Food is one of the ma things that inspires a trip! I have so many favorite cities for food including Taipei, Mexico City, Ho Chi Minh among few others. What determines my love for a city as a foodie includes the availability of cheap food, the variety of food available and ease of moving from one place to another in the city. The ease of moving around is important because some cities have good food but the transportation system is not the best or Uber is expensive in these cities and this makes it difficult to get from one place to another. Ho Chi Ming city is especially great for affordability and ease of moving around.
There is also food on every corner. The countries I have visited in South East Asia generally have had really good food but Vietnam is known for their specialties like Bahn Mi and Pho. The easiest way to get around in Vietnam is by using Uber bike which is a motorcycle and I think it's so cool. Each trip costs less than $1 and it is a great way to explore the city while enjoying a bike ride. Alot of locals in Ho Chi Minh city actually ride around in bikes. It is the most popular and most fun form of transportion.
I planned to visit Vietnam again this year but then the pandemic hit. I was planning to visit strictly for food so I could document some new places which I have discovered from researching online.
Like the title suggests, this post highlights what I ate in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Get ready to be hungry because this post will be loaded with pictures of delicious and colorful food!
With that disclaimer out of the way, Vietnam surprised me.
I visited Ho Chi Minh city and it was more westernized than I thought. I ate food ranging from Vietnamese Pizza to Vietnamese Pho. I had varying opinions about the food I ate but overall, I had a very positive experience.
I will love to go back to Vietnam and visit places like Hanoi, Hoi An, Hue, Sa Pa and other towns to try the food. Food in Vietnam is generally cheap except if you go to upscale restaurants. For example, a drink at Chill Skybar bar cost approximately $10, which is the same price as drink in the US in most bars. This is not surprising because chill skybar is upscale, and geared towards tourists.
Without further ado, here are the list of places I ate in Ho Chi Minh City:
Pizza 4P’s is serves Vietnamese style pizza. I was quite skeptical about it but I visited anyways. I can say after eating at there the first time, I went back one more time before leaving Vietnam. The food was amazing. The pizza had a thin crust (I usually prefer deep dish) but it was oh so fresh tasting and delicious.
Viet Restaurant, Pham Nu Lao Street (Backpacker Street)
Pham Ngu Lao street, or commonly known as backpacker street is known for its busy nightlife and various restaurants which line the streets. The street has a lot of hostels which cater to travelers from all over the world. I tried Vietnamese Pho in a restaurant on this street and I was not impressed. I had Pho in Thailand and it tasted so much better.
Can you tell how much I loved Bahn Xeo?
It is known for Vietnamese style pancakes which is similar to a stuffed omelette. The meal I however enjoyed was their wrap. It was a combination of barbecued seafood and beef wrapped in lettuce, spinach, some carrots and cucumbers. The wrap was yummy and I ate at least 3 servings (no judgement).
Chill Skybar is an upscale rooftop bar in Ho Chi Minh city. The drinks are priced the same as bars in the US but the portions are a little more. It is a great spot for beautiful views and a good music.
Verdict: B, only because of the expensive drinks.
Secret Garden Restaurant
I went to Secret Garden the day I arrived in Vietnam. The food was very delicious full of flavor which exploded in my mouth. The food was also colorful and the staff was very nice. The ambiance of the restaurant was welcoming.
The location is a little confusing but I climbed 3 flights of stairs to arrive at the rooftop restaurant. The food is reasonable priced, and anyone who visits Ho Chi Minh City has to visit Secret Garden.
The lovely deck offers panoramic views of Ho Chi Minh city (also commonly known as Saigon). I tried the ice cream and tiramisu. It was quite expensive for the typical taste. I felt like I spent more on the presentation that the actual food. The two desserts in the picture above cost close to $15. I thought it was quite expensive for the small portion.
Verdict: B, because of the price.
Villa Royale Antiques & Tea Room
Villa Royale is a very fun tea room. The shop opened up last year and it is owned by an Australian woman. The shop is located downtown Ho Chi Minh city. It was filled with lovely antiques and I could not stop taking pictures of this tea shop. My purple couch picture on Instagram was from this shop and everyone on loved the couch. There are a large variety of desserts at this shop and they were oh so delicious!
Ben Thanh Night Market
I attached a picture of the menu hopefully you can make sense of the restaurant name. It is quite the long name but it is located in Ben Thanh area of Ho Chi Minh city. The food looks colorful but the taste was quite mediocre. I would not advise anyone to eat at this place. It was expensive too.
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