Top 10 Authentic Dishes for a Perfect Ho Chi Minh Food Tour

Embark on a culinary journey through the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City, where every dish tells a story of tradition, flavor, and Vietnamese culinary finesse. In our exploration of the top 10 dishes you cannot miss for the most authentic Ho Chi Minh food tour, we dive into the heart of this vibrant city’s gastronomic treasures. 

From the savory embrace of Bun Bo to the delightful crunch of Banh Mi, each dish is a masterpiece, reflecting the rich cultural tapestry of Vietnam. Join us as we navigate the labyrinth of street food stalls, introducing you to the soulful symphony of flavors that define a true Ho Chi Minh food tour. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds and discover the essence of Vietnamese cuisine in every savory bite.

10 must try delectable dishes for the ultimate Ho Chi Minh food tour

Ho Chi Minh City beckons food enthusiasts with a delectable array of culinary wonders, from the enchanting realm of street food to the heights of fine dining. Whether savoring iconic street-side bites or indulging in upscale gastronomy, your Ho Chi Minh food tour promises an unforgettable journey through the diverse and mouth watering flavors that define this vibrant city. 

Join us as we navigate the bustling streets and hidden culinary gems, unraveling the rich tapestry of Ho Chi Minh City’s gastronomic delights. It’s time to embark on a culinary adventure that will leave your taste buds tingling with the essence of Vietnamese cuisine.

Bun Bo – Beef noodle soup

Bun bo, a cherished dish in Ho Chi Minh City, is a delightful blend of thin rice noodles, succulent beef, fragrant herbs, and a medley of spices. The broth, crafted with beef stock and fish sauce, imparts the quintessential umami essence of Vietnamese cuisine. The noodle texture ranges from soft to al dente, offering a personalized touch. Infused with sawtooth coriander, lemongrass, and perilla leaf, the dish achieves an aromatic symphony. 

Regardless of your noodle-preference, bun bo stands as a perennial favorite. Typically garnished with bean sprouts, cilantro, scallions, and thinly sliced onions, it delivers extra crunch and freshness. Served with lettuce leaves for convenient wrapping, bun bo epitomizes the gastronomic allure of Ho Chi Minh City.

Places we recommend for the most authentic experience:

  • Bun Bo Ganh – Address: 135 Nguyen Du, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1
  • Bun bo Hue 3A3 – Address: 17 Dang Tran Con, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1 

Com Tam – Broken Rice

Indulge in the culinary allure of Ho Chi Minh City with the iconic Broken Rice (Com Tam), a gastronomic masterpiece that encapsulates the city’s rich culinary heritage. This beloved Vietnamese dish, born out of practicality in the 1930s, features broken rice paired with grilled pork, fried eggs, pickled vegetables, and a zesty fish sauce. 

Originally crafted as an affordable and time-efficient meal for the working class, broken rice became a culinary sensation. Today, you can savor this delectable dish in various eateries across the city, with prices ranging from 25,000 to 70,000 VND per serving. Immerse yourself in the flavors of Ho Chi Minh City through this timeless and budget-friendly culinary delight.

Places we recommend for the most authentic experience:

  • Com tam Phuc Loc Tho – Address: 236 Dinh Tien Hoang, Da Kao Ward, District 1
  • Com tam Ba Ghien- Address: 84 Dang Van Ngu, Ward 10, Phu Nhuan District.

Banh Mi Sai Gon – Saigonese Sandwich

Banh Mi Vietnam
Banh Mi Vietnam

One of those that you cannot miss is definitely Saigon’s iconic street food – the Banh mi. This beloved sandwich, cherished by both locals and visitors in Ho Chi Minh City, offers a unique medley of flavors. Originating in the 19th century as a variation of the traditional French baguette, the Banh mi features a crispy baguette cradling an assortment of meats, pâté, pickled vegetables, cucumber slices, cilantro, mayonnaise, and chili sauce. 

This delectable creation, usually filled with pork or chicken, encapsulates the cultural fusion present in Saigon’s gastronomic scene. A symphony of tastes awaits in each bite of this classic street food, available at an affordable price of around 20,000 VND per sandwich.

Places we recommend for the most authentic experience:

  • Banh mi Huynh Hoa – Address: 26 Le Thi Rieng, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1
  • Banh mi Phuong Lien – Address: 12 Nguyen Huy Tu, Da Kao Ward, District 1

Pho Sai Gon – Saigonese Noodle soup

Ha Noi Pho Beef
Ha Noi Pho Beef

Discover the epitome of Vietnamese culinary excellence with Pho Saigon, a revered traditional dish in Ho Chi Minh City that demands a place on your must-try list. This iconic Vietnamese noodle soup is a meticulous blend of flavors perfected over centuries. 

Comprising a rich broth, either beef or chicken-based, paired with slender rice noodles, it’s adorned with a symphony of fresh herbs and toppings, including bean sprouts, basil leaves, cilantro, lime, and chili pepper. Pho Saigon, celebrated as one of the city’s tastiest traditional offerings, graces menus across numerous eateries in Ho Chi Minh City, with prices typically ranging from 35,000 to 80,000 VND per serving. Immerse yourself in the exquisite taste of Vietnam with this culinary masterpiece.

Places we recommend for the most authentic experience:

  • Pho bo Phu Gia: 146E Ly Chinh Thang, Ward 7, District 3
  • Pho Thin: 170 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Ward 6, District 3

Pha Lau – Beef Offal Stew

Challenge your taste bud with the local culinary gem known as Beef Offal Stew, or Pha Lau. This centuries-old specialty has stood the test of time, offering a rich and hearty stew crafted from beef offal, pork belly, and an assortment of vegetables. Slow-cooked to perfection, the flavors meld seamlessly, resulting in a creamy and exquisite soup-like dish. 

Typically accompanied by Vietnamese rice paper rolls and fresh herbs, Pha Lau traces its origins back to the 18th century when resourceful farmers supplied local eateries with offal. Today, this delectable stew graces tables on special occasions and finds its place at vibrant street markets, pairing seamlessly with banh mi or noodle soups.

Places we recommend for the most authentic experience:

  • Pha Lau Luat: 1A Suong Nguyet Anh, District 1
  • Pha Lau – Gia Dinh High School: 195/29 Xo Viet Nghe Tinh, Binh Thanh District

Hu Tieu – Clear Noodle Soup

Indulge in the quintessential flavors of Ho Chi Minh City with the iconic Clear Rice Noodle Soup, known as Hu Tieu, a nightly delight in the city’s vibrant food scene. This beloved noodle soup, often found in bustling street markets, offers a customizable experience with an array of toppings like fresh herbs and spring onions. 

Ideal for cooler evenings, Hu Tieu originated from 19th-century Chinese immigrants, evolving into a cherished Vietnamese specialty. Diverging from other robustly flavored soups, Hu Tieu boasts a mild taste attributed to tapioca flour, seamlessly thickening the broth without overpowering the palate, making it a comforting culinary experience.

Places we recommend for the most authentic experience:

  • Hu tieu Hong Phat – Address: 389 – 391 Vo Van Tan, Ward 5, District 3 
  • Hu tieu Nam Vang – Address: A65 Nguyen Trai, Nguyen Cu Trinh Ward, District 1

Goi Cuon – Fresh spring rolls

The exquisite flavors of fresh spring rolls is another culinary gem that is a must-eat in Ho Chi Minh City. Known as goi cuon, these delectable delights feature soft rice paper embracing a medley of ingredients like pork, shrimp, vermicelli noodles, and an assortment of herbs and vegetables. Each bite offers a delightful explosion of textures and tastes, ensuring a memorable culinary experience during your Ho Chi Minh City sojourn.

The roots of goi cuon trace back to the early 20th century when Chinese immigrants settled in Vietnam, bringing with them customs and culinary traditions. Over the years, Vietnamese locals added their touch by incorporating fresh mint leaves, local herbs, and a distinctive dipping sauce, resulting in the delightful creation we now relish as goi cuon.

Places we recommend for the most authentic experience:

  • Goi cuon Tom Nhay – Address: 424 Lac Long Quan, Ward 5, District 11
  • Goi cuon Le Van Sy – Address: 359/1/9A Le Van Sy, District 3

Bun Rieu Cua – Crab paste vermicelli soup

Crab Paste Vermicelli Soup, known as Bun Rieu Cua, stands out as a culinary gem in Ho Chi Minh City. This delectable noodle soup harmonizes the richness of crab paste and pork stock, complemented by delicate rice noodles, tomatoes, tofu, and herbs. A delightful fusion of flavors creates a comforting and savory experience, appealing even to the most discerning palates.

This iconic dish finds its roots in the early 20th century when Chinese immigrants, settling in Vietnam, blended their culinary traditions with local influences. The adaptation of traditional Chinese cooking techniques, combined with indigenous Vietnamese herbs, has given rise to Bun Rieu Cua and other beloved dishes, showcasing the harmonious marriage of diverse culinary heritages.

Places we recommend for the most authentic experience:

  • Bun rieu ganh – Address: 4 Phan Boi Chau, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1
  • Bun rieu 7 – Address: 183 Hau Giang, Ward 5, District 6

Banh Cuon – Steamed rice rolls

Indulge in the exquisite flavors of Banh Cuon, a distinctive specialty featuring delicate steamed rice rolls generously filled with a savory blend of pork, mushrooms, and aromatic spices. Crowned with the crispiness of fried shallots, the freshness of scallions, and a bouquet of herbs, this dish is a light yet flavorful choice. 

The unique taste is further enhanced by the infusion of local herbs and spices, creating a culinary masterpiece. Moreover, with its incorporation of lean proteins such as pork and mushrooms, Banh cuon is an ideal option for those seeking a wholesome and nutritious dining experience. Delight your palate with the harmonious symphony of flavors in this Vietnamese culinary gem.

Places we recommend for the most authentic experience:

  • Banh cuon Tay Ho – Address: 127 Dinh Tien Hoang, Dakao Ward, District 1; or 271 Phan Xich Long, Ward 2, Phu Nhuan District
  • Banh cuon ngo 992 – Address: 992 Ba Thang Hai, Ward 12, District 11

Bun Thit Nuong – Grilled pork and rice vermicelli

Bun bo, a cherished dish in Ho Chi Minh City, is a delightful blend of thin rice noodles, succulent beef, fragrant herbs, and a medley of spices. The broth, crafted with beef stock and fish sauce, imparts the quintessential umami essence of Vietnamese cuisine. The noodle texture ranges from soft to al dente, offering a personalized touch. Infused with sawtooth coriander, lemongrass, and perilla leaf, the dish achieves an aromatic symphony. 

Regardless of your noodle-preference, bun bo stands as a perennial favorite. Typically garnished with bean sprouts, cilantro, scallions, and thinly sliced onions, it delivers extra crunch and freshness. Served with lettuce leaves for convenient wrapping, bun bo epitomizes the gastronomic allure of Ho Chi Minh City.

Places we recommend for the most authentic experience:

  • Bun thit nuong Chi Tuyen – Address: 175C Co Giang, Co Giang Ward, District 1
  • Bun thit nuong Hai Dang – Address: 149 Chan Hung, Ward 6, Tan Binh District

Final thoughts

Our exploration of the top 10 dishes you cannot miss for the most authentic Ho Chi Minh food tour has been a tantalizing journey, from the savory embrace of Pho to the delights of Com Tam. Journey on a culinary exploration through the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh, where every dish tells a story of tradition, flavor, and culinary mastery. 

Viland Travel’s tailor-made tours elevate this gastronomic adventure, ensuring an immersive experience that goes beyond taste. Discover the secrets of local markets, savor street food gems, and let the vibrant spirit of Saigon infuse every bite. 

As you bid farewell to this foodie haven, your palate carries the symphony of Ho Chi Minh’s flavors, a testament to the city’s rich culinary heritage, forever etched in your memory.