What to eat in Ho Chi Minh City? Top 18 dishes you can’t deny

  • July 04,2023

Ho Chi Minh City is renowned for its street food culture, where an array of aromatic dishes can be found on every corner. Have you ever wondered what to eat in Ho Chi Minh City when arriving here? Let Vietnam-Evisagov.com help you to choose all the best dishes in this city. Check out the top 18 dishes you can’t deny right below!


Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, is the largest and most populous city in Vietnam. Located in the Southern part of Vietnam, it serves as the economic, cultural, and educational hub of Vietnam.

The city's history is rich and complex, shaped by various influences ranging from indigenous cultures to French colonialism and the Vietnam War. Today, Ho Chi Minh City beautifully blends its storied past with modern developments, offering a captivating mix of old-world charm and contemporary urban lifestyle.

What to eat in Ho Chi Minh City - Saigon

Tourists experience a cyclo tour around Saigon

Ho Chi Minh City has several tourist attractions and one of these has the iconic landmarks of this bustling city. We must mention such as Notre Dame Cathedral, Independence Palace, War Remnants Museum, Ben Thanh Market, and Nguyen Hue Walking Street,… Therefore, Ho Chi Minh City is renowned for its vibrant street life which is a testament to the city's energy and diversity.

Moreover, culinary enthusiasts will find themselves in paradise as Ho Chi Minh City is a food lover's haven. From delicious street food stalls serving iconic dishes like Com Tam and Banh Mi to high-end restaurants offering a fusion of Vietnamese and international cuisines. The city's gastronomic scene is a delightful exploration of flavors. So what to eat in Ho Chi Minh City? Let’s find out now!

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Com Tam Saigon is a well-known culinary gem nestled in the bustling city of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Known for its mouthwatering "com tam" dish, this beloved eatery offers a delectable dining experience that showcases the flavors and traditions of Vietnamese cuisine.

Com Tam takes its name from the dish it specializes in, which translates to "broken rice”. A plate of fragrant broken rice serves as the foundation for a tantalizing combination of grilled meats. It typically includes marinated pork, shredded pork skin, and a fried egg. 

What to eat in Ho Chi Minh City - com tam

Com Tam – a culinary symbol of bustling Ho Chi Minh City

The meats are tender, flavorful, and expertly grilled to perfection. The dish is typically accompanied by pickled vegetables, cucumber slices, and a side of fish sauce. All these toppings add a burst of tangy and savory flavors to each bite.

You can find hundreds of Com Tam eateries on any street in Saigon. Each place has different types of processing and recipes to suit the preferences of diners. So if you still don’t know what to eat in Ho Chi Minh City, just choose Com Tam.


Hu Tieu is a beloved noodle dish that has become an integral part of Saigon's vibrant culinary scene. Originating from the Teochew region of China, Hu Tieu has evolved over time to become a distinct Vietnamese delicacy with its own unique flavors and preparation methods. 

Hu Tieu typically features translucent rice noodles immersed in a flavorful and aromatic broth, accompanied by an assortment of toppings that add depth and texture to the dish. The broth is often made from a combination of pork bones, dried seafood, and aromatic spices, simmered to perfection to extract the rich flavors.

What to eat in Ho Chi Minh City - hu tieu

Hu Tieu has grown very strongly in the South of Vietnam since the 1950s, especially in Saigon

What sets Saigon's Hu Tieu apart is the abundance of condiments and garnishes available. Diners are often provided with a plate of fresh herbs which includes fragrant basil, mint, and cilantro, as well as bean sprouts, lime wedges, and chili slices. These accompaniments add a refreshing crunch and vibrant flavors to every spoonful.

Besides, Hu Tieu also has a different variation called Hu Tieu Kho. This type will include side dishes such as pork, shrimp, quail eggs, and bean sprouts mixed with noodles. But there is a separate bowl of broth which is not like a normal bowl of Hu Tieu. 

Hu Tieu is not only a comforting and flavorsome noodle dish but it is also a testament to the city's rich cultural heritage. If anyone asks you: What to eat in Ho Chi Minh City? Don’t heritage answer Hu Tieu!


What to eat in Ho Chi Minh City for tea? The best selection should be Goi Cuon. Goi Cuon, also known as Vietnamese fresh spring rolls, is a delightful and healthy dish. These translucent rice paper rolls are filled with an array of fresh ingredients which offers a refreshing and light option for those seeking a flavorful snack or appetizer.

Goi Cuon has rice paper wrappers, vermicelli noodles, and a variety of fillings. The fillings typically include fresh herbs such as mint, basil, and cilantro, along with crisp vegetables like lettuce, cucumber, and bean sprouts. For added flavor and protein, Goi Cuon has shrimp, slices of pork, or tofu. Each ingredient is carefully arranged and wrapped in delicate rice paper, resulting in a visually appealing and appetizing roll.

What to eat in Ho Chi Minh City - goi cuon

Goi Cuon with shrimp, meat, chives, and raw vegetables served with delicious seasoning sauce

The sauce is a crucial component that provides a burst of savory, sweet, and tangy flavors. The most common dipping sauce is a combination of fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, garlic, and chili. All create a perfect balance of flavors that complements the freshness of the rolls.

Where to eat in Ho Chi Minh City? In Saigon, you'll find an abundance of eateries and food stalls or even street vendors specializing in Goi Cuon. The beauty of Goi Cuon lies in its simplicity, allowing the natural flavors of the ingredients to shine through.


Banh Mi, the iconic Vietnamese sandwich, has taken Saigon's culinary scene by storm. This dish offers a delightful fusion of flavors and textures that has captivated both locals and visitors alike. What food is Ho Chi Minh famous for? Vietnam-Evisagov.com will definitely say that is Banh Mi.

The classic Banh Mi starts with a crusty baguette, known for its light and airy texture with a crispy exterior. The baguette is then stuffed with an array of ingredients. The filling typically includes marinated and grilled meats like pork, beef, or chicken, accompanied by pickled carrots and radishes for a tangy crunch. 

What to eat in Ho Chi Minh City - banh mi

Banh Mi is a multinational cultural exchange product and today it is also a culinary symbol of Saigon

Fresh cucumber slices, cilantro, and slices of peppers are also added for a refreshing and slightly spicy kick. Optional additions such as pâté, fried egg, or tofu can be incorporated for a vegetarian or alternative twist.

One of the joys of experiencing Banh Mi in Saigon is its affordability and accessibility. You can find these delectable Banh Mi being freshly made and served on almost every street corner. As well as it provides a quick and satisfying meal on the go. The aroma of freshly baked Banh Mi and the sight of skillful hands assembling the sandwiches create an enticing atmosphere that draws you in.

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What to eat in Ho Chi Minh City? This food can be enjoyed as a quick and satisfying breakfast or as a flavorful street food option throughout the day. With those difficult requirements, Xoi Man is a great choice. This popular dish consists of glutinous rice cooked to perfection and seasoned with a variety of savory ingredients that creates a satisfying and hearty meal.

Xoi Man involves soft and sticky consistency sticky rice which is steamed. The cooked rice is then seasoned with a mixture of salt, spices, and sometimes soy sauce or fish sauce to enhance its flavor profile. Xoi Man is often garnished with an assortment of toppings and side dishes, adding additional layers of taste and texture.

What to eat in Ho Chi Minh City - xoi man

Xoi Man becomes a simple breakfast or a popular side dish with several toppings

Common toppings for Xoi Man in Saigon include shredded chicken, roasted or braised pork, sausage, dried shrimp, and fried shallots.  Some variations may also feature fried eggs, pickled vegetables, or a side of broth to further elevate the dining experience.

Saigon's bustling streets are often lined with vendors selling Xoi Man. It entices passersby with the aroma of steaming rice and savory toppings. Therefore, if you find yourself in Saigon, don't miss the opportunity to savor the unique flavors of Xoi Man.


Canh Bun is a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup that has become a beloved part of Saigon's vibrant culinary scene. With its flavorful broth and a medley of toppings, Canh Bun brings a satisfying and comforting dining experience for locals and tourists.

Canh Bun has a red broth made from crab and pork bones cooked with tomatoes. Served with pork bologna, tofu, swine’s blood, and a pinch of boiled water spinach. 

What to eat in Ho Chi Minh City - canh bun

Canh Bun has a very characteristic red color broth when cooked from tomatoes and crab 

The key component of Canh Bun is the noodles. Unlike other Vietnamese noodle soups, Canh Bun features round, thick rice vermicelli noodles that have a slightly chewy texture. These noodles are cooked until tender and added to the soup soaking up the flavors of the broth while retaining their pleasing bite.

You will find numerous eateries and street food stalls dedicated to serving Canh Bun if you don’t know where to eat in Ho Chi Minh City. This noodle soup will not only warm your heart and soul but also introduce you to the enticing world of Vietnamese flavors and culinary craftsmanship.


What to eat in Saigon in a day you suddenly don't know what to eat? The most perfect choice is Ha Cao. This dish is also known as Har Gow or shrimp dumplings. And it is a classic dim sum dish that is highly popular and widely available in Ho Chi Minh City. You can find Ha Cao served in many Chinese restaurants and dim sum eateries throughout the city.

Ha Cao is a delicate and translucent dumpling made with a thin, translucent wrapper typically made from wheat starch or tapioca starch. Inside the wrapper, there is a filling primarily composed of fresh shrimp mixed with seasonings such as garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and sometimes a touch of sesame oil. 

The dumplings are usually steamed to perfection, resulting in a tender wrapper and succulent, flavorful shrimp filling. The most common dipping sauce for Ha Cao is a combination of soy sauce, vinegar, and chili oil. Ha Cao is commonly enjoyed during brunch or lunch. 

Besides, many restaurants offer an "all-you-can-eat" Dim Sum option where you can sample a variety of dishes which includes Ha Cao. Its delicate texture and flavorful shrimp filling of enjoying Ha Cao make it a delightful choice for a day don’t know what to eat in Ho Chi Minh City.


Com Ga Xoi Mo is a familiar dish and is loved by many people because of its new and attractive taste. It is a flavorful and satisfying Vietnamese dish that combines tender chicken, fragrant rice, and a rich chicken fat sauce. This dish can be found in various local restaurants and street food stalls throughout the city.

The rice grains are fried to a golden brown, spongy, soft, and not too dry. So you don't get bored when eating. Chicken is selected from the best parts of the chicken such as thighs, thighs, and quadrants. Then it is skillfully fried so that the outer layer is crispy, the meat inside is firm, sweet, and still retains water. 

What to eat in Ho Chi Minh City - com ga xoi mo

Com Ga Xoi Mo impresses all visitors with its large piece of chicken, golden yellow, hot, crispy, and fragrant

Served with Com Ga Xoi Mo are cucumber, pickles, soy sauce, and chili sauce. It all comes together to create an irresistible taste. One of the distinguishing features of Com Ga Xoi Mo is the rich and flavorful chicken fat sauce. This sauce is poured over the rice, adding a luscious and savory element to the dish.

Additionally, a small bowl of chicken broth is often served alongside the dish. This allows you to sip on a flavorful soup while enjoying the meal. Com Ga Xoi Mo is a great dish that includes rice, meat, and even soup. So remember to taste this food and add it to your What to eat in Ho Chi Minh City list. 


Banh Canh Cua is one of the typical dishes of Saigon cuisine. This dish is especially loved for its rich and flavorful broth and the addition of succulent crab meat. Vietnam-Evisagov.com recommends you choose Banh Canh Cua whenever you wondered what to eat in Ho Chi Minh City

Banh Canh refers to the type of noodles used in the dish. The noodles are made from a combination of rice flour and tapioca flour, resulting in a slightly translucent appearance and a unique texture.

What to eat in Ho Chi Minh City - banh canh cua

Banh Canh Cua is a popular dish loved by many foodies for its unique taste

Banh Canh Cua is typically prepared with a broth made from pork bones, seafood, and aromatic spices such as ginger and shallots. Fresh crab meat is a highlight of this soup. It is often added to the soup, providing a delicate sweetness and adding richness to the overall flavor.

Moreover, lime wedges and chili are often served on the side. This allows you to adjust the acidity and spiciness according to your preference.

You can find Banh Canh Cua at local eateries specializing in Vietnamese cuisine, as well as at street food stalls that offer a variety of noodle dishes. Exploring Saigon's food scene and trying this flavorful dish is a delightful culinary experience.


For a long time, Oc was just a rustic dish, a snack that became quite a unique culinary culture of Saigon. Saigon’s Oc brings a wonderful experience from the aroma, and taste to diverse processing methods. Adding Oc to your What to eat in Ho Chi Minh City list if you want to try a unique taste. 

In Saigon, Oc dishes are often prepared in a variety of ways, including grilling, boiling, steaming, or stir-frying. If you want to eat fat, you've got snails stir-fried with coconut; scallops fried with passionate butter, or the sourness of snails fried with tamarind. 

What to eat in Ho Chi Minh City - oc

Saigon Oc brings a wonderful experience from the aroma, and taste to diverse processing methods

And those who like to enjoy the fragrant garlic flavor can order the burnt garlic snail dishes. Particularly, diners who are addicted to spicy dishes choose red snails fried with satay,… It can be said that Oc in Saigon has gathered the idyllic, and rustic as the people here. But still delicate and creative in the way of processing and flavor.


If you are wandering around on a rainy day and suddenly don't know what to eat in Ho Chi Minh City in this weather, just choose Lau. This is a dish that suits most on rainy days and can help you experience all the best flavors.

The broth is the heart of any Lau dish. It can be made from various ingredients, such as chicken, beef, seafood, or vegetarian options. Depending on the restaurant and the type of Lau, the broth can be mild or spicy, with a variety of aromatic herbs and spices adding depth of flavor.

When dining at a lau restaurant in Saigon, you'll typically have an extensive selection of fresh ingredients to choose from. These can include thinly sliced meats (beef, pork, chicken), seafood (shrimp, squid, fish), an assortment of vegetables (cabbage, mushrooms, water spinach), tofu, noodles, and dumplings. 

Each diner can customize their hotpot experience by selecting their preferred ingredients and cooking them in the communal pot. Lau encourages interaction and conversation as everyone gathers around the table, sharing food and enjoying each other's company. 

It is a popular choice for gatherings and celebrations in Saigon. And this occasion fostered a sense of togetherness and camaraderie.


Bun Bo is one of the specialties of Hue. However, this dish is carried everywhere by the Hue people. So that we can find the taste of the locals right here in Saigon. This is also a familiar dish for breakfast, lunch, and even dinner for Saigon people.

Bun Bo typically consists of three main components: the broth, the noodles, and the toppings. The broth is a fragrant and savory soup made from a combination of beef bones, lemongrass, shrimp paste, and various aromatic herbs and spices. The noodles used in this dish are thin rice vermicelli noodles, which have a soft and delicate texture.

What to eat in Ho Chi Minh City - bun bo

Bun Bo a dish that originated in Hue, but today it has become famous throughout Ho Chi Minh City

As for the toppings, bun bo typically features tender slices of beef, which can include different cuts such as thinly sliced beef shank, beef brisket, or beef tendon. 

Bun bo is also accompanied by an assortment of fresh herbs and vegetables, which are served on the side or added directly to the soup bowl. These can include bean sprouts, shredded lettuce, Vietnamese mint, cilantro, and sliced banana blossoms.

Bun Bo is not only a delicious and satisfying dish, but it also offers a glimpse into Vietnamese culinary traditions. In Saigon, you can find Bun Bo in a variety of places, from small street food stalls to local restaurants. Some eateries specialize solely in Bun Bo ensuring a dedicated and authentic experience.


What to eat in Ho Chi Minh City in the afternoon after taking a nap? Vietnam-Evisagov.com recommends you should choose Bot Chien. 

The main ingredients of Bot Chien are cubes or slices of rice flour cakes, which are made from a mixture of rice flour, water, and sometimes tapioca starch. To prepare Bot Chien, the rice flour cakes are cooked in a hot frying pan with oil. 

The cook then cracks a few eggs directly onto the pan and adds the fried rice cakes to the mix. The eggs are often left slightly runny which allows them to coat the rice cakes and bind the dish together. The combination of the fried rice cakes and eggs creates a flavorful and satisfying base for the dish. Bot Chien is typically seasoned with a savory sauce made from soy sauce, vinegar, and sometimes chili sauce or garlic. 

What to eat in Ho Chi Minh City - bot chien

Bot Chien is a familiar breakfast, dinner, or late-night snack for Saigon people

If you don’t know where to eat in Ho Chi Minh City, don’t worry. Bot Chien is common to enjoy right at the street food stall on every small alley. You can often find small plastic tables and chairs set up by the stall. This scene creates a casual and lively atmosphere for enjoying this popular snack.

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If Hanoi is famous for sidewalk Chao Suon, Saigon is famous for its irresistible Sup Cua. It is a flavorful and comforting dish that showcases the seafood-rich cuisine of the region.

Sup Cua is typically made using fresh crab meat, along with a variety of vegetables, herbs, and spices. This can include ingredients like corn, carrots, mushrooms, and bamboo shoots, which provide additional layers of taste and texture. 

What to eat in Ho Chi Minh City - sup cua

Sup Cua in Saigon is well-known for its unique taste that many people remember in the "eating handbook"

Fragrant herbs such as cilantro, scallions, and dill are often sprinkled on top of the soup, adding freshness and aroma. The soup base is usually a clear broth that is light and delicate in flavor, allowing the natural sweetness of the crab to shine through.

In Saigon, Sup Cua is sold widely and is really attached to the rhythm of life throughout a long day. Waking up early in the morning, you can immediately enjoy a bowl of hot Sup Cua which refuels for a new day of work. In the late afternoon, Sup Cua is a reasonable snack. In conclusion, this dish is the “best candidate” for what to eat in Ho Chi Minh City


Bo ne is a popular Vietnamese dish that originated from French cuisine and can be widely found in Ho Chi Minh City. It is a flavorful and hearty dish consisting of sizzling beefsteak served with eggs, pate, bread, and various accompaniments.

In addition to the beef, eggs, and pate, Bo Ne can be accompanied by various side dishes and condiments. These may include a side salad of fresh vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Which adds freshness and crunch to the dish. 

Other common condiments and sauces served with bo ne include soy sauce, ketchup, and chili sauce. 

Bo ne is often enjoyed as a breakfast or brunch dish, although it can be found throughout the day in Saigon. It is particularly popular at street food stalls and local eateries. Where you can experience the authentic flavors and bustling atmosphere of Vietnamese cuisine.


If one day you want to taste some of the strange specialties and doubt that don’t know what to eat in Ho Chi Minh City. Just follow our lead and choose Pha Lau, this food won’t disappoint you. 

Pha Lau is a popular and delicious dish that can be found everywhere in Saigon. It is a unique and flavorful combination of various animal organs, predominantly made from pork or beef. All that is cooked with aromatic spices and herbs. 

The dish is prepared by simmering or stewing a mixture of animal organs such as the intestines, stomach, lungs, heart, and liver. These organs are thoroughly cleaned and cooked until tender.

What to eat in Ho Chi Minh City - pha lau

Pha Lau is a familiar street food for young people in Saigon for hundreds of years

The organs are usually sliced into bite-sized pieces and then simmered in a flavorful broth or sauce, which is made by combining various spices and herbs such as star anise, cinnamon, lemongrass, garlic, and ginger.

Pha Lau is typically served with a side of rice noodles or bread. This food is commonly enjoyed as a street food dish, with many small food stalls and vendors specializing in its preparation. It is a popular choice for those seeking authentic Vietnamese cuisine in Ho Chi Minh City. 


Banh Trang, also known as rice paper or rice paper wraps, is a popular street food in Ho Chi Minh City. It is a versatile ingredient that is used in various dishes and can also be enjoyed on its own.

In Saigon, you can find Banh Trang sold by street vendors or in local markets. Banh Trang can be deep-fried to create a crispy snack, known as Banh Trang Chien. Another popular dish featuring is Banh Tráng Nuong, which is essentially a grilled rice paper pizza.

What to eat in Ho Chi Minh City - banh trang

Street carts selling countless types of Banh Trang are familiar images on the streets of Saigon

Moreover, a famous snack made from Banh Trang is Banh Trang Tron. This is a perfect snack when you unexpectedly don’t know what to eat in Ho Chi Minh City in the late afternoon. Banh Trang Tron starts with thin rice paper sheets that are cut into small pieces. 

Then mixed together with a variety of ingredients such as mango, herbs, beef jerky,… The result is a colorful and vibrant mixture that combines sweet, sour, salty, and spicy flavors in each bite.

If someone asks you: What food is Ho Chi Minh famous for? Vietnam-Evisagov.com assures that you can confidently say that is Banh Trang.


Besides the food to eat in Ho Chi Minh City, we also want to share with you a unique drink, Dua Tac. Dua Tac is a popular street beverage in Saigon, commonly sold by street vendors or in local markets. It is a popular choice for locals and visitors looking for a refreshing and thirst-quenching drink while exploring the vibrant streets of Ho Chi Minh City.

Dua Tac is made from a combination of coconut water and tamarind juice. Fresh coconut water is mixed with tamarind juice in a ratio. All that balances the sweetness of the coconut water with the tanginess of the tamarind. 

What to eat in Ho Chi Minh City - dua tac

Dua Tac – a drink that helps you cool down instantly on a hot summer day

Sometimes, a small amount of sugar or honey is added to adjust the sweetness level to personal preference. The drink is often served over ice, making it even more refreshing, especially on hot days. It is typically enjoyed with a straw so you savor the combination of flavors as you sip the beverage.

Besides, there will also be coconut meat for you to enjoy in a glass of Dua Tac. The sweetness from coconut meat combined with a bit of sourness is a wonderful combo. Therefore you are free to note Dua Tac to your What to eat in Saigon list today!

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Ho Chi Minh City is a vibrant and bustling metropolis in Vietnam. This city offers a delectable culinary scene that is sure to satisfy any food lover. About are 18 must-try dishes to answer the question of What to eat in Ho Chi Minh City. Let’s head to this city to try all the specialties today!

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