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. La Villa

    $$$$ | District 2 | French

    An experience rather than a meal, La Villa serves elegant but not pretentious fine French dining on a quiet street in District 2's Thao Dien...Read More

  • 2. Temple Club

    $$$ | District 1 | Vietnamese

    The charming and atmospheric Temple Club, which occupies a heritage building that was formerly the guest quarters for the Hindu temple across...Read More

  • 3. The Deck

    $$$$ | District 2 | Contemporary

    A stylish lounge and restaurant on the banks of the slow-flowing Saigon River, The Deck is a place to spoil yourself with sublime seafood-focused...Read More

  • 4. Bar Refinery

    $$ | District 1 | French

    With prints and paintings of old Saigon, this stylish bistro pays homage to its historic location within the former Manufacture d'Opium built...Read More

  • 5. Hoi An Restaurant

    $$$ | District 1 | Vietnamese

    Designed to look like a beautiful "ancient house" from Hoi An with a high teak ceiling, dark wooden furniture, and silk lanterns, this restaurant...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. Café If

    $$ | District 1 | Vietnamese

    In a beautifully renovated French Colonial villa that evokes the romance of a bygone age, Café If serves up MSG-free Vietnamese fare with a...Read More

  • 8. Lucca

    $$$ | District 1 | Italian

    Downstairs is an atmospheric wine bar, upstairs is a classy Italian restaurant that wouldn't seem out of place in New York. Here, you'll find...Read More

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