Come rain or shine, Saigon's sweet soup stalls still draw the crowds

By Di Vy   March 30, 2018 | 06:50 am GMT+7

Standing quietly in the bustling city without shiny billboards or fancy services, these are the places to go if you have a sweet tooth.

Oil lamp che

An oil lamp that has been in use since 1976 works as an advertisement and billboard for this che stall that  opens every night on Nguyen Kiem Street, Phu Nhuan District.

Nguyen Thi Tu, the owner, sells five types of sweet soup that feature white beans, sweet dumplings, banana, and mung beans in small bowls that cost VND5,000 (22 cents) each.

Mrs Loc’s che

Photo by VnExpress/Di Vy

Photo by VnExpress/Di Vy

Loc has been standing by her che stall on the corner of Dinh Tien Hoang and Nguyen Dinh Chieu for the past 40 years. Fans of takeaway food often stop by the stall in District 1 to pick up small plastic bags filled with her sweet soup. If you want to have a seat, feel free to choose one of the small plastic chairs here, but don't expect to find any tables.

Che on a tray

Photo by VnExpress/Di Vy

Photo by VnExpress/Di Vy

It should be noted that you might not find any seats at this stall, which lures hundreds of customers every night at Alley 25 on Su Van Hanh Street, District 5. A tray here used to have just six bowls of different sweet soups, but now the number has jumped to 16, including a flan cake and sticky rice. The tip here is to come in a group of five or more, but if you're by yourself, remember to order the che one bowl at a time instead of just sitting down and asking for a whole tray.

Cambodian che

Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

A stall selling various kinds of che with a Cambodian twist has been a highlight of a Cambodian market in Alley 374, Le Hong Phong Street in District 10 for decades. The owner, Co, says she follows her mother's recipe, who was a Vietnamese Cambodian.

Chinese che

Photo by VnExpress/Di Vy

Photo by VnExpress/Di Vy

A Chinese man opened this stall at 31 Nguyen Thai Binh Street in District 1in 1958 before passing it on to his nephews 20 years ago. Since then, the two nephews have kept their uncle’s business unchanged and serve Chinese sweet soups with seaweed, mung beans, lotus roots, dried apple and eggs.

 
 
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