Deep inside narrow alleys of Saigon is a variety of breakfast meals to enjoy: a bowl of hot beef noodles, a loaf of bread, a cup of coffee and so on.

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The most famous breakfast in this city is “com tam”. Saigoneers appreciate this well-known dish as an adequate meal for a brand new day of work.

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There are many factors that make “com tam” a delicious dish: rice, barbecued ribs, sauce… and, of course, the atmosphere filled with appetizing grilled meat smell.

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In another lane on Nguyen Binh Khiem street, District 1, a group of local people have their day started with with “banh mi cha ca” (bread filled grilled chopped fish). The mouth-watering smell of grilled chopped fish spreads all over the alley.

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It seems to be amazingly simple recipe to make this dish. All you need are bread, grilled chopped fish, a little of herb, sour vegetable and chilli sauce. However, according to Khanh – a daily customer of this food stall, the point is that grilled chopped fish must be kept fresh and fried right in the stall.

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A loaf of grilled chopped fish bread costs only 10 thousands dong – a very reasonable price.

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If the time is not tight, you had better try the renowned “bun bo Hue” (Beef noodles of Hue). In this tiny food stall in the lanes, you have chance to sit next to the hot pot of flavored water and have some lovely small talks with the cook.

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A bowl of Hue beef noodles offers mouth-watering typical smell of herbal citronella flavored water, cow bones and a variety kinds of beef,… . Local people like to eat this dish with split water spinach, herb, chilli or lemon to awake the appetite.

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To end a perfect breakfast meal, it is ideal to drop in an alley on Phan Dinh Phung street, Phu Nhuan District to enjoy the famed yet rarely seen now: “ca phe vot” (coffee filtered with a net bag). Mrs Ba – the shop keeper – told that when the metal coffee filter had not become popular yet, she often used a small net bag insteads. In this way, coffee is poured into a net bad and hot water is added many times to filter out the finest drip of coffee.

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You can order black or milk, hot or iced coffee and serve yourself right in the lanes.

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Mr. Hai, 50-year-old, Phu Nhuan district shares his thought on this typical way of life of Saigonese: “The best part of these small stalls is that it brings everyone close together equally no matter what their social status are.”. Having some small talks when sipping “ca phe vot” is a superb way to begin a new day.

You also see more Ho Chi Minh City travel guide at here.

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