Ho Chi Minh City | eating guide

Independent reviews and recommendations by Rusty Compass. No advertorial, no paid placements and no sponsored content.

Breakfast in Saigon - our picks

| 03 Dec 2018
Breakfast in Saigon - our picks
03 Dec 2018

Where are the best places to grab breakfast in Saigon? This is our handpicked collection of the best Saigon breakfasts from smashed avocado for the health conscious to greasy recovery options. We also include suggestions for a Vietnamese breakfast - pho, bun bo or banh mi. Our listings include both District 1 and the expat area in District 2.

Note: The information provided in this review was correct at time of publishing but may change. For final clarification please check with the relevant service

Breakfast in Saigon

L’Usine Cafe

The people who pioneered Vietnam’s vintage industrial cafe scene serve very good breakfasts - everything from granola, avocado on toast to the full English brekky. They have three cool locations around the city so if you’re in District 1 you’re probably not far away from one of them.

Address: 151 Dong Khoi St, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City (down the alley).
Address: 70B Le Loi St, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City (towards Ben Thanh Market)
Address:19 Le Thanh Ton St, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

L'Usine Le Thanh Ton
Photo: Mark Bowyer L'Usine Le Thanh Ton

 

The Old Compass Cafe

This is Rusty Compass’s home in Saigon - it’s a great spot for a healthy start to the day or for sampling Vietnamese “banh mi and eggs” breakfast aka. banh mi op la or more familiar flavours like toast and eggs, avocado, mushroom and bacon. You can try Vietnamese drip coffee too - or our espresso style coffee options. The Old Compass is on Pasteur St in the heart of Saigon - but it’s hidden down an alley next to Liberty Citypoint Hotel. Come and find us for breakfast.

Address: 63/11 Pasteur St, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City - in the alley next to Liberty Citypoint Hotel

The Old Compass Cafe, Saigon
Photo: Mark Bowyer The Old Compass Cafe, Saigon
 

Vintage Emporium

Vintage Emporium is a popular cute little spot slightly away from the centre of Saigon. Good healthy breakfast options, cool vibe and friendly team.

Address: 95 Nguyen Van Thu St, Dakao, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Vintage Emporium, District 2, Saigon
Photo: Mark Bowyer Vintage Emporium, District 2, Saigon

 

Au Parc

Au Parc is one of the nicest cafe spaces in town - looking over the April 30 Park from a colonial era shophouse. It’s also one of the longest running most successful eateries in the city. These days it describes itself as a Mediterranean restaurant though the feel is unchanged.  It’s expanded a lot since the early days. A good stop for a “traditional” breakfast - French, English or Californian. They also offer a Turkish breakfast. You can pop next door to their sister restaurant Propaganda for a Vietnamese breakfast.

Address: 23 Han Thuyen St, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Morning at Au Parc, Saigon
Photo: Mark Bowyer Morning at Au Parc, Saigon

 

Jaspas Dong Khoi

A preferred stop for a long Sunday classic recovery breakfast - eggs, bacon, coffee - Australian owned Jaspas has occupied a bright corner space on Dong Khoi St in the heart of Saigon for well over a decade. Their extensive breakfast menu includes everything from “Toad in the hole” Aussie flavours to Vietnamese “pho” and a plethora of things in between. Well located, good staff and hearty breakfast offerings.

Address: 33 Dong Khoi St, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

 

Breakfast in Saigon's District 2

Mekong Merchant

The first serious cafe in District 2 by our recollection (there are dozens now) still serves up a solid western breakfast. The courtyard space is a charmer.

23 Thao Dien, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City

Mekong Merchant, District 2, Saigon
Photo: Mark Bowyer Mekong Merchant, District 2, Saigon

 

Vintage Emporium District 2

The same couple behind one of downtown Saigon’s nicest cafess opened a big new place in District 2 in 2018. There’s indoor and outdoor seating and the whole feel is little more posh than other cafes around town. Friendly feel and good food.

1 Duong 39, Thao Dien, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City (at the end of the alley).

Vintage Emporium, District 2, Saigon
Photo: Mark Bowyer Vintage Emporium, District 2, Saigon

 

Vietnamese Breakfast in Saigon - going local

Walk down any downtown street in Saigon and you’ll spot locals fuelling up for the day - banh mi baguettes or pho, bun bo or hu tieu noodles are favourites with Saigonese.

Here are some recommendations in the downtown area. This list is a combination of personal experiences and recommendations from fiends and colleagues - I haven’t tried all of them yet!


Banh mi Hoa Ma


This place has long been ranked around the top for a Vietnamese breakfast banh mi - “the banh mi op la”. It’s a little away from the centre of town in District 3 - but Cao Thang St is a food centre in its own right. If you’re eating local food’s your thing, Cao Thang is a street worth visiting.
 
Address: 53 Cao Thang, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City


Banh Mi Nhu Lan

Nhu Lan is an industrial scale bakery and local food joint that’s been serving customers since before 1975. It opens for business at 4AM so should be in full swing for your breakfast banh mi requirements.

50 Ham Nghi St, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City - close by Bitexco Tower

 

Pho Minh Pasteur

Wonderful old Saigon eatery from the 50s in a colourful alley in downtown. Been open for decades but shuts each morning at 10AM or when the pho runs out. It's right next to our place, The Old Compass Cafe - so come for a coffee when you're done.

Address: 63/6 Pasteur St - in the alley next to Liberty Citypoint Hotel

Pho Minh Saigon
Photo: Mark Bowyer Pho Minh Saigon

 

Pho Huong Bac

Northern style Pho in another time honoured venue in the centre of town. The name “Huong Bac” means fragrant north.

86 Nguyen Du St, Ho Chi Minh City

Bun Bo Dong Ba

Serving up Hue’s famous spicy beef noodles, bun bo Hue at breakfast and bearing the name of Hue’s famous market, Bun Bo Dong Da is located downtown on Nguyen Du St between the Conservatorium of Music and the rear of the Reunification Palace.

Address:  110A Nguyen Du, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Mark Bowyer
Mark Bowyer is the founder and publisher of Rusty Compass.
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