Street food. Its the best way to discover a city’s culinary intricacies, experience the daily buzz and feel like a local while you are a tourist. Its often tough to go on a street food trail as language barriers prevent you from knowing what’s on your plate. More so being vegetarian and hunting for street food is ever so challenging ! In Saigon, I found the ultimate back of the bike street food tour and guess what herbivores weren’t left out !!
We met Hoa and Sohn, our guides on a cloudy Sunday afternoon at Le Van Tam Park. We were greeted with bamboo mats, Vietnamese Ice coffee and Gai du du, a lip-smacking raw papaya salad with a hint of chilli, tamarind sauce and crushed peanuts from a hawker who apparently sold 100 kilos of raw papaya salad a day; on the basis of which she was able to send her son to the U.S. to study.That probably makes it the most popular and profitable street shop in Saigon!
Our next treat was Bun Thit Nuong (vermicelli with pork) and for the veggie version, it was vermicelli with fresh salad and young tofu spiced with ginger. The lady who made this was a total delight as she was so excited to see people from Bollywood land ! And no surprise, Amitabh Bachchan was her favorite actor.
We headed next to China Town to make leafy wraps called Banh Khot with mint, basil, lettuce and fish sauce leaves and crackers. Crunchy, crispy,green all at once. More than halfway through the tour and we had more food ahead of us Bun Bo ha : Udon noodles with young tofu, morning glory, banana flower in lemon grass broth.
Of course the tour ended with an obligatory dessert stop at a local cafe that treated us to ice cream, froyo, local fruits Sapodilla and Vietnamese Cherry, Mango sticky rice and black rice.
Best street food experience ever with 100% hygiene and 200% local treasures !
Budget: $65/ head Website: http://backofthebiketours.com/saigon-street-food-tours-vietnam/