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Eat Like a Local in Downtown Saigon

Eat Like a Local in Downtown Saigon

People travel to Saigon for many reason but one of the main attractions of the vibrant city is its food scene, particularly the wide selection of street food. There are endless restaurants, street vendors and food stalls in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) but where can you find good authentic Vietnamese food in the tourist district? We have made a list of our favorite local restaurants and food stalls in downtown Saigon.

Phở Hòa

  • Address: 260C Pasteur Street, District 3
  • Opening Hours: 7:00am – 12:00am
  • Price: 75k/ portion
  • Recommended dish: Pho Bo

Pho Hoa is recognized for having some of the best Pho in Ho Chi Minh City, from a true Southern pho recipe. This restaurant has been on Pasteur Street in District 3 since its opening in 1968. Pho Hoa is where you get a fresh authentic Pho just like the locals want it.

While at Pho Hoa, you should also try the quay, a traditional Chinese deep fried bread.

Bánh Mì Như Lan

  • Address: 50 Hàm Nghi, Bến Nghé, D1 (near to Bitexco tower)
  • Opening hours: 4am – 11pm
  • Recommended dish: Banh Mi

Started as a bakery in 1968, Banh Mi Nhu Lan has since become a local favorite selling the traditional Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches. You can get the banh mi sandwiches at Nhu Lan with beef, park, ham, pate and vegetables.

They have expended the menu to include items such as sausages, moon cakes and hamburgers, but the banh mi there is a must-try.

Vườn Bia 2F

  • Address: 2f nguyễn thành ý, ward đa kao, d1
  • Opening hours: 5:00pm – 12:00pm

The perfect combination of food and beer. The 2F is a mix of German style beer garden with Vietnamese food and feel to it. 2F has its own brewed craft beers along with both local and imported favorites. And some delicious Vietnamese food!

They have English menu but most of the visitors are local. The place is usually more quiet on weekends as this is the kind of place you go with colleagues after work to loosen up.

Bánh Mì Huỳnh Hoa

  • Address: 26 Lê Thị Riêng, District 1
  • Opening hour:30pm-11pm
  • Price: 40k/ portion
  • Recommended dish: Banh Mi

Some say the best banh mi in Ho Chi Minh City can be found at Banh Mi Huynh Hoa. The banh mi here is a bit more expensive than the market street-vendor prices, but you pay for the quality. Excellent banh mi with excellent ingredients.

Bánh Mì Huỳnh Hoa is often crowed and there can be a long queue. But it will be worth it!

Cơm Tấm Cô Tấm

  • Address: 77b hàm nghi, d1
  • Opening Hours: 7:00am – 8:00pm
  • Recommended dish: broken rice with pork.

Com Tam Co Tam is the place you go for broken rice and barbequed pork. Broken rice is a popular dish in Southern Vietnam. It’s made from fractured rice grains, hence the name, broken, and best matched with pork, fish sauce and vegetables.

Most Vietnamese food is usually served with chopsticks but Broken Rice in Saigon is always served with spoon and fork.

Bánh Xèo 46A

  • Address: 46a đinh công tráng, District 1.
  • Opening Hours: 12:00am – 11:30pm.
  • Recommended dish: Banh Xeo with shrimp.

Banh Xeo means sizzling pancakes, or crepes, and that’s exactly what Bánh Xèo 46A serve, in addition to some local favorite such as both fresh and deep fried spring roll.

This place has massively increased in popularity since appearing in Anthony Bourdain’s show but it’s still a favorite amongst locals in district 1.

Hủ Tiếu Mì Chú Sè

  • Address: 52 calmette, ward nguyễn thái bình, District 1.
  • Opening hour: 5:00pm – 12:00pm

The tiny restaurant, Hu Theu Mi Chu Se, is famous for their rice noodles. Their noodles may be the best value-for-money in the city.  The homemade noodles and the fresh ingredients make these the best rice noodles in the city.

Ốc Ghe

  • Address: 34 mạc đĩnh chi, ward đa kao, District 1.
  • Opening hour: 3:00pm – late

Looking for snails in downtown Saigon? Then Oc Ghe is your place. This is the perfect place for authentic Vietnamese night out which is usually combined with food and drinks.

Oc Ghe has a wide variety on the menu apart from snails, such as crab, squid and tofu. The place is often crowded so it’s better to book a table in advance.

The Street

  • Address 1: 260a Pasteur Street, District 3
  • Address 2: 37 Mạc Dĩnh Chi, District 3
  • Opening hours: 10:00am – 11:30pm

A lively restaurant in downtown Saigon. This is the place young Vietnamese people go for dinner and drinks. So expect to hear lots of cheering. At The Street, you will get great barbequed food at affordable prices.