Where can you get authentic street food in Saigon? Well at a great food court called Street Food Authentic of course.
Usually, my method of choice is to avoid “street food courts” and head for the real street food that is well, on the street. But if time is an issue these places give you a great choice to try numerous dishes in one sitting, and Saigon Street Food ticked all the boxes.
If you are traveling in Ho Chi Minh City, then the nightlife, hotels, and place to party in district 1, or as the locals still call it Saigon. Here you will find everything you are looking from backstreet food to fine dining, sleaze to class, and everything in between. You’ll also find the famously named “Walking Street Saigon”, which is full of cars and motorbikes, and not all that walking friendly. Again we digress somewhat.
I was staying at the Grand Silverview Hotel, Street Food Authentic was so close you could see it from our rooftop, everything that was to follow was inevitable. Aside from being next to my hotel, it was all next to Saigon market, which meant I also got to buy cheap t-shirts!
The makeup of the street food court is fairly standard, with an open front (inclusive of live music), 2 x 2 rows of food (and drink) stalls, and an open area with seating at the back. I’d explained to our group that I was in the mood for meat, which was duly ordered (inclusive of mini burgers and fries), before going off to explore getting a few slightly more local bits for us to have as appetizers.
I ended up grabbing banh cuon tom, a kind of noodle wrapped mushroom and minced pork dish, as well as Goi Cuon Tom Tit. I’ll blog about Guo Kuon Tom Tit properly later, but first of all the name great amused me, as tom tit means to take a shit in Cockney rhyming slang, and secondly whilst it was similar to bang cuon, came with full-fledged shrimp inside, served with a peanut sauce. In some respects that resembled noodle-based spring rolls, with the peanut sauce being a firm favorite (especially with the fries). Two pieces of these bad boys barely cost me $1.50.
The BBQ we’d ordered consisted of a very big plate of ribs, which were of a high enough quality, and indeed messiness level to keep me happy enough for the evening.
And happy though I was, I also had eyes far too big for my belly and wished I had gone on a 4 day fast before coming here, with options I missed being too many to mention but to name but a few Vietnamese style pizza, shrimp on a stick, and even Saigon style craft beer (for my inner-hipster).
Vietnam is still my favorite for street food, and Hanoi is still in my mind the best place to try street food in Vietnam. Saigon though is far from without its charms, and you really cannot go wrong with wasting an evening away in Street Food Authentic, AKA Ho Chi Minh Street Food Market.
Would anything with authentic in the title lie?