Besides discovering new places, I also love to taste the local culinary and for sure it will make my trip more enjoyable and unforgettable. Saigon is known for the diversity and delicious street food, but will you eat Saigon street food safely without getting sick? Our suggestion for tasting Saigon street food properly, choose the right food stalls and know what you will eat which help avoiding food problem, without getting sick. Following are some tips for you if you want to taste Saigon street food yourself safely.
- If you can, research about the popular street food dishes and food stalls in Saigon before you go. Use Google or a guide book on Saigon food might help. Store it on your phone or a notebook, and it’s more easier to find the right place and the food you expected.
- The turnover and volume at the street stall is an important consideration. Take your time, observe the street food stalls, walk back and forth and then make a decision. Not the food stall where all tourists are going but look at where are the locals are ordering their food. Locals know the best, if the food is good, they will line up for long time. Moreover, with a lot of customers, the food will rotate very quickly and you’re almost have a fresh meal.
- You can also observe the hygiene at the street stall you are considering. In many cases, you can see your food being made and if it’s not up to your standards, it is not worth the risk. Look at surfaces and the washing of dishes. Is everything festering on the counter and the plates are being soaked in a dirty bowl of water. Maybe it’s better to go the neighbor.
- If you are a vegetarian, Google the words of what you don’t eat and save it on your phone or alternatively write it out on your notebook and how to pronounce it. In this way, they will nod their heads or know how to prepare the food for you.
- Learning some local words, knowing how to say “Hello” and “Thank you” goes a long way. I like to think that if they like you (as much as they will like a backpacker), they will feed you better food. Learning the correct pronunciation of your favorite food is also a handy thing to know!
- Ice and sauces can be a problem. Saigon food has many type of sauces and some are made and kept at room temperature, they can breed bacteria over time. Be sure you know what’s the sauces you eat. Look at the ice cubes. Ice cubes are notorious for most you. Most restaurants or street vendors however will work with industrialized ice. So when you see big ice cubes with a hole in the middle, it comes from a factory and you’re good to go.
If you are not sure about what street food to eat in Saigon and you also want to learn more deeply about the culinary culture, our foodie tour takes you to street stalls and open air restaurants where the food quality and safety procedures have been thoroughly scrutinized and held to high standards.