They serve a variety of noodles dishes to cater to diverse tastes.
Thanh Dat noodles shop, District 1
This eatery opens 14 hours a day, serving only the Nam Vang noodle dish at VND35,000 (US$1.52) per serving. This type of noodle was created by Vietnamese living in Nam Vang, the name for what is now Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
The noodle is mixed carefully so the strands are not sticky. Then the cook adds ground pork, pork slices, pork liver, pork kidney, shrimp, egg and chopped green onions. The noodle bowl always look eye-catchy with these diverse ingredients. The broth is made from pork bone stock.
Chinese noodle shop, District 1
Situated on Yersin Street, Vien Kiem Toan’s eatery has been around for 60 years. It operates out of a humble 10-square-meter house. Tables and chairs for customers are arranged inside and outside the house.
The cook uses bone stock to make the noodle broth and no sweetening spice. The place serves noodle with meat or pork heart, liver and kidney also for VND35,000 (US$1.52).
Squid noodle shop in Phu Nhuan District
This small diner on Phan Xich Long Street has been around for nearly 10 years. Unlike the popular pork noodles, this dish is served with slices of fresh, crunchy squid. Since the broth is cooked with dried squid, the whole dish has the flavor and aroma of squid.
A serving costs VND40,000 (US$1.74). A bigger serving with more squid, meat balls, quail eggs and vegetables like bean sprout and lettuce costs VND57,000 (US$2.48).
Indian beef noodle
Situated in an alley off Vo Van Tan Street, an Indian family’s restaurant has been around for almost 20 years.
The main dish is braised beef served with bread or noodles. Living in Vietnam for a long time has helped the Indian owner understand the Vietnamese taste and adjust his food accordingly to attract customers. The stewed beef is really soft.
The broth, made using some Indian ingredients, is sweet. A serving costs VND35,000 (US$1.52). But the shop is small.
Kidney noodle, District 1
This pork kidney noodle eatery on Truong Dinh Street has been around for six decades. It attracts a lot of patrons for the dish’s savory taste and the big slice of pork kidney in each serving. There are two types of noodle strands, tough and soft.
The owner says the noodles are bought in Sa Dec City, Dong Thap Province, in southwest Vietnam. The stall also serves noodles with pork bone, flank or tendon.
Chaozhou noodles shop, District 6
This stall on Go Cong Street serves a kind of noodle which originated in Chaozhou. According to Van, the owner of the shop for nearly 20 years, this dish is cooked with pork intestines. The vermicelli bowl is always served with pork offal, ears and tongue. One indispensable ingredient is stir-fried mustard leaf, a unique side vegetable.
The intestines are marinated before being fried in coconut water and five spices. The price of a bowl is VND25,000 (US$1.09).
Beef ball noodle shop, District 1
The noodles soup on Tran Quang Khai Street was opened in 1996 by a person from a southwestern province.
In addition to beef balls, the main ingredient, the noodles, is served with tendons, heart, cow tongue and spleen. The beef ball is tough and well marinated. A bowl has only 5-6 small beef balls, so many people order an extra bowl of beef balls. A bowl of beef balls costs VND45,000 (US$1.96).
Fish noodle shop, District 1
A version of fish noodles has been sold by a Chinese family on Calmette Street for more than 75 years. The most impressive part of the dish is the soup.
Besides fish, the restaurant uses pork bone stock to make the broth, so it is clear and aromatic. This dish is served with bean sprouts and garlic chive and green onions to add some green flavor to it. A serving costs VND35,000 (US$1.52).
Wonton noodle shop, Go Vap District
The stall is not located in the downtown Saigon, but has been a familiar noodles shop for four decades. The noodle strands here are white, thick, fresh and tough. The main condiments include soy sauce and red vinegar, which gives the dish a Chinese typical taste.
The dish also includes ingredients like dumplings, pork bones and others. It is a combination of the sweet flavor of the meat, the faint aroma of flour from the noodle strands and wonton.
The price of a serving is VND30,0000-50,000 (US$1.31-2.18).