An independent selection of the best eateries from fine dining to street food in Ho Chi Minh City, from Rusty Compass. No paid endorsements.

Ho Chi Minh City
eating guide

Introduction

Last updated 03 Sep 2015

There is nowhere better to immerse yourself in the exquisite flavours of Vietnamese cuisine than right here in Saigon. Saigon is one of Asia’s best kept culinary secrets. The fresh flavours of the local cuisine are a perfect complement to the warm climate. And Saigon's restaurant scene is evolving quickly with a steady stream of new and interesting openings.

Cosmopolitan Saigon attracts residents from all over Vietnam, so it's the best place to experience the amazing regional variations in Vietnamese cuisine between the north, the centre and the south.

If you need a break from Vietnamese cuisine, check out the impressive collection of international restaurants in town. There’s excellent French, Chinese, Thai, Japanese and other options.

You may also want to consider heading out to the expat enclave in District 2 - around 15 minutes by cab from downtown, across the Saigon river. It’s becoming an important hub of international cuisine and it’s also more relaxed than the intensity of District 1. Saigon’s most talked about French restaurant, Trois Gourmand is in D2 as are other worthwhile stops, Lu Bu, The Deck and Mad House.

As a visitor to Saigon, you’ll see plenty of street-side eateries. Some have premises that overflow onto the street. Others are no more than a pushcart and some stools on a street corner. You don’t have to be too game to try a few of these while you’re in town. Go with the local crowds and you’ll be OK.



While street eateries are everywhere, as the city becomes more affluent, Vietnamese cuisine is going indoors. These days, there are lots of very comfortable places to enjoy local food. Our favourites include Bui, Cuc Gach, Secret Garden, Chi Hoa and Hoa Tuc. And as with street eateries, look for the Vietnamese restaurants that attract lots of Vietnamese customers.

Saigon’s cafe scene is one of the most dynamic in South East Asia. Many cafes focus on coffees and teas while a small number also serve respectable inexpensive food. Check out our list of funky Saigon cafes.

A big part of Saigon’s culinary success is its access to the delicious abundance of the Mekong Delta. The delta is the country’s most productive food source,  supplying much of Vietnam’s rice, vegetable, fish and fruit intake.

Be sure to take advantage of Saigon’s incredible abundance of fresh tropical fruits.

ALL THE RESTAURANTS MENTIONED HERE ARE INCLUDED IN OUR MAIN SAIGON EATING LISTING.

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The Old Compass Cafe, Saigon

Rusty Compass now has a little home in the heart of Saigon in a cool 1960’s apartment building - The Old Compass Cafe. Stop by for great coffee, a... Read more

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The Old Compass Cafe, Saigon
3rd Floor 63/11 Pasteur St, District 1 Ho Chi Minh City - down the alley right by Liberty Citypoint Hotel
+848 38232969

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Cafe - Restaurant, Saigon

Cafe - Restaurant Ho Chi Minh City is a comfortable classic cafe and restaurant in a large downtown Saigon heritage space. Specialising in fresh and... Read more

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Cafe - Restaurant, Saigon
1st Floor, 171 Calmette St, Q1, Ho Chi Minh City
+848 6288 1717

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Tandoor Restaurant, Saigon

Tandoor is one of Saigon's longest standing Indian restaurants. It's a popular and consistent downtown eatery. Read more

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Tandoor Restaurant, Saigon
39A - 39B Ngo Duc Ke street, Ben Nghe ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
+84 8 39304839

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Bunn Oi noodles, Saigon

Classic Hanoian noodle dishes - bun cha, bun ca, banh cuon, bun nem, and more, in a cosy family run space right downtown.  Read more

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Bunn Oi noodles, Saigon
63 Pasteur, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh City (upstairs) near Liberty Citypoint Hotel
 

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Le Corto restaurant, Saigon

French cuisine in a fancy downtown location. Dressed-up, but not stuffy. French President Francoise Hollande popped in for a drink and a feed during... Read more

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Le Corto restaurant, Saigon
5D Nguyễn Siêu, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh City
+84 8 3822 0671
 

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Villa Royale Antiques and Tea Rooms, Saigon

If high tea in a classic colonial era building packed with European antiques sounds appealing, spend an afternoon at Villa Royale - in the heart of... Read more

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Villa Royale Antiques and Tea Rooms, Saigon
25 Ho Tung Mau, level 1, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
+84 838 210 088
 

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3T Restaurant, Saigon

A classic open air Vietnamese DIY BBQ. Meat and seafood - it’s all here to be cooked by you at your table. It's busy, noisy, fun and a perfect spot... Read more

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3T Restaurant, Saigon
29-31 Ton That Thiep, 2nd floor Dist.1 Ho Chi Minh City
 

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4P's Pizza, Saigon

4P's is a pizza place with a difference - it's Japanese. It's a roaring success in Saigon - so much so that in 2016, they've expanded beyond the... Read more

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4P's Pizza, Saigon
8/15 Lê Thánh Tôn Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
+84-120-789-4444
 

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5ku Station restaurant, Saigon

5 Ku Station is a pop-up, DIY barbecue in central Saigon - good for a relaxed outdoor dinner over a couple of cold beers. Read more

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5ku Station restaurant, Saigon
27 Lê Thánh Tôn, District 1 Hồ Chí Minh City,
+84907775487
 

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Atelier Des Reves Restaurant, Saigon

It’s a bit of a hike from downtown Saigon, but Atelier Des Reves is well worth the effort. A young Vietnamese couple, fresh back from learning their... Read more

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Atelier Des Reves Restaurant, Saigon
20/5 Kỳ Đồng St, Ho Chi Minh City
+848 3526 1518
 

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Au Parc Cafe, Saigon

A popular shophouse-style Mediterranean cafe in a great location, overlooking a colonial era green space. It’s close by the Notre Dame Cathedral and... Read more

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Au Parc Cafe, Saigon
23 Han Thuyen St, Dist. 1, Ho Chi Minh City
+84 8 3829 2772
 

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Bang Khuang Cafe, Saigon

Bang Khuang is a mellow little retro cafe hidden away in an old apartment block in the heart of Saigon. Good juices and coffee, great hangout for a... Read more

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Bang Khuang Cafe, Saigon
9 Thái Văn Lung, Bến Nghé, 1, Hồ Chí Minh City
+84 90 366 78 88

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Banh Xeo 46A, Saigon

Perhaps Saigon's best known eatery for getting a Vietnamese pancake - known as banh xeo. Read more

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Banh Xeo 46A, Saigon
46A Dinh Cong Trang St, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
 

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Ben Thanh Market food stalls

If you want an overview of Vietnamese cuisine - especially soups - Ben Thanh Market’s food stalls are a great place to go. It’s all there - pho, bun... Read more

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Ben Thanh Market food stalls
Ben Thanh Market, Le Loi St, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
 

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Chi Hoa Restaurant, Saigon

Vietnam’s family and street food goes indoors and a little upscale too, at Chi Hoa in Saigon’s downtown area. Read more

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Chi Hoa Restaurant, Saigon
31A Le Thanh Ton, Ben Nghe Ward, Dist. 1, Ho Chi Minh City
+84 (8) 3 8273155

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Ciao Bella Restaurant, Saigon

Ciao Bella is a popular Italian restaurant in downtown Saigon. It's relaxed, cosy and well priced. Read more

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Ciao Bella Restaurant, Saigon
11 Dong Du Street District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
+848 3822 3329

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Crab Restaurant Dinh Tien Hoang, Saigon

For the locals at least, this crabby stop at the far reaches of District 1 (about 10 minutes cab from downtown) is a Saigon institution. So popular... Read more

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Crab Restaurant Dinh Tien Hoang, Saigon
94 Dinh Tien Hoang St, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
 

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Cuc Gach Quan, Saigon

Cuc Gach Quan quickly soared to the top of Saigon's Vietnamese cuisine scene after a visit by Brad and Angelina in 2010. It's still well worth a... Read more

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Cuc Gach Quan, Saigon
10 Dang Tat, Ward Tan Dinh, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
+(84.8) 38 48 01 44
 

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Dong Pho Restaurant, Saigon

Dong Pho may be the nicest setting in Saigon for a spot of Hue cuisine. It's a around 10 minutes by cab from downtown in a bright open colonial era... Read more

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Dong Pho Restaurant, Saigon
57 Ho Xuan Huong, Dist. 3, Ho Chi Minh City
 +84 8 3930 7665
 

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Duck Deli Saigon

Duck Deli brings Vietnam's street style duck specialty dishes into a cool downtown location. Read more

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Duck Deli Saigon
153 Nguyen Thai Binh St, Thai Binh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
(+84) 908 371 990

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El Gaucho Argentinian Steakhouse, Saigon

Serving up steak and more steak, El Gaucho is in the happy place of being one of Saigon’s most expensive and most successful restaurants. It’s right... Read more

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El Gaucho Argentinian Steakhouse, Saigon
74/1 Hai Ba Trung St, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
+84 8 38272090

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Hoa Tuc Restaurant, Saigon

A good spot for an introduction to Vietnamese cuisine, Hoa Tuc is located downtown in a colonial era former opium factory. Read more

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Hoa Tuc Restaurant, Saigon
74/7 Hai Ba Trung, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
+84 8 3825 1676

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Hoang Yen, Saigon

A long running delicious local restaurant that’s recently had a major facelift. Gone is the hospital lighting, cheesy 70s tunes and general kitsch.... Read more

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Hoang Yen, Saigon
7 Ngo Duc Ke Street, Dist. 1, Ho Chi Minh City
+84.8 3823 1101
 

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Hum Vegetarian Restaurant, Saigon

Hum is a tasty and tasteful vegetarian restaurant in downtown Saigon - where there are few veggie options. Non-vegetarians will be pleased with the... Read more

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Hum Vegetarian Restaurant, Saigon
2 Thi Sach, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
(+84-8) 3823 8920
 

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I.D Cafe, Saigon

ID cafe is a cosy, non-smoking, retro, retreat hidden away upstairs, a block from the rear entrance of Ben Thanh Market. Read more

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I.D Cafe, Saigon
34D Thu Khoa Huan St, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
+8438222910
 

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L'Usine Cafe, Saigon

L'Usine has had a big impact on the Saigon boutique and cafe scene since opening in 2010. So big that there are now 2, as well as a few imitations. Read more

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L'Usine Cafe, Saigon
151 Dong Khoi (1st floor), Dist. 1, Ho Chi Minh City
+(84-8) 6674 3565
 

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La Fenetre Soleil, Saigon

La Fenetre Soleil is a long term favourite Saigon cafe that's now offering a mix of entertainment by night as well. Read more
La Fenetre Soleil, Saigon
44 Lý Tự Trọng, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
(+84 8) 3824 5994
 

Le Bordeaux Restaurant, Saigon

Le Bordeaux is a Saigon survivor - 20 years of serving quality French cuisine in a formal European style space, around 15 minutes by taxi from... Read more

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Le Bordeaux Restaurant, Saigon
72-D2 Street, Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City
+(84) 838 999 831

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Le Jardin French Bistro, Saigon

A simple and inexpensive French Bistro hidden away in a small serene garden space in downtown Saigon. Don’t expect anything flash but this is a... Read more

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Le Jardin French Bistro, Saigon
31 D Thai Van Lung St, Dist 1, Ho Chi Minh City
+848 3825 8465
 

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Le Terroir restaurant, Saigon

Le Terroir is a cosy little downtown French restaurant that opened in early 2015. Read more

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Le Terroir restaurant, Saigon
30 Thai Van Lung St, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
+(848) 3915 916
 

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What's On At Huong Giang Hotel

Sao La - Ngu Cho Nó Bay (23/3 - 11/4)

Galerie Quynh

151/3 Dong Khoi Street, District 1 | Map
Thu Mar 23 till Thu Apr 06, 2017
PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR ENGLISH VERSION OF THIS TEXT NGUCHONOBAY – Giám tuyển bởi Sao La... Read more

Free Food Wednesday - Chicken Soup & Garlic Bread

Saigon Outcast

188/1 Nguyen Van Huong. Thao Dien, D2 | Map
Wed Mar 29, 2017
8PM
[Tiếng Việt bên dưới] Free Food Wednesday is back to Saigon Outcast this week with Chicken... Read more

Indika Acoustic Session 38 - Funky Open Mic Edition

Indika Saigon

43 Nguyễn Văn Giai, phường Đakao, Quận 1 | Map
Wed Mar 29, 2017
8PM
Welcome to the Indika Acoustic Session ! concept: An evening of live music featuring... Read more

Jam Session - La KINH

Rogue Saigon

13 Pasteur (floor 2) | Map
Wed Mar 29, 2017
9PM
Come gather in our chilled vibes to enjoy a live show in which the talented performers are... Read more