101 Guide to Eat like a Local in Saigon Chinatown (Part 1)

Chinatown, located among districts 5, 6 and 11, has a rich and colourful culture built by the Chinese Vietnamese locals. The town fascinates people by its variety of religions, temples, lifestyles but more importantly, cuisine. There’s an old saying regarding an ideal life as “ Ăn cơm Tàu, ở nhà Tây” ( Eat Chinese food, live in Western houses). If you happen to visit this charming town, why not experience a once in a lifetime feast of joyful Chinese food? Chinatown’s food will serve your appetite perfectly.

One of the most remarkable food experiences I’ve had so far belongs to the food in Chinatown. I always remember celebrating many splendid occasions and eating the tastiest food ever in this delightful town. Now, please let me guide you through every meal they eat daily. Just like the Spanish diet, the locals enjoy 5 meals a day, all of which are colourful, flavorful and wonderful.


 The most important meal of the day. On weekdays, these are signature breakfast dishes that you must try:

Bánh Mì Chảo (Bread and a Pan) – a small loaf of bread serves along with fried-eggs and liver paté and meatballs in tomato sauce.

Address: Bánh Mì Chảo Cô Phương.  4A, Lê Quang Sung St, Ward 6, Dist 6.

Price range: 20,000 – 40,000 VND

“Everything” set: fried egg, liver paté, meatball and jambon.

 Hủ Tiếu Hồ (Teocheow’s noodles) – chewy flat rice noodles cooked with pickled mustard green, pork and intestines.

Address: 237 Cao Văn Lầu St, Dist 6.

Price range: 25,000 – 60,000 VND

Photo: afamily.vn

 Dimsum  – Weekends are the time for special treats. Eating a dim sum brunch in restaurants is a popular tradition maintained in many family reunions in Chinatown. On the table, there are small steam pots loaded with a plethora of dumplings prepared in different styles. There is no limit for ordering food. The restaurant keeps serving new dishes as long as you are able to finish them all.


Baoz Dimsum Restaurant, 86-88 Nguyễn Tri Phương St, Ward 7, Dist 5.

Dim Tu Tac, 29B, Trần Hưng Đạo St, Ward 6, Dist 5.

Price range: 150,000 – 1,000,000 VND

Dim sum – a Hong Kong style break’feast’.
photo: baomoi.com


Lunch meals are served from 11 a.m until late noon (3 p.m). Portions of food are ready to serve instantly when you arrive at the food stalls, delivery service is also available. But hurry up! The later you eat, the fewer options you can choose.


 Sa Tế Nai (Satay Noodles) – rice noodles cooked in special broth with peanut fragrance and chilli oil, topped with slices of beef or deer meat and fresh herbs.

Address: Lâm Phát Ký – 311 Lê Quang Sung St, Ward 6, Dist 6.

Price range: 30,000 – 60,000 VND

Beef bathes in the lovely satay broth Photo: monngonvietnam.vn

 Cơm Gà Hải Nam (Hainanese Chicken Rice) – The notorious Hainanese Chicken Rice is a wonderful choice for lunch. Each portion contains tender chicken pieces served with rice cooked in the same broth they cook the chicken and soy or chilli sauce on the side. Having its first bite makes you realize you haven’t had anything as “chicken” as this, keep enjoying until its last bite, you might fall in love with the chicken!

Address: Cơm Gà Hải Nam –  934, Trần Hưng Đạo St, Dist 5.

Price range:  30,000 – 60,000 VND

Tender chicken and its perfect partner chicken rice.
Photo: bepgiadinh.com

Looks like we’ve spent half a day satisfying our hungry tummies. Now, please take a long walk around to discover the beauty of Saigon Chinatown. I’ll be back in a short while and show you where to eat for the rest of the day later!

Thank you and see you soon!