As the center of Vietnam’s business world, Ho Chi Minh City is also home to the largest community of expatriates living and working in Vietnam. This fact, augmented by booming tourism, has resulted in rapid changes to old Saigon.
It is now a city where people can enjoy dining in sophisticated restaurants with delightful surroundings and menus that encompass not only delicious Vietnamese food but also cuisines from around the globe, include French, Indian, Mexican, Italian, Japanese, Thai and Chinese.
A heaven for meat lovers, au Lac do Brazil offers a traditional all-you-can-eat Brazilian style barbecue, where the different cuts of meat are served at your table, accompanied by an extensive selection of fine wines.
Location: 238 Pasteur, District 3
Tel: +848 3820 7157
An all-day noodle bar popular with young Vietnamese, Bun Bo Xu is open from early morning until late. Its specialises in Bun Bo Hue, a Hue-style soup with thick rice noodles and pork or beef.
Address: There are two branches, at 4A Tran Hung Dao, and 28 Cao Ba Quat, District 1
Camargue is in a beautiful villa with a lovely garden courtyard and attracts diners with its romantic atmosphere. The restaurant’s bar is an ideal spot for a pre-dinner cocktail or two.
Address: 16 Cao Ba Quat, District 1
Tel: +848 3824 3181
Cantina Central is the well known among locals, expats and regular visitors to Saigon for the fresh authenticity of its Mexican food. It also serves the best Margaritas in town, amid attractive, relaxing surroundings.
Address: 51 Ton That Thiep Street
Tel: +848 914 4697
Gartenstadt serves decent German and European food and stocks a wide selection of imported beers. Perhaps one of the few places in Ho Chi Minh City that serves bratwurst sausages and Wiener schnitzel.
Location: 34D Dong Khoi, Dong Khoi Area
Tel: +848 3822 3623
Hoi An serves central Vietnames food in an elegant Chinese-style setting. Try the signature dish of grilled prawns in banana leaf served with lime and salt dipping sauce.
Location: 11 Le Thanh Ton, District 1
Tel: +848 3823 7694
Hong Hai is famous for Nha Trang style seafood at reasonable price in a garden setting and also a three-level building. From its extensive menu, try specialties such as coconut steamed prawns or grilled prawns with chili salt.
Location: 54 Pham Thach, District 3
Tel: +848 3829 2977
Cuisine: Vietnamese seafood
A great and fun introduction to the national dish. Bun means noodles in Vietnamese, and I Love Bun features most types of noodle dishes found anywhere in the country. Try noodles in tomato and crabmeat soup or the hearty spicy beef noodle soup.
Location: 73 Ly Tu Trong, District 1
Tel: +848 6276 2609
Kumho Link Food Court was the talk of town when it opened its doors in early 2012. Managed by the celebrity chef Bobby Chinn, Kumho gathers together world cuisine all under one roof, in the comfort of the Asiana Plaza Shopping Center. The standard is somewhat higher than the usual food courts you find throughout SE Asia. Among the flavours featured are: Japanese, Korean, Singapore/Malay, Thai, Vietnamese and European.
Location: 39 Le Duan, District 1
Cuisine: Asian & European
Reputed to serve the best foie gras in town, La Cuisine prides itself on authentic French cuisine to go with the smart and crisp décor and extensive wine list.
Location: 48 Le Thanh Ton, District 1
Tel: +848 2229 8882
La Habana serves over 50 kinds of tapas as well as Cuban cocktails in a cosy setting accompanied by Cuban music, salsa dancing and regular live performances. Free dancing lessons every Tuesday and live music on Fridays.
Location: 6 Cao Ba Quat, District 1
Tel: +848 3829 5180
Cuisine: Cuban & Spanish
Lemongrass is a sister restaurant of Vietnam House and is just around the corner, in a two-storey French-style building. The place is small but it is considered by many to be one of the best restaurants in town.
Address: 4 Nguyen Thiep St
Tel: +848 3822 4005
Located in the heart of the backpackers’ district, this seemingly casual restaurant features a wide selection of Indian fares – Tandoori dishes, tikka masala, and rogan josh are amongst the staples.
Location: 226 Bui Vien, District 1
Tel: +848 3837 1757
This is Ho Chi Minh City’s most venerable steakhouse and offers gourmet beef dishes ranging from rib-eye to New York strip to tenderloin, fastidiously prepared to perfection by a French chef. Extensive wine list. Classy dining with prices to match.
Location: 25-27 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Dakao Ward
Tel: +848 3823 7373
Cuisine: International, steakhouse
Pacharan serves authentic Spanish dishes and tapas. Enjoy imported cheeses, Serrano ham, Galician-style octopus and an assortment of paellas. The restaurant, which is housed on four floors with a rooftop cocktail bar, has a quirky Spanish feel to it and enjoys an extensive wine list featuring Spanish labels.
Location: 97 Hai Ba Trung, District 1
Tel: +848 3825 6024
Enjoy traditional wood-fired pizzas or hand-made pasta dishes accompanied by excellent ice-cream dessert in a quiet and quaint courtyard. Substantial wine list.
Location: 87 Nguyen Hue, District 1
Tel: +848 3821 8181
Pho is a beef noodle soup and this restaurant was made famous by a visit from the former US president Bill Clinton, who dropped by here for a bowl. It is a Vietnamese chain restaurant (60 alone in the country) and the Pho here is no different from what you would find on the street. It is nevertheless a welcoming respite from the bustle and the heat.
Location: 1-3 Phan Chu Trinh
Tel: +848 3822 2788
Pomodoro is famous for its pizzas and Italian espresso, though the menu also features a good range of vegetarian, fish and meat dishes. Popular both for business lunches and for dining out at night.
Opening Hours: 10:00 to 22:00
Address: 79 Hai Ba Trung, District 1
Tel: +848 382 38998
Regarded as an institution by the locals, Quan An Ngon serves great Vietnamese food cooked in front of you in a French colonial-inspired setting. Try bahn xeo (crisp pancake filled with pork, shrimps and bean sprouts) or cha tom (shrimp patty).
Location: 138 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, District 1
Tel: +848 3822 2166
Housed in an old Chinese temple, with beautiful woodwork and masonry, and a terracotta floor, the Temple Club has a bar, a lounge and a formal dining room with a menu featuring Vietnamese food from all over the country.
Address: 29-31 Ton That Thiep St, District 1
Tel: +848 3829 9244
The Deck Saigon, 15 minutes from the city centre, features elegant yet relaxed riverside dining where you can watch the sun set while sipping designer cocktails. Contact the restaurant if you want to be picked up by boat.
Location: 38 Nguyen U Di, Thao Dien, An Phu, District 2
Tel: +848 3744 6632
Cuisine: Vietnamese fusion
The Sushi Bar’s spacious and modern décor is a perfect backdrop for fresh sushi and sashimi prepared with fresh ingredients, some of which is flown in daily from Japan.
The Sushi Bar 1: 2 Le Thanh Ton, District 1, Tel: +848 3823 804
The Sushi Bar 2: Zen Plaza, 5th Floor, 54-56 Nguyen Trai, District 1, Tel: +848 39250 0377
Location: 234 Le Thanh Ton, District 1
Tel: +848 3827 7723
This popular, cozy restaurant is in a nicely redecorated colonial building and has welcomed many world-famous people, including former US President George Herbert Bush. It has a selection of Vietnamese and international dishes and an excellent lunch buffet.
Address: 93-95 Dong Khoi St
Tel: +848 829 1623
Xu offers fine modern Vietnamese cuisine alongside traditional Vietnamese favorites, in an elegant dining atmosphere. It is open for lunch and dinner from 11.30 to midnight.
Address: Level 1 at 71-75 Hai Ba Trung, District 1
Tel: +848 3824 8468
A small restaurant with a sushi bar, Zen has an eclectic choice of Japanese, Indian and Mexican dishes. It is also one of the best places in Saigon for tasty vegetarian food.
Address: In Saigon Sky Garden Service Apartments at 20 Le Thanh Ton, District 1
Tel: +848 825 0782
Cuisine: Japanese, Indian, Mexican
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