Saigon Street Food: Che (Vietnamese Sweet Soup)

When it comes to Asian desserts, most Westerners have a hard time conjuring something ... traditional. And by traditional, I mean everything that does not include fruits (smoothies) and / or Kit Kats flavored with green tea. Asian desserts have been misinterpreted for too long, so when they were given the opportunity to taste chè, what Vietnamese people call "sweet soup" in English, aroused my curiosity. best vietnamese restaurant in hanoi

vietnamese che saigon

What is che?

Vietnamese Che Saigon

What kind of Che is that, you suppose?

Che is the generic term for any type of sweet drink (sweet soup), which comes in the form of pudding or sugary soup. There is no strict version of che; In fact, you could spend a whole day eating all the different varieties of sweet soup and you are likely to be sick midway through the indulgence. Forget puff pastry and decadent glaze and everything typical of Western desserts.

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Che is from Southeast Asia from beginning to end; In one serving, you can find beans, fruits, vegetables, glutinous rice and tapioca balls, along with pieces of flan and assorted jellies. You cannot forget the addition of coconut milk, the glue that gathers all these unrelated pieces and bobs and makes it what it is. Coconut milk is poured into a bowl, like milk in a cereal bowl, or placed among the ingredients in a tall glass like a parfait, making it the most striking of all Vietnamese desserts.


Some sweet soup desserts heat up, but for the most part, they are served cold with a shaved ice ball, which makes it a popular gift during the dry and hot season of Saigon between the months of November and May. It is a pleasure that may be strange at first for a non-Vietnamese person, but there is no doubt that it will leave you wanting more.

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Here is a list of the most popular versions of che:


Che Ba Mau - tricolor dessert

Che Bap - Vietnamese Sweet Corn Pudding

Che Chuoi - banana with sago pearls and sweet coconut milk soup

Che Troi Nuoc - sweet glutinous rice dumplings

Che Buoi - Vietnamese Grapefruit Sweet Soup Dessert

Che Dau Den - sweet black bean soup with coconut syrup

Where to find Che in Saigon

best vietnamese sweet soup che

The options are abundant!

You can find che in the outdoor markets, although there are some shops that specialize only. If you don't have the time to find it by chance, consider visiting one of Saigon's many markets to lessen the chances of missing out on this sweet treat! Here are some honorable mentions, but keep looking for the BEST city che!restaurants in old quarter hanoi


Khanh Vy Che tray store, (corner of Su Van Hanh Street) Nguyen Chi Thanh Street, District 5

Xoi Che Bui Thi Xuan, 111 Bui Thi Xuan, District 1 fine dining hanoi

Che Ky Dong, 153/7 Ky Dong Street, Neighborhood 9, District 3

Hot Che Store, 50 Ly Chinh Thang, Neighborhood 7, District 3

The best Che de Saigón vegetarian restaurant hanoi

what is che vietnam

You can find an amazing Che in the street vendors!

Most locals know the Ho Thi Ky market on the border of District 10 and District 1 as the largest flower market in Ho Chi Minh City, but did you know that this area is also the unofficial city of Cambodia from Saigon? In the narrow alleys of what used to be Cambodia's former refugee camp, there is a small outdoor stall run by a mother and daughter team. For more than 60 years, this establishment has been preparing the best Che Campuchia, the Cambodian-style dessert in the city.

For more than 60 years, this establishment has been preparing the best Che Campuchia, the Cambodian-style dessert in the city.


The Cambodian-style che is made with shaved ice, coconut milk with durian sauce, strands of egg noodles, palm fruit, salted egg with mung bean paste, baby tamarind and pumpkin flan. If you've ever heard of Durian, you might be making that "uh-oh" face, but your Durian has cooked so finely, completely erasing the pungent smell. The pumpkin flan is really a sight to behold; The egg custard is cooked in a hollowed pumpkin, imported from Cambodia. The Cambodian squash variety is small but produces a sweeter taste than pumpkins in Vietnam. Just make sure you don't eat the shell! Egg noodles will also blow your mind! These deceptive egg noodle tapes look like cheese, they taste like cheese, but in reality they are all egg! For all of you bastards, don't be afraid! It is not real cheese!


This is just one of the 20 combinations of flavors that are offered, but it is the dish of the house. If you want to try more than one flavor, here are two advantages. 1) A bowl costs 12,000 VND (approximately $ 0.50), so glutton will not break you here and 2) use palm sugar instead of sugar