Văn Thánh Market Food Guide | Sài Gòn
Every Saigon neighbourhood has a local fresh produce market. Mine is Văn Thánh, where there are dozens of good, inexpensive street food vendors, cafes & juice stalls…
Huu Tri ‘Donut’ Shack | Phu Quoc
A local, hole-in-the-wall, Vietnamese-style ‘donut’ shack on Phu Quoc Island, Huu Tri specializes in bánh chiên (fried dough). For over a generation, this family-run business has been serving hundreds of bánh chiên made freshly on the premises each day…
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)….
Food in the Time of Corona: Last Meals before Lock-Down
Before the lock-down, street food was still thriving: indeed, sitting down to a bowl of noodles was one of the only times you could take off your mask. I documented my last meals before the spread of COVID-19 forced a nationwide lock-down.
Coconut Ice Cream in Saigon
In the heart of one of Saigon’s best street food neighbourhoods, Nguyen Huong offers up a colourful, textural, tasty, Thai-style coconut ice cream. This sweet treat is a fun way to end a night of street food exploration along the buzzing sidewalks of District 10…
Local BBQ in Phong Nha
Just north of Phong Nha town, Quán Bình Hoa serves up an excellent BBQ in a local atmosphere. Roast pork, whole roasted duck, ox tail, grilled quail stuffed with lemongrass, hot & spicy baby clams and much more await you at this smokey roadside eatery….
The Juice Lady, Saigon
I’ve only recently started to visit my local juice lady in Saigon. Now, however, I go there every day for fresh fruit juices & smoothies. In Vietnam, fruit juices are often served with added sugar, and smoothies with condensed milk, but it’s pretty easy to order them without…
Eating Bánh Khọt in Vũng Tàu | 7 Places
Bánh Khọt are delicious gems: crispy discs of rice flour batter & coconut milk, fried until they’re crunchy on the outside but moist on the inside, then wrapped in herbs & dipped in a sweet-spicy sauce. Here are 7 places to eat bánh khọt in Vũng Tàu…
Saigon to Hanoi: A Food Diary
On a recent road trip between Saigon & Hanoi I made a record of some of the meals I ate along the way, to try and illustrate the variety of food available, and what a delight it is to eat your way from one end of the country to the other…
Meat Feast: Hieu Map BBQ Shop
A very local, long-running establishment offering a variety of cheap, simple and tasty barbecued meats to take away, Hieu Map BBQ Shop is a decent option for a meat feast to share with friends….
Quán Ốc Cẩm: Shell Feast
Dining out on snails, shellfish & beer is a national pastime in Vietnam. Everyone has their favourite quán ốc (snail restaurant) for a night of shells, booze, banter & fun: Quán Ốc Cẩm, in Saigon’s District 10, is one of mine…
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….
Saigon’s Street Food ‘Ghettos’
Throughout Saigon, there are clusters of crumbling old apartment complexes, all of which are on the verge of either collapse or demolition. Living conditions appear cramped and grim but, outside on the sidewalks, the street life and street food is among the best and most vibrant in the city…
Grilled Chicken Corner, Saigon
At night, a scented fog hangs over a busy intersection in Saigon. The aromatic haze is the ‘Chicken Mist’ resulting from a dozen roadside barbecues hissing, smoking and grilling hundreds of fresh chicken carcasses. This is Chicken Corner, and this is where you come to get your poultry fix of crispy, tasty, delicious, grilled chicken in Saigon…
Cơm Tấm, Saigon: 7 of my Favourites
I love cơm tấm. Some of my happiest moments in Saigon have been sitting down with a good plate of barbecued pork & broken rice, watching the city go by. Saigon and cơm tấm are inseparable, and this city does it better than anywhere else. Cơm tấm is the quintessential Saigon experience. Here’s where to eat it….
Sweet Saigon: Where to Eat Chè
A kaleidoscopic world of luminous colours, shifting shapes, unfamiliar textures, esoteric ingredients & rich flavours, chè is a fascinating sub-category of Vietnamese cuisine. Commonly translated as ‘dessert’, in reality chè is so filling & nutritious that it’s a meal in itself….
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…
7 Great Streets for Street Food in Saigon
Saigon is arguably the best place to explore Vietnam’s extraordinary street food scene. The city boasts so many street food outlets that it feels like a gigantic open-air restaurant. This is my guide to 7 of the best streets for street food 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 People’s Food: Local Rice Eateries
There’s at least one quán cơm bình dân (common rice eatery) on every urban street in Vietnam. Offering dozens of typical, home-cooked dishes at affordable prices, these eateries feed the nation. It doesn’t get more local than this…
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.
Where to Eat & Drink in Dalat
My guide to where to eat & drink in the former French colonial hill station of Dalat, high up in the Annamite Mountains.
Fetal Duck Egg
If you like eggs, you’ll love fetal duck eggs! They are, quite simply, ‘eggier’ than regular chicken eggs. Don’t be put off by the name or what they look like; this is a great, tasty, nutritious and cheap road-side snack anywhere in Vietnam.
Street Food Week
Can you live only on street food in Vietnam? Is it any good and is it really that cheap? To find out I spent a whole week eating exclusively street food in Saigon. Find out what I ate, where I ate, & how much I spent in this Street Food Week diary.
Bếp Than Eatery: Vietnamese Tapas
Bếp Than Eatery is a small, cool, and ‘cutesy’ place to relax with some lite Vietnamese snacks & mojitos by the Thi Nghe Channel in Saigon: a great place to ‘snack & chat’ with friends.
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…
Cà Phê Bệt: Saigon’s Street Coffee Scene
At 5 o’clock in the afternoons in Saigon, high schools and universities disgorge their students into the busy streets. Dusk is one of the coolest times of day, and many of these students head for one of the city’s parks, where they buy food and drink from street vendors and sit on the grass talking into the evening hours – this is Cà Phê Bệt.
Snails & Shellfish: A Guide
Snail eating is incredibly popular in Vietnam. A night of shells & beer is a very local experience. Young & old feast late into the night. The snails come in all shapes and sizes and they’re delicious. ‘Shell tapas’ is a fun night out that everyone should try
Broken Rice & Pork Stew, Saigon
Wherever you are in Vietnam, you can always rely on broken rice or pork stew to fill you up. Breakfast, lunch or dinner; these two pork dishes are always available. Forget phở – the famous beef noodle soup – the real national dish of Vietnam is pork and rice!
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.