12 of the Best Places to Eat in Ho Chi Minh City

The bustling, welcoming metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam’s business capital and, more importantly, the place to come when you want a vast array of restaurants to sample Chinese, Vietnamese, French, and Thai food.

Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, is one of the highlights of Vietnam and a great place for foodies. Great restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City include trendy, upscale eateries for a special dinner as well as budget food stalls serving hot and tasty Vietnamese favorites. Ho Chi Min has plenty of places to eat for all budgets – here are a few of our favorites when you want to spend some time and money on a special meal in Vietnam.

1) Cuc Gach Quan

Located in the back streets of District 1, this restaurant recently saw a surge in popularity after a visit from Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. It is housed in a French colonial building and the décor is highly eclectic and attractive, with furniture made from reclaimed household antiques. The menu features a wide array of traditional Vietnamese cuisine created from fresh, organic foodstuffs. It is a down to earth restaurant that provides an exceptional dining experience.

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2) Xu

If you want a fine dining experience then you can’t go wrong with Xu, a classy establishment on Hai Ba Trung. This is a place for the best clothes you packed in your suitcase and it is ideal for a romantic night. The restaurant serves modern Vietnamese food and there are an extensive wine list and cocktail list for drinks. There is also a lounge bar for continuing the party downstairs.

3) Lang Nuong Nam Bo

This open-air restaurant is family-style and has big tables catering to big groups. The specialty is the roasted suckling pig, which is a remarkable delicacy. There is a lively atmosphere with plenty of talks and free-flowing beer. Perhaps not the ideal location for a first date but excellent for a family outing or a big group of travelers.

4) Quan An Ngon

This popular restaurant features a range of different cooking stations and serves local Vietnamese specialties from all over the country. Here you can sample all the favorites from this varied cuisine, including Hue noodles, crab dishes, and spring rolls. The restaurant is inside an old mansion that has been beautifully refurbished with teak furniture and some lovely design touches.

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5) The Deck Saigon

Located right on the river, this is a beautiful restaurant with lots of outdoor seating. It is around a 15-minute drive from the center of the city and the dishes it serves are well-cooked and varying in style.

6) Camargue

This elegant restaurant focuses on French cuisine with a touch of traditional Vietnamese flavor. There is a wide variety of dishes available on the menu including a fine selection of fish and seafood. The wine list is also impressive and you can choose from a variety of different options.

7) Tram’s Cookery Restaurant and Bar

Located right next to the river, this upscale eatery is a fine place for some traditional Vietnamese food or a Western favorite. It is a part of the An Lam Riverside Resort and visited by expats and the city’s upscale community alike.

8) The Temple Club

This restaurant and bar is situated off Pasteur Street and is a hideaway full of exciting dishes to sample and enjoy. The style is modern and lively and there is a cocktail lounge with tapas dishes and sophisticated drinks that provides a wonderful introduction to the finer side of Ho Chi Minh dining.

9) The Refinery Bar and Restaurant

Located in the downtown area, this lively and elegant restaurant serves French favorites from the bistro, including steaks and salads. The Refinery is housed in a former opium factory and there is a lovely little terrace in the garden for enjoying the relaxed atmosphere.

10) La Cuisine

This restaurant serves, as the name would suggest, an attractive array of French food with an emphasis on the fine classics, including steak tartare and duck. The restaurant is modern and stylish with a bold décor and offers a good value set lunch as well as a la carte evening meals.

11) Lemongrass

Set in a shophouse in District 1, Lemongrass is a popular little restaurant serving Vietnamese cuisine with a touch of French style. Spread over three floors, the restaurant is one of the best choices in the city and there is a sizable menu to choose from.

12) Nha Hang Ngon

The menu at this colonial house restaurant is huge and it’ll take you a while to decide what to eat from the selection of Vietnamese dishes. The atmosphere may not be as upscale as other places but this is a good location to sample popular Vietnamese dishes in friendly surroundings.

Photo credits: Jeremy Weate and Charles Haynes via Flickr

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