Ho Chi Minh City | eating guide

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Plastic waste - Saigon restaurants taking action to reduce plastic waste

| 05 Jul 2017
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Plastic waste - Saigon restaurants taking action to reduce plastic waste
05 Jul 2017

A list of recommended restaurants and cafes in Saigon taking action to reduce the amount of plastic waste they produce. If you care about this global issue, these places are worth supporting.

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

These are the Saigon cafes and restaurants from our recommended list doing something about single-use plastic waste.

This is their commitment.

* No plastic water bottles on sale.
* No plastic straws (some are still making this happen).
* No plastic wrapped hand towels
* No plastic cups

If you care about this issue, these places deserve a look. Click on the links for address and other details.

Le Corto
Classy French cuisine right downtown. Still using plastic straws.

Lu Bu 
Mediterranean cuisine in District 2

Mad House
Modern cafe and restaurant in District 2. Still using plastic straws.

Maison Marou
Saigon's dispensary of Marou Chocolate and other goodies - downtown.

The Old Compass Cafe
This is Rusty Compass’s little Saigon home. Coffee, wine, and more. Downtown.

Quan Bui Downtown
A favourite stop for a quality Vietnamese meal in the heart of Saigon. Cool space and tasty local food.

The Workshop 
One of Saigon’s original specialty coffee houses. Downtown in a heritage space. Still using plastic straws.

Vintage Emporium
Cool cafe around 10 mins from downtown. Still using plastic straws.

We hope to keep adding to this list in the weeks and months ahead.

If your place isn't on our list and is meeting this standard, let us know.

You can see the list of Saigon cafes and restaurants we approached here.


Is this really necessary?
Photo: Mark Bowyer Is this really necessary?



Back in May I wrote a blog piece about how we have taken steps at the Old Compass Cafe to reduce our plastic waste output. We recognise that single-use plastic is a global disaster and that Saigon's cafes and restaurants produce a lot of unnecessary waste. We invited other Saigon cafes and restaurants listed on Rusty Compass to take action as well. You can read that piece here.

We’re not yet plastic free - but our simple steps have significantly reduced our plastic waste output.

Some Saigon eateries were already taking action, some decided to start doing something, some told us they weren’t doing anything, and some didn’t respond to our emails and follow-up phone calls.

We’ve started with modest goals. We’re all still producing plastic waste, but these steps make a big difference. There’s a long way to go.

What can you do?

We reckon all the businesses taking action deserve support. You might want to mention your own concern about plastic waste too.

Even more important, why not express your concern to other cafes and restaurants who are doing very little or nothing?

Some of the biggest international cafes in Saigon are serving plastic even to customers dining in. Imagine the unnecessary piles of plastic waste these places are churning out?

Your actions and comments are more important than anything we can do here. Make your concern known.  That will help us grow this list.


And if you are doubting the urgency of the plastic issue, read this sobering recent piece from The Guardian.

Mark Bowyer
Mark Bowyer is the founder and publisher of Rusty Compass.
Support Rusty Compass
Rusty Compass is an independent travel guide. We’re focused on providing you with quality, unbiased, travel information. That means we don't receive payments in exchange for listings and mostly pay our own way. We’d like tourism to be a positive economic, environmental and cultural force too. If you’ve found our recommendations and guides useful, we’d be grateful if you can help us out. Make a financial contribution using the link below. Even small amounts make a difference. Spread the word about Rusty Compas too, and if you're in Saigon, pop in to The Old Compass Cafe and say hi. It’s our home in Vietnam. Thanks and travel well!

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