After living in Saigon for over three years, Vietnamese food is not on top of my list anymore. But since friends and family do visit, we have to bring them around to restaurants serving authentic Vietnamese cuisine. I haven’t been to a whole lot but I would recommend the following to anybody visiting Saigon. 🙂
10. Quan An Ngon
Ngon is really popular among the tourists and I must say the food is consistent but really, the place is just TOO crowded for my taste. However, I have to put it in my list because the food is still good.
Their menu is extensive but what I love best are the noodle soups, shrimp wrapped around the sugarcane, and the salads.
Best to come early so you can get a spot or call in to reserve.
Visit Quan An Ngon at 160 Pasteur St., D1 or call them up at 38277136 (http://www.quananngon.com.vn)
9. Happy Tom Buffet
I enjoy going here in a big group where we can all huddle up at the buffet table and cook up a storm in our own table! It’s always fun!
Find them at 25 Ky Dong St., P9, D3 or call them up to reserve 22419199; 0909992392.
Read on my past blog entry about Happy Tom here.
8. Cha Ca Ha Noi
My friend Ria is my constant source of yummy finds. On one of her trips to Hanoi, she fell in love with the Cha Ca La Vong dish. Luckily, she found it near our place being served at Cha Ca Ha Noi. This fish dish doesn’t look filling but IT IS!
Since that first time, we always come back here for more.
Read more about it here.
Visit them at Garden Court 1, Phu My Hung, D7 or at 5A Tran Nhat Duat St., District 1. Call them up at 8484240.
7. Nha Hang Khoai
I don’t usually pass by their street so I was really surprised that so many people eat here at lunch during weekdays. If you plan on going here on a weekday, better call up to reserve a table.
Our first visit was of June this year and I recommend this place to friends. The food is really delicious. Try the Jellyfish Salad, Pork Barbecue, and yes, the salted fried rice!
Visit them at 3A Le Quy Don St., D1.
6. Cha Ca La Vong
Again, this place gets crowded during lunch. It’s pretty small, that’s why.
Read more about my experience eating here.
Visit them at 36 Ton That Thiep St., D1.
5. An Restaurant
The food is topnotch. You won’t be embarrassed to bring guests here. And even if it’s a small place (like most restaurants around), it’s brightly decorated with pieces from around Vietnam. Lovely, lovely paintings too!
Best for dates and business meetings. They can accommodate big groups. Call them up at 38258275.
Find them at 71/5-71/6 Mac Thi Buoi St., D1.
4. Hoa Tuc
Found Hoa Tuc as one of the best places to eat according to Trip Advisor.
None of our Vietnamese friends recommended this place or I guess this wasn’t just popular with them.
The price is slightly higher here but with the food and atmosphere — I think it’s definitely worth it. Read more about it here. And you might also want to try their Saigon Cooking Class. Read about my experience on the Gourmet Tour and Cooking Class itself.
Visit Hoa Tuc at 74/7 Hai Ba Trung St. District 1. Email them for reservations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Lunch Lady
Eating at the Lunch Lady is my most recent experience of eating authentic Vietnamese street food.
Featured by Anthony Bourdain at No Reservations, how can you not visit her?
As I’ve said in my last entry — her food is really comforting — something that you would like to eat when you’re really down — a natural upper!
Find her at 23 Hoang Sa St., D1.
2. Cuc Gach Quan
Cuc Gach Quan is always a hit with family and friends (except for my grandma who doesn’t like eating from bowls and using chopsticks. :D)
Famous for being the restaurant of choice of Brangelina, Cuc Gach Quan serves a real thick menu of Vietnamese dishes. I love the tamarind shrimp and tofu with lemongrass and chili here.
It’s a home turned restaurant so you’d get that homey appeal. However, it can get crowded too so do make reservations just to be sure.
I did part of my maternity photo shoot here too!
Visit them at 10 Dang Tat, Ward Tan Dinh, District 1
Tel: (84.8) 38 48 01 44 // (84) 01 657 10 10 10
1. Hoang Yen
Why? For the buffet. I really have a terrible time choosing food for guests that getting them to Hoang Yen is the easiest thing. There, they can just choose from a myriad of Vietnamese dishes. Yes I am a lazy host.
Since my first visit, I’ve been there lots of times with guests. And it’s always a hit.
My last visit was a couple of weeks ago when I brought my mom (again), godmom, and aunt. Try the balut (hot vit lon) in tamarind sauce, chicken with fish sauce, and the soups! Always yummy!!! I love, love, love the desserts here too!
Their prices increased quite a bit too so lunch is over 100kVND now but with the number of dishes to choose from, I say all is still good!
Lots of Hoang Yen restaurants around but buffet is only served at the 5th Floor of the Zen Plaza at 54-56 Nguyen Trai St., D1 and at the 1st Floor Me Linh Point Tower, 2 Ngo Duc Ke St., D1.
WHEW! Enjoy eating in Saigon!