Our local picks dishes that warm your stomach on rainy days in Saigon

On rainy days, wandering in Saigon and enjoying delicious food is a memorable experience you don't want to miss.

Photo by Unsplash

Unlike many other areas in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) has only two distinct seasons throughout the year: dry and rainy. Rain may catch you unexpectedly from May to late November. If you plan to travel during this time, let's make your trip enjoyable with various fascinating activities for rainy days in Saigon.

One of the most exciting activities is exploring Saigon’s culinary style. On rainy days, wandering in Saigon and enjoying delicious food is a memorable experience you don't want to miss. Here are some locally sourced ideas to lighten your appetite.

Beef hotpot

Photo by Foody

Hotpot is an ideal meal for the rainy season, especially when shared among friends or family. Hotpot is available for lunch and dinner in Saigon, with various options. You can either try a local outdoor eatery or stay comfy in a premier hotpot restaurant.

Beef hotpot is a popular dish in Saigon that is both tasty and nutritious. You can find a similar taste of Phở (Vietnamese beef noodle soup) in beef hotpot at many places. Others adjust the seasoning, herbs, and side dishes to make a unique hotpot flavor. Beef hotpot is typically served with beef brisket, meatballs, beef tendon, fresh vegetables, noodles, and a special sauce called Chao (fermented tofu sauce).

The sauce is rich, creamy, and has a distinct aroma. If the sauce is too tricky for you, leave it out. A 200,000 VND - 300,000 VND (~$8.50 - $12.80) hotpot order is enough for 2-3 people. The suggestions below are loved spots to have great beef hotpots in Saigon:

01 - Nhà Gỗ Beef Hotpot (Wooden house beef hotpot)

Nhà Gỗ Beef Hotpot (Wooden house beef hot pot). Photo by diadiembinhduong.

The restaurant style is inspired by Da Lat's beef hotpot - one of the must-try dishes in Da Lat. Beef bones are cooked for around 20 hours for a rich and flavorful broth.

  • Address:
  • 162 Ly Thai To Street, Ward 1, District 3, HCMC
  • 426 Phan Van Tri, Ward 7, Go Vap District, HCMC
  • 467 Kha Van Can Street, Linh Dong Ward, Thu Duc District, Thu Duc City
  • Price: 120,000 VND - 500,000 VND ($5.00 - $21.00)
  • Opening hours: 11:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Space: indoor seat available, no air-con

02 - Hai Tín Beef Hotpot

Photo on Google Reviews

Hai Tn Beef Hotpot is in District 2, near the Thao Dien area. This is a popular hangout for locals after work and on weekends. The broth here is lighter in flavor while remaining balanced. They also serve stir-fries, steamed meat, and a grill alongside the hotpot.

  • Address: 60 Tran Nao Street, Binh An Ward, District 2, Thu Duc City
  • Price: from 100,000 VND ($4.20)
  • Opening hours: 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Space: the indoor seat, open space, no air-con

Goat hotpot

Goat meat hotpot is an excellent combination of the meat's pungent aroma and various herbs. Photo by Trivietphat.

Goat meat is a savory protein source that is leaner and lower in fat than beef or lamb. Goat meat has a strong and unique aroma that requires special preparation techniques and many spices to marinate before cooking. The broth is flavorful and nourishing, made from simmered goat bones and medicinal herbs in clay pots. The goat meat is fresh and tender.

Like beef hotpots, goat meat hotpots are served with vegetables, noodles, tofu skin, and chao (fermented tofu sauce). The dish is perfect for rainy days in Saigon. We recommend herewith some local places if you're interested in goat meat hotpot:

01 - Đồng Hương Goat Hotpot

Đồng Hương Goat Hotpot in Ho Chi Minh City is a renowned restaurant known for its authentic and delicious goat hotpot. With carefully selected ingredients and traditional cooking techniques, they offer flavorful and aromatic hotpot dishes. Guests can choose from various broths and cook their components at the table, adding a fun and interactive element. The restaurant's warm ambiance and attentive staff make it a great place to gather with friends and family. Overall, it's a must-visit destination for hotpot enthusiasts looking for authentic Vietnamese cuisine.

  • Address:
  • 663 To Ngoc Van Street, Tam Binh Ward, Thu Duc District, Thu Duc City
  • 113 Hoang Dieu 2 Street, Linh Trung Ward, Thu Duc District, Thu Duc City
  • 268 Do Xuan Hop Street, Phuoc Long A Ward, District 9, Thu Duc City
  • 35 Nguyen Van Dau Street, Ward 6, Binh Thanh District, HCMC
  • 33B Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street, Da Kao Ward, District 1, HCMC
  • Price: From 150,000 VND ($6.40)
  • Opening hours: 9:00 am - 9:30 pm
  • Space: indoor and outdoor seats, primarily open space

02 - Trương Định Goat Hotpot

Trương Định Goat Hotpot prides itself on using high-quality goat meat sourced from trusted local farmers, ensuring tenderness and optimal taste. With a variety of broths to choose from, including herbal and spicy options, guests can enjoy a customizable hotpot experience. The inviting ambiance and friendly staff create a welcoming atmosphere for diners to enjoy a memorable meal with friends and family. Trương Định Goat Hotpot is a must-visit destination for hotpot lovers seeking an authentic taste of Vietnamese cuisine in Ho Chi Minh City.

  • Address: 5 Truong Dinh Street, Ward 6, District 3, HCMC
  • Price: From 150,000 VND - 320,000 VND ($6.40 - $13.50)
  • Opening hours: 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Space: indoor seat available, open space

Brief notes:

  • The staff at local hotpot restaurants are not good at English, making communication difficult. It's more convenient to bring local friends.
  • The restaurants are usually crowded in the evening or on weekends, which leads to slow service sometimes.

Premier Hotpot chains

In recent years, many Hot Pot chains have been established in Saigon, providing a diversity of hotpot choices from around the world. If you are looking for a proper restaurant with a nice setup, air-con, and professional services, the restaurants below are suitable options:

Haidilao (Sichuan style)

Photo by Sapo
  • Address: Mostly located in famous buildings or shopping malls in Saigon (Bitexco, Vincom, Crescent Mall, Giga Mall, Hung Vuong Plaza, Estella Place, Landmark 81, Nowzone)
  • Price: À La Carte menu usually ranges from 400.000 VND/person (~$17.00)
  • Opening hours: 9:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Space: indoor seat, air-con


  • To save cost, regular customers recommend ordering a 4-partition pot, dual flavors, and two mineral glasses of water as group guests.
  • Because the restaurants are usually busy at dinnertime, you should arrive early to queue because reservations are not accepted after 5:00 pm. Booking is only available before 5:00 pm (strongly advised).

Manwah (Taiwanese style)

A proper choice for those who prefer comfy space and professional services. Photo by manwah.com.vn
  • Address:
  • Inside Shopping malls: BigC Truong Chinh, Estella Place, Giga Mall, Saigon Center, Vincom, Vivo City
  • 65 An Duong Vuong Street, Ward 8, District 5, HCMC
  • 19 Cao Thang Street, Ward 2, District 3, HCMC
  • 417 Hoang Van Thu Street, Ward 2, Tan Binh District, HCMC
  • Price: Buffet menu from 419,000 VND/pax (~$17.80)
  • Opening hours: 10:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Space: indoor seat, air-con

Tips: Desserts buffet line is highly recommended


Congee is a simple and warm dish to treat your stomach in the rainy season. Congee in Saigon is a fusion of many cultures and regional influences.

01 - Hang Xanh Congee (Teochew style)

  • Address: 283 Xo Viet Nghe Tinh Street, Ward 15, Binh Thanh District, HCMC
  • Price: from 25,000 VND ($1.00)
  • Opening hour: 2:00 pm - 3:00 am the next day
  • Space: open space by the street, with portable cover when it rains
You can choose as many side dishes as you want with congee—photo by foody.

Hang Xanh Congee is a roadside diner near the Hang Xanh crossroads. Passing through this area at night will attract you with the aroma of congee cooked with pandan leaves. There are two different-named food stalls. In our opinion, the flavors and types of side dishes are similar. They have a showcase with various side dishes; all you have to do is look at and choose what you want. We usually order one bowl of congee and 2-3 side dishes. Salted eggs, Vietnamese pickles, and braised anchovy fish are popular ones.

02 - Chao Suon Chu Chen (Uncle Chen - Pork ribs congee)

Congee is served in a clay pot to maintain the heat. Photo by kanawa. vn
  • Address: 281 Nguyen Trai Street, Nguyen Cu Trinh Ward, District 1, HCMC
  • Price: 65,000 VND - 150,000 VND ($2.80 - $6.50)
  • Opening hours: 7:00 am -3:00 am
  • Space: indoor seat, air-con

Chao suon Chu Chen was inspired by a popular Hanoi rib congee recipe and the owner's creativity to create a diverse congee menu for customers. You can find a variety of congee choices, from meat to seafood and mushroom, at Chao Suon Chu Chen. Hot congee is served in a clay pot; the flavor is balanced and tasty.

Vietnamese Noodle Soups

A bowl of noodle soup on rainy days is ideal. Photo by truyenhinhdulich.vn

On rainy days, it would be remiss of us not to mention a vast array of Vietnamese noodle soups, ranging from Pho, Bun Bo (Hue beef noodle soup), Hu Tieu (rice noodles with pork bone soup), and Bun Rieu (crab noodle soup). From dusk till dawn, a steaming bowl of noodle soup can be found on every street corner in Saigon. Taking a sip of hot, flavorful broth while watching raindrops fall on the street is an incredible experience.

Consider our recommendations for the best Pho in Saigon and favorite spots for delectable vermicelli soup in Saigon when looking for great places to eat noodle soup in the rainy season.