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About Saigon Street Eats

Vietnamese food is the best in the world. And the best Vietnamese food is available on the streets of HCM City. But it’s not always easy to experience authentic street food without some local help.  That’s where we come in! Let us show you what the locals eat. Leave the tourist area behind and experience the real Vietnam, eating and laughing alongside the locals.

All of Saigon Street Eats’ tours are designed by Australian-Vietnamese couple Barbara and Vu, who met in a restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City in early 2008 when Vu crashed an office Tet party. They have been eating their way around the city ever since, stopping only briefly to have a baby and to chase street food sensations in Singapore and Thailand.  Barbara and Vu decided to start street food tours of Ho Chi Minh City after realising how few non-Vietnamese people were able to enjoy their favourite activity — eating Saigon’s best street food!

Vu comes from a family of foodies. He’s a great cook and has a wealth of knowledge of local ingredients — and the medicinal properties of local herbs, spices and vegetables. He was born in post-war Vietnam in the central part of the country. When he was a small boy, his family moved to a village about two hours from Ho Chi Minh City, where his parents set up a small restaurant which they still run today. When Vu met Barbara he was working in the marketing department of a consumer finance company by day and eating street food and hanging out in hip hop bars at night. (He doesn’t need much sleep). Vu’s favourite food is still anything his mother cooks and his favourite beer is Saigon Red.
Barbara grew up in a small mining town in outback Australia. Her parents moved to the beach when she was a teenager and a year later she went to the city to study business and journalism at university. After a successful career as a journalist in Australia, Barbara quit the rat race in 2007 and moved to Ho Chi Minh City to teach English. She discovered she didn’t really like teaching, so she found a job at a local English language newspaper. And it was at this newspaper’s Tet party in 2008 that Barbara met Vu, the party crasher. Barbara’s favourite food changes every couple of days. This week it is scallops cooked in quail eggs. Last week it was prawn paste on sugar cane sticks. Her favourite food is usually Vietnamese and her favourite drink is a free one. (Once a journalist, always a journalist … as they say). She is the author of the popular food and travel blog, The Dropout Diaries, which chronicles the food and funny stories she’s encountered since her career dropout.  

Tifta Partners


Saigon Street Eeats is proud to be a co-founder of The Independent Food Tour Association (TIFTA), a community of the word’s best food tours.

TIFTA members are all experienced independent food tour operators, who have been running successful food tours for many years.

Clients booking one of our tours are eligible for a 10% discount for a future tour with any other TIFTA members.

TIFTA Founding Members

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