It’s a dish that probably won’t show up on your feed when you do a search for Vietnamese food. 

But cơm gà, or chicken rice, is a popular dish in Saigon that’s eaten for lunch and dinner. 

From around VND45,000 (approx. US$2) expect to get a crispy deep-fried wing or drumstick with a heaping of rice (usually fried) on a plate.

Sometimes it comes with slices of tomato or cucumber to the side.

While fried chicken is just that, fried chicken, the style and quality can vary considerably, which is enough cause for any dyed-in-the-wool fried chicken-lover to cry foul when things aren’t quite up to scratch.

With that in mind, we went on a chicken run around the city for the month of February for our Instagram #MealsOnWheels segment.

We scratched high and low to bring you some of the best (and most intriguing) cơm gà joints to try in our great city.

1. Hoa Ky Com Ga (#98 Street 85, Tan Quy, District 7)

This husband and wife operation in District 7 serves up consistently good quality chicken and rice out of what is essentially a shed, a block off the busy Nguyen Thi Thap Street.

Get there early for lunch because once their supplies are done for the day, they fly the coup until dinner.

 
 
 
 
 
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If this doesn’t make you drool, nothing will 😄 The Vietnamese actually eat a lot of this stuff called com ga (rice, chicken) 🐓 Usually Vietnamese food is associated with far more healthier stuff like fruits, vegetables, herbs and seafood 🦐 In a way, com ga is a bit like the Aussie equivalent of fish & chips or a meat pie – sometimes you just wanna break the rules & have a cheat day with something that is so damn good! 😎 Find this finger lickin’ bit of goodness at #98 Street 85, Tan Quy, District 7, HCMC 👊🏻 . . . #chicken #rice #chickenrice #vietnamese #vietnamesefood #saigon #hcmc #hochiminhcity #district7 #vietnam #lunch #food #foodporn #instagood #picoftheday #yum #yummy #wheretoeatSaigon #MealsOnWheels #wheretoeatHCMC #thebureauasia #experiences #grilled #fun #tasty #comga

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2. “Evil Chicken” (33 Ton Dan St., District 4)

Okay, this one isn’t fried chicken, but we had to make an exception.

Don’t let the “evil chicken” tag turn you off, that’s just Google translate.

Known as black chicken or gà ác, this chicken soup with its origins in China is eaten for its medicinal properties. 

In the soup, you’ll find a small black chicken submerged in a soupy broth of Chinese herbs, goji berries, red plums, ginger and lotus roots.

 
 
 
 
 
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Known has black chicken or Silky (even “evil chicken” on Google translate!), this special chicken soup is often eaten for its medicinal qualities 👨‍⚕️ it certainly has that traditional Chinese medicinal aroma to it. Black chicken meat is said to be more nutritious than other kinds of chicken 👈🏼 In the soup you’ll likely find Chinese herbs, goji berries, sour red dates or plums, ginger and lotus roots (as seen here) 🐓 It’s not a dish you’d head out for especially to eat, but give it a crack for some novelty value 😎 Try it at 📍33 Ton Dan St., District 4, HCMC. Ask for “ga ac” 👍🏻 . . . #vietnamesefood #saigon #MealsOnWheels #foodporn #thebureauasia #wheretoeatsaigon #vietnam

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3. Quan Chin (200 Xom Chieu St., District 4)

Quan Chin is one of many street vendors and shops along the delectable Xom Chieu Street.

Look for the line-up of ladies going hammer and tongs (literally) as they fry up some of the city’s best fried chicken. 

Something a little bit different here is that they serve up what’s called Yangzhou Chicken Leg Rice (ask for com duong chau dui ga).

Perhaps the best way to describe it is Chinese “special” fried rice which comes with tasty pieces of Chinese-style sausage thrown into the mix.

Don’t forget to hook into the scoop of pickled vegetables that comes with each order on the side.

4. “No Name” Com Ga (31 Ly Tu Trong, District 1)

This ma and pa establishment without a name is an all-time favourite and has been frying up arguably the best chicken and rice in District 1 for close to two decades at least.

Until recently, “31” occupied a prime position next door where the owner would religiously fry up mountains of rice from 4.30pm each day in one of the biggest woks ever seen.

These days find them at the end of a quiet alley off the street.

The location has changed, but the quality hasn’t.

 
 
 
 
 
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And here she is. Arguably one of the best com ga (chicken rice) in town 👊🏻 Originally it was nextdoor to the small alley it’s now in (next to Blue Gecko) at 31 Ly Tu Trong St. 👈🏼 Back then Uncle (the owner) could be seen frying up his famous rice in a massive wok 🔥 streetside and getting a seat here was never a guarantee as it was so popular 😎 While times have changed a bit along with the location, it’s great to know the owners are still at it, dishing up such goodness from 4.30pm each day 🤗 Check it out next time you’re in the area at📍 31 Ly Tu Trong St., District 1, HCMC 👌🏻 . . . #WhereToEatSaigon #MealsOnWheels #Vietnam #thebureauasia #foodporn #Saigon #vietnamesefood #chickenrice

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5. Com Ga Xoi Mo Su Su (123 Cong Quynh, District 1)

There’s a bright spark in every industry and the chicken rice game is no different.

A few years back, an engineer-cum-chicken frier had the innovative idea to engineer the ultimate frying machine that rains down piping hot oil on his chicken pieces to fry them instead of in the traditional (and sane) method of dunking them in a hot wok.

Low and behold this “golden shower” method works. 

In the process, he may have also inadvertently invented one of the world’s scariest torture devices known to man. 

 
 
 
 
 
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I’ve dubbed this the “Golden Shower” (innocently of course) of fried chicken 🙊 A number of years back, a plucky local engineer had the idea of making a frier that cascades piping hot oil down onto chicken pieces to fry them. Rather than submerge a leg in a hot wok like everyone else has done since fried chicken was invented, he places the chicken under the “golden shower” of oil and lets it rain down until ready to eat 😅 It’s quite the show! Experience your very own golden shower at 📍123 Cong Quynh St., District 1, HCMC. You won’t regret it 😎 . . . #thebureauasia #wheretoeatsaigon #MealsOnWheels #vietnam #chickenrice #foodporn #comga

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Words & photos by Matthew Cowan. Follow Matt on Instagram at @mattcowansaigon and look out for the hashtag #MealsOnWheels and watch the highlights on his page for more information on the venues in this article.

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