Jul 042013

As Hai and I spend a couple of months visiting good friends and family in California and other areas of the USA, Saigon’s excellent street food is never far from our minds.  In fact, not a single day goes by without the plea from Hai:

I want Phở

So, I thought I’d share a few of our favorite Saigon food memories now and again as we travel here.  It will serve the dual purpose of continuing to share some of our favorite Saigon street foods and local eateries, as well as allowing us to re-live and enjoy some of our recent Saigon meals.

Bun bo hue dong Ba

Some of the best Bún Bò Huế in Saigon

This afternoon here in southern New Jersey, we both agreed that a big bowl of bún bò huế would be the perfect lunch dish.  Sadly, and certainly here, it was not to be :-(.

But the memory of dozens of great lunches and dinners at Bún Bò Huế Đông Ba brought a longing smile to both our faces.  It’s my second-favorite eatery in Saigon for enjoying an excellent bowl bún bò huế.

Bún Bò Huế Đông Ba My favorite is Bún Bò Huế Hẻm 149.  But, it’s tucked away in a small alley in District 10, which while adding to its attraction for me, likely makes it a bit more difficult for Saigon visitors to find and navigate.  (Go anyway, it’s great!)

But, back to Bún Bò Huế Đông Ba.  It’s actually “walkable” from many parts of Saigon’s tourist center.

The bún bò húe here begins a wonderful nước leo (soup stock), richly flavored with mắm ruốc húe, lemongrass, onion, pineapple and lots and lots of boiled beef bones.

It’s then filled with slices of beef, pork knuckle, and three kinds of chả (ground meat loaf) – beef, pork, and crab. MAJOR YUM!

The bowl is served up beside a large plate of fresh uniquely-flavored herbs to add to your bowl as you please.  And as an extra treat, the chili sauce here is extra sharp and intensely chili-flavored.  I love it!  Oh New Jersey – you don’t know what you’re missing!

Bún Bò Huế Đông Ba

Finally, if you want to continue the eating fantasy, hai and I often share a plate of “Bánh Huế .  A sampler variety of some of Hue’s classic and unique food treats.  Bánh ít, bánh nậm, bánh bèo, bánh lọc, nem nướng, chả.  Several wonderfully chewy – in a rice pasty/gummy-bear-kind-of-way.

Bun bo hue dong Ba

“Bánh Huế . A sampler – bánh ít, bánh nậm, bánh bèo, bánh lọc, nem nướng, chả

OPEN 6:00 am – 10:30 pm.

Both Hai and I give Bún Bò Huế Đông Ba a triple YUM on Eating Saigon!’s Yum Meter.

UPDATE – February 2016: Confirmed this week as still serving a really excellent bowl of bún bò huế.  Maybe just because I’ve missed this dish for a few months, but I’d say it’s now better than ever! Also, updated prices in photo below.

Bun Bo Hue Saigon

February 2016 Menu

Bún Bò Huế Đông Ba

Bún Bò Huế Đông Ba 
110-A Nguyen Du
District 1

View Bún Bò Huế Đông Ba in a larger map

 July 4, 2013

  to “Bún Bò Huế Đông Ba”

  1. Went to this place today. The sign on the wall with the dishes and pricing, and of which you have put a picture, is still there. I was shown a piece of paper with the dish names in English. I was startled to see however that Bun Bo Hue was priced at 58,000VND, when I expected it to be 40,000VND (To Lon).

    The waiter didn’t know one word in English, so I couldn’t discern if the signs on the wall are outdated (unlikely) or if I was being charged differently because I am a foreigner.

    The food’s lovely by the way.

    • hi Matt ~ I very much suspect the price increase is related to the fact that it’s now the beginning of the Tet Holiday. It’s quite common throughout Vietnam that the small number of restaurants that remain open during the days just before and just after Tet will increase their prices. Some say it’s greed; others it’s simply the need to compensate employees for working during the days that most of the population is off and heading to their hometowns for the holiday. Very happy to hear the food was good!

  2. Went here this morning for breakfast and loved it! The hubby’s family is from hue and is very particular about his hue dishes and even he thought it was really good! That’s after spending a few days in the city of hue too!

    We ordered two bowls of bun bo hue and one of the banh hue, both were delicious! Thanks so much for your blog, it’s been super helpful for us US-born vietnamese folk coming to visit the country our roots stem from. We’re both from the Pacific Northwest, Potland to be exact, an up and coming food town where almost everyone is a “foodie”, so your blog was super helpful! Let us know if you’re ever in the portland area and we’ll show you some portland love!

    • Cảm ơn nhiều Jennifer for your kind words. So great to hear you’ve enjoyed the excellent foods in Saigon! And, absolutely … when Hai and I pass through Portland, we’d love to look you up and share some of Portland’s food treats! Enjoy your travels.

  3. Thank you so much for this. This one meal alone was worth coming to Vietnam for despite the 18 hour trip from Scotland. I would never have found this place on my own!

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