Ho Chi Minh City Food Guide: Traditional foods in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, is the largest city in Vietnam and the economic center of the country. It is a vibrant and bustling metropolis that offers a unique blend of modernity and traditional Vietnamese culture. Located in southern Vietnam, the city is known for its rich history, French colonial architecture, and delicious food. One of the best things about Ho Chi Minh City is its diverse culinary scene. The city is home to a wide range of delicious Vietnamese dishes that are sure to satisfy any food lover's cravings. From street food stalls to high-end restaurants, Ho Chi Minh City offers a variety of options for both locals and tourists to indulge in.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

What to eat in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

This is a list of the must have dishes in Ho Chi Minh City. Ranked on best food score.


Xôi is a traditional Vietnamese sticky rice dish that is popular for breakfast or as a snack in Ho Chi Minh City. This comforting dish is made by steaming glutinous rice and topping it with a variety of savory or sweet ingredients. Popular variations include xôi gà (sticky rice with chicken), xôi mặn (savory sticky rice with meat and vegetables), and xôi ngọt (sweet sticky rice with coconut or beans). With its soft and sticky texture, xôi is a beloved comfort food that is both delicious and filling.

Glutinous rice, Chicken, Coconut


Phở is the quintessential Vietnamese dish and a must-try when in Ho Chi Minh City. This delicious and fragrant noodle soup consists of a flavorful broth, thinly sliced beef or chicken, and a variety of fresh herbs and vegetables. What sets Phở apart is the careful preparation of the broth, which is simmered for hours with aromatic spices and bones to create a rich and complex flavor. Whether enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Phở is a comforting and satisfying dish that encapsulates the essence of Vietnamese cuisine.

Beef, Chicken, Rice noodles

Bánh mì

Bánh mì is a Vietnamese sandwich that has gained international fame for its unique combination of flavors and textures. Made with a crispy French baguette, bánh mì is filled with a variety of ingredients such as grilled meats, pate, pickled vegetables, and cilantro. This fusion of French and Vietnamese culinary traditions creates a mouthwatering sandwich that is both light and satisfying. Whether enjoyed as a quick snack or a full meal, bánh mì is a must-try street food in Ho Chi Minh City.

French baguette, Grilled meats, Pickled vegetables

Gỏi cuốn

Gỏi cuốn, also known as Vietnamese spring rolls, are a popular appetizer or snack in Ho Chi Minh City. These fresh and healthy rolls are made by wrapping rice paper around a combination of fresh vegetables, herbs, rice noodles, and your choice of protein, such as shrimp or grilled pork. What makes gỏi cuốn special is the dipping sauce, typically a blend of fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, and chili, which adds a tangy and spicy kick to each bite. Gỏi cuốn is a light and refreshing dish that showcases the vibrant flavors of Vietnamese cuisine.

Rice paper, Vegetables, Herbs

Bánh xèo

Bánh xèo is a Vietnamese savory pancake that is popular in Ho Chi Minh City. This crispy and flavorful pancake is made with a rice flour batter filled with a mixture of prawns, pork, bean sprouts, and onions. The batter is cooked until golden brown and crispy, giving the pancake a satisfying crunch. Bánh xèo is typically eaten by wrapping it in fresh lettuce leaves and herbs, then dipping it in a tangy and spicy fish sauce. This delicious dish is perfect for sharing as an appetizer or enjoyed as a main course.

Rice flour batter, Prawns, Pork

Bún chả

Bún chả is a traditional Vietnamese dish that originated in Hanoi but can be found throughout Ho Chi Minh City. This dish consists of grilled pork belly and pork meatballs served over a bed of rice noodles and accompanied by a bowl of sweet and tangy dipping sauce. The smoky and tender grilled meats combined with the fresh and chewy texture of the noodles create a harmonious balance of flavors and textures. Bún chả is a beloved street food in Ho Chi Minh City, perfect for a quick and satisfying meal.

Pork belly, Pork meatballs, Rice noodles

Cơm tấm

Cơm tấm is a popular Vietnamese dish that is a staple in Ho Chi Minh City. This dish consists of broken rice served with a variety of toppings, typically including grilled pork chop, shredded pork skin, and a fried egg. The tender and flavorful grilled pork chop complements the fragrant and slightly sticky broken rice, while the crunchy shredded pork skin adds a unique texture. Cơm tấm is often paired with pickled vegetables and a side of fish sauce for the perfect combination of flavors. This hearty and satisfying dish is a must-try for rice lovers.

Broken rice, Grilled pork chop, Shredded pork skin