Saigon Street Eats — It’s All About The Food!

It’s official! Our street food tours of Ho Chi Minh City are up and running.

We’ve had amazingly positive feedback from our first customers at Saigon Street Eats.

I think we have achieved our aim of setting up the best Ho Chi Minh tours so visitors feel like they’re hanging out with friends, exploring the back streets of Saigon, eating the best street food and having a good laugh along the way.

There is actually a lot of laughing in Vietnam. This is a land, after all, where it’s not uncommon to see a toilet being transported on the back of a motorbike. Five on a bike, fish on a bike, snakes on a bike — it’s all here.  And a lot of the everyday sights here are quite funny. Even for me, and I’m an old Vietnam hand now.

But the thing that draws many people to Vietnam is the food. And it is fantastic, let me tell you.

The problem for visitors is that without some local knowledge, it’s hard to know where to go for the best local food. And if you do get a lead on a fabulous little place that someone knows, it’s often very difficult to know what to order, or even how to order. Sometimes, with so many people staring at you, just walking into a local place seems too difficult.

That’s where we come in.

After so many years living, eating, working and playing in Ho Chi Minh City, we know where to go and what to order. We know that it’s much easier to brave the stares when you’re in a group (even though we try to avoid the group tour “feel”). And eating in a group is always more fun than eating alone, especially in Vietnam when eating is such a social event.

There were several things that motivated Darling Man and I to start offering food tours of Ho Chi Minh City, apart from the fact that we both love Vietnamese street food.

When we returned to Vietnam this year, after two-and-a-half years in Singapore and Thailand, I realised that I was always the only Westerner at my favourite places. And my favourite places were, of course, eating places – pho joints, the stalls in the back of out-of-the-way wet markets, little hot pot places and the street of sidewalk seafood restaurants we call “snail street”.

That realisation, combined with the memory of the crap tours I took when I first arrived in Vietnam in 2007, started us thinking about what would make a great tour of Ho Chi Minh City. We decided we’d found a real niche.

We thought we could draw on our combined 24 years of living in Ho Chi Minh City and my experience as a Western tourist to create fun, friendly, food-focused tours that get visitors off the tourist trail and into the busy chaotic backstreets. AND get them eating fresh cooked-before-your-eyes street food. Because after five years in Asia, I truly believe the best food is eaten on the street, amid the noise and bustle of everyday life.

We are now working on marketing our new business, trying to get the Saigon Street Eats name known to people who plan to visit Vietnam and want to eat the best Vietnamese food possible while they’re here.

We’d love it if you’d help us out by sharing information about our new venture with your friends, colleagues and relatives.

Our website is and our Facebook page is here.


P.S. In the first photo, the handsome Asian guy listening to my herb lecture is the charming James, who blogs at Fly, Icarus, Fly, and the sexy intellectual lady is Ayeshah of The Khaness of Nam. Because who else does a blogger turn to in times of need but other bloggers?

December update: A friend just alerted us to the fact that celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain filmed in “our” Snail Street for his No Reservations television show a few years ago. It just goes to show, Snail Street is *the* place to go in Ho Chi Minh City (even though Mr Bourdain called it “street of snails”).


11 years ago

By: Barbara

A career girl who dropped out, traveled, found love, and never got around to going home again. Now wrangling a cross-cultural relationship and two third culture kids.


  1. Exciting news! I will definitely be signing up when I make my way to that part of the world.
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..Tasty St. Louis

  2. Congratulations on your new venture and good luck with it. The food certainly looks fab. Loving the new look blog, too, by the way. 🙂 We’re on a big shift over the next few weeks. Exciting and nervous times all at once. 🙂
    Turkey’s For Life recently posted..Loving A Bit Of Unexpected Railway Nostalgia In Izmir

    • Barbara says:

      Thanks Julia. The food IS fab.
      Thanks for the comment on the redesign. I haven’t quite finished it yet … but it’s very slow going with my technical non-know-how.

  3. Ayngelina says:

    I loved the food in Saigon, so nice to see you built a new site just for me 🙂
    Ayngelina recently posted..Getting lost in Montana

  4. Mary Moss says:

    I love your site. And, I’m moving to HCMC in Jan. I’ll definitely be looking for “Saigon Street Eats”.

  5. Can i just say, SUPER YUM?!!! amazing! deliciousness!

  6. Kieu says:

    Barbara, I LOVE this idea. I’ve always tried to recommend Saigon street eats for friends and family visiting but understand their hesitation to venture out on their own so this is perfect! Will definitely help spread the word and next time we’re in town, we’ll give you a holler! 🙂
    Kieu recently posted..Kyoto Temples in Brown, Orange and Gold

  7. Fantastic stuff! I wish I had more food tours when I spent a few days in Saigon. While I’m thankful my contact allowed me to sample a wide variety of street food, I could’ve spent entire days, if not an entire week looking and sampling more street food! Good luck, and all the best to your new venture!
    fotoeins | Henry recently posted..One million miles and counting

  8. What a great idea–that looks awesome!
    Living Outside of the Box recently posted..Salt Mine in Salzburg Austria

  9. So thrilled we got to take a tour when we were there! I will recommend you all to anyone and everyone 🙂
    cosmoHallitan recently posted..Restaurant La: Small Name, Big Flavors

  10. Carmel says:

    I am definitely putting this on my list to check out when we’re in Vietnam next year. I loved watched Anthony Bourdain’s trips to Vietnam, but thought to myself, that’s fine for him because they have local guides showing them where to find the good stuff…how am I supposed to do that? So, I’m very much looking forward to getting the insiders perspective. Now if next year would only hurry up and get here….
    Carmel recently posted..Egg breakfast muffins

  11. Dalene says:

    Congratulations on the venture! So glad to hear it is going well. We WILL get over there and be eager clients (someday, soon, I hope)!
    Dalene recently posted..Two Days, Four Hikes

  12. Such a fab idea! There are so many people that miss out on eating street food because they worry about getting sick from it… they have no idea what they’re missing! Good luck with it all.
    Linda McCormick recently posted..Watching a Stairway to the Moon Appear in Broome

  13. […] Barbara loves Vietnamese food so much that she’s  started doing street food tours in Ho Chi Minh City (with her Vietnamese husband as the consulting expert). “We go to our favorite places when […]

  14. What a wonderful idea! You’ll definitely have me as a customer if I visit Saigon. I can’t seem to find good Vietnamese food in Penang and had to get my fix when I was in Houston, Texas over the summer. Saigon would be much closer and yummier. Would you please also teach me how to cross a street there?
    Malaysian Meanders recently posted..Asian Landmarks at LEGOland Malaysia Miniland

  15. This seems like an awesome concept and I hope it has been going well! Congratulations!! My boyfriend and I quite our jobs in Sept and are planning on traveling for 2 years through Asia and Europe (currently in Vietnam) and are definitely hoping to develop some sort of business along the way. Hoping to stay away from the corporate cubicle life permanently!
    Vicky from acoupletravelers recently posted..Interview With Dave And Deb From The PlanetD

  16. Julia says:

    What a great idea! I love Vietnam (and miss it) – hopefully I’ll be heading back there again this year, so if I do, I’ll be sure to look into one of your tours!
    Julia recently posted..Hungry and Homemade: Pralines

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge