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 25 May 2017

Our latest independent list of Saigon’s best eating - from street eats to upscale dining - was updated in May 2017. Everything here is handpicked. We visit and photograph every place we list. We pay our way and tell you if we receive any freebies.

Saigon is Vietnam’s culinary capital. It offers the best of the country’s delicious native cuisine. And over recent years, the international restaurant scene has taken off too. This is a great place to eat.

There is nowhere better to immerse yourself in the exquisite, fresh flavours of Vietnamese cuisine. Cosmopolitan Saigon attracts residents from all over Vietnam - the north, the south and centre. So regional cuisines are amply represented.

If you need a break from Vietnamese cuisine, check out the impressive collection of international restaurants in town. There’s delicious contemporary international cuisine as well as French, Chinese, Thai, Japanese and more.

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. Some of the city’s best dining is here. It’s also more relaxed than the intensity of District 1.

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.

We have our own little base in Saigon too - The Old Compass Cafe - right in the heart of town on Pasteur St. Pop by and say hi.

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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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The Old Compass Cafe, Saigon

The Old Compass Cafe is a little sanctuary of calm in Saigon's chaotic centre.  Stop by for great coffee, a Vietnamese baguette, home cooked... 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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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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Pho Minh Pasteur, Saigon

Pho Minh is one of Saigon’s oldest pho joints, and one of the best morning doses of the southern beef variety - right downtown. Opened in the 1950s... Read more

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Pho Minh Pasteur, Saigon
63/6 Pasteur St - in the alley next to Liberty Citypoint Hotel

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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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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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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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Lu Bu Mediterranean Restaurant, Saigon

Lu Bu is a modern, Mediterranean style restaurant in Saigon’s District 2, run by culinary veterans Jim Cawood and Kylie Michelle. Read more

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Lu Bu Mediterranean Restaurant, Saigon
97B Thao Dien, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City
+84 8 62818371

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Mad House restaurant, Saigon

Clean Nordic flavours and a serene garden setting make Mad House another reason for adding Saigon’s District 2 to your culinary plans. Read more

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Mad House restaurant, Saigon
6/1/2 Nguyen U Di, Thao Dien, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City
+848 3519 4009

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Maison Marou, Saigon

If you're in Saigon and in need of a fix of quality chocolate, head down to Maison Marou - a cafe showcasing the fine Vietnamese chocolate created... Read more

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Maison Marou, Saigon
167 Calmette Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
+84 8 7300 5010

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What's On At Huong Giang Hotel

Soul Carnivale - Music & Arts Festival

Saigon Outcast

188/1 Nguyen Van Huong. Thao Dien, D2 | Map
Sat May 27 till Sun May 28, 2017
---English--- (Tiếng Việt bên dưới) Soul Carnivale is a 2-day community festival and workshop... Read more

Sunday Reggae Reunion at Indika

Indika Saigon

43 Nguyễn Văn Giai, phường Đakao, Quận 1 | Map
Sun May 28, 2017
2PM
Saigon Dub Station X Saigon Rockers concept: A gathering of the reggae community in Saigon.... Read more

Rooftop Sunset / CheezyGangztaz

Rogue Saigon

13 Pasteur (floor 2) | Map
Sun May 28, 2017
5PM
Twilight fell when the sky turn to a dusky purple and the most precious gold to be found on... Read more

Concert "The Art of Chamber Music"

Ho Chi Minh City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera

Số 7 Công Trường Lam Sơn, Phường Bến Nghé, Quận 1 | Map
Sun May 28, 2017
8PM
Hòa nhạc Thính phòng "The Art of Chamber Music" Thời gian | Time: 8pm, 28/05/2017 | May 28 ,... Read more