Jun 072014

It turns out that Hai is not the only amazing cook in his 11-sibling family.

In fact, I often suggest in the late evening after our visits to the gym, “Let’s go visit chị ba (Sister #3)”. What I actually mean is,  Let’s go have some really yummy bún riêu.”   Hai never disagrees … off to Binh Thanh district we go.

bun rieu

Chị Ba’s yummy Bún Riêu

Hai’s Sister #3 (together with her hubby and children) have been serving up some of Saigon’s most authentic bún riêu and bún bò Huế for more than a decade.

bún riêu

Chị ba (Sister #3) serving up some of Saigon’s most authentic bún riêu and bún bò Huế

bun bo hue

Chị Ba’s Bún Bò Huế

bun rieuOn a dimly lit Bình Thạnh district street, running between Chợ Bà Chiểu (more on this market soon in a future Eating Saigon! post) and Đông Hoa Xuân (Hai’s restaurant), Chị Ba’s little street food eatery draws in a crowd of locals every night (including various members of Hai’s family .)

Bun rieu

Hai’s niece getting ready to gobble down some yummy bún riêu


Bun Rieu

Hai visiting Sister #3’s eatery

Bún riêu, is a classic Vietnamese rice vermicelli soup with a richly-pungent broth having a tomato and pounded-crab base. Various culinary gems find their way into the bowl together with the unique Vietnamese-flavored broth and the bún noodles.  Huyết (congealed pig’s blood), ground crab meat, nem chua and chả lụa (forms of Vietnamese sausage),  fried tofu cubes, and an assortment of herbs and vegetables are the most common ingredients in bún riêu.

Sister #3’s classic bún riêu is actually bún riêu ốc (bún riêu with snails). But, for those who don’t savor the rubbery chewy texture of snail meat (I count myself amongst them), the plain bún riêu (“hold the snails”) and the bún bò Huế are most appealing here. And the bún riêu dạc biệt  (special) is over-the-top! Rất ngon (absolutely delicious).

bun rieu


For sure, you must try a dash of mắm tôm (fermented shrimp paste) to spike the authentic flavor of the bún riêu.  I suggest, however, that you apply the thick, purplish-colored, “stinky” mắm tôm sauce in eye-dropper proportions in order to add the essence of the bold flavor without knocking your socks off … unless, of course, you’re a seasoned Saigon street food eater.

bún riêu

Enjoy a cold glass of sweet nước mía (sugar cane drink)

And, for an extra treat, wash it all down with a sweet and flavorful nước mía (freshly squeezed sugar cane drink) that is prepared here by Thai, Hai’s handsome, body-builder nephew.

nuoc mia

Nước Mía

bún riêu

Thai’s always happy to squeeze some sugar cane just for you!

A nutritious and very yummy bowl of authentic Saigon street soup here costs just 20,000 vnd for bún riêu & canh bún; 25,000 vnd for bún bò Huế;  35,000 vnd for bún bó with chả and bún bò Huế dạc biệt.

Enjoy! Enjoy!

Bun Rieu

The late evening crowd gathers for some delicious bún riêu and bún bò Huế at Chị Ba’s place

Open from 6:00 pm to late (about  11:00 pm).

bún riêuChị Ba’s Bún Riêu
153-155 Lê Quang Định
Bình Thạnh District

View Chị Ba’s Bún Riêu in a larger map

 June 7, 2014

  to “Sister #3’s Bún Riêu”

  1. Great site and very good blog…a worthy heir to the famed Noodlepie legacy.

  2. Thanks so much for this one! With my in-laws and the nieces/nephews all living near Cho Ba Chieu, we’ll definitely give this a try when we return to HCMC in the fall. That said, we’ll probably opt for the Oc version. We’re a family of snail eaters.

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