Tan Dinh Market is one of the oldest and biggest local markets in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Tan Dinh Market sells meat, seafood, chicken, vegetables, utensils, kitchenware and many others. The market is a good place for tourists to buy fabric for making Ao Dai, golden jewelry, ready-to-wear clothes. It is also famous for more than 20 food and drink stalls serving over one hundred of Vietnamese foods. Wandering the market for learning about local life and shopping, visitors should not miss enjoying delicious noodle soups, Vietnamese sandwiches, desserts and traditional cakes. Tan Dinh is famous for late night eats, some food stalls open until late night, a few stalls open for 24 hours. Each stall usually offers a wide range of foods, most of them have been open for dozens of years so that customers can choose any stall for eating. Local people usually call it Tan Dinh Food Market where they can find something great to warm and fill their stomachs at any time of the day.
Vietnamese foods in Food Area of Tan Dinh Market
1. Vietnamese Sandwich at Banh Mi Yen Ty
The signature of this Banh mi shop is Vietnamese sandwich filled with a combination of pork rolls, beef rolls, skin round ham, pork floss, coriander, cucumbers, white radish, carrot pickles, pattee, soy sauce, chili slices. A Banh mi thap cam costs less than VND 20,000. Customers can choose any combination of cold cuts and other fillings. Banh mi with omelet or canned fish are also available at this shop.
If customers would not like to eat Vietnamese sandwiches, they can choose Pyramid pork rice dumpling (Bánh giò) which is made from rice flour and filled with ground pork, wood ears, quail eggs, onions and black pepper. The price is also less than VND 20,000.
Opening hours: 5:00 – 17:00.
2. Pho Noodle Soup at Pho Loan
Pho Loan is one of the most crowded food stalls in the food area of Tan Dinh Market. Pho originated from North Vietnam but it has become popular in Ho Chi Minh City which cuisine is a mix of cuisines in different regions of Vietnam and other countries. A bowl of Pho consisting of hot rich broth, tender and slippery Pho noodles, rare beef, beef fillet, beef balls. Eating Pho at Pho Loan and many Pho restaurants in Saigon, customers are served lots of vegetables and herbs, dips including hoisin sauce. A Pho bowl at Pho Loan costs about VND 40,000.
Opening hours: 7:00 – 12:00.
3. Egg Noodle Soup and Hu Tieu at Mi Chu Cau
Chinese cuisine is an important part of Saigon cuisine, Chinese foods have been favorites of many people in Ho Chi Minh City for hundreds of years. At the 70-year-old Mi Chu Cau Food Stall in Tan Dinh Food Market, visitors have a big chance to enjoy Egg noodle soup, Hu tieu, Wonton soup with different toppings such as char siu pork, kidneys, shrimps. The tastes of Chinese foods in Saigon are different from the same foods served in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan or other countries because Saigon people have changed the original recipes to meet their expectations. Prices at this stall range between VND 35,000 and 60,000.
Opening hours: 7:00 – 21:00.
4. Noodle Soups
Most of the food stalls on Nguyen Huu Cau Street sell Vietnamese noodle dishes including Hue beef noodle soup, Crab soup cake, Crab noodle soup, Soup cake with pork leg, Fermented fish noodle soup, Crab cellophane noodle soup, Clear rice noodle soup, Quang noodle. These healthy and flavorful noodle soups consist of delicious broth, meat or seafood toppings and vegetables. Grilled pork rice noodle salad does not contain hot broth, grilled pork and fish sauce dip are two key ingredients. Crab soup and Pork brain soup are popular in South Vietnam but I am not sure foreigners like them.
Opening hours: some food stalls open from the early morning until late night.
5. Traditional Cakes
Vietnamese people have created many cakes made from rice, glutinous rice, tapioca starch, banana, coconut, shrimp and pork which are abundant in the countryside. Bloating-fern-shaped cake (Bánh bèo), Clear shrimp dumplings (Bánh bột lọc), Savory plain rice flan (Bánh đúc), Honeycomb cake (Bánh bò), Cylindrical glutinous rice cake (Bánh tét), Pyramid glutinous rice cake (Bánh ú), Steamed banana cake (Bánh chuối), Pig skin cake (Bánh da lợn) are popular at markets in the country. At Tan Dinh Market, there are a few stalls selling traditional cakes where visitors can buy and enjoy some sweet and savory cakes.
Opening hours: traditional cakes usually open in the morning.
6. Deserts at Che Di Muoi
The 40-year-old Che Di Muoi dessert stall has been a favorite place for locals and visitors to eat something sweet after satisfying their hunger with main dishes. There are a wide range of Vietnamese sweet soups for customers’ choices. The desserts contain combinations of beans, roots, cendol, dried fruits, coconut milk, dried seaweeds, mock pomegranate seeds, lotus seeds, etc. Sweet soup cake (Chè bánh canh) is a special dessert that attracts lots of Vietnamese people thanks to the unique mix of thick rice noodles and viscous sweet broth.
Opening hours: 7:00 -12:00.
Here is a list of great Vietnamese foods at foods at Tan Dinh market:
- Sweet soup: sương sa – hột lựu, read bean, black bean, white bean, beans, lima bean, lychee, Chinese water chestnut, lotus root, dried longan, chin bo leung, ginkgo nut, cocktail, lotus seed, almond panna cotta lychee…
- Other desserts: flan,”sương sâm” jelly, Asian grass jelly, green leaf cake;
- Snails: stir-fried ốc lon and ốc dừa with coconut milk, stir-fried ốc cà na with sautee sauce;
- Green leaf cake;
- Crab soup cake;
- Congee with pork chop;
- Won ton soup, Pho, cellophane noodle soup with crab, noodle soup (clear rice noodle with pork or beef ball, Quang style noodle soup, Hue noodle soup, noodle soup with fish pie, noodle soup with bamboo shoot, crab noodle soup, rice noodle with saturated shrimp or fish paste), ;
- Rice noodle with grilled pork, clear rice noodle with special sauce;
- Broken rice;
- Pork brain;
- Century egg;
- Fermented pork roll;
Refreshing drinks at Tan Dinh Food Market
Refreshing drinks are sold at drink stalls or food stalls in the food area of Tan Dinh Market. Prices of the drinks are less than VND 20,000. Choices include fresh coconut water, Iced coconut water with kumquat juice, orange juice, passion fruit juice, salted lime drink, lime juice, iced milk coffee, black coffee, herbal tea, pennywort juice with coconut water, pennywort juice with mung bean, pennywort juice, pandan leaf herbal tea, fresh milk, soy milk, sugarcane juice, soft drinks.
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Best places to eat around Tan Dinh Market
The area around Tan Dinh Market was known as the rich residential area, with a market for rich people, a cinema, luxurious restaurants and romantic coffee shops dozens years ago. In recent, there are lots of good restaurants selling amazing Vietnamese foods in Tan Dinh Ward.
- Vietnamese spring rolls (Gỏi cuốn) at 124 Trần Khắc Chân street, District 1
- Crab soup cake (Bánh canh cua) at 87 Trần Khắc Chân street, District 1
- Rice noodle with Vietnamese meat ball (Bún mọc) at 60 Trần Khắc Chân street, District 1
- Vietnamese sweet soup without sugar (Chè không ngọt) at 124 Trần Khắc Chân street, District 1
- Hue Cake (Bánh huế thập cẩm) at 22A-22B Nguyễn Hữu Cầu street, District 1
- Rice paper in mist with boiled pork (Bánh tráng phơi sương thịt luộc) at 1 Nguyễn Hữu Cầu street, District 1
- Sponge cake with egg and floss meat (Bánh bông lan trứng) at 263 Trần Quang Khải street, District 1
- Goat hot pot (Lẩu dê) at 141 alley Trần Quang Khải street, District 1
- Broken rice with grilled pork chop (Cơm tấm sườn) at 100 Thạch Thị Thanh street, District 1
- Broken rice (Cơm tấm) at Bụi Sài Gòn restaurant (100 Thạch Thị Thanh street, District 1)
- Steamed rice with fish cake (Cơm chả cá) on Hai Bà Trưng street, District 1
- Broken rice (Cơm tấm) at Tứ Quý restaurant (Hai Bà Trưng street, District 1)
- Yogurt with red sticky rice (Sữa chua nếp cẩm) at 37 Nguyễn Phi Khanh street, District 1
- Broken rice with crab cake (Cơm tấm chả cua) at 113 Nguyễn Phi Khanh street, District 1
- Vietnamese rainbow drink (Chè ba màu) at crossroads of Nguyễn Phi Khanh street and Trần Quang Khải street, District 1
- Hue cuisine at O Xuân restaurant (222A-22B Nguyễn Hữu Cầu street, District 1)
- Trảng Bàng cuisine at Hoàng Ty restaurant (01 Nguyễn Hữu Cầu street, District 1)
- Hue cuisine at O Xuân 2 restaurant at 18 Nguyễn Hữu Cầu street, District 1