89 Ton That Dam, District 1 www.facebook.com/letsnhaunhau
Dining bars are definitely a trend in Saigon and Nhau Nhau is the perfect example. If you want to know where to eat in Ho Chi Minh – this is it. Nhau Nhau, meaning ‘drink, drink’ has been set up on the second floor of restaurant ANAN (by the same owner). This is the place where you can order the perfect Pho or high cuisine Banh Mi. You can even go wild and have a variation with duck or truffle. If it’s not the food that’s luring you, then it might be the funky cocktails or the Insta decor. Situated at the last wet market of District 1, this is a great spot to eat in Ho Chi Minh!
One of the best things of Ho Chi Minh City is the food. There is so much choice in this fantastic city, from awesome lunch spots to great places to eat with the kids, it’s here! And there are new restaurants opening up every month. Want to get an overview of dinner places that are worth checking out? We are on it.
Best hotspots in Saigon: Octo Tapas Restobar
Let’s start with one of Ho Chi Minh City’s hotspots that arrived last year. The tapas trend has hit the city and Octo Tapas Restobar is a great addition. Just a block away from Bitexco, it has that typical Saigon alley entrance that we love about this city. After climbing some stairs, it feels like you entered a hip Barcelona bar; smooth lighting, high tables, an open kitchen and some well-stocked shelves behind the bartender. Great to eat with a group of friends or to wine and dine some overseas colleagues. We loved the croquettas de Jamon, the Iberico platter and the tortilla Espanola, but the best way to try the menu is to give chef Julian free reign and go for his tapas feast. Dig in!
After dinner at Octo, it’s just a few stairs down to get a great nightcap. Chinchin has a good vibe and they know their cocktails. Extra points for the stylish decor and the great music, which was at that perfect volume that we were still able to have a conversation. This could become our new watering hole.
This hip and happening place is situated aside a wet market in the heart of Saigon and remains one of our favorites. Ănăn, which means ‘eat eat’, has a Hong Kong chef and he made an effort here; the street food-inspired dishes are fresh and mouth-watering! We like the shaking beef and banh xeo taco’s, but there are plenty of vegetarian options as well. All the food is meant to be shared, Vietnamese style. Start your evening with gin-tonics enjoying the view from the rooftop bar. After dinner, it’s only a small hop to the D, a great bar for your nightcap!
For great Vietnamese food in the local bubble District 2, try An Café. An all-time favorite of ours with its beautiful interior and lush green surroundings.
The best restaurants in Ho Chi Minh to go with a group
Opened in 2018, Quince already has its own flock of foodie fans, just like its big sister in Bangkok. We tried half the menu, including the smoked eggplant, the artichoke and the steak and loved it all. Enjoying our meal in the slick interior with a view of the open kitchen made it even nicer. And the good news is, the long table in the middle has enough space for all your friends.
Have you already noticed this kid on the BLOQ? BLOQ has openend in 2018 and is a dynamic hub where you can eat, drink and shop! We’re talking fashion boutiques, a Cafe & Mojito Bar, Italian antipasti, Thai food and so much more. This Saigon place in District 2 is perfect for lunch, dinner and drinks. Come to think of it, we will pop in soon again for a dish and a G&T to go with it!
If you like Asian cuisine with a Thai twist for dinner, the Racha Room is your gal. Lightly based on street food, the dishes are meant to be shared. Silken tofu is not really our thing, but the dumplings and duck curry are fantastic to eat. This place is effortlessly cool. The interior is straight out of the meatpacking district in New York, and the in-house mixologist has developed an impressive cocktail list. Start with one of his specialties- the night is young.
The best Japanese restaurants in Saigon
Japanese restaurant Sorae has been here for a while, but we would still vote it to be one of the best places to have a great dinner in Saigon. If you like Japanese cuisine, you have to go! Situated on the top of the AB tower, it’s an impressive place with a stunning view. It is not inexpensive, but hey, life should be celebrated. Try their excellent California roll, their sashimi and the wagyu skewers. Such a treat!
If you like a more intimate sushi bar, try the awesome Sushi Rei. This foodie heaven is a great little place, where the qualified chef prepares fresh sushi right in front of your eyes (and nose, yum!). And if you are lucky you’ll bump into one of the many celebs that have visited this place. There are only 8 seats available, so be sure to make a reservation.
Feel like eating pasta in Ho Chi Minh?
Try our favorite; Pasta Fresca. This lovely little Italian restaurant is a local fave of ours; it feels as if you are sitting outdoors in an Italian neighborhood eating la mama’s fresh pasta. Hard to imagine that you are actually in the middle of Thao Dien. Although not specifically targeted at kids, Pasta Fresca is perfect to have a meal here with your family. We also love to spend time here with friends or on date night. Try the amazing tiramisu- it’s addictive! If you can’t get enough of their pasta, try their venues in D1 and D3 (more suitable for adults).
Other great restaurants in Saigon you should go to
This decadent restaurant in District 2 has been around forever but is still such a treat. The Deck is the place to take your friends, your parents as well as your loved one for a dinner for two. Be sure to start with pre-dinner cocktails at the awesome bar, followed by a nice meal at the cozy lit restaurant. All this while having a beautiful view of the Saigon River and your evening is set. For a truly indulgent night, you can arrive by boat. Remember to order the crispy duck pancakes!
Ty Coz Saigon
As a little bonus, we add this hidden gem. Ty Coz Saigon is a charming French restaurant in District 1. Don’t be fooled by their no-nonsense interior or the fact that their website seems outdated… the chef obviously rather spends his time in the kitchen. We are not complaining since the result is a menu full of delicious food. You can’t go wrong here if you are a fan of true French cuisine. The chef comes to your table to explain the menu, daily specials and wine matching suggestions. No need to go to Paris after all!
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12 – 14 Mac Thi Buoi, D1
The Racha Room specializes in Asian cuisine with a Thai twist. Lightly based on street food, the dishes are meant to be shared. Silken tofu is not really our thing, but the dumplings and duck curry are fantastic. This place is effortlessly cool. The interior is straight out of the meatpacking district in New York, and the in-house mixologist has developed an impressive cocktail list. Start with one of his specialties- the night is young.
178/4 Pasteur, Ben Nghe ward, D1
A charming French restaurant in District 1. Don’t be fooled by their no nonsense interior or the fact that their website seems outdated… the chef obviously rather spends his time in the kitchen. We are not complaining since the result is a menu full of delicious food. You can’t go wrong here if you are a fan of true French cuisine. The chef comes to your table to explain the menu, daily specials and wine matching suggestions. No need to go to Paris after all!
10E1 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai St., D1
Not the cheapest dinner option but so so worth it if you are into Japanese food. This restaurant is an intimate little place, where the qualified chef prepares heavenly sushi right in front of your eyes (and nose, yum!). And if you are lucky you’ll bump into one of the many celebs that have visited this place. There are only 8 seats available, so be sure to make a reservation.
Why do we love Saigon so much? One of the reasons is the hidden gems you can find everywhere. This is one of them, and a great one too. Make your way through an alley full of Bali straw handbags in all shapes and sizes (and buy one while you’re at it), then walk up the stairs to find the Secret Cottage Cafe & Dining. The Vietnamese food is fresh and delish. And it has a hip interior to go with it. Be sure to order the crispy veggie pancakes!