Quan Ba Cham (Vietnamese: Quán Ba Chấm) is a small, local restaurant located in District 4, down a small street with several popular lunch spots. The menu is only in Vietnamese and we’ve never seen another foreigner dining there but it’s always full of locals so you know it has to be good.
Quan Ba Cham is a typical, local Vietnamese restaurant with a wide-open front entrance and long tables with benches lining the walls. If it’s busy, plan on sharing your table with some new friends.
If the restaurant is packed downstairs, don’t worry, there is more space on the upper level. The waitstaff at Quan Ba Cham are all very friendly but don’t speak English so you’ll find that pointing to the items on the menu that you want to order is most effective.
The menu at Quan Ba Cham is entirely in Vietnamese with only a few photos to help you navigate. The front page consists of soups. We tried to order the Hu Tieu Ho dish at the top of the menu and the waitress shook her head “no”, and directed us to the Mi Ga Ba Cham (mì gà ba chấm) instead. So we assume some of the things on the menu have ingredients that foreigners may not want.
Mi Ga Ba Cham is the only dish we’ve tried at Quan Ba Cham, partially because of the language barrier, and partially because it is so incredibly delicious. “Mi” refers to the type of noodle which is a thin egg noodle. The “Ga” means chicken, which in this case comes in thick chunks that have been deep-fried. And the “Ba” apparently means father; no idea the relation to the dish.
The broth is salty, savory, and divine. You’ll also find large chunks of bok choy floating around, as well as some green onions and shallots. It’s impossible not to love!
If fried chicken noodle soup doesn’t suit you, they also have hotpot which is quite popular with the locals.
The Price Tag
Quan Ba Cham is really reasonably priced! The Mi Ga Ba Cham soup is the most expensive of the soup options, at 60,000 VND (~$2.50). Add a cold coffee with milk and you’ve got the perfect breakfast on a backpacker’s budget!
Quan Ba Cham is one of our favorite local lunch spots so don’t miss it during your trip to District 4! But keep in mind that it gets really busy around 12:00pm when the entire street experiences a lunch rush. Best to go a bit early to avoid the crowds.
And definitely try the Mi Ga Ba Cham soup, it gives plain old pho a run for its money!
Location: 75 Lê Quốc Hưng, Phường 12, Quận 4, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam