Ever adventurous,Dondi Joseph goes on a street food binge in Saigon. It includes lots of durian and pho noodle soup.
I had decided on the spur of the moment to go back to Vietnam to eat my way through Saigon. It was hot and sultry in late August, and I was in a state of constant dripping-dampness. It was a tad bothersome, but what the heck, we eat humidity for breakfast in the Philippines.
The flavours of Vietnam
As humid as Vietnam is at this time of the year, the food and flavors are always fresh everywhere you eat. Vietnam is a great Asian street food country in the vein of Taiwan, Singapore, and Thailand.
In fact, I think Vietnamese cuisine is all about street food, the only difference being the relative comfort and price of the eating venues you choose.
Where to eat street food in Saigon
You could be in a relatively expensive air-conditioned Brad Pitt-frequented restaurant; or you could be on sidewalks or in markets, standing or seated on low colored plastic chairs or folding metal stools, spending mere shekels for a thoroughly satisfying meal.
Yes, they do have Western restaurants and fast food joints in Saigon, but these would be an absolute waste of calorie-count unless you are in desperate need of a pizza or mediocre French food.
When in Vietnam on a food trip, you must eat as the Vietnamese do. You will not go wrong with the multitude of freshly-cooked seafood, grilled chicken or pork, meat-laced pho, or sun-ripened fruits and farm-fresh vegetables, all of which are outstanding.
Conscious of time but not of our waistlines, we made it a point to stop anywhere the food smelled and looked good: sidewalk vendors with food carts or baskets, any kind of market, and of course, night markets, food streets, and restaurants.
Lucky for us, every place we tasted was worth discovering. Read more about traveling around Vietnam in Travelife Magazine.