What’s for lunch? The telling portraits of Saigon meals International


The residents of Ho Chi Minh City let VnExpress take pictures of their plates, bowls or lunchboxes. And here are the results.

As the old saying goes, you are what you eat.

To better understand Saigon and its stories, we hit the streets and tried to take a peek at the midday meals of the city’s residents – from all walks of life and income brackets.

In a way, unpacking these meals is dissecting the layers of the onion that is Ho Chi Minh City. We think we know it, but we really don’t.

But first, some quick facts about lunch in Saigon.

Usually lunchtime starts at around 11 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m. Early birds are mostly those who want to avoid the crowds or try not to miss their siesta.

Lunch is important, but for many Saigon resident, not the most important meal. They would argue that the title either belongs to breakfast, which often means a full meal with a big bowl of pho or a full plate of broken rice, or to dinner, the family gathering that traditionally has three or even four courses.

Lunch is that quick meal that you need. It has to be convenient, tasty, protein-heavy and, above all, affordable.


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