Gulay. Veggies. Pho. Bahn Mi. Bun Cha. Bun Rieu. Spring Rolls. Rice Noodles. Iced Coffee. Food trip in Vietnam!
It’s fascinating to see just how the Vietnamese love to eat their green leafy vegetables. Different kinds of leaves and herbs piled mountain high on plates, and they ate this with much gusto. No wonder the Vietnamese are slim and slender people because their diet is very healthy.
Beef or Chicken Pho, Bun Cha, Vietnamese prawn spring roll, mint, basil, coriander, just some of the flavors of Vietnam.
The first Vietnamese meal I had there was beef pho with a side dish of veggies from Wrap and Roll. I loved the pho, the bowl was empty by the time I’m done, but the veggie side dish was left almost untouched. If I only eat the way the Vietnamese eat, I’ll be a lot healthier.
It’s awesome that our hotel offers guests bowls of pho as part of the breakfast buffet selection.
Having free breakfast with your hotel accommodation is not only convenient but saves you money too!
Check-out Paradise Saigon Boutique and Spa for their rates and other recommended Ho Chi Minh Hotels.
Would I be correct if I say that pho is what adobo to Filipinos? A national dish that one will miss if one stays away from the country for any length of time.
For restaurant recommendation in Ho Chi Minh, I enjoyed our meal in Cơm Tấm Cali, they have several branches in the city. The prices are affordable too!
We were with my cousin and her family who are based in Saigon. This was dinner after our fun day in Suoi Tien Theme Park. 🙂
The Vietnamese iced coffee was good here and I love my food too!
We also dined in another popular Vietnamese fast food chain in Saigon, Mon Hue, the meal was just okay.
Also, the waiter forgot to relay to the kitchen the side dish we ordered, and the cook must have rushed it after we made several follow-ups. The result is a very oily food served (the last one); unless its supposed to be served like that.
Vietnamese Eatery – Authentic Food
When we visited Suoi Tien amusement park, there were lots of eateries there serving authentic Vietnamese food.
We had lunch at a food hub near the Wishing Tree. All of us ordered rice with pork bbq, then we just added a beef dish. The veggies in the dish were a lot, lot more versus the portion of the beef, lol.
Craving Familiar Food
We’ve had pasta and pizza in Pastamania located in SC Vivo City Mall, they have great tasting pizza and pasta! Plus, when we visited they had a 1 + 1 promo on their pizzas, good deal! 🙂
After buying pasalubong in Ben Than market, we decided to have lunch in a burger and sandwich place, para di ulit pho or dried rice noodles meal hehe.
Journey Sandwich Bistro is just across the market. This one is popular with westerners. Huge servings of meals, international selection of burgers, sandwiches, and drinks. A bit on the pricey side.
Our original order was changed because they run out of was it pulled pork? Don’t remember, but anyhow the wait staff approached us again advising of the out of stock situation. So we ordered something else.
The burgers were huge, we were not able to eat all of it.
I love the salad that comes with my burger.
Errr… be cautious in ordering drink concoctions and smoothies, especially those blended fruits that you are not familiar with, the taste may make you ewww. Titus only had two sips of his drink and left it. I tried it, and well, let’s just say it is an acquired taste and I failed in acquiring it haha. But it’s no fault of the restaurant, Titus wanted to try something new, and that’s the result. 🙂
*The drink was the one with dragon fruit, some other fruits, plus coconut milk. Weird taste. Lol.
For Titus birthday dinner we choose to dine in Eleven Vietnamese Fusion Restaurant, a popular one near our hotel. We ordered pasta, spring roll, a lava cake desert, plus the one in the pic below which was my order.
We enjoyed the food in Eleven except I didn’t like the green flavored broken rice, I prefer my rice plain.
After our visit to the Saigon Skydeck we had our lunch at the food court of the Bitexco Mall, there are several dining options there. The food we ordered were good except the calamares, its breading is a bit too thick for our liking.
“Nagluluto ba ang mga Vietnamese sa bahay?”
My husband got curious because almost in every street you’ll find numerous vendors of food, from vendors on motorcycles offering banh mi, to hole in the wall restos offering pho, bun cha, and other Vietnamese food, to local ladies sitting on the streets offering different fruits, and mine you there are lots of diners, buyers.
For us, it really does seem like that the locals don’t cook meals in their houses every day. I mean, why go through all the trouble of the cooking ritual when you can buy something cheap and good right on the street.
Patis or fish sauce, in different flavor or concoction, seems to be ever present when you have a Vietnamese meal. You placed a bit of meat on a leaf, roll it, and dip it to the special fish sauce. Spring roll, dip it into a fish sauce with chili. Get some sauce and put it into your bowl of pho to enhance flavor and texture.
Another thing we noticed, it seems like the Vietnamese do not sauté garlic, onion, tomato like what we generally do in Philippine cooking; their flavor enhancers are the herbs, sauces, shrimp paste, and chilis that accompanies the served food.
On our last night in Ho Chi Minh, we craved for food we normally have in the Philippines. There wasn’t any Filipino resto in Saigon that we could find near us, but there were lots of Japanese restaurants in District 1, so we opted to have our last dinner in a Japanese resto.
*There is a Jollibee branch in Ho Chi Minh but it’s far from our hotel. Gusto pa naman sana naming itry.
Titus had katsudon and ebi tempura, I had a salmon bento. I was so happy eating something tasty and familiar, haha, but the morning after, I requested beef pho for breakfast and ate it with gusto.
Food Street Market
This is a popular eating, drinking, hanging-out place for tourists in Vietnam, as in puro banyaga halos nandun! This is a few walks from Ben Than market, so you can do some shopping and then come here to fill the stomach or go for drinks.
Several food stalls are present. We also spotted one stall at the entrance serving San Miguel beers. Alright!
Another place that is jam-packed whenever we passed by it is the Tan Lap store along Lê Thánh Tôn street, near Bến Thành.
We got curious why the customers seems to always have two glasses in front of them, my cousin explained that normally Vietnamese have coffee in one hand, the other tea; some tourists have picked up on this habit.
This business is doing good, we haven’t seen this place lacking customers morning or night. There are always lots sitting on monoblock chairs, chatting away, drinking their coffee and tea.
This post is part of the Penfires Vietnam Series.
Coffee is BIG in Vietnam
I think I had a coffee overdose in Vietnam haha. I love coffee, but am used to instant coffee in the house, Nescafe Gold at least 4 cups daily is the norm for me.
Friends have remarked that Vietnam offers great coffee and that I should bring home some. Yep, I did. Aside from the coffee pabaon that my cousin gifted me, I also bought more from Ben Thanh market and from a convenience store.
Vietnam coffee is strong, aromatic. Lots of variation actually. I have four different packs open right now, trying each one, haven’t decided which flavor or brand is my fave yet.
Vietnamese iced coffee with their local condense milk is something I will miss. Not sure where it is available here in the Philippines, or if they are as good as the one we tried in Ho Chi Minh.
Did I gain or lost some pounds in Vietnam? On one hand, I’ve eaten lots of greens there, on the other hand, it was food trip after food trip. Oh well, whatever the case may be, it’s A-okay! 🙂
What food do you want to try in Vietnam or something that you’ve missed from there?