| |

Famous Food in Ho Chi Minh?

famous food in ho chi minh

Ho Chi Minh City is the major destination for those in the surrounding areas of Southern Vietnam looking to work and for more opportunities than they would find in their countryside hometowns. This has led to Ho Chi Minh being a food mecca for Vietnamese staples. There aren’t many Vietnamese dishes you can’t find in Saigon. But, What famous food in Ho Chi Minh should you eat?

This is a bit tricky, honestly, as I’ve done my own research here to see what others are saying. I agree with a few, and I disagree with others. I think the better question is, “what food MUST I eat when I visit Ho Chi Minh City?” Most people don’t have a ton of time when they are here, so I’ll create a very simple and to-the-point list.

When in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam you should seek out and eat these famous dishes:

  • Bun Thit Nuong
  • Com Tam
  • Banh Khot

If you want to see my entire list of recommendations, check out my Ho Chi Minh Food Guide, which includes more than street food!

Bun Thit Nuong

bun thit nuong is a famous food in ho chi minh

This is my favorite Vietnamese Street food dish, and it’s a must while in Ho Chi Minh City. The dish itself is pretty simple; you’ll have grilled pork shoulder that has been marinated with lemon grass, garlic, Chili, and fish sauce. Grilled pork sausage is a combination of ground pork and pork paste. Also, a friend Spring roll that which is usually unique to most vendors but it will typically include ground pork and wood ear mushroom on the inside.

The base of this dish will have a bunch of herbs like fish mint, mint, and thai basil. There will also be green leaf lettuce in this mix as well. Thin rice noodles are placed over the top of the herbs, then your grilled meat and fried spring roll.

Typically the dish is topped with ground peanuts and green onion cooked with pork fat. The last touch is sweet fish sauce to drench everything in the bowl.

For me, this dish is the epitome of delicious Vietnamese food. It’s so simple and balanced but hits every spot you want in regards to taste and texture. This is also 100% a southern Vietnamese dish that ho chi minh city is known for!

Com Tam

Famous food in ho chi minh com tam

Com Tam is widely known as being a great dish in Ho Chi Minh City that nearly everyone enjoys. The dish gets its name from the small piece of rice known as broken rice, which is a byproduct of the dehusking and cleaning of rice. Often, these pieces are used for rice flour, but in Vietnam, these small pieces of rice have become beloved in a plate of Com Tam.

There are some options with Com Tam, depending on the vendor. For me, the classic fish sauce marinated grilled pork chop and egg is the best way to have this dish. Probably because I’m not a huge fan of the egg cake that is often available with com tam. So, I’m happy just to keep it simple. You’ll want to have com tam with a heap of pickles and pour some sweet fish sauce on top. You’ll absolutely love how the broken rice “soaks up” the egg yolk and fish sauce.

Banh Khot

Banh Khot in Ho Chi Minh City District 10

I think some people will look at this option on the list and complain that Vung Tau is the best place to get Banh Khot. This is absolutely true, but most travelers are not going to Vung Tau, and I don’t really think they should if they are limited on time. Ho Chi Minh City has excellent Banh Khot with many of the sellers coming from Vung Tau so the taste is authentic.

There are two styles to this dish, one creating a flatter and crispier cake and the other creating a crispy outside with a creamy inside. The latter is referred to as Mien Tay style and I recommend this version if you can!

The batter is a simple mixture of rice flour, water, and coconut milk. This batter is fried in a pan that has small half-moon inserts, which give this dish the name “Khot.” The toppings range from dried shrimp dust, squid, whole shrimp, ground pork, and mung bean. You’ll take this fried cake and wrap it with various green, leafy vegetable pickles and herbs. Once you create this makeshift lettuce wrap, you’ll dip it directly into a bowl of sweet fish sauce. I recommend adding the chili you’ll find on the table into your fish sauce for that extra kick.

The crispy texture of this dish is an absolute party for the mouth, while the fresh vegetables and herbs make you feel not guilty at all while eating this fried cake.

Famous food in Ho Chi Minh? – Runners Up

Not every dish can make this list as I wanted to keep it narrow and to the point. I’ll quickly go over some dishes below that are worthwhile to check out but not on the top of my personal to eat list. If you are worried about food safety in ho chi minh city you can be sure to check out my article about that to stay safe while enjoying food in Vietnam!

Pho – Southern Style

Southern style pho in Ho Chi Minh City

Pho is great, the southern version is different from the Northern version with a lot more flavors going on in the broth. Also, a giant plate of bean sprouts and fresh herbs is always sitting on the side. Give a bowl of Southern Pho a try if you can, do note that many of the famous Pho in Ho Chi Minh City are northern style so you’ll want to be sure you are heading to a southern style. Like Pho Phu Vuong or Pho Le.

Bun Mam

What food is ho chi minh known for?

This fermented fish soup is a classic southern dish that is packed with a ton of flavor. I actually ate some last night and it was awesome! This is only a runner up as I don’t think its for everyone. If you are Vietnamese ethnicity and travelling to Vietnam then you’ll be familiar with the funk in this soup and I recommend it as a must while in the South.

Similar Posts