Restaurants Near Innside Saigon Central

Where to find cheap eats in Ho Chi Minh City?Best cheap eats in District 1Best cheap eats in District 3Best cheap eats in District 4Best cheap eats in District 5Best cheap eats in District 6Best cheap eats in District 10Best cheap eats in District 11Binh Thanh District

Who eats at cheap eats in Ho Chi Minh City?

Saigon has hundreds of foods including international and traditional Vietnamese foods served at different eateries. Prices vary and range between 10,000 VND (0.5 USD) and a few million VND (a few hundred USD). The minimum salary in Vietnam is around 4,000,000 VND (190 USD) per month. A large number of people in Ho Chi Minh City can only spend a maximum of 2 USD for their meal. Cheap eats are the choices of poor people in slum areas, porters, small vendors, pupils, students, teenagers, even officers. Sometimes, rich people and famous artists come to famous cheap eats for the famous foods in the city.

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Is it safe to eat at cheap eats in Ho Chi Minh City?

You may have heard about poisoning and dirty food in Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City. It is right that you should be careful to eat in developing countries where the government can not control food safety as well as in developed countries. Many foreigners are aware of street foods so that they have missed this big part of the city. Here are some useful tips to eat well and safely at cheap eats in Saigon:

Try to eat at famous or recommended cheap eats on trusted guide books, magazines, travel blogs, and TripAdvisor. In this Ultimate Guide to Cheap Eats in Ho Chi Minh City, I try my best to introduce to you the best places which have been carefully researched.See if there are many locals eating there. If the cheap eat is crowded and busy, it is worth eating there.See if the foods are fresh, cooks use gloves while preparing and making the foods.Check if there are insects such as ants and flies on the tables.Check if the eating utensils are clean. Sometimes, you can see they wash the utensils next to the food and cooking areas.


How to recognize cheap eats in Ho Chi Minh City?

Certainly, cheap eats are not located in shopping malls or multi-story houses on the streets. You can see them as:

Moving food stalls such as vendor carrying baskets of foods, street food shoulder poles, rolling carts made from metal and glass, food stalls on motorbikes or bicycles. It is interesting to see a few vendors try to carry a few small chairs for their customers. When they move to other places, they collect chairs and bring to new places. Experienced vendors know when to leave and where to sell the foods at the best. For example, they can stop next to the gates of schools or universities at break time.



Small street food stalls on the pavements, at local markets, in food areas, on food streets, in narrow alleys. These eateries have enough space for the vendors and foods, a few small tables and chair or stool, most of which are plastic. Customers tend to buy and take away foods. These eateries can be outdoor or indoor, some are under canvas roofs.


Small restaurants serve their foods in small houses and on the pavements. In facts, some Saigon people love to sit outdoor right on the pavements instead of in the house which is less cool.


What are the differences between cheap eats and the other eateries?

At cheap eats in Saigon, you can see all of the ingredients, cooking utensils, and how to cook. It is an amazing part of cheap eats where you can learn more about Saigon rich cuisine. It is true that you can not reach cooking areas.The owners of cheap eats are also the cooks, sellers, sometimes waiters. At long-standing cheap eats, you can meet old owners and learn more about the stories of the eateries.Famous cheap eats are usually crowded with lines of people. Be patient and wait for your turn.Cheap eats may look dirty and messy. Tissues are everywhere under the tables on the floor or pavements. Some tables with leftover foods have not been arranged. Cooking and eating utensils are put around, sometimes washed next to cooking areas.Cheap eats may have small plastic tables, chairs, and stools.Eating utensils including plates, bowls, forks, spoons, chopsticks look cheap and old.

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Because of the cheap price, they do not have enough money to rent more employee to make sure everything is clean and tidy. They also can not buy better tables and utensils.

Which foods to eat at cheap eats in Ho Chi Minh City?

Before sharing the best cheap eats in the city, I would like to give you some overview of great foods Saigon must to offer. The city has everything to satisfy your taste buds, from savory dishes to desserts, from noodle soups to dried foods, from seafood dishes to BBQ.

Saigon specialty foods such as Rice noodles with grilled pork, Grilled beef in wild betel leaf are highly recommended at cheap eats. If you are a seafood lover, you can find lots of seafood dishes and snail dishes at cheap eats. BBQ grilled on charcoal stoves on tables by diners is also a great choice in the city. If you would like to eat something warm and with a rich broth, you can choose Crab noodle soup or Crab soup cake.

The city has dozens of desserts, the best of which include Vietnamese sweet soup, Flan cake, Ice cream in coconut, Ice cream with longan, Coconut jelly, Jackfruit filled with steamed sticky rice. The best snacks in Saigon include Rice paper salad, Rice paper roll, Grilled girdle cake. If you are a foods fear factor lovers, the city offers Fertilized duck egg, Stewed organs (Pha lau), and Congee with pork organs, Rice noodle soup with fermented fish. Goat, frog, squid beak are strange but delicious foods that you should try and open your view of Saigon cuisine.

Should I tip at cheap eats in Ho Chi Minh City?

At most of the cheap eats, they do not charge for service charge. Tipping is optional in Ho Chi Minh City. However, a small tip is really appreciated. If you like the foods and services, you can tip them. The small amount can make the staffs happy and encourage them to work better. How much is enough? Prices are usually low, a portion costs around a few USD. A tip of 5 – 15% of the meal price is reasonable.

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Are credit cards and USD cash accepted in Ho Chi Minh City?

I could say that most of the cheap eats do not accept credit cards and USD cash in the city. So that bringing VND cash to cheap eats is a must. They hate big money such as 500,000 VND and 200,000 VND, sometimes they do not have small changes and can refuse to serve you. They can accept and go around to exchange the smaller bank notes. Thus you waste your time waiting for the exchanging. Thus having some small bank notes is better. If you exchange the money at bank branches or gold shops, tell them to give you some small bank notes.