When I asked a friend if he wanted to join me to try out some Vietnamese street food in Thao Dien, his response was, “Thao Dien ain’t really a street food place because it’s geared up for westerners. Some of the best street food you’ll find is in D4 and Binh Thanh.”
With that in mind, and being a proud member of the Thao Dien community, I went on a mission to track down the best street food that Thao Dien has to offer and help dispel this myth.
3 Great Locations To Eat Vietnamese Street Food in Thao Dien
This blog will form part of a series on this topic to provide a fair spread of the Vietnamese street food in Thao Dien and involve all the amazing stallholders. So watch this space for additions and updates.
Thu Tram Grill
Location: 78 Quoc Huong, Thao Dien, D2, HCMC
Type of food: Grilled chicken & meat
Tables & chairs: Yes
Delivery: Direct +84 983 955 679 (free delivery in Thao Dien) or via Now Food
Open times: 17:00 until late (around 23:00)
Walking up to this place, you can smell the delicious aroma of BBQ meat before you even set eyes on the stall. The menu had several options, including chicken wings, pork belly, chicken feet, chicken drumsticks, whole roast chicken, and quail, all doused in a smoked, slightly crusty BBQ coating. The family recipe was kept secret, but the flavors were what you’d expect – garlic, soy sauce, honey, onion, a hint of chili oil.
The food comes served with sliced papaya, salt & green pepper sauce (the spicy, fragrant, light green sauce you see all over), and Rau ram, a herb also known as Vietnamese mint or Vietnamese coriander. Though, coriander haters need not fear, as this leaf doesn’t taste like its namesake.
If you like a tipple with your meal, you can order a can of Tiger beer for 17k and sit and watch the world go by.
If you sit and eat next to the stall, you’ll notice the dozens of delivery drivers whisking orders away; a clear sign that it’s really popular and an excellent spot for Vietnamese street food. For anyone living in Thao Dien, if you order directly using the number on the menu, they will not charge for delivery.
Hot Vit Lon Kim Thao
Location: 104 Xuan Thuy, Thao Dien, D2, HCMC
Type of food: Hot vit lon / Balut (fertilized duck egg)
Tables & chairs: Yes
Delivery: Via Foody, Grab, Now
Open times: 15:00 until 23:00
Hot Vit Lon Kim Thao had to be included in this list because it’s one of the most famous Vietnamese street food dishes in Ho Chi Minh, and locals from all over the city come to Thao Dien to taste this delicacy.
The dish “hot vit lon” is popular all over SE Asia, also known as Balut in the Philippines. It’s a fertilized duck egg incubated for around 14-21 days before the developing embryo is boiled and eaten straight from the shell.
Traditional for Southern Vietnam, the egg is served shell-on in an egg cup and a small spoon for scooping. On the side is a special homemade chili sauce unique to this restaurant, some lime and Rau ram. Kim Thao does not incubate its eggs too long so that they are fresh and the yolk tastes creamy and not too dry.
Prices are reasonable at around 10k, and the restaurant is packed every night with customers.
Location: “Riverside”, 8 Duong so 49B, Thao Dien, D2, HCMC
Type of food: Snails & shellfish
Tables & chairs: Yes
Delivery: Contact direct +84 937 599 135
Open times: 17:00 until 24:00
There are plenty of Oc stalls around Thao Dien, but Oc Nhien is one of the most renowned because of its fresh and tasty flavors and picture-postcard views.
The menu consists of different types of snails and other shellfish like prawns, scallops, and crab claws. If, like me, you’re Vietnamese is not so good, pointing at the food and indicating how many people was enough to get what we wanted.
Unsure of how the dishes would be served, it was a tastebud surprise when the clams came in a lemongrass broth, the prawns char grilled, and the Oc covered in a punchy, smokey garlic sauce.
Depending on the day, the stall is either located at the front of the court near the road or undercover at the end corner of the “riverside terrace.” Oc Nhien is such a great location because you get the view of the river and Landmark 81 as well as the vibrance of the goings-on along that strip.
Let us know your favorite Vietnamese street food in Thao Dien, and we’ll cover it in our next feature.
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