Must-eat dishes in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is a food lover’s paradise — here’s what to eat.

When it comes to food, you’ll be spoiled for choice when you visit Ho Chi Minh City, where the people love to eat. This list only scratches the surface of the myriad culinary delights that await. So dig in.

Banh mi

Fans of Vietnamese food will be very familiar with banh mi, a Vietnamese sandwich. A legacy of the French occupation, the sandwich is a brilliant mashup of French and Vietnamese flavours.

Start with a baguette made with a mixture of wheat and rice flour, so it’s crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Then add a smear of pate and mayonnaise and pile in as many meaty fillings as will fit: pork, sliced meats, pork skin.

Top it off with cucumber and pickled radish and carrot to cut through the richness, plus fresh coriander and sliced chillies.

Where? Banh Mi Huynh Hoa, 26 Le Thi Rieng, Ben Thanh, District 1.

Pho bo

Pho, beef noodle soup, is another well-known Vietnamese dish. At its core, it consists of soft rice noodles, long-simmered broth and thinly sliced beef. You then pick and add your own toppings, from crunchy bean sprouts to fresh herbs, sliced green onions and lime.

There are also chicken versions.

Where? Pho Minh Pasteur, 63/6 Pasteur Street, District 1.

Banh xeo

You may not be as familiar with banh xeo, a type of Vietnamese pancake-crepe hybrid. Using rice flour and turmeric for colour, a very thin, crispy pancake is made in a hot wok.

Then fillings including prawn, pork, bean sprouts and onion are added. Eat the savoury dish by tearing the pancake into pieces, adding some fresh herbs and wrapping it all up with lettuce before dipping into the sauce.

Where? Banh Xeo 46A, 46A Dinh Cong Trang St, District 3.

Rice paper rolls

These fresh rolls are great for beating the heat as they are filled with fresh herbs and served chilled. Thin rice paper is wrapped around prawns, pork, bean sprouts and herbs.

You can choose between a peanut dipping sauce or a mixed fish sauce.

Where? There are rice paper rolls carts throughout the city. Just keep an eye out for one popular with locals.

Bun rieu

This tomato crab soup isn’t very well known outside of Vietnam, but it should be. The base is a rich crab-tomato broth and soft rice noodles, fried tofu, crab meatballs and chunks of pork are added. It’s topped off with a squeeze of lime for freshness.

Where? Bun rieu Nguyen Canh Chan, 18/5 Nguyen Canh Chan, District 1.

Explore Ho Chi Minh City for yourself and enjoy a Mekong River Cruise as part of a 21 Day Best of Vietnam & Cambodia Tour with APT from $10,420pp twin share. For more information visit RACQ Travel or contact one of our friendly travel consultants on 1300 096 166.

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