Saigon off the beaten path: 5 must-try eateries

Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City has always been a famous destination among tourists. If it’s not your first time visiting Saigon, chances are, you’ve already visited and experienced everything. Well, how about we get off the beaten path in Saigon for once? Here are some recommendations on my best local experiences that you should try.

PhuongPhuong1 year ago
Saigon off the beaten path: 5 must-try eateries

223 Võ Văn Kiệt

Have you ever tried American Pizza? No, not those Dominos or Pizza Hut, I dont think they can even be called Pizza. Do try ESPY Pizza.

223 Võ Văn Kiệt
223 Võ Văn Kiệt
223 Võ Văn Kiệt, Phường 5, Quận 5, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam

Did I tell you that a pizza a day can make your significant other happy forever ever after? No? Ok I made that up. But it still holds a valid point: good food has the power to make anyone happy instantly. Have you ever tried American Pizza? No, not those Dominos or Pizza Hut, I dont think they can even be called Pizza. Do try ESPY Pizza. You do not order the whole pizza but just per one eighth piece because it's effin huge - see the photo! Two to three pieces already make me full. Normally I dont like the salami pizza because the pizza would then be too dry and thus hard to eat. Espy made the pizza crispy outside yet juicy inside. How? I dont know. That's prolly their secret. Even Pizza 4P cannot match this technique (4P pizzas are just a bit too soft - like dampen tissues). I am sure Espy will please your taste buds.

12 Nguyễn Thành Ý

Tucked away in an alley opposite to Tran Van On School, number 12 Nguyen Thanh Y, is the eatery spot that does not have an official name nor a proper roof or flooring, even though it has been in business for over 10 years.

12 Nguyễn Thành Ý
12 Nguyễn Thành Ý
12 Nguyễn Thành Ý, Đa Kao, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam

Tucked away in an alley opposite to Tran Van On School, number 12 Nguyen Thanh Y, is the eatery spot that does not have an official name nor a proper roof or flooring, even though it has been in business for over 10 years. Phá lấu is a Vietnamese dish of Southern Chinese origin, made with pork meat and offal (organ meat) that is braised in a spiced stock. The old man just pack everything belong to Beef intestines onto a pot and serve in bowl. You have two choices: with noodle or with bread. My strong recommendation is noodle - where the place earns its reputation of the best in town. Used alongside a side dish of wonderfully vinegary vegetables, the meat imparted just enough heat to numb my tongue. The price is from VND30,000 to 40,000 and you can always order a glass of drink. What I find so great about this dish is the beautiful and intense flavor, which was strong enough to sweat off the cold of rainy season. Even though the seating area is kind of cramped, anticipation of delicious food to warm your belly makes up for it!

55/6 Lê Thị Hồng Gấm

Whenever you are in doubt of place to have lunch, just walk your way to Padma de Fleur.

55/6 Lê Thị Hồng Gấm
55/6 Lê Thị Hồng Gấm
55/6 Lê Thị Hồng Gấm, Phường Nguyễn Thái Bình, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam

Whenever you are in doubt of place to have lunch, just walk your way to Padma de Fleur. Whether you love flower or not, this is always a good choice to take lunch hour indulging in light music and excellent mother-made-like palate (cơm mẹ nấu stuff, you know), decorated with different types of flower, from red rose, cockcomb to hibicus. Free water is a Padma's signature mixture of artichoke and cilantro (aka Chinese parsley / rau mùi). You do not order food. Padma should be added to your top 3 list of selfie places. Where else in Saigon could you find such a vintage space coming with an array of varied and decorated ornaments & patterns on tables, glasses. silverware, chairs, candle holders and so on and so forth. If you are a person who loves "BEAUTY" - anything that's beautiful like me, you will absolutely love this place!

116/11 Phan Đăng Lưu

This tasty mouthwatering cake is called banh duc (bánh đúc). I think this place serves northern version. Although it is not as good as it was several years ago anymore, it is still arguably one of the best banh duc in town.

116/11 Phan Đăng Lưu
116/11 Phan Đăng Lưu
116/11 Phan Đăng Lưu, Phường 3, Phú Nhuận, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam

This tasty mouthwatering cake is called banh duc (bánh đúc). I think this place serves northern version. Although it is not as good as it was several years ago anymore, it is still arguably one of the best banh duc in town. Banh duc is a cake made from rice flour in white color. Here the cake has extremely soft texture and is used with fish sauce poured over it. Toppings include ground pork, grilled ground shrimp, crispy fried onions as well as some mushrooms.

10E1 Hẻm 12 Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai

Dubbed the most expensive sushi parlor in Saigon, SUSHI Rei delivered great savory taste. Sushi here is made of the highest quality fish imported directly from Tsukiji fish market in Japan.

10E1 Hẻm 12 Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai
10E1 Hẻm 12 Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai
10E1 Hẻm 12 Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam

Omakase is a famous dinning tradition of letting the chef decide your order, originated from Japan. The word itself means “I will leave it to you”. Omakase course is usually available at restaurants with fresh ingredients arriving everyday. These restaurants often serve sushi where the dishes require fresh seafood and meat. Dubbed the most expensive sushi parlor in Saigon, SUSHI Rei delivered great savory taste. Sushi here is made of the highest quality fish imported directly from Tsukiji fish market in Japan. Dishes will vary depends on which seafood is available that season. Make sure that you prepare at least $400 for two person dining. However, your money is guaranteed to be well spent here.

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