Oh, Saigon. I have so many mixed feelings about this place — I encountered some of the rudest people of my whole trip here but also some of the kindest. I had some of the best eats in Vietnam and almost some of my worst. Yet, a month after leaving this city, I find myself missing the humidity, the borderline manic driving, and, most of all, Bun Thit Nuong Kieu Bao (so good). Headed to Saigon? Here’s where you need to eat:
Bun Thit Nuong Kieu Bao, the must go spot:
If you don’t eat anywhere else in Saigon, EAT HERE. I have had many a bowls of bun thit nuong and this one was by far the best. It was so good that I came here three times and even took my food tour guide here. By my third visit, the servers knew my order heh.
Banh Mi 37, the only banh mi in Saigon worth eating:
While Huynh Hoa is by far more famous, I can’t stand all the processed meats they use and just felt really gross after eating half of it. I love a solid banh mi with grilled meats and Banh Mi 37’s grilled pork patties did the job. If you want really good banh mis, make your way to Hoi An.
That street stall I don’t know the name of:
Located on the same street as Bun Thit Nuong Kieu Bao, across the street from Thich Lau Hotpot Runway, I saw every day how crowded this little stall was with locals and I knew I had to eat here. Did not disappoint.
Bun Rieu Nguyen Canh Chan, the locals bun rieu spot:
This small family business serves up broth that tastes strongly of crab and tomatoes.
Banh Canh Cua (crab noodle soup), for a change of pace:
These noodles are thicker and rounder than your standard pho rice noodles. Think: udon. Served with just a spoon, you don’t need a fork or chopsticks for these noodles.
Pho Hoa Pasteur & Pho Le 2, where to go for pho:
Both serve up some serious pho; rare beef is my go-to beef pho order. Pho Hoa Pasteur is definitely more touristy but the broth is oh so good.
Hu Tiu Nam Vang Thanh Dat, the 24 hour spot/where to go if you want to get yelled at:
I got yelled at in front of the restaurant for taking a photo of the restaurant sign (yes, I too am still confused). But when you’re drunk, you may not care about how rude the staff is.