth of tomatoes & pulverized crab poured over white rice noodles & topped with marinated snails, bún riêu cua ốc is one of Vietnam’s most complex soups
Cà Ri: Vietnamese Curry in Saigon
Serving up a mild, thick & richly aromatic curry (cà ri) with chicken or shrimp, Ngọc Hân is a small, informal, well-organized, family-run soup house on Phan Xich Long Street, Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)….
Mì Quảng 85 Noodle House, Saigon
Defined by its thick yellow noodles, crunchy rice crackers, quail eggs, fresh mint & salty-sweet sauce, mì quảng is a much-loved dish from Central Vietnam. The version at Mì Quảng 85 in Saigon is full of texture & colour, if a bit too sweet….
Two Saigon Soup Houses
There are thousands of soup houses in Saigon: these are just two of them, but they are good ones, and they both offer three different kinds of soups. One of them is a longtime favourite of mine; the other was a recent ‘random encounter’…
Dim Sum in Saigon
Dim sum is increasingly popular in Saigon. But my favourite dumpling joint is an old-timer in Chinatown. Boasting a 10 page bible of dim sum dishes, this unassuming place offers great variety, quality and value for money…
Goat Noodle Soup in Chinatown
Deep in Saigon’s Chinatown, there’s a bowl of goat noodles that’s meaty, rich, silky and smooth. This soup is full of farmyard flavours: it’s a barn in a bowl. Make no mistake, this is a heavy breakfast, but it’ll keep you going till the evening…
6 Reasons to Slurp Your Noodles
Slurp and suck: this should be every traveller’s primary objective when sitting down to enjoy a bowl of one of Vietnam’s famous noodle soups. Here is my guide to why you should embrace local etiquette and leave your preconceived table manners at home….
Saigon’s other Lunch Lady
Everyone knows who Saigon’s Lunch Lady is, right? Well, probably not this one. Ms Nga is 43 years old. She serves a different soup each day of the week, from her cramped, ramshackle soup stall. Originally from Thai Binh (a northern province famous for producing excellent cooks), she moved to Saigon in the mid-90s…
Breakfast in Ha Giang
When I had breakfast at a noodle house in Ha Giang, Vietnam’s northernmost frontier, it was one of those occasions when food, people and place come together perfectly…
Phở Gia Hân, Saigon
I was first drawn to Phở Gia Hân by the enticing aroma that wafted over the narrow street on humid evenings. A family-run soup house in a local neighbourhood, this is one of my favourite places for phở in Saigon…
The Lunch Lady’s Menu: An Illustrated Guide
The Lunch Lady in Saigon is famous for serving a different soup every day of the week. Here’s her weekly menu, illustrated with tantalizing images of each of the dishes…
The Lunch Lady: A Diary
Ms Nguyen Thi Thanh is The Lunch Lady. Her famous ‘rotating menu’ (she serves a different dish each day) is a huge draw for locals, tourists & foodies from around the world. I ate lunch here everyday for a week to see how good it really is…
Bún Thịt Nướng: An Elegant Classic
This cold noodle salad is a classic of southern Vietnam. Simple, cool & refreshing, bún thịt nướng is the perfect antidote to the heat & humidity of the south.
The Best Phở in Saigon
It’s surprisingly difficult to find a truly outstanding bowl of phở (beef noodle soup) in Saigon. But, after 8 years living & eating in this city, I’ve finally found a place that, in my opinion, serves the best bowl of phở in Saigon…
Bún Kèn Noodles | Island Broth
A speciality of Phu Quoc Island, bún kèn is an underrated dish that deserves a place in the pantheon of Vietnamese noodle soups. Packed with fish, fruit & colour, it’s a tropical island in a bowl.
Bún Mắm: the Mekong in a Bowl
Bún Mắm is a robust Vietnamese soup from the Mekong Delta. It’s packed with contrasting flavours, textures and colours. You’ll find bún mắm all over southern Vietnam, but one place in Saigon is especially good.
One of the Best Soups in Vietnam
Nho Quan is a small, industrial town in Ninh Bình Province, 90km south of Hanoi. The bare concrete buildings and dusty streets are a far cry from the natural beauty of the surrounding area. However, hidden amongst the unappealing sprawl is one of the best soups in Vietnam…
Beef Stew (Bò Kho)
Bò kho (beef stew) is a hearty, spicy and aromatic broth with diced beef, carrot and lemongrass. Eaten on its own with a warm baguette for dunking or served over noodles, this is one of my favourite dishes in Vietnam.
Food & Drink Map
This is a map of all my Food & Drink Guides. Zoom in, click a marker, then click the link in the description to go directly to the guide.