Eating Up Ho Chi Minh City

The best part about going to a new place is always its’ food and Vietnam is no exception. From the minute we arrived in this city I started googling & asking friends where I could find good food here. I couldn’t wait to taste Ho Chi Minh City! Here is a list of what I ate during this trip!

Pho is pronounced as Fer (with a silent ‘R) and not Fo as the spelling suggested. The first time I tried this was in Tropicana City Mall and it was a very good first experience. I had also read in the late Yasmin Ahmad’s blog of how tasteful the original Pho was in Ho Chi Minh City. To tell you the truth, we had Pho for the 4 days during this trip either for lunch or dinner! The Vietnamese noodles soup is usually served with beef (phở bò) or chicken (phở gà). The dish is made of rice noodles and is often served with Vietnamese basil, mint leaves, lime and bean sprouts that are added to the soup. Here are some of the places where good pho can be found.

Pho 2000 near Ben Thanh Market | This well known chain restaurant was recommended by Lonely Planet because it was visited by former US Bill Clinton in 2000. The noodle was quite good here and you can choose either regular or large. Make sure you inside though because there were tables outside which we thought belonged to the restaurant but they didn’t.

Pho Restaurant at Tan Son Nath Airport & Pho24 | Pho24 is located near Ben Thanh Market and they too have a lot of chains in HCMC. The restaurant is less busy which is good and they also sell Pho Noodle in a cup here! We also had our last Pho at the airport with the seats facing the runway. We could see the airplanes land and take off while slurping on our noodle.

Pho 2000 near the Ben Thanh Market.

Pho 2000 near the Ben Thanh Market.


Bach Dang Ice Cream, Saigon Centre | I met my colleague Hang here in this quaint ice cream shop called Bach Dang which she had visited since she was a little girl. This local ice cream shop has been around for years serving fresh and tasty ice cream. We chose taro (yam) and durian which we could smell from the kitchen! You know how some ice cream is too creamy and some too icy but this was just perfect. They also served scones while waiting for the ice cream to arrive.

Having scones and ice cream at

Having scones and ice cream at Bach Dang Ice Cream

Hai Lua Food Countryside, Ben Thanh Market | This seafood restaurant opens at 730pm during the night market. Our friend Virginia brought us here one night to eat seafood instead of pho and we ordered quite a bit! The dinner included seafoof (not seafood but seafoof!) fried rice, oysters in fried garlic and grilled red fish. We also had the prawns in coconut which was lighted up and then peeled for us before it was dipped into coconut water. It was brilliant and amazingly good!

Prawns on fire in the market.

Prawns on fire in the market.

‘Go To Bar’ | In the Pham Ngu Lao (backpackers), the nightlife was pretty different compared to the centre near Ben Thanh Market. There were a few bars around and Virginia took us here where the seats were arranged facing the road, just like in Paris. Apparently most of the bars arrange the seats this way for the backpackers. They played good music throughout the night. Happy hour started at 3pm but I was happy with my orange juice.

Watching people from our seats.

Watching people from our seats at the Go To Bar.

About Yafieda Jamil

A Malaysian girl currently working abroad in Phnom Penh city. I love a good road trip, hot cappuccinos, spicy food and staring at old buildings. My mission is to inspire people to see the world differently before we all get any older. Oh and giraffes are the most beautiful creatures on earth.

6 Responses to Eating Up Ho Chi Minh City

  1. Fie-Nuts says:

    It was right! Hehe, If I went back there, I'd eat it again and again. The portion was quite huge too.

  2. I've tried Pho 2000 near Ben Thanh market. Pho there is delicious. totally agree 🙂

  3. Fie-Nuts says:

    Hi Farah,

    The ones I went to were either pork free or Halal. 🙂
    By the way I love your site and your write-up. Can I place your link on my space? I love the layout of your site, it's so clean and simple!


  4. thatsofarah says:

    Hi Fie-Nut,

    Is the pho shops halal eateries?


  5. Fie-Nuts says:

    you should! it's seriously good! hehe.. go for a pho hunt!

  6. Dan Arif says:

    ahh vietnam.. already bought my tickets for next year.. can't wait to taste the original pho there 🙂

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