Saigon is one of the fast-growing business city hubs in Vietnam – a rising urban jungle in the country. A melting pot housing various people of both local and foreign origins. This city is home to diversified culture and culinary cuisines from street to quaint food shops.
Due to a series of swarming typical branded food shops and restaurants, some Saigon business owners found a way to attract potential customers through creative and unique ways of naming their dishes and even restaurants to make sure they catch the attention of potential diners and food lovers.
1. Landfill/Dumping Ground Broken Rice
The word landfill certainly does not come in mind when it comes to food (uh-oh, never). However, in Saigon, there is a famous broken rice dish served by “Mrs. Bay Blade” called “broken rice in the landfill”.
The restaurant gained its name due to the fact that it is close to a landfill at the Xom Chieu market area in District 4. Customers at this place take a feast of their dishes having a dumping site as a view. You might think this place is typically empty however, Mrs. Bay Blade’s restaurant is most of the time full. This has been around the area for more than 30 years boasting its most popular dish – broken rice.
The location might not be an ideal thing to know when you hear about this place but there is so much more into this place that it is considered one of the expensive roadside restaurants in the area. The lowest meal price at this place is at 35,000 – 100,000 VND per plate.
Opening Hours: 4:30 PM – 12:00 AM
Address: 73 Le Van Linh, Ward 13, District 4
2. Morgue Sticky Rice
This dish has been around for more than 40 years, situated in an area where it is surrounded by funeral homes where it has gained its terrifying unique name – morgue sticky rice.
Looking at the shop, it doesn’t look anything fancy at all but regular customers know they serve the best sticky rice in the area. The sticky rice that they serve is composed of green onion, salty peanut, shrimp bits and pork jerky (but do you know what brings magic to this dish according to the shop owner? Its signature soy sauce and special Chinese sausage!)
Each serving costs at 15,000 – 20,000 VND and they are so popular that the owner has to prepare 2-3 large pots to sell.
Opening Hours: 4:30 PM – 12:00 AM
Address: 409 Tran Phu, Ward 7, District 5
3. Ghost Broken Rice
Located at the bustling streets of Dinh Tien Hoang, the Ghost broken rice rose into fame getting associated with a shop that disappears at dawn and comes back from hiding at dusk. This shop is commonly known as Huyen broken rice and despite its specialty having a chilling kick into it, this shop sells mouthwatering specialties that surely entices foodies’ compared to other food shops in the area.
Should you visit this place, their best-sellers are pork chop, Vietnamese meatloaf steamed omelette, grilled chicken and soup. Also, just a note that this is not your typical fancy restaurant. Basically, they just have common chairs and tables set up along the alley but this place is almost most of the time jam-packed by customers. Serving per plate costs 25,000 – 60,000 VND.
Opening Hours: 6:00 PM -1:00 AM
Address: Alley 95 Dinh Tien Hoang, Ward 3, Binh Thanh District
4. Graveyard Beef Hotpot
No matter how chilling and distinct the name of this dish may seem, don’t fret! It is food (and it is edible). This dish got its name from the location where the shop is in. The Hoang Duy beef hotpot shop is surrounded by graveyards and just so you know, this shop has been around for more than 18 years. Regulars of this shop say the restaurant is clean and spacious too! The graveyard beef hotpot is the go-to dish of many locals in this shop and this specialty dish is sold for 150,000 – 200,000 VND and is quite enough for sharing.
Opening Hours: 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Address: 498 Nguyen Thi Dinh, Thanh My Loi Ward, District 2
5. Underworld Sweet Soup
This soup actually serves as a tonic that refreshes the body, especially on scorchingly hot days. The only reason why this soup is coined “underworld” is because its shop is open until late at night.
Despite the shop serving an underworld sweet soup on their menu, this restaurant actually offers an array of Chinese desserts – if you ever find your taste buds looking for Chinese sweets, be sure to check them out in District 5.
Serving per dishes ranges from 18,000 – 30,000 VND
Opening Hours: 12:00 AM – 12:00 PM & 5:00 PM – 12:00 AM
Address: 476 – 478 Tran Hung Dao, Ward 14, District 5