Best Saigon street food and where to find them


street food in saigon
Image adapted from: @lytrang152

Saigon is filled with high-end restaurants and pubs, but since this city also happens to be one of Forbes’ top 10 cities for street food, there’s no excuse not to miss out on what its rustic roadside food stalls and rickety food carts have to offer.

Here are 11 Vietnamese street food dishes for you to eat your way through the rich and diverse food heritage of Saigon. Note: these are best eaten sitting on a plastic stool on the streets, just as locals do.


1. Southern Vietnamese crêpe (Bánh xèo)


Saigon crepe banh xeo
Image credit: @nguyeninggainz

Bánh xèo is a popular street food in Saigon, derived from French crepes but modified to suit local tastes. It’s a galore of fillings including shrimp, pork, bean sprouts, leafy greens, and herbs rolled up in a Vietnamese rice pancake that is like a crêpe. No worries if you’re a vegan – you can ask the staff to leave out the meat.

The crepe is cooked directly on the skillet until it gets crunchy and best served hot. After wrapping the meat, greens, and herbs in the pancake, dunk it into the savory dipping sauce, a bowl of handmade Vietnamese sweet and sour sauce with various condiments that comes with your order.

Price range: VND30,000-VND60,000 (~USD1.29-USD2.59)
Find this dish at:

  • 46A Dinh Cong Trang, Tan Dinh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Bánh xèo ngon bà Hai, 49 Nguyen Trong Tuyen, Ward 15, Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Bánh xèo Mười Xiềm, 54 Nguyễn Văn Trỗi, Ward 15, Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Bánh xèo tôm nhảy Thanh Diệu, 164 Nguyễn Thị Nhỏ, Ward 15, District 11, Ho Chi Minh City

2. Vietnamese fried flour cubes (Bột chiên)


Saigon bot chien fried flour cubes
Image credit: @marebear1121

Popular among Vietnamese people from young to old, Vietnamese fried flour (Bột chiên) is made of cooked rice flour cubes fried with eggs with a generous amount of oil, and layered with onions on top. The doughy squares turn golden and crispy on the hot skillet.

You’ll be served your fried flour cubes with lots of veggies to balance the dough’s oiliness. Dunk each cube into soy sauce for a thorough soak of saltiness that holds all the ingredients together.

Price range: VND20,000-VND50,000 (~USD0.86-USD2.15)
Find this dish at:

  • TeenFoody, 44 Phan Chu Trinh, Ward 14, Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Dat Thanh, 277 Vo Van Tan, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
  • 757 Hoang Sa, Ward 9, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City

3. Cooked snails (Ốc)


Saigon snails escargot
Image credit: @vietlifetj

What makes snails an additive snack lies in the sauce, which is packed with ingredients and flavors, such as coconut cream, chilli, and lemongrass. Chewy and bouncy, snails can be cooked all sorts of ways: sautéed with chilli and salt, boiled, roasted, or fried. In Saigon, these snails are usually apple snails, blunt mud creeper snails, bailer shell snails, or dog conch snails found in grass fields.

Saigon cooked snail escargot
Image credit: @lytrang152

This food is very suitable for people looking to shed a few pounds, as the flesh is low in saturated fat, but are rich in protein and vitamin E.

In Vietnam, food stalls selling snails also have a wide selection of seafood on the menu, such as shellfish, clams, oysters, octopus, fish, and crab so you can add more variety to your meal.

Price range: VND30,000-VND200,000 (~USD1.29-USD8.62)
Find this dish at:

  • Ốc Vịnh Nhỏ , 5 Thao Dien, Thao DienWard , District 2, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Ốc Béo, 9/1 Nguyen Thien Thuat, Ward 14, Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Ốc Cà Na , 330/28 Phan Đinh Phung, Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City
  • 189 To Hien Thanh, Ward 13, District 10, Ho Chi Minh City

4. Hot plate oysters (Hàu Né)


Hau ne oyster Saigon
Image credit: @tous_nguyen

Those who can’t decide on what Vietnamese street food to eat should go for hot plate oysters, or hàu népopular among Saigonese who love to savor a mixture of various food and condiments on one dish.

A layer of fatty butter is first placed on a cast iron plate cooked with extremely hot fire. As soon as the butter melts and gives off a flavorful aroma, oysters marinated in sauce and various seasonings are tossed in.

An egg will then be smashed into the middle of the plate, and the egg’s white is spread across the plate to form a base. Other fillings such as cheese, meat, and tomatoes can be added in for a more savory bite. Finally, the oysters are turned and spread a new layer of sauce to absorb the seasoning and to cook them evenly before serving.

Price range: VND15,000-VND50,000 (~USD0.65-USD2.15)
Find this dish at:

  • Quán Hào Sữa, 351 Nguyễn Thượng Hiền, Ward 11, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Heart Kitchen, 527A Nguyen Tri Phuong, Ward 8, District 10, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Woo – Hàu Né Sốt Pate Phomai, 601/2 Cach mang ThangTám, Ward 15, District 10, Ho Chi Minh City

5. Phnom Penh noodle soup (Hủ tiếu Nam Vang)


hu tieu Nam Vang cambodian noodles
Image credit: @tuilami.mimi

Flavorful, nutritious yet budget-friendly, this Vietnamese street food dish is very popular among locals for lunch or dinner. Phnom Penh noodle soup (Hủ tiếu Nam Vang) was influenced by cuisine from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, but has now become part of Vietnamese food culture over the decades.

First, the steaming hot broth is made of pork bones, dried squid, and dried shrimp simmered for hours. Thin, creamy-colored, and springy tapioca noodles are dunked into the dish, and toppings are finally added. The toppings are a surf-and-turf combination of shrimp, sautéed ground pork, minced pork, pork liver, fried garlic, shallots, bean sprouts, and scallions.

Price range: VND25,000-VND50,000 (~USD1.08-USD2.15)
Find this dish at:

  • A65 Nguyen Trai, Ward Nguyễn Cư Trinh, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
  • 84 Ho Thi Ky, Ward 14, District 10, Ho Chi Minh City
  • 72 Nguyen Thuong Hien, Ward 11, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
  • 93 Huynh Man Dat, Ward 7, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City

6. Vietnamese organ stew soup (Phá Lấu)


Pha lau meat organ stew
Image credit: @duylucky

Originating from Chaozhou, China, Vietnamese organ stew soup or Phá lấu is a popular street food that can be found on any street in Ho Chi Minh City.

The organs are marinated with spices to tone down the fishy smell, and the dish is packed with lots of protein. You can have it with broken rice or noodles, but you have to try the version with banh mi and hot curry soup – by far the most well-received form of this dish, it fills up your stomach quickly.

Price range: VND 20,000-VND40,000 (~USD0.86-USD1.72)
Find this dish at:

  • Quán Phá Lấu Bò Cô Thảo, 243 Ton Dan, Ward 15, District 4, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Quán Phá Lấu Ngọc Thắm, 174 Nguyen Thien Thuat, Ward 3, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
  • 436 Nguyen Trai, Ward 7, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Phá Lấu Bò, 533 Ba Hat, Ward 8, District 10, Ho Chi Minh City

7. Southern Vietnamese spring rolls (Gỏi cuốn)


Goi cuon Southern spring rolls
Image credit: @hahasobi

Southern Vietnamese spring rolls, or Gỏi cuốn, are a traditional Vietnamese dish consisting of pork, prawn, veggies, rice vermicelli, and other ingredients wrapped up in a rice paper sheet that’s dipped in water and laid flat on a plate. This healthy food item is normally served fresh with the bursting flavor of fresh herbs, ready to be eaten. Vegans and vegetarians can ask the staff to leave out the meat and shrimp.

You’ll usually get five to seven spring rolls in one dish – dip them in hoisin sauce, peanut sauce, or any other Vietnamese dipping sauce that comes with it.

Price range: VND 30,000-VND100,000 (~USD1.29-USD4.31)
Find this dish at:

  • Gỏi cuốn tôm nhảy Lạc Long Quân, 424 Lac Long Quan, Ward 5, District 11, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Gỏi cuốn hạnh, 420A Hoa Hao, Ward 5, District 10, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Gỏi cuốn Ngon Ngon, 322/13 An Duong Vuong, Ward 4, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City
  • 69 Tran Van Dang, Ward 9, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City

8. Crab soup (Súp cua)


sup cua crab soup
Image credit: @bluegustie

Budget-friendly, easy to eat, and conveniently located almost anywhere on Saigon streets and wet markets, this is a highly popular Vietnamese street food. The basic ingredients include crab, tapioca, shiitake, snow mushrooms, coriander, mushroom quail eggs, and spices, but you can choose to add cooked pig’s brain and century egg for a more flavorful taste and nutrients.

Visitors who are feeling a bit under the weather should try this because it is easy to swallow, and known to have a mild anti-inflammatory effect.

Price range: VND15,000-VND25,000 (~USD0.65-USD1.08)
Find this dish at:

  • Súp Cua Hạnh, 549 Sư Vạn Hạnh,Ward 12, District 10, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Súp Cua Cô Lan Bong Bóng Cá, 239 Luong Nhu Hoc, Ward 12, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Súp Cua Óc Heo, 183 Tue Tinh, Ward 12, District 11, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Súp Cua Nhà Thờ Đức Bà, 84 Nguyen Du, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
  • The Old Market (Chợ Cũ), Ton That Dam Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

9. Vietnamese papaya salad (Gỏi đu đủ)


Goi papaya salad
Image credit: @nnancybake

Despite its simple appearance, one bite of this spicy Vietnamese papaya salad will trigger feel-good hormones in your body that wake you up immediately.

Enjoyed for generations, Vietnamese papaya salad is similar to Thailand’s papaya salad, but slightly less spicy to suit local tastes.

The dish is made of spicy green papaya slices, sliced carrot and vegetables, beef jerky, shredded chicken, roasted peanuts, and fried dough crackers. h It’s also seasoned with Thai basil, Vietnamese coriander, and a sweet and sour combo of red vinegar and soy sauce.

Price range: VND15,000-VND25,000 (~USD0.65-USD1.08)
Find this dish at:

  • 93 Cach mang Thang 8, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Gỏi khô bò Ông Năm, 76 Nguyen Van Thu, Da Kao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Gỏi khô bò Phương Liên, 12 Nguyen Huy Tu, Da Kao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

10. Grilled rice paper (Bánh tráng nướng)


banh trang nuong grilled paper sheet
Image adapted from: @a.k.a.west

Grilled rice paper (Bánh tráng nướng) is a new kid on the block in the realm of Vietnamese street food, and is perfect for supper. Its ingredients are simple: a circular sheet of dry rice paper layered with butter, minced pork, chopped onions, pork floss, and dried baby shrimps.

First, the rice paper is grilled on a coal brazier for a crunchy texture. After the meat and vegetables are added on top, a quail egg yolk and a squirt of chilli sauce is tossed in to bind all the ingredients together. Even though it has a crunchy bite similar to that of a taco shell, because of the cooking method, some fondly call it Vietnamese Pizza.

Price range: VND15,000-VND25,000 (~USD0.65-USD1.08)
Find this dish at:

  • Đà Lạt Quán, 214/19/19 Nguyen Van Nguyen, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
  • C002, 23/49 Đinh Tiên Hoàng condominium, Ward 3, Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Pizza Đà Lạt, No.31 D2 Road, Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City
  • 125/22 Nghia Hung Street, Ward 6, Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City

11. Vietnamese balut egg (Hột Vịt Lộn)


hot vit lon balut egg
Image credit: @_jam0n

While balut eggs are considered controversial in certain cultures, it is an iconic street food in Saigon. Balut is a duck egg that is incubated for 9-11 days until a fetus is formed, then boiled for up to 20 minutes, and served with laksa leaves, sliced ginger, spicy vinegar, and kumquat juice that complement the egg’s strong smell. You can taste the contrast between the soft egg yolk and firmer egg white.

Don’t presume this dish is stuck in tradition – a handful of Saigonese balut egg cooks love to jazz things up by making it with new recipes, from marinating it with coconut to stir-frying it with tamarind.

Price range: VND8,000-VND15,000 per egg (~USD0.34-USD0.65)
Find this dish at:

  • Hột vịt lộn Kim Thảo, 104 Xuan Thuy, Thao Dien Ward, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City
  • 6 Nguyen Trai, Ward 3, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City
  • 43 Cong Quynh, Nguyen Cu Trinh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Cô Thu – Hột Vịt Lộn, A32 Cong Quynh, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Vietnamese street food


Street food is the heart and soul of Vietnam, and Saigon, the country’s biggest metropolis, is considered the paradise of street food with a plethora of creative variations on the most simple, familiar and appetizing dishes.

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