101 Guide to Eat like a Local in Saigon Chinatown (Part 2)

Good day guys, I am back and so excited to suggest you more places to eat in Chinatown. Are you really hungry now? If yes, let’s follow me! We’ll get food real quick.

>>>Check part 1 here if you miss it.

 Afternoon Snack

Mid-day snacks are common here. People despite their ages enjoy this extra meal with absolutely no doubt because these munchies are super delicious.

*Bánh Củ Cải, Bánh Hẹ (Radish/ Chive cakes) – fried rice starch cakes with chives or radish filling (vegan) served with pickled carrots and sweet and sour soy sauce. The cakes should taste crispy on the outside but chewy on the inside.

Address: 143, Lê Quang Sung St, Dist 6.

Price range: 10,000 – 30,000 VND

Sizzling, colourful and wonderful rice cakes.
photo: kenh14.vn

*Bò Bía (Popiah) – a famous Hokkien spring roll but has been put in a Vietnamese twist when it comes to Cho Lon. Now what we can find in a Vietnamese popiah roll is lettuce, fresh herbs, lap cheong (sweet sausage) slices, fried egg strips and stir-fried jicama (củ sắn), served along with sweet black bean dip. The roll is made exclusively tiny and sold extremely cheap. When you order Popiah, don’t order one but make it a dozen to fill your stomach.

Address: 266 Hải Thượng Lãn Ông St, Ward 14, Dist 5.

Price range: 15,000 – 30,000 VND

bo-bia-goc-bep-online
Oh, I see rainbow, I see rolls! Nom, nom, nom.
photo: gocbeponline.com

*Khổ Qua Cà Ớt – bitter melon, aubergine, chilli, tomato, tofu, okra, etc. stuffed with fish paste and cooked in broth. It takes several efforts to cook this dish, but the result worths the time they spend to make it. Because what you will get is a cheerful bowl filled with a feast of colours. For now, this dish is sold in many regions outside Chinatown. But the authentic should be tasted inside the place where it is created.

Address: 52, Lão Tử St, Dist 5.

Price range: 20k – 40k VND

kho-qua-ca-ot-30-nam
The only thing I can say after finishing this delicious gift is: Oh, interesting! I go order one more bowl. ;).
photo: phunuonline.com.vn
 Dinner

Dinner time starts around 5.30 pm. At this time, the streets are filled with tempting food fragrance. You might be lost in the jungle of food in Cho Lon, however, here are some options you can choose to satisfy your hungry belly.

*Mì (Noodles soup) –  Slurping a hot bowl of noodles soup is my dinner fantasy in Chinatown.  Choices vary from chicken, duck, pork, seafood to vegetarian options. Noodles (or dumplings) are then bathed in the smoking hot broth and served immediately. What I recommend to try is Mì Vịt Tiềm (Chinese Style Braised Duck noodles). The dish is signature for its herby black broth and flavorful tender duck thigh.

Address: Mì Vịt Tiềm Thượng Hải 481 – Hẻm 481 Nguyễn Tri Phương St, Ward 8,  Dist 10.

Price range: 60,000 – 80,000 VND

mi-vit-tiem-cho-lon
I see a sexy tanned leg there!
photo: kenh14.vn

*Vịt Quay (Roasted duck) – In this neighbourhood, there’s a street that exclusively sells roasted ducks. When entering Bùi Hữu Nghĩa street (Dist 5) for the first time, it is quite odd seeing those ducks hung in lines everywhere. They may look quite naked, but their smell is tempting and immediately your mouth starts watering. The duck meat is excellent, greasy yet meaty. The marinade is so special that you might want to marry the chef to eat roasted duck every day. However, it is not a daily meal for local people, but they do eat it often, especially on special occasions.  

Address : Vịt Quay Phát Thành – 157-159, Bùi Hữu Nghĩa St, Ward 7, Dist 5.

Price range: 300,000 – 400,000 VND / whole duck

vit-quay-bac-kinh
Poultry sister squad.
We’re ready to serve your hunger belly!
photo: lacviettravel.com.vn
Desserts

Who would NOT love desserts? Dear fellows, let’s go for a treat outside. We know that sweet treats are the perfect choice for a good ending of a “food-ful” day.

*Hong Kong style pastries (Guilty pleasure alert!) – Inside the little bakery lies many little fluffy golden treasures lying ready-to-pick-up on the trays. The popular dessert pastries are pineapple buns, egg tarts, egg waffles, taro/pandan/durian puff pastries, etc. Those delightful rascals will manage to trick your mind to consume some more calories to your diet. They’re irresistible!

Address: ABC Bakery – 229-231-233, Nguyễn Trãi, Ward. 2, District. 5.

Price range: 15,000 – 30,000 VND.

banh-trung-hong-kong
Are you in misery being on a diet? Grab a dessert to cheer you up! 😉
photo: pasgo.vn

Chè (Dessert soups) – ‘Eating desserts is good for your health!’ This weird declaration applies only to Chinese chè. Ingredients for cooking Chinese chè are water chestnuts, dried longans (fruit), seaweeds, silver tree-ear fungus, lotus roots, dried jujubes, etc. braised in rock sugars. It might be a bit scary hearing those unfamiliar ingredients. In fact, for thousands of years, the Chinese have been practising healing health problem with food. Chinese chè encourages the body’s detoxification process, enhances metabolism and balance body’s temperature.

Address: Chè Hà Ký – 138, Châu Văn Liêm Street, District 5.

Price range: 15,000 – 25,000 VND

che-luc-tau-xa
Dare: name all the ingredients you see in this bowl of ‘chè’. Hint: no you can’t, it’s too complicated.
photo: daotaobepvang.com

At the end of the day, we’ve had many memorable and impressive food experience. Enjoy your good sleep, and may tomorrow bring you another feast in Chinatown. Dear folks, I hope you’ll have a unique food experience in Saigon Chinatown following some of my suggestions. Much love!

Levi.

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.

 Breakfast:

 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.
Photo”foody.vn

 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.

Address:

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

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!

Levi.