The Pho Trail – a morning walking tour
Start your day slurping a bowl of Vietnam’s unofficial national dish, pho.
Not just any old phở, either. The best phở in Ho Chi Minh City. We’ll even teach you how to pronounce it properly.
We will take you out of the tourist area for a food walk through the “real” Ho Chi Minh City. We’ll start at a pho place that’s been serving noodle soup for more than 35 years. This place is one of Saigon’s best kept secrets … and it also serves great Vietnamese coffee.
After breakfast, we’ll wander around the backstreets, past food stalls, com tam (broken rice) restaurants and other intriguing local shops. As we walk we’ll start collecting snacks to sample later, picnic-style.
We’ll walk through a chaotic local wet market, where tiny stall sell dried, pickled and fresh produce, as well as live seafood, frogs and fresh meat. We’ll stop in the noisy eating area to soak in the craziness.
A short walk from the market is a peaceful park, and a temple famous for its fortune telling. In the shade of one of the tall trees, we’ll have our “tasting” picnic, then adjourn to a little rice restaurant where we’ll enjoy a family-style meal.
This tour, suitable for families, is a great introduction to Vietnam. During the tour you’ll learn some of the basics that will make your visit to Vietnam enjoyable, including how to cross the road!
While it’s not physically possible to eat everything you see on the tour, when we’re finished with you, you should be able to identify a range of local dishes and know how to order them. We also hope you’ll have a deeper understanding of Vietnamese culture and history.
(4.5 hour morning tour, starting around 8am, $55 per person, maximum 6 people, small surcharge for pickups outside Districts 1 and 3.)
The Seafood Trail – a night eating adventure
Discover one of Ho Chi Minh City’s “snail streets”. Here we’ll try a range of “snails” … but don’t worry, they’re not really snails.
Ốc is the Vietnamese word that’s shorthand for all crustaceans. So you will be able to sample a variety of seafood, including sea snails that are eaten with a safety pin, mussels, scallops and tasty prawns-on-a-stick. (Because food ALWAYS tastes better on a stick.)
We’ll buy some snacks from wandering vendors. Depending on who walks past, the snacks could include sliced green mango, boiled quail eggs or rice crackers, as well as more exotic offerings.
On this tour, you will be required to participate in the rowdy Vietnamese toasting ritual (even if you’re only drinking soft drink) of mot-hai-ba-YO! If you are shy, we’ll only make you do it once.
In most cases our tour will start in a little alley near the zoo, then adjourn to Snail Street for two more stops.
Our progressive tapas-style street food extravaganza usually includes hotpot, and a quick dessert at a local market.
During the tour, you’ll hear stories of the local area, and learn how to taste the history in simple street food. At the end of the tour we hope you’ll also have a deeper understanding of Vietnamese culture and history. (As well as a very full stomach.)
This is a tour for the adventurous. We will pick you up on xe om (motorbike taxis), order a range of unusual dishes and drop you back to your accommodation on xe oms. (We do have a scardey-cat option, though, for people who don’t want to get on the back of a motorbike and would prefer to navigate the traffic in a taxi.)
(4 hours, starting around 6pm, $65 per person, maximum 8 people, small surcharge for pickups outside Districts 1 and 3.)
Street Food 101 – an evening introduction to street food
A fun and very tasty overview of Ho Chi Minh City’s best street food.
Dive into local life in a bustling hẻm (alley) packed with food vendors who have spent decades perfecting their special dishes. While sampling a variety of simple street food, you’ll hear stories about this local neighbourhood and how history has influenced the Saigon’s culinary scene.
Some dishes you’ll try will have a little taste of France, the former colonial rulers of Vietnam. Some dishes contain flavours from China, which ruled Vietnam for 1,000 years. Some nights you might even get a hint of Korean undertones.
Our Street Food 101 tour usually includes four stops, including Vietnamese dessert-in-a-glass at a local market on the way back to your hotel.
This tour is designed to give you the confidence to go out and try street food on your own once you’re released back into the wilds of Ho Chi Minh City. We hope you’ll also have a deeper understanding of Vietnamese culture and history. (As well as a very full stomach.)
We’ll take you to and from our favourite foodie neighbourhood by xe om (motorbike taxis). If you’re worried about riding on the back of a motorbike, we do have the scardey-cat option of taking a taxi. This requires a slightly earlier pickup (to navigate the peak hour traffic) and a small surcharge.
Once in our foodie hẻm, we’ll walk from place to place, in amongst the everyday chaos of motorbikes, bicycles, kids, grandmas, street soccer, hairdressers and drink stations.
(Minimum 3 hours, starting around 5.30pm, $49 per person, maximum 8 people, small surcharge for pickups outside Districts 1 and 3.)
Saigon Supper Club
Taste and smell can conjure powerful memories, and there’s nothing that recreates the feeling of being in Vietnam than the wonderful aromas of Vietnamese home cooking.
Vietnamese family meals aren’t what you find in restaurants, apart from the tiny cơm tấm (broken rice) and cơm bình dân (popular rice) joints in central and southern Vietnam.
We’ve created an online experience that allows you to create a fabulous holiday at home, with Vietnamese food, music and movies.
Private tours – a personalised introduction to Saigon’s best street food options … whichever way you like it
Got a special eating interest? Vegetarian? Picky eater? A chef? Team building (small teams only)? Never fear, there IS food for you on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City and we can help you find it … and have lots of fun along the way. Let us know what you’re interested in and we’ll pitch you some ideas.