American food in Vietnam

Old Oct 31st, 2003, 10:23 AM
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American food in Vietnam

I have been trying to find out if many places sell American food in Vietnam and haven't gotten very far. Is American food widely available? About how much does it cost? Thanks for any help you can give me!
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Old Oct 31st, 2003, 01:19 PM
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If you mean pizza, hamburgers, steaks, ribs etc. No, not easy to find but then try Little Hanoi in Old Quarter (they had great sandwiches) and Annies Pizza (very good pizza) in Saigon. We love Vietnamese food so were happy to eat it for 2 weeks. Some of the big hotels have foreign food on their menus however we didn't see steaks, chips and eggs on the menu of the Majestic in Saigon. I gotta say after our trip we had the biggest steak! Food is very inexpensive in Vietnam- you can eat a great meal for 2 under USD10 if you stick to local cafes & restaurants-grab a lonely planet guidebook & enjoy yourself.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2003, 12:14 PM
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Heather - your call, but why on earth would you want to eat American food in a country with such a superb cuisine? Why not use your time to get acquainted with Vietnamese food, which is delicious, diverse and fresh? A friend who worked in Vietnam for three years reported that he only got food sickness once - when he ate a pizza.
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Old Nov 4th, 2003, 06:50 AM
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Neil, I agree with you, but not everyone (ie some children and teenagers) is very adventurous when it comes to food. Thanks for the replies!
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Old Nov 5th, 2003, 01:20 AM
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AAAARGHHH! i wrote a detailed reply, only to find i had lost my internet connex when i tried to post it! well, here goes again.

i lived in saigon in the late 90s and knew a lot of expatriate and visiting american kids. some were picky, esp younger ones, and hygiene was a concern for parents not used to vnese conditions. in general i agree w/ neil--the farther a restaurant's menu gets from vnese staples (meaning fresh local ingredients), the higher the risk. if u watch local vnese eateries, volume is extremely high. people stop in for the specialty, eat and leave, more people stop in, etc. tourist-oriented restaurants are rarefied places, often largely empty, where u know food sits a longer time. my last visit back in june, the only time i had a problem was after a hamburger at saigon saigon, a ritzy foreigners' bar/restaurant atop the delta caravelle hotel.

having said that, i've never had bad experiences or heard complaints abt the following places in saigon:

CIAO CAFE. at nguyen hue and le loi streets in district 1, just down the avenue from the people's committee. pizza and spaghetti. reasonable.

PARIS BISTRO. 2 locations: in saigon centre on le loi (gray/black glassy high rise) and on dong khoi street, also district 1. familiar sandwiches on crusty french bread, cakes and pastries, ice cream. always stopped in when i had a chance. reasonable (say $3 sandwiches, $1 pastries).

LOTTERIA. japanese fast-food chain in the rex hotel (le loi street side) in district 1. no jpnese food here. hamburger, cheeseburger, shrimpburger and fried chicken sets, w/ drink and fries.

KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN. cropping up on corners in saigon. might avoid the cole slaw, as i thot it had an odd taste compared to kfc at home.

in my experience, even picky kids wd eat fried rice (com chien), noodle stir-fries (mien xao) and noodle soups (pho or hu tieu). urs might also like banh xeo (say 'bun say-oh'), large flat yellow crepes stuffed w/ sauteed pork, bean sprouts and other vegetables, torn into chunks, wrapped in lettuce leaves and dipped in a light savory sauce. i'm making myself hungry!
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Old Nov 8th, 2003, 09:02 PM
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Sorry, Heather, the kid problem hadn't occurred to me when I dashed into print (maybe because my lot are all adults now and even the two vegetarians have started eating seafood). Lyndie's and mari808's replies are more useful than mine in any event.
If you go to Hanoi you can get decent French food at a place called Hoa Sua and feel virtuous while you eat because you're supporting a program to train street kids into the hospitality business - nice courtyard surroundings, and a great patisserie next door. They also serve Vietnamese food of course. Sorry, haven't got the address but last time I looked they had a website. Enjoy your stay!
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