Culinary Delights in Saigon

From timelessly popular street food, high-quality Phở noodle soup chain to classy restaurants, the good food and culinary experience that Saigon has to offer are appealing even to the least food-inclined travelers. Here are some suggestions to delight your palate in the biggest city in Vietnam.

Saigon Food 1
Start your day with phở noodle soup, aptly known as the national dish of Vietnam, at one of the Pho24 outlets or Pho2000 near the Binh Tay Market.

Saigon Food 2
Wrap and roll your own gỏi cuốn, yet another famous Vietnamese dish, at the recommendable Wrap & Roll.

Saigon Food 3
Head to the streets for local delicacies and pick and choose your favourite dessert drink from a lineup in Binh Tay Market.

PS: You can still carry on after the dessert!


Related link:

Saigon Street Vendors

Like many other Asian countries, street vendors are a common and unmissable part of street life in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam. The vendors here usually carry their goods on a shoulder pole and many are seen wearing nón lá (the traditional conical straw hat). The mobile stalls sell a variety of stuffs and are the best places to sample local foods! Pictures (from top to bottom) show street vendors near the Binh Tay Market, Ben Thanh Market and Notre Dame Cathedral.

Saigon Street Vendors 1
Saigon Street Vendors 2
Saigon Street Vendors 3


Durian and Mangosteen

Reporting from Malaysia, it's durian and mangosteen season now! To those who are unfamiliar with the fruits, the King (durian) and Queen (mangosteen) of Fruits are very popular in Malaysia and the rest of South East Asia.

Thorny (duri = thorn in Malay) in appearance, durian is about the size of a honey dew and very pungent. Getting the flesh (wraps over a large seed) can be tricky but to me the reward definitely worths the effort!


Mangosteen is unrelated to mango and called "manggis" in Malay. The fruit is about the size of an apple and contrary to durian, first-time tasting of a mangosteen should not require much courage.


Durian and mangosteen are definitely my personal favourites, not everyone shares the same passion though...

durians mangosteens notice

Related links:

What is a Haggis?

If you are asking that question or planning a wild haggis hunt in Scotland, check this out at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow. The exhibit is my personal favourite in the museum!

Kelvingrove Haggis 1
Kelvingrove Haggis 2
Haggis exhibit at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow (2008)

Related links

La paellera

Get a paellera (paella pan) for your paella! (Note: the "ll" is pronounced as a "y")

paella pan
Pots and pans for sale at a stall beside the central market of Valencia, Spain (03/2007)

Related Link Paella
Wikipedia: Valencia, Spain

Time for a Snack!

It's always a treat to have some inexpensive and good street stall foods to sample when travelling. Shown here are snacks that kept me refreshed in Valencia, some of them look surprisingly familiar!

horchata churros frutas orxata
Clockwise from top left: horchata, churros, orxata (=horchata) and local fruits (03/2007)

Related links: Horchata (Orxata) in Valencia

Las frutas

Do you eat at least five portions of fruits or vegetables per day? (find out more with 5 A Day brochure and webpage)

Las frutas
A fruit stall at the central market of Valencia, Spain (03/2007)