When we find great street food for our tour, we tend to find it in random spots, usually a bit of a drive away from each other. So it’s a rare occurrence when we stumble across a group of stalls that boggles the mind with the amount of choice and quality. We were even more suprised to find a small alleyway in District 4 that’s a five minute taxi ride from the CBD in District 1.
District 4 is well known for Vinh Khanh street which is chock full of oc restaurants. If you are looking for a place for dinner; after you’ve done our Sampler Walking Tour of course!; you can’t go wrong with any number of these restaurants that serve everything in a shell. However, the street is a ghost town during lunch, so if you are in for a serious feed around noon, head to 42 Hoang Dieu and nosh to your stomach’s content.
While we aren’t going to give the whole store away, we wanted to highlight a few standout stalls to check out.
First, there is a hole in the wall com trua quan just 50 metres down from Hoang Dieu. While the sanitary standards seem dubious from an initial glance, the place is quite clean. The ladies who run it use gloves for all food preparation and the food moves fast. Always the sign of a good com trua. While they have your standard canteen fare, it’s the bun thit nuong that makes the place so special. They load it up with crispy up to the point of charred sliced pork, tasty nem and to top it off, some snipped eggroll.
The bowl starts with a handful of sliced herbs and cucumber, chopped leaf lettuce, some bean sprouts, and rice vermicelli noodles. Then comes the protein and its finished off with some chopped onion in oil, chicharrones, pickled daikon and carrot and chopped peanuts. A saucer of nuoc cham comes on the side. A steal at 20,000VND.
Next up are a slew of restaurants in the middle of the hem. The choices abound but my go to spot is my favourite soup stand in Ho Chi Minh City. Pictured above, this stand usually has two different soups at one time. Bo Kho is always offered with the other being whatever they find fresh at the market in the morning. I’ve seen the gamut of soups found in Vietnam with the exception of pho. Kinda like the Lunch Lady but without the Bourdain hype. Expect to pay from 25,000VND to 35,000VND for the soups. If you are looking for something a bit lighter, they also offer gio cuon at 5,000VND a roll.
Just a few metres down and to an alleyway to the right is a Bun Bo Hue stand that I used to eat at once a week. They sell other things but stick with the big letters on the cart. The lady here tends to make it a bit spicier than normal so be careful about adding more chilis to the equation.
Best thing about the street is that nothing is over 50,000VND so it won’t break your budget.
Some more images from the street.