The best Bánh Cuốn restaurants in Saigon.
Bánh cuốn : Delicate rice rolls packed with a flavorsome filling, this street food staple is what breakfast in Vietnam is all about.
When it comes to Vietnamese breakfast, few dishes can touch bánh cuốn. For those uninitiated, they make it with rice batter pancakes rolled tightly and filled with minced, seasoned pork, it packs conveniently onto one plate everything you need to get yourself out of bed. Topped with a generous helping of bean sprouts and, with luck, some crispy onions, bánh cuốn is a compact conveyor of deep flavor (and fish sauce). Even when the constructs of time don’t necessarily affect the types of food you can get on a Saigonese morning—pho, com tam, and bun bo Hue are served up from 5am onward—something about banh cuon lends itself perfectly to the early hours. The dish originates in the north, but one can easily find it in Saigon at both bustling restaurants and nondescript street stalls alike. For a few of our favorites, see the list below:
1. Turtle Lake Bánh cuốn
In an alley next to Oc Chi Em
🕞 6:00 – 11:00 AM | 📍 6B Công Trường Quốc Tế, Phường 6, Q 3
It’s unclear if this stand has an official name, or its exact hours. But, this much we can tell you, though: it’s a memorable breakfast as quintessentially Saigon as it gets. Located in an alley at the beautiful Turtle Lake roundabout, the scene at this banh cuon stand is half the fun. It’s a tiny stall with equally tiny stools and tables with one dish being served up by an incredibly welcoming staff. And let’s not forget the banh cuon itself—thet pack the pancakes here especially tightly; they’ll also add egg if you ask. Don’t forget to order a soya milk and watch the traffic flash by as the day gets rolling. Get there before 10 am to be on the safe side, as they generally run out around 11 am.
2. Bánh cuốn Hồng Hạnh
🕞 6:00 – 23:00 | 📍 17A Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai, Bến Nghé, Q1
This establishment is known for its Hue Specialties and it’s unbeatable Bánh Cuốn . Our perfect “breakfast of champions” At Hồng Hạnh involves a plate of Bánh Cuốn Đặc Biệt (special with the works) and a glass of freshly squeezed Sugar Cane Juice (Nước mía). The Đặc Biệt comes with the full array, including Fried Spring Rolls (pork and shrimp) some homemade Vietnamese Bologna, and Chinese style pork sausage (prepared with sweet vinegar). After we douse it in the sweet fish sauce and garlic, its ready to eat. The gelatinous exterior matches elegantly with the stuffed mushroom pork interior. Add the crunchy texture of the spring rolls and the fresh bean sprouts and you have yourself a taste/texture explosion.
3. Bánh Cuốn Tây Hồ
🕞 6:00 -21:00 | 📍 127 Đinh Tiên Hoàng, Đa Kao, Q1
One of Saigon’s most well established institutions for good reason. If you ask anyone what is the best Bánh Cuốn spot in town, they will most likely give their personal top 5 spots with Tay Ho on that list. It’s Bánh Cuốn rolls have the perfect ratio of gelatinous exterior to the savory stuffing inside. But what Tay Ho is especially known for is the “Bánh đậu (cái)” which is essentially a savory bean cake. The Bean cake absorbs the sweet fish sauce, in turn beautifully pairing with the Bánh Cuốn roll itself.
NOTE: Like all our lists, this is a work in progress, check back for updates on more locations.