Looking for Great Street Food? Visit Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam

Updated: Oct 17, 2019

When it comes to food in my humble opinion, you can't beat street food. Real street food, literally cooked and eaten on the streets. I'm not a big fan of fancy restaurants with big white plates, minimal portions and some sauce in a zigzag design. That's just art to me and I get bored at museums.

If I had to choose between a Michelin Star restaurant or this bun rieu, believe me I'd choose the bun rieu everyday and twice on Sundays. (Photo by Digital Nomad Foodie)

Vietnamese Street Food

If you truly love street food, you need to go buy a plane ticket on the web and head to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam...and it's not even my top-choice, but 2nd best (Seoul, South Korea is #1). Before we go any further, if you currently live outside of Vietnam, but live in an area with a high-density of Vietnamese people (i.e. San Jose, California, Orange County, California, Houston, Texas, etc...) please understand that you have been exposed to watered-down versions of true Vietnamese food.

No pun intended with the above statement, but once you are in Vietnam you will notice there are many restaurants, where a wide-variety will specialize in just one or two dishes. You'll also notice that almost any piece of real estate no matter how small or dirty is turned into a kitchen pumping out great Vietnamese street food.

RELATED POST: Looking for Great Street Food? Visit Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Deep-Fried Quail Sandwich (Chim Cut Chien Bo)

One surprising find on a recent trip, was this deep-fried (in butter) quail sandwich aka "Chim Cut Chien Bo" (you'll hear me say pigeon in the video clip, but I was obviously just joking). With a simple, yet effective set-up, this lady was making these delicious banh mi (Vietnamese sandwiches) on a very busy street corner in the middle of the city. I've never seen this version of banh mi before and I was so glad I tried it because it was very buttery, sweet, crispy and bodes well with bread.

If this short video clip doesn't make you hungry then you got problems. (Video by Digital Nomad Foodie)

Rice Paper Salad (Banh Trang Tron)

As I write this blog on Vietnamese street food, I need to share the story and footage of this sweet woman named Thuy, who makes and sells this Vietnamese rice paper salad called, "Banh Trang Tron" amazingly from her motor bike. Everytime I go back to Ho Chi Minh City, I make sure to stop by to chat and buy this great street food. She works very hard to support her children so they can get an education and have a chance at a better life. The rice paper she uses (Banh Trang Phoi Suong) is made about two hours away in a city called Tay Ninh. The rice paper is spread out in the fog, where it retains moisture. The moisture is what gives banh trang tron it's soft, chewy texture. This is one my favorite types of street food to eat because you can pick your toppings, I love adding extra boiled quail eggs to it. You need to try this!

Thuy's banh trang tron is true Vietnamese street food, just pull up and order. (Video by Digital Nomad Foodie)

Sugar Cane Drink (Nuoc Mia)

Vietnam, especially in the south has a very hot and humid climate and one of the ways the local population stays cool is by drinking a chilled sugar cane drink called, "Nuoc Mia". You can find a bunch of stands that make this sweet, thirst-quenching treat just about anywhere. Just look for a stand similar to the one I filmed below.

Freshly crushed ice and sugar cane drink is quite refreshing in muggy south Vietnam. (Video by Digital Nomad Foodie)

Hungry Now? Go Visit Vietnam

The best part about eating street food in Vietnam besides the great food are the cheap prices. This country offers so much more types of street food like "Com Tam Suon Nuong" which is grilled pork chops over broken rice, where it's best served on top of tiny plastic tables in a small alleyway. I'm going to have write a follow up blog to cover more street food the next time I visit. One last thing, I don't recall how much everything was, but I can tell you that you won't find anything more than $2.00 USD. Go on and take the leap by visiting this awesome, fun country. You and your stomach won't regret it!

RELATED POST: My Top 10 Vietnamese Restaurants in San Jose, California

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About Digital Nomad Foodie

Digital Nomad Foodie is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area.  He was a paratrooper in the U.S. Army and has lived all over the world.  In addition to blogging, he is also a digital nomad working in healthcare.  He writes about his experiences and recommendations in various locations around the world.  His photos and reviews have helped over 79 million people learn about local & exotic destinations plus delicious food and can be seen on InstagramGoogle Maps and Yelp.


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