Posts from the ‘Saigon’ category

3 Places to Eat in Central Saigon

Saigon is a metropolis in southern Vietnam with over 7 million people; some say there are upwards of 9 million in the area. Although often referred by its present-day name of Ho Chi Minh City, many still call the place by its old name of Saigon.

A big attraction in a short trip is always about the food. The out-of-this-world traffic points to everybody in a big hurry on the go, and it seems the entire population is on their motorbikes. This also suggests everybody is hungry, all the time.

Naturally, there are many places, stalls, and street-side carts, but if you’d like to sit down under cover and see what others are eating, you might give these three places in central Saigon a try.


Pho Thai Son

Everything in the pho here points to the cow. There’s long-simmered beef broth with herbs, thin rice noodle, thinly sliced beef, beef ball, beef tripe, beef marrow, chili peppers, fresh basil & cilantro. You may be the only non-resident dining here, and that’s because people know this is superb stuff. A bowl of pho costs between 30 and 40 thousand VND, or about $1.5 to $2 USD. If you’re daring, the cow’s blood soup is smooth, savory, and delicious.

pho, beef pho, Pho Thai Son, Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
pho, beef pho, Pho Thai Son, Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
pho, beef pho, Pho Thai Son, Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Pho: all beef, all the time … well, except for the rice-noodles …

Blood soup, Pho Thai Son, Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Cow’s blood soup

Xoi Ga Number One

At about 5pm, this humble “hole-in-the-wall” with cold metal chrome tables and cheap plastic seating is frequented by a wave of residents who want a bite after work. Many stop to sip on a cold beer, accompanied by a snack of summer rolls, a small bowl of noodles, and/or a light salad.

Wrapped in thin translucent rice-flour skins, summer rolls are made on the spot with fresh ingredients. I get one roll with Vietnamese sausage, dried shrimp, manioc, and vermicelli; and a second roll with pork, shrimp, lettuce, cilantro, and vermicelli. Each roll has its own dipping sauce. The salad consists of deep-fried beef strips on a bed of papaya; the thinly chopped papaya looks like vermicelli from afar.

summer rolls, Xoi Ga, Saigon, Vietnam

Rolls with Vietnamese sausage, dried shrimp, manioc, rice vermicelli

Pork and shrimp rolls, Xoi Ga Number One, Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Rolls with fresh shrimp, pork, rice vermicelli

Beef papaya salad, Xoi Ga Number One, Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Salad of blackened beef & shaved papaya

Nhu’ Lan

Nhu’ Lan occupies a large chunk of the northwest corner of Ham Nghi and Ho Tung Mau. Among a wide variety of food, shoppers can pick up fresh bread, fresh barbecued or roasted meat. For hungry customers, they can also dine modestly and sit with others at long tables. The noodles are good and filling; the banh mi is very good; the fruit smoothies are cool, smooth, and delicious. You will not be able to stop at one of anything, and I swear by the orange-strawberry-mango smoothie … or the orange-strawberry-pineapple smoothie …

There are three kinds of ingredients to keep in mind at Nhu’ Lan: fresh, fresh, and fresh.

Nhu Lan, Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, SaigonBanh Mi, Nhu Lan, Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Saigon

Banh mi

Noodle with fried beef, Nhu Lan, Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Saigon

Fruit smoothie (left), noodle with fried beef (centre)

I made all of the above photos with a 4th-generation iPod Touch on 25 and 27 June 2012. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-24h.

No Connection, Unpaid, My Own Opinions Disclosure: No Connection, Unpaid, My Own Opinions. I have not received any compensation for writing this content and I have no material connection to the brands, topics and/or products that are mentioned herein (cmp.ly/0).

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