WHAT AND WHERE TO EAT

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♥ CUC GACH RESTAURANT ♥

Opening Hours: 9:00 – 23:00

Address: 10 Dang Tat Street, Tan Dinh Ward, District 1

Hotline: +84 8 3848 0144

Cuc Gach Quan ticks all the boxes: good ambience, authentic and comprehensive Vietnamese food, and friendly, non-intrusive service, all wrapped up in a historical building. Ten minutes from the city center, and tucked away in an unpretentious small street, Cuc Gach Quan is located in a restored French colonial house. The architecture and the exquisite interior feature furniture and ornaments commonly associated with traditional Vietnamese houses (trees, ponds, bamboo and wood finishing). The menu is a ‘book’ presenting a wide range of national dishes. This is an anomaly in the Vietnamese restaurant scene where establishments normally focus on regional or just a select few dishes. Cuc Gach relies on a strong and home-made culinary tradition. The knowledgeable staff can advise first-time visitors on selecting the best combination of dishes.
♥ SH GARDEN ♥

Opening Hours: Daily 10:00 – 22:00

Address: 98 Nguyen Hue Street, District 1

Hotline: 028 6680 0188

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♥ “XOI CHE” OF BUI THI XUAN ♥

Opening Hours: Daily 6:30 – 18:00

Address: 111 Bui Thi Xuan Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1

Hotline: 028 3833 2748

Bùi Thị Xuân “Xôi chè” is very famous for its delicious sticky rice as well as sweet gruel. The restaurant is not only spacious and airy but it also contains a diverse menu of different foods. A sticky rice dish features with not only the rice but also additional ingredients such as saltish rousong (chà bông), Chinese sausage and especially fatty pate. Therefore, this place is usually crowded with lots of people, especially on the weekends.
♥ QUAN AN NGON RESTAURANT ♥

Opening Hours: Daily 11:00 – 23:00

Address: 138 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, District 1

Tel: +84 8 3827 9666

The decor features carved elephant tusks (I don’t know if they’re real ivory or not), exotic landscape paintings and many cooking stations where chefs are busy barbequing king prawns, rolling spring rolls or blending fruit smoothies. It isn’t fine dining, but it is a lot of fun and has a charm akin to a quaint market. There’s a gentle buzz of chatter and laughter blowing through the restaurant. The menu is clearly laid out with tourists in mind as everything has English and Vietnamese descriptions and most have an accompanying picture. The fact that Quan An Ngon is popular with locals as well as tourists gives it a sense of authenticity, and although the staff are rushed and often need to be waved down, everyone speaks the requisite amount of English and they will often recommend dishes with a simple explanation. Prices are extremely reasonable with main dishes starting from 50,000 VND ($2.50 US) All regional specialities are on offer at Quan An Ngon Restaurant meaning you can eat your way around the country in one sitting. From the south there are oc len xao due (mud snails in coconut milk), which have a soft texture and delicately flavoured, and goi cuon – commonly known as summer rolls in English – making a particularly excellent appetiser: soft, almost transparent spring rolls stuffed with shrimp, basil and spring onion. They are light and fresh, perfect after an afternoon’s traipsing around the city. From the central region of Vietnam there are Hue and Hoi An style noodles, while the northern specialities include pho bo (beef noodle soup) and banh tom ho tay (crispy pastries filled with minced shrimp).
All regional specialities are on offer at Quan An Ngon Restaurant meaning you can eat your way around the country in one sitting. From the south there are oc len xao due (mud snails in coconut milk), which have a soft texture and delicately flavoured, and goi cuon – commonly known as summer rolls in English – making a particularly excellent appetiser: soft, almost transparent spring rolls stuffed with shrimp, basil and spring onion. They are light and fresh, perfect after an afternoon’s traipsing around the city. From the central region of Vietnam there are Hue and Hoi An style noodles, while the northern specialities include pho bo (beef noodle soup) and banh tom ho tay (crispy pastries filled with minced shrimp).
♥ THE DECK SAIGON ♥

Opening Hours: Daily 09:00 – 24:00

Address: 38 Nguyen U Di, District 2

Tel: +84 8 3744 6632

A classy restaurant and bar in Ho Chi Minh City, The Deck Saigon is a top dining choice among affluent locals and travellers due to its romantic setting, scenic locale, and excellent pan-Asian cuisine. Set alongside Saigon River, the alfresco dining venue is fitted with glass doors, warm lighting, and elegant furnishings by top local designers, as well as an outdoor wooden deck that’s surrounded by bamboo trees and a small pond.
The Deck Saigon is open all-day, so you can enjoy a western-style breakfast menu of fruit smoothies, eggs benedict, homemade granola, and pancakes while brunch and lunch offerings range from pan-fried foie gras and Wagyu beef burger to bento sets and phu quoc prawn rolls.
Catering to health-conscious diners, The Deck Saigon also has a vegetarian and gluten-free menu. Highly recommended dishes include marinated tuna spring rolls, sautéed Chinese vegetables with udon noodles, and miso-marinated black cod.
The Deck Saigon is located within District 2, which is a 20-minute taxi ride from District 1. Alternatively, the riverside restaurant can arrange for a private speedboat return transfer (inclusive of a welcome drink) that’s priced at VND 2,750,000 for two people
♥ THE REFINERY BAR AND RESTAURANT ♥

Opening Hours: 11:00 till late

Address: 74 Hai Ba Trung, District 1

Tel: +84 8 3823 0509

The Refinery Bar and Restaurant is currently one of the most popular establishments in Ho Chi Minh thanks to colonial fixtures, interesting cocktails and a bistro type menu of mostly French-style favourites. But the main reason for coming here is because it is such a pleasant space.
It looks every inch as though you could catch a glimpse of The Seine from its twinklingly lit courtyard, and inside the French bistro theme is even more pronounced with floral floor tiles, high ceilings and rows of wine and liquor displayed behind the bar. The resemblance to French design is not some contrived gimmick but a result of the opium factory that used to operate in the courtyard, and it’s also how the bar inherited its name.
The casual menu of steak frites, pasta dishes and European salads complement the laidback atmosphere here perfectly. The Refinery is open for lunch with some excellent set menus – the two course set costs $9 – and one of the most popular and affordable Sunday brunches in town, complete with a chocolate fondue fountain. There is a happy hour from 16:00 to 19:00 when all drinks are discounted by 30%. The Refinery also mix a decent range of cocktails, the mojito being a particularly well balanced mix of boozy rum with biting lime, and there is also a hefty wine list.
Somewhat confusingly, The Refinery Bar is actually in a secluded courtyard that is also called The Refinery, and the chilled out and affluent vibe here is the perfect setting for dinner followed by a few drinks. Despite the confusion with the name, it is easy to find on Hai Ba Trung Street, opposite the Park Hyatt Hotel and close to Notre Dame Cathedral.
♥ LẨU CÁ KÈO BÀ HUYỆN ♥

Opening hours: Daily 10:00 am to 10:00 pm
Address: 87 Ba Huyen Thanh Quan street, ward 7, district 3, HCMC
Tel: (+84)839307687

The soup of this fish hotpot is so special that it makes anyone having visited here once definitely return. Cá kèo nướng (grilled fish), which is crunchy so you can even chew bones, is also rated high. Nevertheless, when it is crowded, the service sometimes causes inconvenience to customers.
♥ DIMSUM BAOZ ♥

Opening hours: Daily 6:30am – 2:00pm and 4:00pm – 11:00pm

Address: 86-88 Nguyen Tri Phuong, Ward 7, District 5, HCM

Tel: (+84) 0 3923 1480

Dimsum Baoz, a very Chinese-style restaurant in Saigon, is remarkable for its tasty Dimsum dish: the fillings are wrapped inside a thin layer of flour and savored with spices, sea-foods, and vegetables. Besides, there are also many other kinds of foods such as the crispy fried tofu, Chinese fried noodles and so on. The restaurant is quite spacious and open but sometimes a little too crowded and noisy.
♥ LA VILLA FRENCH RESTAURANT ♥

Opening hours: Lunch is 11:45 to 16:00 (last order is 13:30). Dinner is from 18:30 to late (last order is 21:30). Closed Sunday.

Address: 14 Ngo Quang Huy, Thao Dien ward, District 2.

Tel: +84 8 3898 2082 / +84 9 0771 9879

To visit La Villa restaurant is to “enter a world of true fine dining.” You can either enjoy a spectacular lunch in its outdoor garden or step inside for a refined dining experience. And, to be honest, giving more praises here is just redundant. We have already known that France is awesome with a full course dinner. Before you go, to ensure everything, please consider making a reservation.
♥ MEKONG MERCHANT & MM BISTRO ♥

Opening hours: 10:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Address: 23 Thao Dien, Thao Dien ward, District 2.
Tel: (08) 3744 7000

This location offers a vintage setting where many western food options are used to please the customers’ eyes plus appetites. Have you ever dreamt about eating a pizza in a tropical forest? It is here! Right here! Overall, food and service are great although it seems the bistro needs to hire more staffs. They have great corners with privacy that I’d love to dip into my books in an entire morning.
♥ MIKU SUSHI & BBQ ♥

Opening hours: 17:00 – 23:00
Address: 82 Street 20, Tran Nao, District 2, HCMC
Tel: (+84) 904 629 111

What can a small restaurant that nestles behind Saigon Bridge have to offer? It is the light breeze from the nearby river which cools down the hot temperature of Saigon. It is the enticing sushi and flavored grilled meat. Moreover, this location is like a little hideout for those who do not accustom to bustling lifestyles.
♥ BIA HƠI HÀ NỘI BẮC VIỆT ♥

Opening hours: Daily 09:00 – 22:00

Address: 20 Truong Son, Ward 2, Tan Binh District, HCMC

 

“Oi! Do you want to have a fresh beer?” One of my friends once said you can find cheap “bia hoi” everywhere in Hanoi but not here, Saigon. Do not worry, this can be our place, beer lovers! One sip of fresh beer, one bite of the tasty steak: this experience must be unforgettable. The restaurant offers various dish choices from common ones to specialties of Hanoi. It is really spacious here. If the day is bright and breezy, you can sit outside to feel the pleasant wind. If you want to escape from the busy and noisy street for a moment, just choose the inside rooms with air conditioners.
♥ BEEFSTEAK ONLY ♥

Opening hours: Daily  06:00 – 22:00

Address: 80 Xuan Dieu Str. , Ward 4, Tan Binh District, HCMC

Tel: +84 08 3948 5531

 

Are you a fan of beefsteak and currently looking for a good restaurant that offers this? Located near the main street, Beefsteak Only is highly recommended. The restaurant opens from morning until bedtime, so whenever you need a quiet, spacious place to relax and enjoy the lavish meal, the spot is at your corner!
♥ SƯỜN CÂY NƯỚNG & BEER ♥

Opening hours: Daily 10:00 – 23:00

Address: 18A Cong Hoa Str. , ward 12, Tan Binh district, HCMC.

Tel: +84 08 62 68 77 33

This is a good restaurant that you can bring your friends to have fun. All the tables here have their own fire pits so you can cook and roast your food at your seat. They offer various lavish food choices and good quality beers. The service is adequate. In rush hours and at night, the restaurant is always full yet the staff still manages to serve in an attentive and flamboyant manner. A little downside is that sometimes this place is quite noisy but no worries, you and I then can yell out loud without wondering “Hai, Ba, Dô!” (like Cheers)
♥ ABC BAKERY ♥

Opening hours: Daily 07:00 – 22:00

Address: 1029 Cach Mang Thang 8, ward 7, Tan Binh district, HCMC.

Tel: +84 08 39706865

Asia Bakery & Confectionery Pte Ent (also known as ABC Bakery) is well known for their high-quality range of bakery products such as bread, pastries, cakes and much more such as coconut cookies, blueberry muffins, sweet rolls, and chewy, creamy and fresh slices of cakes. They are absolutely irresistible. The shop bakes their new bread and cakes twice a day. One is in the morning and the other is afternoon. Therefore, whenever you come to get the stuff, they are always fresh. The bakery chain has about 30 outlets around Saigon, take a quick look on the website for the nearest bakery.
♥ SAN SAN – BARBECUE CHICKEN NOODLE ♥

Opening hours: Daily 16:00 – 22:00

Address: 1235 Hoang Sa, Tan Binh District, HCMC

Tel: (+84) 93 358 48 94

A tasty bowl of bone broth and hot barbecue chicken dry noodle dish at San San may become one of the best dry noodle dishes that you have ever tried. They also have ginseng tea, a great variety of dumpling dishes to eat with the main dishes. After 6 PM this place is usually loaded with people so you should come early to have the best experience. If not, you can always take away or call for delivery service.