This is how we do it – mingle with the locals and eat what they eat……..
Breakfast Club (7am)
The best places have sold out and closed by 8am. Go local and go early. You can sleep later. Return if it is good – recognition will brings its own rewards!
Roadside carts for Banh Mi are popular with those in a rush to get to work. The best ones are usually on the side of main roads. If you fancy a Steaming bowl of pho or other soup, find an alleyway or side street and look for a crowd. Remember go early!
Caffeine Kick (9-10am)
Revive yourself from the early start. A shaded alley is a good place to get a plastic seat, a good strong coffee and a smile. Hot or iced, depending on your mood. Locals have it with condensed milk, but it is not compulsory.
Lunchtime Thrill (Mid-day)
Time to treat yourself. Grab a plate and point to what you want. They will tot up the price – it is always a bargain. Most often something with rice. Alternatively, a fixed price lunch menu is also a delicious filling meal at a bargain price and is where you will find those on a lunch break. Get in early, seats fill up fast.
Afternoon Delight (2-3pm)
Time for some air-con and wifi. The ambitious will be in the cool working away in a quiet cafe using the wifi. One drink can last for hours. Fruit based cocktails are the thing to look stylish as you work away. It could be cake time about now. For me, it’s iced coffee that comes with a side of iced tea to quench my thirst.
Social Time (5pm)
After work, meet up for a coffee, a juice or a beer and enjoy the people watching as friends gather to chat. Snack about now with a plate of peanuts or perhaps something crunchy (with anything) from a passing vendor. Great time for people watching.
Destination Dining or Go Grazing (7pm)
The thing to do is to choose what you want to eat and then decide where. It’s how the locals do it. Noodles? Soup? Shellfish ? With Rice? I would need to stay in Saigon for a month to eat all the dishes I consider my favorites.
Dessert time or evening snack (9pm)
Head to a dessert restaurant/street stall for some Che or pick a out a colourful – all natural! – sticky rice from a street vendor. There’s no need to go hungry!