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Saigon Street Food Gems: Hoa Quan

As a resident of District 4, I find that it being off a lot of people’s radar both a good and bad thing. Good because, quite frankly, I like to imagine I have the place to myself and want to wallow in the uniqueness of being a rare westerner in the mirky depths of the district. Really though, it’s a bad thing because so many people are missing out on one of Saigon’s most vibrant areas.

One that offers labyrinthal hems, bustling street markets, more cheap eats than you can shake a stick at and what is probably one of the best food streets in the city. All of this just over the canal from District 1.

The food street is is Vinh Kanh – surely amongst the pantheon of gastronomic strips in Saigon. During the day, this is just another street, doubling up as a would-be race track for the local ruffians to tear along. Come the evening though, the speedsters give way to a multitude of seafood and ‘oc’ eateries that are rammed seven nights a week with diners, street traders, karaoke singers selling chewing gum (or are they chewing gum salesmen singing karaoke?) and, obviously, fire eaters.

Nestled amongst this throng is a fairly recent addition - Hoa Quan, a simple street-side set up of 15 or so small tables upon which are placed red hot BBQ sets. The menu is small, offering a selection of meat cuts, seafood and vegetables to grill yourself at your table. Add to the mix some cold beers, the frenzied street activity and the chatter of your fellow diners, and you have a fabulous setting in which to while away an hour or so whilst snacking on some freshly grilled eats.

Vinh Kanh St., District 4

Open: evenings, daily.

Dishes: 50-75,000vnd

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