While you’re in Ho Chi Minh, or Siagon, do get out and explore the food the city has to offer. There are microbreweries, burger bars, traditional hawkers and coffee shops everywhere you look, and some even up an alley or staircase, but when you find them they do not seek you out.
Below is just a sample of places I visited over the few days I was there.
A Night Food Tour
Okay, this was the best thing I could have done, a food tour at night on the back of a scooter. I used XO Tours and really could not fault them. They have all female riders, who just instantly make you feel at ease, even in the Friday night rush hour, and just take you to an array of local eats. Yes, there are some more exotic foods (like frog) you can try, and I did try most of it, although I could not bring myself to try the fermented egg. My tip, if you are only staying one night in the city, book this you will not be disappointed.
Pasteur Street Brewery
Okay, so I got lost heading to this place, not because it was difficult to find (up an alleyway and a staircase), but they have a few seperate locations coming off the same laneway. I was catching up with a highschool friend so of course we ended up in different places, opposite the alleyway. Although I didn’t get the camera out, Pasteur Street Brewery does rate a mention if only for their Passionfruit Wheat Ale, not sweet, slightly tangy (tart), but oh so refreshing.
While we’re on beverages, this cafe really did hit the spot for me. I had been travelling around Vietnam for nearly two weeks and fresh milk isn’t that common, it’s normally condensd milk that does not require refrigeration. I walked past Milkbar on my way to the war museum, it looked like a nice place to grab a cold drink and sit under the trees for a while so that’s just what I did.
Banh Mi Huynh Hoa
So I’m not sure how I found out about Banh Mi Huynh Hoa, but I did know I had to try it before I left. Banh Mi Huynh Hoa is popular with locals and tourists alike, with a line out the front no matter the time of day you go; this does make it easier to locate. While waiting to order and then waiting for my food, I watched as the staff with such regimen built the sandwich, which did not last long in my hands. One of the best I had, although a bit meaty, but still delicious.
Ben Thanh Street Food Market
I know some people are a bit catious when getting food from street venders or more local hawkers while away travelling, it’s not that they don’t want to try the local food, more so they don’t want to be sick for a day or two as a result; I know sometimes I opt with caution too. If this is you then Ben Thanh Street Food Market is for you. It’s got hawkers with a variety of local and international foods and beverages for you to try, without the risk or hassling, and yet still has the atmosphere.
I really enjoyed it, it was cheap, good and close to my hotel, so I visited on a few occasions, lunch is much quieter than at dinner, so if you don’t want to battle the crowds for a seat head in a bit earlier.
So I have a guilty pleasure, to get inspiration for my travels I do often revert the the Food Network and watch their travel shows. It’s a way I can relax, get inspiration and sometimes find a place that I must try on my travels; Soul Burger was this.
I try to eat as much of the local food as I can when I travel, but by this stage, I was actually craving a burger and they did not disappoint. Again, it is located through an alleyway and up some stairs so you will have to keep a look out for signage, but it has an amazing balcony, that if you can withstand the heat, has a view over the street and the busy Ben Thanh markets. I had the Al Green, and seriously if I was there longer with meals to spare I would have definitely revisited.