• Explore delicious dishes in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City, the economic heart of Vietnam, boasts soaring skyscrapers that tower over charming French colonial structures and traditional pagodas. This high-octane city of commerce and culture will give you everything you want to, from world-class museums and Vietnam's most pulsating energy to fragrant temples and street food stalls. Especially food, the shortest way to attract people’s attention and to explore a country’s culture.

This list of Ho Chi Minh’s most delicious dishes is based on more than 104,000 votes for 10 categories of “Ho Chi Minh City - 100 interesting things” announced by the City’s Department of Tourism.

Let’s see how many dishes you have tried so far.

Bánh mì


There’s a saying, you can see the diversification of a country or a region through the dishes, and it is proven to be true in this case of Ho Chi Minh City’s Banh mi. There are many variations of this familiar, easy-to-eat dish, which make sure to satisfy the taste buds of diverse diners. Try shumai banh mi, pork skin banh mi, fish cake banh mi, roasted pork banh mi, grilled beef banh mi, and shredded chicken banh mi, to dive in each and every shade of Vietnamese banh mi.

Visitors can find banh mi in famous bakeries that have existed for more than half a century, such as Bay Ho Bakery, Hoa Ma Banh mi, Huynh Hoa banh mi, Tang banh mi, Cu Ly banh mi, and Sau Le banh mi.

Bánh tráng trộn (Mixed rice paper)

This dish is considered a snack rather than a main course. Ho Chi Minh City mixed rice paper is made from pieces of rice paper that have been dried in dew and cut into small pieces. Rice paper is mixed with shredded green mango, finely chopped laksa leaves, Tay Ninh shrimp salt and kumquat juice squeezed in. A little bit of fried onion fat with peanuts, roasted shrimp, quail eggs and beef jerky to enhance the flavour.

Mixed rice paper can be found across the street of Ho Chi Minh City, parks or street food areas such as Turtle Lake, Nguyen Thuong Hien Street (District 3), September 23 Park (District 1), Ben Thanh Market area, intersection of Nguyen Thai Hoc - Tran Hung Dao streets (District 1).

Bánh xèo (Crispy pancakes)


There are two main types of banh xeo that visitors should try when coming to the City where many cultures and regional cuisines intersect: Central pancake and Western pancake. Banh xeo of the Central region is small, less than a hand in diameter, filled with green beans, bean sprouts combined with some seafood or pork. Western pancakes are large in size, filled with shrimp, pork belly, bean sprouts and green beans.

Bún Bò (Beef rice vermicelli)


The diversity of Ho Chi Minh also appears in a variety of types of beef rice vermicelli noodles. The first one is Bun bo Nam Bo (Southern beef rice vermicelli). This is one of the popular dishes of Southern people. Unlike Hue spicy beef rice vermicelli, the special feature of the southern dish is brothless, with small rice vermicelli noodles. The noodles will be served with spicy and sour chilli garlic fish sauce, and topped with thinly sliced stir-fried beef. This dish is often enjoyed with many herbs such as bean sprouts, cucumbers, fried shallots, roasted peanuts…

Another type of Bun bo is Hue spicy beef rice vermicelli that was once recognized by famous chef Anthony Bourdain as one of the most delicious dishes in the world. Attractive noodle bowl with rich, spicy broth, inside is beef with pork sausage, fresh vegetables. Spicy beef rice vermicelli followed the Hue people to Ho Chi Minh City. A bowl of rice vermicelli with lots of meat and rolls, which looks fuller than in Hue. The broth has a sweet taste of sugar, reducing the strong smell of shrimp paste.

Xôi (Sticky rice)

You can have sticky rice by morning, noon, afternoon, evening and even late at night. Vendors selling sticky rice will offer you with both meat and sweet sticky rice.

Sweet sticky rice will have options from beans, durian, corn, to sweet gourd. The typical dish always has a layer of soft, hot fragrant sticky rice with a little grated coconut rice and a layer of granulated sugar and roasted peanuts on top. Corn sticky rice is one of the typical sweet sticky rice dishes, made from sticky corn stewed with coconut water to make the seeds soft and bright white. Corn sticky rice is a bit mushy. When eating, add a little grated coconut, sugar, peanuts or sesame salt. It’s sweet but not greasy.

For a more southern style, try some cadé sticky rice. Soft and chewy sticky rice will be stuffed into fresh banana leaves, topped with a soft layer of cadé made from coconut milk, eggs, flour, and sugar.

Meat sticky rice in Ho Chi Minh City is usually cooked and served with xa xiu  (roasted pork), dried shrimp, sausage, meat floss, pork rolls, quail eggs, added with fatty onions or fried shallots, and drizzled with rich sauce. Visitors can have some chicken sticky rice with marinated chicken thighs, onion fat, pickled mustard greens and a well-cooked sauce. Side dishes are crispy fried chicken skin, eggs, shredded chicken, shumai, and boiled gizzard liver.

Chè (Sweet soup)


This is one of the most famous and common desserts in Vietnam. There are countless types of sweet soups in Ho Chi Minh City such as lotus seed, green beans, red beans, peanuts, black sesame, longan, ginkgo, water chestnut, ginseng tonic, and braised chicken egg (like flan), chicken egg soaked in black tea, steamed papaya. Strolling along streets of District 1, 5 and 10, you can find your favourite sweet soup shop. If you want to enjoy sweet soup with Southern flavours, you can visit the sweet soup shop on Su Van Hanh street. Here, they serve 16-cup trays of flavours such as Ba Ba sweet soup, regular sweet soup (made from beans), banana sweet soup, corn sweet soup, white bean sweet soup, taro sweet soup, and dumplings sweet soup, accompanied by a jar of coconut jelly, a plate of sticky rice, and a plate of flan.

Ho Chi Minh City also has a street specialising in selling Thai Sweet Soups. Thai Sweet Soup has a unique flavour with the smell of durian, accompanied by a sweet and fatty milk taste.

Cơm tấm (Broken rice)


Cơm tấm is a familiar dish to many generations of people in Ho Chi Minh City. Same as sticky rice, you can have Cơm tấm for breakfast, lunch, dinner or supper. A plate of broken rice will include a little dry, small grain rice, a few slices of cucumber, pickles and on top are grilled ribs, pork skin, and pork patties. The sweet, candy-like fish sauce is considered as the soul of this dish. Go ahead, dig in, soak the hot rice in fish sauce and eat it with the toppings.

Hủ tiếu Nam Vang (Nam Vang noodle)

Hủ tiếu Nam Vang is especially famous in Ho Chi Minh City. Soft, chewy rice noodles are made from rice flour, boiled in boiling water and served with a rich broth including prawn, minced pork, pork intestines, quail eggs, served with fried garlic and raw vegetables blended together to create an irresistible dish of all time. You can easily find one on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City because it is a very popular dish in this place.

Ốc (Snail)

Another snack to enjoy in the evening in Ho Chi Minh City. Snails can be steamed, boiled, stir-fried, roasted, grilled… Boiled snails dipped in ginger chilli sauce, salted egg or tamarind sauce. In addition to snails, there are many other types of seafood for diners to enjoy such as oysters, crabs, sentinel crabs, prawn, and squid.

Phở (Vietnamese noodle soup)


Pho gradually becomes a familiar dish to residents and tourists in Ho Chi Minh City. Northern-style pho restaurants have light, clear and less sweet broth. They focuses on natural flavours, so the quality of fresh beef is the highlight. Southern-style pho is usually sweeter and more flavorful. The broth is darker due to the addition of grilled purple onions and many combined spices. Southern-style pho is often served with bean sprouts, raw vegetables, sliced ​​onions, garlic and soy sauce.