Known for her rich history, friendly town folks and incredibly cheap and delectable eats, Ho Chi Minh City is the best place for foodies to embark on an all-you-can-eat extravaganza.
Sure we all know what a good pho or banh mi should taste like, or so we believe we do. Prepare to have your perceptions completely flipped on its head. Though, it’s only fair that we warn you that having your favourite Vietnamese treats in Singapore won’t be the same anymore.
If that doesn’t deter you at all, dive into true-blue Vietnamese food starting from the back alley streets of Ho Chi Minh to some of the poshest looking bars. To help guide you along, here’s our Ho Chi Minh City District 1 food guide.
After a full day of eating Pho and Bahn Mi, we were feeling guilty after gorging ourselves with that much delicious and hearty street food, so we knew we had to cleanse ourselves with something a little healthier. Just a stone’s throw away from Ho Chi Minh City’s very own “Stark Tower”, the Bitexco Financial Tower, sits one of the trendiest and most modern-looking cafés in District 1, The Running Bean.
We were first drawn to the chic architecture of the single-story building, reminiscent of South Korean-style cafés with geometric patterns lining the exterior of the building. The Running Bean is popular amongst a younger demographic and the entire compound is filled with Instagram-worthy backdrops for you to snap the perfect “OOTD”.
If you’re planning to take a short break before embarking on more adventures in HCMC, take a break at The Running Bean and lounge in one of their comfortable seats inside or al fresco.
Phuc Long Coffee & Tea is essentially the Starbucks of Vietnam, with outlets sprawling all over Ho Chi Minh City at literally every corner.
This Vietnamese-born chain is best known for their tea and their iced teas are a big hit with many people of all ages. The outlet we visited was rather spacious and it took up 3 levels of a stretch of shophouses, and although it might resemble the look and feel of a commercial coffee and tea chain, it was far from it.
Here’s what’s actually worth ordering at Phuc Long Coffee & Tea.
L’amant Café impresses with both their gorgeous decor and a sensational medley of tasty treats. Conveniently located in District 1 of Ho Chi Minh City, the elaborate yet cosy café is best known for their range of Vietnamese coffee and contemporary Vietnamese dishes.
Upon stepping into L’amant Café, you will be amazed by the huge and spacious interior and the massive range of instant coffee in their retail section. From the food, the coffee and even the service, here is what we loved about L’amant Café in Ho Chi Minh City.
A popular pit stop among the Vietnamese locals, Nhu Lan Bakery houses several food stalls in one. The establishment functions as a banh mi kiosk, a proper sit-down Vietnamese eatery as well as a delicatessen and meat grocer.
Every morning from as early as 5am, throngs of locals park their scooters right outside the eatery, grabbing themselves a quick bite before going about their day. Curious, and pining for a taste of what locals deem delicious, we decided to pay the humble eatery a visit.
They serve everything under the sun, from tasty, proper bowls of pho bo, to a massive selection of banh mi toppings and even some other local delicacies not commonly found elsewhere.
Hardly anyone can say no to a good bowl of pho, essentially a simple bowl of bone broth with a swirl of rice noodles topped with beef slices, Thai basil leaves, coriander and raw bean sprouts, this bowl spells total comfort—especially so on a cold, rainy day or after a boozy night out. Despite its unclear origins, it can be considered Vietnam’s treasured national dish.
Since the days of the Vietnam War, Pho has spread far and wide across the globe to be enjoyed by many, but there’s definitely something about having it in its home country that makes it so much better than at anywhere else.
The bustling and vibrant city of Ho Chi Minh City is the busiest and most populated area in the whole of Vietnam. Named after the late leader of Vietnam, people flock to this colourful city for its friendly people, incredible street food and rich history. For foodies like ourselves, our quest for the best food in Ho Chi Minh City started from the streets.
It is in the streets that you find the best of their street food with the most authentic flavours. Everywhere you stroll in Ho Chi Minh City, you will see a variety of road-side vendors dishing out tasty street food and passing them on to busy motorists or see groups of people sitting on tiny plastic stools enjoying their street food by the sidewalk.
We’ve tasted some of the best street food in Ho Chi Minh City but in our adventures, we also stumbled upon pretty disappointing ones. Here’s our Ho Chi Minh City Street Food Guide to help you find the best street food.
Surrounded by lush greenery and a host of beautiful architectural pieces scattered across its massive compound, the Independence Palace is a place that warrants a visit for first-time travellers to Ho Chi Minh City.
Besides being a place deeply associated with the fall of the city in 1975, there is a sense of charm about the place that makes walking through its desolate halls fill one with a sense of intrigue yet eeriness at the same time.
While the Reunification Palace or Independence Palace in HCMC holds historic significance, it may or may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Unless you’re a history buff that enjoys the history of politics and more specifically that of Vietnam, the palace itself might prove to be a tad underwhelming in terms of what’s in store. But here’s why it’s worth a visit anyway.