Looking for new options for lunch, try these dishes in central Saigon

By Di Vy    July 27, 2019 | 08:42 pm PT
No need to travel far, you can find steamed rice pancakes, pig’s offal porridge and Vietnamese crab udon right in District 1.

Steamed rice pancakes

Tired with the rice dishes, you can try this soft and silky pancake, served with patty, spring rolls, cucumber and bean spouts. The stall in Alley 150, Nguyen Trai Street, District 1 is a familiar address for customers who love this dish.

A serving costs VND 25,000 ($1). Photo by VnExpress/Ma Lum.

A serving costs VND25,000 ($1). Photo by VnExpress/Ma Lum.

This shop has its own recipe for cake mixture that creates a smooth and soft texture for the cakes. The flavorful filling is made of pork, wood ear mushroom and vermicelli.

Cakes are made upon order so you might have to wait for a bit. The cake plate is well-presented with sprinkled onion and herbs. Patty and spring roll are finely chopped and lined up on top. Lastly, a cup of dipping sauce is an indispensable thing. The stall is open from morning to noon.

Pig’s offal porridge

The shop is located at No.193 Co Giang Street, District 1. When you are at Co Giang street, look around for a food stand with a big porridge pot shaped like two brass pans facing each other, surrounded by plastic tables and chairs. This place, which has existed for more than 80 years, is one of the most popular food venues among foreigners in Saigon.

Hot porridge is a suitable option for rainy days. Photo acquired by VnExpress.

A mixed bowl of pig's offal is VND40,000 ($1.7). Photo acquired by VnExpress.

The porridge is served with cruller, chitterlings, doi - a Vietnamese sausage made of blood pudding, mung beans and herbs. The rice is roasted before being cooked to create the texture and fragrance for the porridge. 

Vietnamese crab udon

If you are exploring Ben Thanh Market in Ben Thanh Commune, make sure that you visit Mrs. Hai's udon stall. This eatery has been opened for 30 years.

The stall is located at the East corner of Ben Thanh market (District 1). Photo by VnExpress/Di Vy.

The stall is located at the East corner of Ben Thanh market in District 1. Photo by VnExpress/Di Vy.

The secret to this dish is to cook the pork until it becomes tender, but not overcooked. The broth should also have a strong, flavorful taste. A full bowl is served with crab meat, shrimp, chopped pork and some slices of fish cakes. The hot and thick broth is poured over. The udon used for this dish is thick, soft and in white color.

While the average price for crab udon in the city center is of VND65,000 ($2.8), this store only sells for VND50,000 ($2.2). The price is higher if you order extra meat.

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