DestinationsFood GuideHo Chi Minh CityTraditional BreakfastTravel GuideWhat’s for breakfast in Ho Chi Minh City?

Pho is the most popular traditional dish of Vietnam that we believe is the right starting place for any visitor...
Sophia TranJune 10, 201921 min

1. Pho

Pho is the most popular traditional dish of Vietnam that we believe is the right starting place for any visitor. The white noodles are made from rice flour, resting in a slightly natural, sweetened broth that creates a perfect flavor. Locals usually choose Pho for breakfast to start their day right!

There are two types of Pho: Beef Pho (Pho Bo) and Chicken Pho (Pho Ga). Beef Pho is the most common and perhaps the favorite national Pho, with many shades of beef like rare meat, brisket, flank, tendon dip inside the beef broth; each brings a special difference to the tongue. Another favorite option for Pho lovers is Chicken Pho, different from Beef Pho due to the chicken broth and the tender chicken inside. The taste of Chicken Pho is described by many as a little bit greasier.

Thanks to its reputation throughout the world, Pho is easy to find in every Vietnamese restaurant in your country. However, we believe that there is no better place in the world to taste the original flavor of Pho than its “hometown”.

Beef Pho in Pho Hoa

Here are some suggestions to begin with for Pho:

Pho Hoa: 260C Pasteur, District 3

Pho Le: 303-305 Vo Van Tan, District 3

Pho 2000: 226 Le Thanh Ton, District 1

Pho Anh: 8 Ky Dong, District 3

Pho Phu Vuong: 120 Nguyen Thai Binh, District 1

2. Banh Mi (Vietnamese Sandwich)

Since the 1960’s, the Vietnamese Sandwich—Banh Mi—has gradually become an indispensable dish when mentioning the country’s cuisine. Because of its compactness and convenience, Banh Mi is often the local choice to begin a new day that is both delicious and nutritious.

In particular, the traditional Banh Mi is still the most popular. Empty bread and its crispy shell is spread with pate and butter inside, filled with Vietnamese sausage, roasted pork, pork floss, plus some pickled vegetables, cucumber and herbs mixed well with the spicy flavor of the chili. All of this together creates a flavorful taste of Saigon that is unforgettable.

Over the years, several variants of the Banh Mi have appeared, such as Chicken Banh Mi, Fish Banh Mi, Banh Mi Cha Ca, Char Xiu Banh Mi. These have all helped add to the diversity of Saigonese cuisine and have, of course, satisfied the Vietnamese tongue.

Ham Banh Mi in Banh Mi 362

Places where you can try Banh Mi:

Banh Mi 362: 33 Thao Dien, District 2

Banh Mi Nhu Lan: 50 Ham Nghi, District 1

Banh Mi Lan Hue: 402/3 Le Van Sy, District 3

Banh Mi Huynh Hoa: 26 Le Thi Rieng, District 1

Banh Mi Bui Thi Xuan: 122E Bui Thi Xuan, District 1

3. Com Tam (Broken Rice)

When talking about a typical delicious breakfast in Saigon, Com Tam must be mentioned. Charcoal-grilled pork ribs, green onion in crispy pork skin paste on top of dry broken rice, all with the sweet fish sauce drizzled over, this combination is what makes a quintessential plate of Com Tam.

A full portion of Com Tam is called Com Tam Suon Bi Cha, eaten with pork skin in fiber form and steamed egg meatloaf. Or you can choose fried eggs instead for the smaller portion called Com Tam Suon Trung.

The ribs before grilling must be well-marinated so that it will be fragrant, soft and tasty after. Considered as a side dish, cucumber, tomato and pickles are also necessary to enjoy a complete plate of Com Tam.

Com Tam

It is not difficult to find a Com Tam restaurant to have your breakfast, but here are some suggestions for you:

Com Tam 419: 419 An Duong Vuong, District 5

Com Tam 500: 500 An Duong Vuong, District 5

Com Tam 236: 236 Xo Viet Nghe Tinh, Binh Thạnh District

Com Tam Ba Ghien: 84 Dang Van Ngu, Phu Nhuan District

Com Tam Cali: 48 Nguyen Hue, District 1

4. Xoi (Sticky Rice)

Another choice for your breakfast is Xoi (Sticky Rice), a familiar dish to Asians. Sticky rice is not only eaten in Vietnamese traditional days, but also for daily meals. It is also considered as fast food in Vietnam, because it is easy to take away and rich in nutrients.

Sticky rice is soft, soggy and fleshy. It’s commonly mixed with sugar, nuts and sesame, or with the other salted topping like pate, jambon, sausage, quail eggs, stewed pork, etc. There are no difficulties for this dish to combine with the other ingredients to make a number of delicious variations, such as Xoi Xeo, Xoi Ga (Chicken Sticky Rice), Xoi Bap (Corn Sticky Rice), Xoi Thit Hon, Xoi Gac, Xoi Ngu Sac (Five Colors Sticky Rice), Xoi Lac (Peanut Sticky Rice), Xoi Dau Xanh (Mung Bean Sticky Rice). Each kind bears the imprint of each region in Vietnam.

Xoi Vien Boc Trung Muoi with topping in Xoi Bap Ga Minh Tam

Places where you can try Sticky Rice:

Xoi Bap Ga Minh Tam: 325/22s Bach Dang, Binh Thanh District

Xoi Che Bui Thi Xuan: 11 Bui Thi Xuan, District 1

Xoi Hang Ga: 47 Tran Khac Chan, District 1

Xoi La Chuoi: 85 Ba Thang Hai, District 10

Xoi ga Bui Thi Xuan: Cong Quynh and Bui Thi Xuan Intersaction, District 1

5. Ca phe Via he (Sidewalk Coffee Shop)

Besides the delicious dishes mentioned above, enjoying breakfast with a cup of coffee from a sidewalk shop is a special part of Saigonese culture.

The image of an elderly man reading a newspaper and enjoying a cup of hot milk coffee in the morning, or an office worker eating a banh mi with a cup of black iced coffee to start a new working day are familiar in the eyes of the people here.

Vietnamese Black Coffee in Ca Phe Vy

To experience that culture, we suggest you these addresses below and hope you find it helpful when visiting beautiful Saigon.

Ca phe Vy: 277E Le Thanh Ton, District 1

Ca phe Vot: 330/2 Phan Dinh Phung, Phu Nhuan District

Ca phe Ba Lu: 193 Phung Hung, District 5

Ca phe Hao: 148 Nguyen Cong Tru, District 1

Ca phe Ghe Dau: 28 Hoa Mai, Phu Nhuan District

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