The 10 Best Vegan Street Food Stalls in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Chuoi nuong | @ Tri Nguyen
Every alley in Ho Chi Minh City has a street stall, and that sometimes makes you feel like you are in a giant open restaurant. While most meals are for meat lovers, we have scoured the alleyways to make your vegan food hunt easy. Here are the best vegan stalls in Ho Chi Minh City.
Sweet soup is one of the delicious specialties that Ho Chi Minh City has to offer. With so many different kinds of sweet soups, its so hard to decide what to go for. The Khanh Vy sweet soup stall will solve your problems. Here, you can order a whole feast – up to 16 different types of sweet soup for just over a dollar! Typically, your options are mung bean, red bean, taro, corn, lotus seed, coconut and various types of fruit. We suggest you go for the platter, but if you only want to choose one flavor, it’s VND$5,000 (USD$0.25).
Kalochi is a dish that originated from Guangzhou, China. The dish is made from a giant dough cut into smaller pieces, rolled and then sprinkled with crushed peanuts and sweetened black sesame. You can find it in a small stall on Hau Giang Street, in Chinatown (Cho Lon), prepared by a sweet middle-aged man. It’s a bit difficult to find this stall since he keeps moving up and down the street, but generally his fixed spot is at 199 Mai Xuan Thuong Street, right at the corner it cuts with Hau Giang street. He is here from 09.00 a.m. till 11.00 a.m. You can call him in advance to locate him.
For years, Hot tofu Bui Vien has been the favorite go-to spot to get a bowl of hot and sweet dessert. To prepare this, a soup is made by cooking white bubble pearl with sugar syrup. This soup is then poured over young tofu slices and mixed gently. Coconut milk is optional.
If Ho Chi Minh City’s desserts were a nation, then fried banana would be king. This dish originated in the south, so obviously the best version of it is found here. This is probably because of the quality of the banana itself — brought directly from the orchards of the Mekong Delta. You can find fried banana in most local markets, but this stall on Co Bac street is special. Instead of preparing it the normal way, the banana is dipped into flour liquid, deep fried with corn and black sesame sprinkled on top.
To start your day, here’s a vegan stall that serves banh mi – Vietnam’s favorite breakfast. Located in District 5, this might be a little bit far from the city center, but it’s definitely worth the drive. The stall specializes in making vegan banh mi with all sorts of greens and veggies, but also has other options for you to pick such as vegan sticky rice and vegan dough dumplings.
At the intersection of Phung Van Cung and Phan Xich Long streets, is a small stall selling banh bo, a cake made from rice. To eat, you dip it in a mixture of salt, crushed peanuts, and sugar. The lady also serves cassava with coconut milk.
Ba Kiem started her breakfast stall over 60 years ago, right after she moved to Ho Chi Minh City from Hanoi. Here she sells northern-style sticky rice using banana leaves to wrap it, adding extra flavor than plastic boxes do. The leaves keep the rice hot and moist as well. It’ll also only cost you VND$15,000 (USD$0.8) to get a taste of the north at this stall.
Banana again, but this time it is wrapped with sticky rice, another layer of banana leaves, and then grilled over charcoal. The sticky rice at the stall on Tran Dinh Xu is one of the absolute best. It’s soft, well-cooked and chewy. Afterwards, just when you thought it couldn’t possibly get any better, the banana is cut into small pieces and drenched in thick coconut cream.
Banh da lon is “pigskin cake”: a steamed layered cake made from rice flour, tapioca starch, and smashed mung beans, taro or durian, and eaten with coconut milk. The pigskin cake can come in all shapes and sizes. With a nice look, a soft and gelatinous texture, and a pleasant taste, it’s often a favorite dessert of the locals.
This is exclusive to durian fans as people have a love-hate relationship with this fruit. It may have an unpleasant smell, but when you have taught your gag reflexes to overcome that, you will realize it is one of the best-tasting fruits in the world. At this stall, durian is mixed with sticky rice with four choices for added ingredients: beaten durian, smashed peanuts, shredded coconut, and condensed coconut milk. Just don’t walk around with this in your handbag. The smell will stick around for days.