There is no doubt that Ben Thanh Market is a must-visit sightseeing landmark in Ho Chi Minh City thanks to its great ancient architecture and long time existence. Coming to this famous market, visitors buy clothes and accessories, souvenirs, learn about the real local life in the area selling fresh foods including live animals, vegetables. The spacious food area in the market consists of many food stalls selling hundreds of great dishes, most of which are Vietnamese traditional. In addition, there are many restaurants and food stalls around the market, many of them are as long standing as the market. Bloating fern-shape cake, fried scrambled egg rice cake, crab noodle soup and sweet soup are delicious foods that shouldn’t be missed at Ben Thanh market. Let’s learn more about these Top 5 Dishes at Ben Thanh Market, choose your favorite foods and enjoy the best trip at the iconic market.
1. Mixed Hue Cakes (Banh Hue)
There is a long standing stall that has been open for 40 years serves Hue cakes inside Ben Thanh Market, next to Gate 7. The stall opens from 8:00 to 14:30 daily. The signature of this stall is a mix of traditional Hue cakes including Bloating-fern-shaped cakes (Banh beo), Tapioca shrimp dumplings (Banh bot loc), Mung bean shrimp and pork rice dumplings (Banh it tran), topped with crispy bread cubes, green onion oil, pork roll, Fermented pork roll (optional), and poured over with fish sauce dip.
2. Crab Noodle Soup (Bun Rieu)
The smelling and flavorful crab noodle soup’s broth is cooked from ground crab from rice fields and lakes. Although the broth is the soul of this food, toppings (tomato, morning glory, pork pie, deep-fried tofu…) and vegetables make Bun rieu a perfect dish ever. The 40-year-old Bun Rieu Ganh Restaurant which is in the opposite of East Gate of Ben Thanh market serves you one of the best Bun rieu in the city. The restaurant is located at 4 Phan Boi Chau Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. It opens from 9:30 to 19:00 daily, prices are from VND 50,000.
3. Vietnamese Sweet Soup
There is a 40-year-old sweet soup stall named Be Che next to the Gate 7 of Ben Thanh market which serves many kinds of Vietnamese Sweet Soup in South Vietnam’s style. Colorful and tasty banana, corn, various beans, taro, jelly at the stall definitely satisfy sweet lovers. Sweet soups can be served hot or cold. There is no better choice than eating these amazing desserts after the main dishes at the market. The stall opens from 7:30 to 16:30 daily.
4. Fried Scramble Egg Rice Cake (Bot Chien)
Located at a corner in the opposite of East gate of Ben Thanh Market, the fried scramble egg rice cake stall is always crowded with a line of people waiting for their favorite food. To make fried scramble egg rice cake, the cook fry steamed rice cube on a pan until it’s crispy and put egg at last. This food is served with soybean sauce dip, chili paste, chopped green onion and oil and pickled papaya.
5. Rice Noodle Soup with Macerated Fish and Shrimp (Bun Mam)
The 40-year-old restaurant serving bun mam in the opposite of East Gate is one of the best places to eat rice noodle soup with macerated fish and shrimp in Saigon. The restaurant is located at 22 Phan Boi Chau Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. It opens from 8:00 to 19:00 daily. A bowl of Rice Noodle Soup with Macerated Fish and Shrimp costs VND 78,000.
Both crab noodle soup and rice noodle soup with macerated fish and shrimp have origin in Mekong Delta. Rice noodle soup with macerated fish and shrimp’s broth is cooked from macerated fish and shrimp so that it has a special, strange and unique flavor. Rice noodle and broth are served with fresh toppings such as snakefish, shrimp, roasted pork, fish pie. A plate of vegetables (knotgrass, yellow velvetleaf, salad…) and Tamarind Dipping Sauce aren’t be missed. It’s worth every bite.
Summary of Top 5 Dishes at Ben Thanh Market
If you have a chance to be in Saigon, you should enjoy these Top Dishes at Ben Thanh Market on your first day in this city. It’s a good start in the multicultural Ho Chi Minh city with lots of cultural parts and foods to learn and a wide range of activities to do.
Eating Saigon is a great thing to do on your trip. How to eat the city to its fullest? It is easy to eat at fine dining restaurants which are for rich people or tourists. However, the real Saigon is at local restaurants which are favorite places of many Saigon people. Finding and reaching good local restaurants outside of District 1 sometimes is difficult for foreigners. A Saigon Food Tour is a great choice to immerse into the city life, enjoy all the exotic foods with your tour guides as friends.
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