Vietnam Coracle: Independent Travel Guides to Vietnam

Posts tagged food

Instant Pot Noodles in Vietnam

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%…

Ngõ Ngách, Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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…

Ngoc Han Curry House, Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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, Vietnam

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.

The Vietnam Coracle Map

The Vietnam Coracle Map

An interactive map of Vietnam with all my guides, posts, articles, reviews, and videos marked on it, including direct links from the map to all my content. The Vietnam Coracle Map will help readers navigate the content on my website, in order to get to the information they are looking for….

Hai Dang Vegetarian Restaurant, Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Hải Đăng Vegetarian Restaurant, Saigon

Hải Đăng is a simple, local, informal vegetarian restaurant in Saigon’s Binh Thanh District. The sheer variety and freshness of vegetable dishes on offer (not just tofu and ‘fake meat’) sets it apart from other Vietnamese vegetarian eateries in the city….

Saigon to Hanoi: A Food Diary

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…

Vietnam Coracle YouTube Channel, 100,000 views

VIDEOS: Celebrating 100,000 views

To celebrate this modest milestone, I’ve compiled two video libraries: The 5 most-viewed videos on my channel, and my 5 personal favourite videos on my channel. Together they illustrate the rich diversity of Vietnam as a travel & food destination…

Hieu Map BBQ shop, Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City

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….

Bò kho (beef stew), Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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’…

Thuan Phat Seafood Restaurant, Phan Thiet, Vietnam

Thuan Phat Seafood Restaurant, Phan Thiet

Venture out of Mui Ne & find better, cheaper seafood in nearby Phan Thiet. More specifically, at the string of seafood restaurants lining the bờ kè (riverfront) road, where hundreds of fishing boats lie at anchor. My favourite is Thuan Phat restaurant….

Dim Sum in Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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 Saigon, Vietnam

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…

Budget Sushi in Saigon, Vietnam

Saigon’s Budget Sushi Scene

The last few years has seen an explosion of good-quality yet reasonably-priced sushi joints in Saigon. Décor is cheerful, ambience is informal, and customers are young & convivial: welcome to Saigon’s budget sushi scene….

Slurping your noodles is good in Vietnam

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….

The Food Triangle, Saigon

Everyone knows Saigon is full of great food. But there’s one corner in District 1, where you can eat three excellent meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner – in three excellent establishments, all within a few metres of each other: I call it the Food Triangle….

Com tam, 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….

Where to Eat Chè in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam

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

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…

Protein Diet Week

My Protein Diet Week

I spent a week on a protein diet in Saigon. I ate Vietnamese food from street vendors & informal eateries as much as possible, and I recorded it all in my Protein Diet Diary on this page…

Bún thịt nướng: an elegant classic

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: Common Rice Eateries

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…

Horse Meat in Vietnam

Horse Meat

After the horse meat scandal in 2013, many people in Europe discovered they’d eaten horse without knowing it, but in Saigon some restaurants specialize in horse meat, and it really is delicious!

Bún Kèn noodle soup, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

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.

Dalat: Where to Eat & Drink

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.

Make the effort; it's worth it!

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.

Cat meat

Cat Meat

Although less widely eaten than dog, cat meat is still on the menu in many Vietnamese restaurants, especially in the north. So what does it taste like?

Rat meat

Rat Meat

Each morning for the last couple months I’ve opened my front gate in Saigon to greet the new day, only to find a fresh mound of rat droppings on my door step. By way of ‘revenge’ I decided to pay a visit to one of Saigon’s rat meat restaurants…

Street eating in Saigon

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.

Cooking over the bếp than (charcoal grill)

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.

Bun mam soup

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.

Bún Riêu is full of colour & flavour

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…

Bò kho (beef stew)

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.

Cơm Tấm - Vietnamese 'Fry-up'

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!

Instant Pot Noodles in Vietnam

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%…

Ngõ Ngách, Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

A diminutive eatery hidden down a narrow alleyway in Saigon, Ngõ Ngách is a simple but atmospheric place specializing in Hanoi snacks…

Ngoc Han Curry House, Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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, Vietnam

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.

The Vietnam Coracle Map

An interactive map of Vietnam with all my guides, posts, articles, reviews, and videos marked on it, including direct links from the map to all my content. The Vietnam Coracle Map will help readers navigate the content on my website, in order to get to the information they are looking for….

Hai Dang Vegetarian Restaurant, Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Hải Đăng is a simple, local, informal vegetarian restaurant in Saigon’s Binh Thanh District. The sheer variety and freshness of vegetable dishes on offer (not just tofu and ‘fake meat’) sets it apart from other Vietnamese vegetarian eateries in the city….

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…

Vietnam Coracle YouTube Channel, 100,000 views

To celebrate this modest milestone, I’ve compiled two video libraries: The 5 most-viewed videos on my channel, and my 5 personal favourite videos on my channel. Together they illustrate the rich diversity of Vietnam as a travel & food destination…

Hieu Map BBQ shop, Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City

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….

Bò kho (beef stew), Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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’…

Thuan Phat Seafood Restaurant, Phan Thiet, Vietnam

Venture out of Mui Ne & find better, cheaper seafood in nearby Phan Thiet. More specifically, at the string of seafood restaurants lining the bờ kè (riverfront) road, where hundreds of fishing boats lie at anchor. My favourite is Thuan Phat restaurant….

Dim Sum in Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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 Saigon, Vietnam

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…

Budget Sushi in Saigon, Vietnam

The last few years has seen an explosion of good-quality yet reasonably-priced sushi joints in Saigon. Décor is cheerful, ambience is informal, and customers are young & convivial: welcome to Saigon’s budget sushi scene….

Slurping your noodles is good in Vietnam

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….

Everyone knows Saigon is full of great food. But there’s one corner in District 1, where you can eat three excellent meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner – in three excellent establishments, all within a few metres of each other: I call it the Food Triangle….

Com tam, Saigon

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….

Where to Eat Chè in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam

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…

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…

Protein Diet Week

I spent a week on a protein diet in Saigon. I ate Vietnamese food from street vendors & informal eateries as much as possible, and I recorded it all in my Protein Diet Diary on this page…

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: Common 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…

Horse Meat in Vietnam

After the horse meat scandal in 2013, many people in Europe discovered they’d eaten horse without knowing it, but in Saigon some restaurants specialize in horse meat, and it really is delicious!

Bún Kèn noodle soup, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

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.

Dalat: Where to Eat & Drink

My guide to where to eat & drink in the former French colonial hill station of Dalat, high up in the Annamite Mountains.

Make the effort; it's worth it!

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.

Cat meat

Although less widely eaten than dog, cat meat is still on the menu in many Vietnamese restaurants, especially in the north. So what does it taste like?

Rat meat

Each morning for the last couple months I’ve opened my front gate in Saigon to greet the new day, only to find a fresh mound of rat droppings on my door step. By way of ‘revenge’ I decided to pay a visit to one of Saigon’s rat meat restaurants…

Street eating in Saigon

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.

Cooking over the bếp than (charcoal grill)

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.

Bun mam soup

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.

Bún Riêu is full of colour & flavour

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…

Bò kho (beef stew)

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.

Cơm Tấm - Vietnamese 'Fry-up'

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!