Photo: Random pho in My Tho.

Eat and meet



Despite the Mekong Delta’s agricultural and aquatic bounty, My Tho is not exactly a gastronomic paradise. You’ll have to be a food explorer, keeping eyes peeled for Mekong Delta specialities.

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You won’t have any problems finding hu tieu, the go-to noodle soup of the region and My Tho’s signature, usually found for breakfast or dinner. The essential components of hu tieu are a naturally sweet pork stock with rice noodles and pork meat and/or seafood topping. The dish has morphed and there are many variations throughout the Mekong Delta and Vietnam, using different noodles and toppings—there’s even a dry version with sauce rather than broth.

One bowl is never enough.

One bowl is never enough. Photo: Cindy Fan

The hu tieu My Tho tends to be with a chewier noodle and has more of seafood zing with shrimp and squid. Good news for vegetarians, there are several vegetarian “chay” restaurants side by side close the river/tourist pier on Nam Ky Khoi Nghia St. Cay Bo De # (32 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia St) has a completely meat free version of the dish filled out with tasty root veg like carrots and daikon, and deep fried tofu. A bowl is 22,000 dong. They also do vegetarian versions of other noodle soups (bun rieu, pho) and “beef” stews (bo kho) for 25,000 dong, as well as a range of rice and fried rice dishes for 25,000 dong. Vegetarian or not, it’s a cheap, cheerful meal.

A yummy southern soupy snack is sup cua, a thick egg drop soup with chunks of crab meat, topped with cilantro and black pepper. Sweat over a hearty 25,000 dong bowl at Quan Duyen #, a small, clean shop at 18 Thu Khoa Huan St. They also serve banh canh cua, crab and shrimp soup and thick, sticky tapioca-rice noodles for 35,000 dong, and bun mam, a noodle soup with a motley of all five tastes and interesting textures delivered from pork, many kinds of seafood and greens. Fill up with a hot pot (lau) with all the trimmings for 75,000 dong.

Make time for a hot pot.

Make time for a hot pot. Photo: Cindy Fan

A Mekong Delta delicacy is Elephant Ear fish. The fish is deep fried whole and served standing up on a rack, quite a flashy presentation. Inside the meat is moist and it’s usually eaten by flaking off chunks and making them into wraps with rice paper or lettuce, herbs, rice vermicelli and dipping sauce. If you’re in My Tho on a Delta tour, you may be served it for lunch.

For a familiar pick-me up, Fresh Origin Coffee # is a modern indoor cafe directly across from the tourist boat pier that can do an Americano, latte or ice coffee, starting at 15,000 dong. Recharge the battery—literally, as there are power points—and WiFi.

A light lunch with friends at Banh Xeo 46.

A light lunch with friends at Banh Xeo 46. Photo: Stuart McDonald

In the late afternoon and evening, street carts # congregate at the pond at Ly Thuong Kiet and Tet Mau Than, just two blocks north of the river. These are after work type snacks like grilled corn on the cob, banh trang trong (a “salad” of rice paper with spicy, savoury, sour dressing), drinks, banh mi sandwiches, sugar cane and fresh cut fruit.

Banh Xeo 46 # (11 Trung Trac) is a spring roll and banh xeo place with an English menu and cheery, non-English speaking staff, this is a good place to practice your point-and-smile technique, or to sample the fermented sausage fresh spring rolls, which are delicious.

Late night dried squid can really hit the spot.

Late night dried squid can really hit the spot. Photo: Stuart McDonald

My Tho has a small night market # beside the Chuong Duong Hotel on the riverfront. While precious little English is spoken, a few of the stalls do have English menus and there is a good range of dishes available.

The Mekong Delta is known for its fruits so whether here, the central market # (Cho My Tho) or the islands, pick up sweet, juicy tropical fruit like pineapple, sapodilla, dragonfruit, mangoes, rose apples, guava, banana, papaya, durian and coconut. The cottage industries on the islands are part of the boat tours most travellers do. You’ll be able to sample and buy honey, tea, liquor and the favourite, a toffee-like candy made from coconuts, sugar and malt syrup.


Map of eating options for My Tho

Legend
(1) Banh Xeo 46 (2) Cay Bo De (3) Fresh Origin Coffee (Under 5)(4) My Tho Central Market (5) Night market (6) Quan Duyen (7) Street carts

Banh Xeo 46 11 Trung Trac St; .
Cay Bo De 32 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia St; .
Fresh Origin Coffee 30/4 St (River road); .
My Tho Central Market Trung Trac St; .
Night market 30/4 St (River road); .
Quan Duyen 18 Thu Khoa Huan St; .
Street carts Corner of Ly Thuong Kiet and Tet Mau Than streets; .

Banh Xeo 46
11 Trung Trac St; My Tho, Mekong Delta
Under $2
Cay Bo De
32 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia St; My Tho, Mekong Delta
Under $2
Fresh Origin Coffee
30/4 St (River road); My Tho, Mekong Delta
Under $2
My Tho Central Market
Trung Trac St; My Tho, Mekong Delta
Under $2
Night market
30/4 St (River road); My Tho, Mekong Delta
Under $2
Quan Duyen
18 Thu Khoa Huan St; My Tho, Mekong Delta
Under $2
Street carts
Corner of Ly Thuong Kiet and Tet Mau Than streets; My Tho, Mekong Delta
Under $2
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Popular attractions in My Tho

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around My Tho.


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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after My Tho? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Vietnam.


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