Lunch! Pranzo, déjeuner, almuerzo or as the Vietnamese say: bữa ăn trưa. Sure, you can pack your lunch in the morning, but why on earth would you?! You can have a great lunch at so many places in Ho Chi Minh City. l’Usine, Au Parc, The Vintage Emporium, The Secret Cottage Cafe and Poke Saigon are just drops in the huge yummy Saigon lunch bucket. Here’s a selection of some of the best places to have lunch in Ho Chi Minh.
Hidden gems of Saigon
One of the reasons to love Saigon is because of the endless hidden gems. The Loft is certainly one of them. Situated in one of the landmark buildings of Ho Chi Minh, The Loft has some resemblance to the French-style cafés of old Saigon. It’s charming, the menu is good and once you’ve had lunch here, you will always look at that big clock from outside with a big fat smile on your face!
Want to enjoy yummy food in a stunning old French colonial building in Saigon and do good at the same time? Then head straight to KOTO Saigon. Koto is a training centre in hospitality in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, giving disadvantaged youth the possibility to forge a better future for themselves and their families. Bravo!
Not often will you find a great lunch escape tucked away from the crowds on one of the busiest or should we say buzzing-ist streets of a city. Vo Roof Garden however, is one of those hidden treasures in Ho Chi Minh. It’s a lovely place with delicious fresh Vietnamese food and all this on a rooftop overlooking the prominent Hguyen Hue boulevard.
Let’s go vegan
Let’s eat vegan in Saigon and let’s do it at the Prem Bistro & Cafe. There’s enough choice to pick your fav seating area: the lovely outdoor terrace, the open-air area and the indoor cozy floor-seating section. Once you’re nice and comfy, have a go at the eggplant rolls, the quinoa & sweet potato burger or the lentil soup.
108eatery in District 2 is going on your list of fav lunch spots in Saigon. The vegan Korean food is delicious, the interior snug and zen and the staff is super friendly. The surroundings are serene and you will be too when sitting in this little gem. Order the vegan burger or the Bibimbap with a home-made kombucha!
More great lunch spots in Ho Chi Minh
Who says a burger can’t be an elegant dish? At Marcel Gourmet Burger, burgers are turned into little pieces of gourmet art and they taste goood. The french fries are just as tasty and crunchy. Add to that a cozy interior and friendly staff and you’re all set.
Do as the Vietnamese do and eat Pho! The famous soup consisting of broth, rice noodles, herbs and meat is considered a healthy and light breakfast in Vietnam. But why not have it for lunch? Exactly, and the place you go to for a great one is Mama Pho.
It’s Cocktail O’Clock: The best bars in Ho Chi Minh
Let’s Explore: Best local tours in Ho Chi Minh City
Travel Fever: A list of must do holiday destinations in the region
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Strolling down Dhong Khoi in district 1 and a craving for an Aussie inspired brekkie or brunch? Climb the stairs to level 3 where Godmother serves a stylish and wholesome brunch all day long. Ignore the motorbike honking outside and you’ll find yourself in hip and healthy Sydney. Oh my, how pretty everything looks! They’re quite serious about their coffee as well.
Open till 10 pm.
Looking for a good place to brunch, lunch or munch? We found it! Cafe Marcel, the sibling of Marcel Gourmet Burger, landed in the city center. Great for weekday lunches or weekend brunches. Put us in a hip and bright space, with a menu full of great brunch options and we’re happy. We’re sure you’ll be too. And guess what, team Marcel is adding dinner options to the menu as well!
Tucked away in a compound in district 2, is a healthy heaven for all lunch lovers. The interior is light and bright and so is the menu. All options are vegetarian and many are gluten-free. There’s even a spa with plant-based treatments upstairs. But no socks-in-sandals lovers here! The crowd is hip and the outdoor seating looks like a slice of Ibiza. Delish.
1, Street 39, D2
Hello Vintage Emporium! A true hidden gem in District 2 and a great new spot for breakfast and lunch. The food is amazing- we love the salads, gluten-free pancakes and the delicious juices. And let’s not forget the super snazzy interior. It even has a swimming pool outside so Sunday brunch with your family is a winner for all. It won’t be long before they will stay open for dinner too- bring it on!
23 Han Thuyen, D1
You can’t go wrong when choosing from the Mediterranean inspired Au Parc menu. Located conveniently around the corner of the Notre Dame, this place is our first choice when we are craving a nice salad with labneh for lunch, or need to refuel after walking the tourist trail with our visitors. Everyone feels right at home in this three level restaurant!
2nd floor, 42 Nguyen Hue, D1
One of our favorite buildings in the heart of Saigon, #42 Nguyen Hue, houses all kinds of restaurants and little shops. This is Saigon at its best; you have to go past the motorcycle parking on the ground floor and climb dirty stairs to enter a world of hipness. Poke Saigon is right at home here; this cool tiny place offers fresh and healthy salads, originating from Hawaii. You can do take-out, but we prefer to eat lunch there. Come early!
18 Ngo Van Nam, D1
Urban Kitchen can be found just off Le Thanh Ton street. It’s a nice place to have lunch if you are in the mood for salads and sandwiches, but they have their share of pasta and fries as well. Some friendly advice: stay away from the S’mores in a jar if you are expected to get any work done the rest of the afternoon! And yes, we know this from experience…
When in Saigon, lunch Vietnamese! Although technically speaking, An Café specializes in Vietnamese fusion, it makes little difference to us… we love their menu! The pomelo salad is delicious, as are the lemongrass beef skewers. There are vegetarian options as well (try the veggie stirfry) and soup lovers can even get a Pho Bo for lunch here (which is actually a Vietnamese breakfast dish). All this while enjoying lush green surroundings. What more could you wish for?
6/1/2 Nguyen U Di, D2
MAD house is great for lunch and dinner. Set up by a Danish couple, MAD house serves a Scandinavian inspired menu ranging from salads, sandwiches, and steaks. We love the burgers, including their veggie option. The steaks are excellent and come with even better fries. And to let you in on a little secret… MAD House does a yummy Sunday brunch as well! Option to sit in- and outdoors.
8/15 Le Thanh Ton, D1
Great for lunch, dinner and take out, 4P’s is a restaurant with a mission. They have a strong ethos of ‘from farm to table’ and with all of that delicious produce, they can’t go wrong. We go there because of their pasta, cheese fondue and especially for their crazy pizza’s! Why order a Margherita if you can have a have pizza with teriyaki, zucchini flower or with salmon and miso? Go wild we say! Also at Ben Tanh and Saigon Centre.
Not in a pasta and pizza mood? Check out these fantastic dining places!
SC 5-1 My Kanh, D7
You have your share of bagel, donut and sushi places in District 7, but a nice sandwich is hard to find. We went to the Gourmet Shop, on recommendation of a long time resident of this District, and we were not disappointed. It doesn’t look like much, but the baguettes and salads at this small place are good. And life gets better when you ask for the check- what a bargain!