Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City Food Tour--worth it?
Has anyone done a food tour in Saigon? Most of the reviews in the usual travel places seem to be from folks who would never eat street food on their own.
I realized that I never really wrote on Chowhound about the food experiences I had in Saigon this past spring, though I did write about Hanoi here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/976370
We were only in Saigon for about 24 hours, so we did not do any type of food tour. If you are comfortable eating street food on your own, and getting past the potential language barriers, I don't necessarily think you need a food tour to find great stuff.
One resource I used while there was this food blog and the street food map: http://www.eatingsaigon.com/saigon-st... I only went to two places from here, but both were GREAT, so I imagine using this resource to plan your own food tour could be worthwhile, especially if there are particular dishes you're wanting to try. The two places I went to were both quite near (walking distance) the backpacker neighborhood. One was a pho place called Phở Thanh Cảnh, and the other was a Banh Mi place called HUYNH HOA, at 26 Le Thi Rieng Street. The banh mi place was definitely worth checking out....takeout only, very cheap, very fresh, super busy in the early evening when I went. Best banh mi I've ever had, easily. Smaller than they are in the USA, which means it's appropriate as a pre-dinner snack :)
For street food exploring, I found that breakfast was the best time to be out and about. It was harder to find great street food in the afternoon/evening, although I'm sure there are exceptions. But in the earlier morning hours, there were amazing options, many right on the street and viewable.
Hope this helps!
re: Dave MP
Another note: taxis were really inexpensive in Saigon, so if there's a place that isn't quite walking distance, just hop in a cab to get there. I didn't find Saigon to be the best walking city, which is too bad, because it DID seem to be a great eating city. So don't be afraid to take transit between food stops...that's my advice.
I did the Foodie tour with XO tours. I would classify this particular tour as being as much cultural/learning about life in Saigon/seeing the different districts, as a food tour. I was travelling alone so I liked being able to just taste and sample many different things in a short time, rather than ordering full meals. I also really enjoyed talking to the guides/riders, and getting out to some of the further flung districts.