Pho, com tam, sticky rice and beef noodles are among the favorite breakfasts of Saigon residents.
Com tam is a familiar breakfast in Saigon. The broken rice is fragrant, combined with grilled ribs, pork skin and egg. The ribs are marinated carefully and grilled on a charcoal stove, the pork skin is thinly sliced and mixed with powdered grilled rice. The dish is served with cucumber, tomato and pickled carrots and radishes. The savory, sweet and spicy fish sauce compliments the dish even more.
Recommended spots: 74 Nguyen Van Cu Street (District 1), 84 Dang Van Ngu Street (Phu Nhuan), 179 Tran Binh Trong (District 5) and 38 Cach Mang Thang Tam Street (District 3).
Hu tiu is sold everywhere in Saigon, but not many can do this dish justice. A bowl of hu tiu includes golden noodles with char siu meat, shrimp, bone broth, fried onions and fried pork rinds.
Recommended spots: 62 Truong Dinh Street (District 1), 43 Hoang Dieu Street (District 4) and 369 Vinh Vien Street (District 10).
Banh mi with shumai is also a great breakfast option in Saigon. The shumai balls are made from minced pork and must not be too soft or dry. The normal bone broth can be replaced with fresh coconut water. The dish is also served with pork skin and quail eggs. You can dip the banh mi into the sauce, then eat the shumai with a few slices of cucumber, coriander and chili. The soft and fluffy texture of shumai goes really well with crispy hot bread.
Recommended spots: 1/17 Hoang Dieu Street (District 4).
Although not originated from Saigon, beef noodle soup is still a popular breakfast here. It stands out with the pungent taste of chili, the aroma of a traditional fermented sauce from Hue - where the soup originates from, and the rich taste of broth from beef bones stewed with lemongrass. A full bowl of beef noodle soup has a few slices of beef, Hue sausage, pig's trotter and green onions served with a variety of vegetables.
Recommended spots: 6C Tu Xuong Street (District 3), 26 Hoang Hoa Tham Street (Binh Thanh) and 31 Mac Dinh Chi Street (District 1).
A bowl of bun moc is a familiar choice to start a new day for many people in Saigon. The dish is a combination of fresh vermicelli, pork ribs, pork sausage, and of course moc – steamed meatballs made from pork paste, mushrooms and spices.
Recommended spots: 14 Truong Dinh Street (District 1), 459 Vo Van Tan Street (District 3), 772 Tran Hung Dao Street (District 5), 202/71 Pham Van Hai Street (Tan Binh District).
Fish noodle soup is made from simple ingredients but has a unique taste. All you need is broth, fish, vemicelli and shrimp. The broth is made from the head and bones of fish, which adds a rich taste, while the fish is carefully marinated and cooked.
Recommended spots: 251/5 Nguyen Thien Thuat Street (District 3); 220 Pham Huu Lau (District 7) and 860/60S/61 Xo Viet Nghe Tinh Street (Binh Thanh District).
There are many types of sticky rice to choose for breakfast in Saigon. Depending on your preference, you can have sweet sticky rice with corn and peanuts, or savory sticky rice with shredded pork, grilled chicken thighs, and Chinese sausages lap xuong.
Recommended spots: 111 Bui Thi Xuan Street (District 1).
Of course this list won't be complete without pho. The broth is rich in flavor, served with rice noodles, beef slices, beef meatballs, coriander, basil, scallions and some other herbs. In addition, to make the flavor more intense, you can add a little hot sauce, black sauce, lemon and chili slices into the broth.
Recommended spots: 260A Pasteur Street (District 3); 110 Le Thi Hong Gam Street (District 1); 339 Le Van Sy Street (Tan Binh district) and 415 Nguyen Trai Street (District 5).