Food tours are a fun way to explore the local foods of the place you’re visiting. They offer a variety of dishes, some of which you might not have tried before. And food tours in Vietnam are no different.

The best food tours in Vietnam have a mix of foods, a knowledgeable guide, and opportunities to learn more about the place, not just the food.

When picking a food tour for your trip, it’s important to think about a few key things. Here’s our guide to finding the best food tours in Vietnam.

Related read: Things to Do in Ho Chi Minh City: A Guide for Travelers

In a hurry?

Here are our favorite food tours in Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon:

Street Food Motorbike Tour In Ho Chi Minh City: Experience Saigon as the locals do, on a motorbike! Taste 8 of the best street foods in town, including a drink, Saigon beer and dessert – BOOK NOW!

Walking Street Food Tour in Ho Chi Minh City: Stroll the back alleys and visit old apartments built in 1968 while tasting 10 dishes, including a drink and Saigon beer – BOOK NOW!

Vegan Food Motorbike Tour in Ho Chi Minh City: Experience Ho Chi Minh City by night from the back of a motorbike, while enjoying delicious vegan dishes prepared by some of the best vegan kitchens in the city – BOOK NOW!

Here’s an overview:

Things To Consider When Choosing the Best Food Tour in Vietnam

When searching for a food tour to book, make sure to look out for the below.

Delicious and Safe Food

Food tours in Vietnam should be a fun adventure filled with delicious food. But it’s important to make sure the food is safe to eat. In the city, there are lots of food vendors, but not all follow the same hygiene standards.

Some tour operators might pick cheap vendors to save money, even if they’re not qualified. They might think, “If locals eat it, tourists will be fine too,” but that’s not always true. Different places have different conditions.

That’s why it’s crucial to choose a tour that puts safety first. Eating safe food on the tour means you won’t get sick and ruin your holiday. Look for tours that check the quality of the food they offer.

Related read: Top 10 Best Street Food In Ho Chi Minh City

Banh mi chao (bread with combo pan) at Hoa Ma in Saigon, Vietnam

They Take You to Authentic Places That You Can’t Do Yourself

When picking a tour, it’s important to ensure it’s authentic. If advertised as “local,” it should take you to places you can’t easily find on your own. For example, if a food tour only includes popular dishes like Banh mi or Pho, you could try those by yourself.

Recently, a term called “fake local” has been used in tourism. This means places or activities that claim to be “off the beaten path” but are actually where many tour operators take their guests. This can worsen during tourist seasons when fewer visitors are at popular places.

So, when choosing a food tour in Saigon, look for one that truly offers unique local experiences. Otherwise, you might end up in a crowd of tourists when you expected something more authentic. Saigon has a wide variety of food from all over Vietnam, so there’s no need to settle for touristy spots when genuine local options are available.

Related read: 14 Days in Vietnam Itinerary

Tasting and cooking own street food during a food tour in Vietnam.
Tasting and cooking own street food in Vietnam.

Types of Transportation

When you’re looking at food tours in Vietnam, they can vary a lot depending on how you get around. If you go by car, it’s usually the most expensive option and might not be good for exploring small streets.

Walking or motorbike tours are often better for checking out local food spots.

There’s also a difference between private and group tours, especially in price. Group tours are cheaper, but sometimes you might feel rushed or crowded. Private tours cost a bit more, but you get the whole experience to yourself, which can be really worth it.

Related read: Motorbiking in Vietnam: Practical Rules You Should Know

Walking Street Food Tour

Vietnam is a treasure trove of culinary delights, and the Walking Street Food Tour in Saigon stands out as a highlight for epicureans seeking an immersive experience. Guided by knowledgeable local food lovers, this tour promises a taste of authenticity as you explore the vibrant heart of Saigon / Ho Chi Minh City.

You’ll navigate the labyrinth of back alleys, discovering historic quarters with apartments that whisper tales from as far back as the Tet Offensive in 1968. These places offer a taste of history and cuisine.

As you meander through the city’s streets, you’re invited to feast on ten carefully chosen dishes that encapsulate the best of Saigon street food. From zesty soups to sizzling barbecue specialties, each bite is a revelation, with beverages and local Saigon beer adding to the convivial atmosphere. This isn’t about dining in luxury; it’s about experiencing the authentic hustle and flavor of the city — eating as the locals do and engaging in the kind of genuine exchanges that can turn a meal into a memory.

What’s more, the tour is proud to accommodate guests with dietary restrictions, ensuring everyone can partake in the joy of Saigon’s street food scene. And, with a Best Price Guarantee, it’s an accessible adventure for those who want to dive deep into the local culture without diving too deep into their wallets.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a curious foodie, the Walking Street Food Tour is an enthusiastic recommendation for anyone visiting Vietnam and seeking to explore the culinary landscape of this dynamic city.

Related read: Beer in Vietnam: Reasons to Try Bia Hoi

Street food "Com Chay Suon" in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Street food “Com Chay Suon” in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Price: from $27

  • Ten dishes, snacks, drinks & local beer included (no hidden cost)
  • Free pick-up & drop-off right at your hotel in district 1,3 and 4
  • Friendly English-speaking tour guide
  • Transportation by Taxi or Grab
  • Accident Insurance up to 5000$ per case

Tour times are available at 12PM, 1PM, 5:30PM, and 6PM, or you can choose your preferred time.

Join this tour for an unforgettable culinary adventure through the vibrant streets of Saigon!

Motorbike Street Food Tour

Dive into the heart of Saigon’s vibrant food scene with a Motorbike Street Food Tour that promises an adventure as authentic as it is exhilarating.

Imagine the wind in your hair as you nip down narrow alleyways, guided by local students whose insider knowledge leads you to the hidden enclaves and culinary hotspots that tourists rarely find. This isn’t your ordinary itinerary; it’s a personalized gateway to a side of Saigon that remains untouched by the usual throngs of visitors.

You’ll feast on a delectable array of eight street food delights that tell the rich story of local cuisine, from savory to sweet, all while avoiding the long lines that typically snake around the city’s more famous eateries. Accompanying your food journey is a refreshing drink to cleanse your palate, a locally-brewed Saigon beer to toast the experience, and a sweet treat to round off the vibrant flavors you’ll encounter.

With the city as your backdrop, you’ll traverse four distinct districts, each with its own flavor and flair, including the bustling streets of Chinatown.

It’s a full sensory experience that lets you taste, smell, and see Saigon in its honest form – through the eyes and hearts of those who call it home. This tour is a must for anyone eager to engage with Saigon’s true rhythm while indulging in its culinary treasures.

It’s time to strap on a helmet and secure your spot on a motorbike for an epic food adventure that will leave you with a full belly and an even fuller heart.

Street food "Banh Flan Chi Muoi" in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Street food “Banh Flan Chi Muoi” in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Price: from $28

  • Ten dishes, snacks, drinks & local beer included (no hidden cost)
  • Friendly English-speaking tour guide
  • Convenient pickup directly from your hotel
  • Helmet
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Transportation by motorbike. One guest with one guide (separate motorbike)
  • Accident Insurance up to 5000$ per case
  • Photos from your tour guide

Choose from multiple starting times to fit your schedule – 11AM, 12PM, 1PM, 5:30PM, 6PM, or request a time that works best for you.

Don’t miss out on this unique culinary adventure!

Well-Trained Tour Guides

When you go on a food tour, you usually have a tour guide with you. They’re the ones who make the experience special by showing you around. But not every tour guide is great.

Some tour operators pay their guides very little, like 100,000 – 150,000 VND (or 5-7 USD) per tour, so they can offer cheap tours. This can lead to problems:

  • Guides might try to get you to buy things so they can earn a commission, even if you don’t want to.
  • They might only care about getting tips, and might act differently if they don’t get enough.
  • Some guides might not speak English well enough or might not know what they’re doing.

Choosing a tour with good guides who care about giving you a great experience is important, not just making money.

Food tour group in Vietnam
Food tour group in Vietnam

Price Inclusions / Exclusions

Sometimes, a cheap price can seem like a good deal, but it can end up being a trap. Some tour operators use a trick called “base price,” where you pay a little upfront but end up with a lot of hidden costs.

For example, let’s say you book a 21 USD food tour in Saigon. But once you’re on the tour, you find out:

  • You have to pay an extra 10 USD for the taxi.
  • The food isn’t included, so you need to pay another 10 USD.
  • Drinks cost extra, too, adding up to 2-5 USD.
  • And then there’s tips for the tour guide or student.

Suddenly, you’re paying around 41 USD or even more for the tour, which is more than the 29 USD tour you didn’t book. This is common with street food tours. If they take you to fancier places, the costs can be even higher.

It’s important to watch out for these hidden expenses.

Local Sightseeing Included

Adding local sightseeing to your food tour in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) can make your experience even better and offer several advantages:

  • Cultural Learning: Sightseeing helps you dive into the local culture, giving you a better understanding of Saigon’s history and traditions
  • Food Context: Seeing the city’s sites can help you understand the food you’re eating better.
  • Breaks and Rest: A tour with sightseeing can include breaks between meals, letting you rest, drink water, and take in the sights.
  • Variety: Combining sightseeing with food tasting gives you a complete experience, enjoying both the food and the city’s architecture and culture.
  • Time Savings: With a combined tour, you can make the most of your time in Saigon, trying local dishes and seeing the sights without wasting time.

Ability to Customize

Many tours follow a set itinerary, but not every traveler fits into one mold.

Whether you’re passionate about a certain cuisine or have dietary restrictions, customization ensures the tour suits your preferences. Saigon’s diverse culinary scene, influenced by different regions and cultures, offers ample opportunities for exploration.

Customization allows you to delve deeper into local food culture or focus on specific aspects of Vietnamese cuisine that interest you.

Vietnamese food tours offer an unparalleled opportunity to engage directly with the country’s rich culinary heritage.

They’re not just about savoring an array of spectacular flavors; they’re immersive experiences that connect you to the heartbeat of Vietnam’s vibrant culture. These tours take you off the beaten path and into the bustling markets and quiet alleyways where the true spirit of Vietnam comes alive.

Along the way, you’ll interact with friendly locals, learn the intricacies of traditional food preparation, and witness the fresh, colorful ingredients that make Vietnamese cuisine so distinctive. More than just a feast for the palate, a street food tour in Vietnam is a gateway to discovering this beautiful country’s authentic charm and genuine hospitality.

  • SaigonVibes

    Welcome to Saigon, a bustling and exciting city just waiting to be discovered! Let’s arrange your vacation together! For an amazing adventure, explore its colorful streets, rich culture, and must-see sights. Sample the most amazing dishes that Ho Chi Minh City has to offer.