We suggest all the expats, foreigners living and learning Vietnamese in Ho Chi Minh City to try “Cơm tấm” at 4 of the best restaurants: Ba Ghiền, Cơm tấm Bãi Rác, Phan Xích Long Tenement, and another rice restaurant in a lane of Xo Viet Nghe Tinh Street that is known by most Saigon people.
Read previous part: Part 1
3. Cơm tấm bãi rác at District 4
Though the name of this roadside restaurant sounds… weird (bải rác: refuse tip), it’s just a nickname, affectionately given by its customers because it’s located right behind Xom Chieu Market, and always refuses tips. Therefore, it was called “Cơm tấm bãi rác” (“Cơm tấm” refused tips). Gradually, this name has been “officially” used for the roadside restaurant.
I used to invite my friends who are from Hanoi to come here to enjoy, and they all liked this restaurant. Its specialty is girlled pork chops and fried chops. I have no idea how they are made, but honestly, they are fantastic.
There’s another thing that we usually forget or don’t pay much atention to, which is the top of rice. This is the main thing about “Cơm tấm” that nothing else can replace. And if we ask someone “Which is best place that has “Cơm tấm”?”maybe people will choose this roadside restaurant, though the rice is broken, it’s sweet-smelling, and not too watery.
Address: Le Van Linh Street (behind Xom Chieu Market, District 4)
Open time: 6pm -12pm
4. Cơm tấm Bà Mười on Xo Viet Nghe Tinh Street
This is a restaurant located deep into of Xo Viet Nghe Tinh Street. It has been the destination of many people in Saigon.
This restaurant opens from 8.30 pm to 4.00 am. It may be the time many go to sleep at night, but to some other people, it’s the time to find something to eat. This restaurant is their destination. This speaks to how much people in Saigon love “Cơm tấm”. It seems to me that “Cơm tấm” is always one of their choices when they are feeling hungry.
As many restaurants I spoke of before, the speciality of this restaurant is grilled pork. It’s scented well and very tasty. However, the very small thing that makes the restaurant famous is that its cracklings are onions mixed with oil and sauce. No matter what you eat, you must always have a bowl of cracklings in addition.
In addition, small spring onion mixed with oil is a special thing. Listen, just a dish which is full of broken rice, sweet-smelling grilled pork chop, greasy cracklings, and a bit of sauce made by the restaurant. I’m sure that may make you unforgettable.
Here, besides basic main dishes, in addition, “Cơm tấm” also has cucumber, tomato and a bowl of cracklings
Address: Xo Viet Nghe Tinh, Ward 21, Binh Thanh District
Open time: 8.30 pm – 4am