Folks in the west often think of street food as food that is cooked and served out of somebody’s truck. Or, food that is easily portable—something you can walk around with. In Southeast Asia, street food is a bit different. It quite often represents the best food you can find. Small shops and carts cooking simple food. Sometimes portable, sometimes not. You can always tell a good street food shop by the amount of people crowded around small tables sitting on even smaller stools. Slurping noodles, sipping coffee, raising a bottle. This is what street food means to us. Simple and good. Casual and fun. Always delicious. Born on the streets of Saigon.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are you part of Monsoon Restaurants?
Yes! Think of Monsoon as our big sister (we’re the younger Saigon Sibling). Sophie and Eric Banh grew up together eating street food in Saigon, and that was really the inspiration for Ba Bar. When they first opened Monsoon in 1999, they drew much of their inspiration from the very same “street food” we are now serving at Ba Bar. With Ba Bar, we’re just a little closer to the street. But yeah, same owners. Same chefs. Same commitment to quality. We’re just a bit more casual and a bit louder after midnight.
Why don’t you charge $7 for your phở?
People don’t ask this question so much any more, as there are a lot more restaurants in the area making Vietnamese food with quality ingredients and charging appropriately. If you want to learn about why we charge what we do, read this article on the Saigon Siblings blog from several years ago. It’s a bit out of date, but it gets at the issue: a great bowl of phở can’t be made for $7.
What does Ba Bar mean?
The word “Ba” means father in Vietnamese. We named this place after our own dad, who inspired us all in so many different ways. This one is for him. Learn more about the Banh Family Story over on the Saigon Siblings website.