If you’ve been here for a few years, you might have noticed that Vietnam is getting more and more international. Saigon, in particular, seems to be jumping into the great blue yonder, with all sorts of brands setting up shop (or at least that was the case before Covid). Cars, clothes, restaurants. Soon enough, even those little, red, plastic chairs might (gasp!) be replaced with normal sized monoblocs. Sure, local things have it’s charms, but with increasing disposable income also comes an increasing desire to try new things. So, this list isn’t necessarily just for expats who are looking for a slice of home, hopefully this list of Where to Buy Imported Food in Saigon will also help some locals who are looking for something different.
Before we begin, I just have to clarify that I’m purposefully leaving both Annam and Naman off this list. They’re definitely a great place to start – if you’re looking for some type of foreign food product, chances are one of these stores will have it. That said, they’re also quite dear, and already big enough to pop up on any Google search of “where to find imported foods”. Perhaps they might get a write-up of their own in the future, but for the moment we’re going to focus on relatively smaller players here, and hopefully help them develop a wider following.
The granddaddy of foreign stores – Phuong Ha has been here for at least the last 10 years, and if it’s not yet a national landmark, it very well should be. Very wide selection, but not necessarily deep – this place have 2 locations located on either side of Ham Nghi. If nothing else, check them out for their very well priced selection of hard liquor. They’ve got a wide array of chocolates, and cereals, along with various types of vinegars and oils. Odd selection, but it works.
Relatively central location. Well stocked baking supplies section. Nice little frozen food section. Small bags of dried herbs and spices, some of which are very hard to come by. Relatively affordable. Short queues.
The store itself is cramped, dusty, and has no air-conditioning. I feel that they might have issues with petty theft, as there will be a staff member following you around, and not necessarily to answer questions.
If a Vietnamese convenience store, and a Korean cold storage facility had a love child, it would be K-Market. This place was quite a pleasant surprise the first time I went to one of their branches. Clean, well lit, competitive pricing, and good product placement. They’re heavily focused on their target market, so will carry a wide range of Korean products, but also have enough Western items to make a mean pasta, or roast. Excellent fresh vegetables section.
Multiple locations, mostly in D7, but it’s a growing brand with a few stores in Thao Dien and An Phu. There’s a small selection of pre-made foods, either ready to eat, or just throw in the microwave. Pre-packed salads are very well priced.
Not really a full supermarket, but more expensive than a convenience store. Staff wont necessarily be able to communicate well in English, but I’ve been to some locations with a Korean manager.
Not necessarily a foreign food shop like Naman or Annam, Finelife is more a high end grocery that carries some key imported food staples. It’s still priced competitively, so can still be a good option for day to day shopping. The fresh produce section is quite impressive, but perhaps the most appealing part is their “cheese platter” fridge which will have favorably priced olives, sundried tomatoes, cured meats, and cheeses.
It’s not as expensive as Naman or Annam. Queues can be quite short. Good range of pre-packed Vietnamese style meals available for lunch. Clean and professional layout.
Not really that well stocked. It’s got the essentials, but this won’t be the place to go if you’re looking for low-stock items like blue cheese, or sugar-free yogurt. They do have other cheese, and sweet yogurt, guess that counts?
It’s definitely not Cancer, which is always a bonus. This chain of supermarkets is very competitively priced and will have a surprisingly wide selection of foreign foods on their shelves. It’s very much a local supermarket, so will also have a nice “fresh” seafood section. Won’t necessarily be the most pleasant of experiences, but the prices might be a good enough reason to come here maybe once or twice a month.
Excellent fresh foods section, plus aforementioned seafood. Has a hot food section that’s sold by the gram. Surprisingly wide selection of basic imported items like condiments, processed meats, and canned goods. And yes, well priced.
Loud. Crowded. Bad ventilation. Dizzying lights. Queues can be insane, especially during weekends. Not a fun destination, but a good place to stock up.
Legumes isn’t necessarily an “imported foods store”, but it has it’s niche. They so far only have one location available, in Thao Dien, but that pretty much sums up their target audience. They’ve got all sorts of nice stuff, from nuts and dried fruits, to fresh breads and biscotti. I especially like the coconut yogurt, and beeswax. Yes! Beeswax! Haven’t seen this available off the shelf anywhere else in Vietnam.
Great selection of foods and supplements for health conscious people. Breads are also quite well made. Online ordering available via their website: https://legumesvn.com/
Not the cheapest place to shop. Unless you’re into holistic living, this will probably only be worth visiting for nuts and granola.
Now this section, I’ll keep brief as I think these stores deserve to have an article of their own. So for the time being, here’s a short list of various stores that offer up country specific foods:
- Die Leckerei – German Store
- Akuruhi Food – Japanese Store
- Filmart Vietnam – Filipino Store
- Indian Food Cart – Indian Store
It’s still not going to be easy in Vietnam to find your favorite brand of mustard, or a specific flavor of chips you’ve been hankering for, but thankfully, it’s no longer next to impossible to find imported food products. Thank you globalisation, for making it possible for folk here in Saigon to have their Weetabix, with a dollop of Greek Yogurt – without having to break the bank. Now, you’ll just have to find the right area to live!
I’m sure I missed more than a few places. Don’t even know if Black Market is still open? Are there any locations that I missed? Please make sure to drop a note on the comments!