Ho Chi Minh City Restaurants

Dining options in Ho Chi Minh City run the gamut from fine dining in secluded air-conditioned splendor to sidewalk eateries where the food is cooked in makeshift open-air kitchens. The dynamism and energy of the city is reflected in a dining scene bursting with international options and a host of fusion choices in between.

The city's middle classes love nothing more than descending on the latest dining craze, so do note locals' recommendations and follow the crowds to the latest hotspot. Despite the Saigonese's love for the flashy "new next big thing," there's also a somewhat reluctant loyalty to the French cuisine of their former colonial rulers. Ho Chi Minh City is home to many French restaurants, from casual Parisian-style bistros to the full starched linen and paired wine experience. Most of Ho Chi Minh City's international restaurants are in and around Districts 1 and 3, although there are several excellent options in the expat areas of Districts 2 and 7.

Despite the international offerings, it's the mouthwatering Vietnamese cuisine that remains one of Ho Chi Minh City’s major draws, whether eaten on the street or indoors in a tourist-friendly restaurant—the places with English menus are not always the most authentic, but can be the easiest when it comes to placing an order. But street food and no-frills, family-run restaurants offer incredible value, so after, say, a humble bowl of pho for breakfast and a host of southern specialties for lunch, you can easily justify a splurge for dinner.

Meals are serious business in Ho Chi Minh City, and between noon and 1 pm most office workers and public servants take a lunch break. Dinner is generally served any time after about 6 pm and eating (and drinking) can continue until 1 am or later.

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  • 1. Hoa Tuc

    $$$ | District 1 | Vietnamese

    The name translates as opium poppy, and this chic little eatery is in a corner of the former La Manufacture d'Opium, the French-controlled opium...Read More

  • 2. Au Parc

    $$ | District 1 | Mediterranean

    Midway between the Reunification Palace and Notre Dame cathedral, overlooking the tall trees of April 30 Park, this is a great place to linger...Read More

  • 3. Bep Me In

    $$ | District 1 | Vietnamese

    Roughly translated as "Mama In's Kitchen," this cute little eatery is tucked down an alley behind the Ben Thanh Market, past a row of nail salons...Read More

  • 4. District Federal

    $$$ | District 2 | Mexican

    There's a great atmosphere as well as great food at District Federal, the only place in town with a Mexican chef cooking authentic Mexican cuisine...Read More

  • 5. La Fiesta

    $$ | District 1 | Mexican

    La Fiesta, run by the superengaging American-Vietnamese couple Scott and Duc, will satisfy all your Tex-Mex cravings, whether it's for tacos...Read More

  • 6. MAD House

    $$ | District 2 | Scandinavian

    Serving northern European food with some local twists in a converted villa with lush gardens, Mad House is the work of two Danish chefs; "mad...Read More

  • 7. Ralf's Artisan Gelato

    $$ | District 1 | Italian

    This Italian-style Gelateria Artigianale has some very Vietnamese ice-cream flavors, including fish sauce and pho. There are more traditional...Read More

  • 8. Scott & Jeremy's

    $$ | District 1 | American

    This is new American comfort food served in a simple but homey setting. Scott & Jeremy's specializes in flavorsome mac 'n' cheese, burgers...Read More

  • 9. Snap Café

    $$ | District 2 | Café

    Serving a mishmash of international, Tex-Mex, and Vietnamese fare, Snap is a family-oriented café-restaurant with a resort style that seems...Read More

  • 10. Sweet and Sour

    $ | District 2 | Café

    A pretty pink café specializing in cupcakes and macaroons, Sweet and Sour supplies many cafés and restaurants around town. Sweet and Sour has...Read More

  • 11. The Elbow Room Bistro and Bar

    $$$ | District 1 | American

    A friendly little bistro that wouldn't be out of place in New York, serving up hearty all-day breakfast, burgers, sandwiches, pizzas, and pastas...Read More

  • 12. Monsoon Restaurant and Bar Saigon

    $$ | District 1 | Asian

    Take a culinary tour of Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia within the confines of this stylish-yet-relaxed restaurant that offers...Read More

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