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Best Local Food in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam That Foreigners Must Try

Posted by Khoi Pham on March 16, 2024

Best Local Food in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam That Foreigners Must Try

If you find yourself in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, the culinary scene offers a plethora of palate-pleasing possibilities, particularly for those seeking authentic and appetizing experiences.

From the steaming bowls of Pho to the crispy Banh Mi sandwiches, the city’s diverse dishes are a feast for the senses. Each bite tells a story, a blend of flavors that will transport you to the bustling streets of this vibrant city.

So, whether you’re a food enthusiast or simply a curious traveler, these local delicacies are a must on your itinerary.

Let our journey begin:


All you need to know will be in the above clip, but if you like reading more, here it is:

Pho – Iconic Vietnamese Noodle Soup

Savoring a steaming bowl of Pho in Ho Chi Minh City immerses you in the essence of Vietnamese culinary tradition. The rich broth, fragrant with spices like star anise and cinnamon, envelops your senses as you slurp the slippery rice noodles. The tender slices of beef or chicken melt in your mouth, adding depth to each spoonful. The fresh herbs and crunchy bean sprouts provide a burst of freshness, balancing the savory flavors perfectly.

As you sit in a bustling street-side eatery, surrounded by locals chatting animatedly, you realize that Pho is more than just a dish; it’s a cultural experience. The art of preparing this iconic noodle soup has been passed down through generations, with each bowl telling a story of Vietnam’s history and heritage. From the first sip to the last spoonful, you can taste the dedication and passion that goes into creating this beloved dish.

My favorite Pho will be Pho Le. You can check it out here:

Le Pho Google Map Link:

Banh Mi – Vietnamese Baguette Sandwich

Immerse yourself in another facet of Vietnamese culinary excellence with Banh Mi, a delightful Vietnamese baguette sandwich that showcases a fusion of flavors and textures. This iconic street food consists of a crispy French baguette filled with various savory ingredients. Typically, Banh Mi is stuffed with a medley of ingredients such as thinly sliced marinated pork, pate, Vietnamese ham, pickled carrots and daikon, fresh cilantro, sliced cucumbers, and spicy chili peppers. The combination of these ingredients creates a harmonious blend of sweet, savory, tangy, and spicy flavors that will tantalize your taste buds.

One of the charms of Banh Mi is its versatility. Whether you prefer your sandwich with grilled chicken, beef, tofu, or even fried eggs, there’s a Banh Mi variation to suit every palate. The affordability and accessibility of Banh Mi make it a popular choice for locals and tourists alike. So, when in Ho Chi Minh City, don’t miss the opportunity to savor this delectable Vietnamese sandwich that perfectly encapsulates the country’s culinary diversity.

My two favorite Banh Mi will be Huynh Hoa and Bay Ho. You can check them out here: 

Banh Mi Huynh Hoa Google Map Link:

Banh Mi Bay Ho Google Map Link:

Com Tam – Broken Rice With Grilled Pork

When exploring the culinary delights of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, one mustn’t overlook the flavorful dish of Com Tam – Broken Rice With Grilled Pork. This traditional Vietnamese meal is a must-try for any food enthusiast visiting the bustling streets of Saigon. The dish gets its name from the broken rice grains that are a product of the rice milling process, giving it a unique texture and taste.

Com Tam is typically served with a variety of accompaniments such as tender and succulent grilled pork, a crispy fried egg, pickled vegetables, and a side of fish sauce for that perfect balance of flavors. The combination of the fragrant broken rice, smoky grilled pork, and tangy pickles creates a symphony of tastes that will leave your taste buds dancing.

As you take your first bite of Com Tam, you’ll experience a medley of textures and flavors that encapsulate the essence of Vietnamese cuisine. The simplicity of the dish combined with the bold flavors is sure to make Com Tam a memorable dining experience during your time in Ho Chi Minh City.

A decent place I know is Com Tam hong Calmette:

Rau Cau – Vietnamese Jelly Dessert

After indulging in the savory delights of Com Tam – Broken Rice With Grilled Pork, your taste buds are primed for the sweet and refreshing experience of Rau Cau – Vietnamese Jelly Dessert. This traditional Vietnamese dessert is a delightful treat loved by locals and foreigners alike.

Rau Cau is a colorful and wobbly jelly dessert made from agar-agar, a vegetarian alternative to gelatin extracted from seaweed. It comes in various flavors such as pandan, coconut, or coffee, each offering a unique taste sensation. The jelly is often served in intricate molds, adding to its visual appeal.

One popular way to enjoy Rau Cau is with a drizzle of sweet coconut milk or a spoonful of fragrant coffee sauce. The combination of the cool, smooth jelly with the creamy accompaniments creates a harmonious blend of flavors and textures that will leave you craving more.

Don’t miss the chance to try Rau Cau during your visit to Ho Chi Minh City. It’s the perfect ending to a delicious Vietnamese meal, providing a light and satisfying conclusion to your culinary adventure.

There are more food in the clip and a link to a open discussion forum that I highly suggest you to check it out.


Don’t miss out on these must-try local dishes in Ho Chi Minh City!

From the iconic Pho to the delicious Banh Mi and the tasty Com Tam, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

And don’t forget to save room for some Rau Cau for dessert.

With so many delicious options to choose from, your taste buds will thank you for exploring the vibrant food scene in Vietnam’s bustling city.

Bon appétit!

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