Located only a 7-minute walk to Ben Thanh Market, stay at Le Lai Street, provides Saigon newcomers time-saving access to the liveliest area of Ho Chi Minh City. In order to simplify trip planning, here are our recommendations on truly amazing places you must visit nearby.
- Where to Eat & Drink
- Where to Visit
Where to Eat & Drink
1. Banh Mi Huynh Hoa – 26 Le Thi Rieng Street, District 1
Banh Mi Huynh Hoa is extremely famous. The vendor remains busy at all times, and sometimes, it is so crowded that customers have to wait a while for their turn. With thoughtfully structured layers, including pork, pate, butter, and herbs, the sandwich here is incredibly rich in flavor. Surely, if you are on your way to spend time in Saigon, there is no doubt that Banh Mi Huynh Hoa is one of the best places in the city to get your hands on this unique fusion street sandwich.
Banh Mi Huynh Hoa is one of the best places in the city to get your hands on this unique fusion street sandwich.
Sometimes you’ll have to stand in the queue to get your banh mi.
2. Banh Mi 37 – 37 Nguyen Trai Street, District 1
The uniqueness of banh mi not only lies within the French-influenced baguette but also in the flavor packed, savory Viet fillings which are what makes the marriage of the two main ingredients a true love affair.
Famous for French-style sandwiches stuffed with grilled pork, the popular vendor at 37 Nguyen Trai Street has hundreds of purchases every day. If you are a big fan of street food, then the stall at this address should be prioritized. Not randomly honored as one of the finest 12 street foods in the world by the US tourism magazine, Condé Nast Traveler, Banh Mi 37 has successfully attracted a loyal fan base like never before.
3. Bo Nup – Bo Ne – 98Q Le Lai Street, District 1
Another dish that is popularly served in Ho Chi Minh City is “bo ne”, or also known as Vietnamese style beefsteak. So, what is the meaning of “bo ne?” Literally, “bo” means beef and “ne” is to dodge. This funny name originated from the dish being served on an extremely hot pan when the beef is still sizzling and the broth is still boiling.
Priced around 25,000 VND (~1 USD), a plate of bo ne here will be an economical delicious meal. Bo Nup 98Q Le Lai Street is highly rated by its customers thanks to their thick ketchup broth and the greasy homemade pate. Besides, the restaurant also offers a wide range of other ingredients to eat with the main dish, including sunny-side up eggs, pate, meat ball, French fries, and sausage.
4. Bun Dau Homemade – 1 Nguyen Van Trang Street, District 1
Originated from Hanoi, bun dau mam tom seems to be a suitable representative for the northern style food. Since its first appearance in the south in early 2013, bun dau mam tom has been a big hit with the Saigonese and is valued as an amazing culinary phenomenon. The dish is made of the most rustic recipes calling for rice noodles, fried tofu, boiled pork, fresh vegetables and herbs, and the most important one – shrimp paste.
The word “Homemade” appears in the name of the restaurant in order to emphasize the use of the freshest ingredients in every single dish. Since the very first day of development, Bun Dau Homemade restaurant has aimed to serve customers with authentic street food in an artistic space and to popularize Hanoi’s culinary spirit over the whole country.
5. Phuc Long Coffee & Tea Express – 325 Ly Tu Trong Street, District 1
Whether it is sunny or rainy, hot or cold, or you’re busy or laid-back, tired or full of energy, it is always a good idea to refresh yourself with a cup of tea. In terms of coffee and tea, hundreds of famous exotic brands have set up shop in Saigon but Phuc Long coffee & tea express still occupies a particular position in the hearts of not only Saigonese but also tourists from all over the world.
Although Phuc Long is mostly known for their high-quality milk tea made of premium ingredients, its products actually vary even more than that – from fruity peach teas and soothing green teas to Vietnamese traditional coffee and Italian coffee. You will undoubtedly get addicted to its delectable drinks after just one sip. However, if you are looking for a peaceful space, the store at 42A Pham Hong Thai, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1 is not really a wise option due to its limited space.
Pro tip – Try their green tea latte!
Where to Visit
1. Thai Binh Market – 111 Pham Ngu Lao Street, District 1
Saigon is well-known for its many fascinating markets with each one having its own unique appeal. Despite the uniqueness, they all share one thing in common: being crowded and bustling with life at all times, a true reflection of the local lifestyle. With diverse choices of traditional food, handicrafts, and friendly vendors, wandering around these Saigon markets is a must-do, especially if you’re a foreigner visiting Ho Chi Minh City for the first time.
Despite being located in the downtown area, Thai Binh Market is not really a common destination for travelers, which allows the market to maintain its own traditional characteristics. The market is always full of vendors sitting in tiny stalls and selling fresh food with huge smiles on their faces. Around the market are food vendors offering customers a varied mix of yummy dishes. Surprisingly, when you thought it couldn’t get even more full, during the night, more crowds appear.
2. Ben Thanh Market
Ben Thanh Market is the most famous among all markets in Vietnam, let alone Saigon. One of the earliest surviving structures of the city, this architectural masterpiece is where the sight-seeing experience beings for a first timer in Saigon for numerous reasons: it is emblematic of Saigonese culture, shows up in a large number of movies and articles, is listed as number one on virtually every tourist guide book there is about the city and is also the first recommendation on the tip of everyone’s tongue.
In addition to being a market for locals and foreigners alike, this massive rectangular structure that boasts 13,000 square meters also serves as a historical site, a landmark, a rendezvous point and a background for beautiful photo-ops.
3. and many other attractions
- Fine Arts Museum
- The Independence Palace
- Saigon War Remnants Museum
Wait no more! At Le Lai Street, you surely have many options surrounding you to keep you occupied during your whole stay. Let us know what you think once you try these places out!
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